Millennials Don’t Exist

Ugh, sorry, please just take your socially significant label and go away.

You don’t have to work out how to perfectly encapsulate a social trend — you know what that says about you? That you are on the outside of it; that you are observing the symptoms of a disease and have no idea what the real cause is.

Most writers on punk weren’t punk. Most commentators on hip hop never dropped a rhyme or went crate-diving to find that perfect break-beat. It isn’t from the horse’s mouth — it’s Telephone Gamed to death. A xerox of a xerox of a xerox and has all the truth a copydrift philosopher is going to have … none. An inauthentic voice.

Generation X? I like the band. Do I self identify that way? Do I see myself in the ebbing flow of a generational wave? No. Being alive and trying to create art and remain relevant, I find it unhelpful to be a hipster, a punk, or anything else that people use to boil you down into a bog-standard nothingness of shorthand. Let’s simplify for the ones who took their eyes off the ball, and stopped living so they can pick up a book to find out what is going on. Living on the paper-cutting edge.

I have been called book-smart. I have some of that. But when I was running a poetry evening; when I’ve been writing anything, I have been signally unconcerned with what group that slots me into. Better to make my own groups.

You have to be pretty self conscious to self identify as a Millennial or a Hipster, or whatever — get thee hence to a Hot Topic and buy your cultural uniform. All this seems like a horrible product of trend prediction in fashion magazines and an attempt to codify and classify something so it can be monetized, rather than anything really necessary. Maybe, you need your people sorted into genres, like music, so you know how to think about them, but it it such a limiting way of thinking about what, in fact, is a pretty fluid reality.

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