The Shame of my Generation

I am ashamed of some of my friends. Let’s just say we are in the senior citizen range, from fifty-five and up. Way up. Some of them are in their eighties. They are making fun of youth marching in the streets for climate change. They are attacking Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who started it all.

They say she is strident. She is ugly. She has autism. They are making fun of her for having Asperger’s, to be exact.

My friends say instead of fighting climate change, the young people need to start by cleaning their own rooms. They show photos of the trash the teens left behind in their marches.  For all I know the photos are fake news.

These same peers of mine made fun of the Parkland teens for protesting automatic weapons. They accused the teens of being so dumb that they eat Tide pods. I have noticed a trend among these peers.  They tend to be conservative right-wing voters. Okay, I’ll spell it out. They are Republicans.

Most of this is happening on Facebook. The posts get shared time and time again. Do these people not have children or grandchildren? What happened to “it takes a village?”  When did it become okay to make fun of younger generations for the real threats to their health and safety – gun violence and climate change?

Are Russian entities making these horrible posts in order to divide the country between the young and old?

I saw the photo of a teen holding up a sign as she marched that said,” You will die of old age. I will die of climate change.” Are my peers so hardened that don’t care about catastrophic weather, rising sea levels, and a runaway disaster for future generations?

In the movie The Graduate, someone comes up to Dustin Hoffman and whispers in his ear that the next big thing is “plastic.” The movie is from 1967.

Plastic is everywhere. Think the Container store, which would go bankrupt without it.  Plastic has a shelf life of infinity.  I have Rubbermaid tubs that will survive Armageddon — the lids, not so much, but the tubs are twenty years old and still going strong.

I used to buy Ziploc bags in the economy packs at Costco. My summer challenge was to not buy any Ziploc at all and to re-use the ones I had. I did it and lasted the whole season without purchasing any more of them.

I gave up plastic water bottles, too (full disclaimer — I did buy a six-pack for a festival that wouldn’t allow metal containers). Otherwise I use my re-usable metal water bottle, which I tote back and forth to exercise classes. I bought a second one at a thrift store (it has a dented lid) when I misplaced the first one. It turned up two weeks later at my sister’s place behind a coloring book leaned up against the nightstand.

The Facebook stalker whom I’ve been fighting with until I finally blocked him yesterday said in a comment that it’s not his problem if police officers treat black people worse than white people.

Actually, it’s a problem for all of us.

Another conservative friend said that the mayors of cities with large homeless populations are terrible mayors (Democrats). I pointed out that the homeless people in her state have to come to California to survive the winters and that homelessness is a national problem, and just because she lives in Iowa where winter weather can kill a person, she can’t blame California for it all (we have 47% of all homeless Americans).

The fact that my friends  don’t care about it pretty much sums up what is wrong with half of the country. When people can detach from anything that doesn’t directly affect them and they can either bury their heads in the sand or refuse to empathize with those that it will affect, then we have a big fat problem with the United States of America.

There, now I can go eat my breakfast.

 

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