The Millennial Body Count rises with each passing week. We brought you coverage of it last week, when Millennials were alleged to have landed a deadly blow to college football attendance. Since then, Millennials have struck again, this time focusing their lethal beam of indifference at American leather and bumper sticker retailer Harley-Davidson.
The list is long, and growing, and it’s time to take stock of where this country is headed. Some losses hurt more badly than others. A world without chain casual dining restaurants or internal combustion we can probably survive.
But what will we do without The American Dream itself?
Here is a list of things Millennials have killed, ranked.
16. The 9-5 Work Week
Always wasteful, increasingly pointless.
The eight-hour workday has its roots in a socialist response to the working conditions in Europe during the Industrial Revolution, I just read on Wikipedia. “Eight hours work, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest” was the basic idea. Russia codified it into law in the early 20th century and now the 40-hour work week is what we in the United States consider “full-time.”
This all works great for widget manufacturers, but nowadays more people do their work with computers, via the internet. Which means there is less need for physical business spaces with open hours and desks and, therefore, less of a reason to arrange those eight hours of work to a specific and continuous block of time.
The 9-5 thing isn’t that important, but it does lead to a lot of wasted time, money and traffic.
Napkins: For when you need to clean your face, and you’d like to use 12 of something.
14. The Hang-Out Sitcom
I get that Friends and Seinfeld are over, but I saw a couple episodes of Big Bang Theory on a flight once, and there seemed to be a good bit of hanging out going on in that.
Sitcoms in general have taken it on the chin from Millennials, because they’re written generically and they non-ironically air canned laughter that was recorded 60 years ago. People have more options now. Competition’s a beast. I don’t know what to tell you, sitcoms.
It seems to me there is some unfair blame being cast here, because when I was a teen in rural Kansas, what you did after a high school football game was, you and six other high school kids would go to the Applebee’s, cram into a circular booth, and order seven Dr. Peppers and a basket of fried mushrooms. Then you’d be back in there Sunday after church, getting the cheesecake this time. That place must have made tens and tens of dollars off me over the years, and I resent being blamed for its demise when the fact is Applebee’s never would have gotten off the ground were it not for teenagers in rural Midwestern towns in the late 1990s. They hung our sports pictures on the walls, for crying out loud.
Diamonds are a scam, and always have been. They aren’t that rare, and the only reason they cost so much is that everybody is playing along with an old ad campaign by DeBeers. Until about 100 years ago, everybody wanted rubies and sapphires in their engagement rings, which makes sense, considering they look much cooler anyway.
My experiences with banks have been generally good, or at least logical. They loan me money so I can go to college, buy houses, cars, and probably a few online magazine subscriptions I forgot to cancel. Then I try to pay them back. I don’t get why it takes so long for checks to get deposited, though. As many times as I’ve overdrawn my account over the years, you’d think they’d want to suck that money right in there, posthaste.
10. Wine Corks
When I was 18, my friends and I kept empty beer and liquor bottles, and displayed them in our apartment to show that we were “cool.” When I was 25, I kept a stash of wine corks in my house for reasons I can’t even remember. I don’t do any of that anymore. I don’t care about wine corks. Begone, spongewood.
9. The NFL
From the players all the way up through ownership, the NFL has a paranoid quality to it, and I don’t like it, but I keep watching. Every game is exactly three hours and nine minutes long, which means you can get in two sets of games by dinnertime, then about the time you get done eating Al and Chris are on the mic and before you know it it’s Monday morning.
8. Harley Davidson
I love Harleys in theory. I love what they represent and how they look and the motorcycle culture that has sprung up around them. Just one complaint though, dude. Do ya have to make the exhaust so loud? Look, I get it. I drive old cars with exhaust systems designed for maximum flow. I use the word “note” when I’m characterizing mufflers. I’m not even close to passing a smog test. It’s just … goldang, fellas, I’m trying to tell my friends about my weekend in Fredericksburg over here.
I don’t want to lose motorcycle culture or car culture, but as the country urbanizes we gotta figure something out about exhaust pipes, is all I’m saying.
Hitting a perfect golf shot straight and far and right down the middle of the fairway, or plopping a lob shot right onto the green is one of life’s great pleasures. Sinking a long putt probably is, too, but I’ll have to take your word for it. The trouble is, unless you play golf, with surgical focus, on a regular basis, you’ll spend most of your day wandering around in the weeds pretending to look for used golf balls that came in the same kind of sack they use for onions.
But here’s the thing: Most Millennials are still in our 20s and early 30s. When we’re 40, 50, 60 years old? You’re gonna see us out there hitting low, straight drives and zipping up to them in a candy-red cart with chrome wheels on it.
6. Spring Break
The story goes that contemporary spring breakers are eschewing the traditional cheap room/cheap booze/cheap hookup spring break in favor of things that look cooler on Instagram, like festivals and posh hotels, the New York Post reports.
I never got to go on spring break, because I had a dang job, and I resent these kids immensely.
Running is free, and it makes you look better, think more clearly, sleep better, live longer, and feel better about yourself. Yet in order to go do it, I have to overcome a series of increasingly ridiculous arguments from my own mind. The human condition is absurd.
4. Home Depot
I don’t have any problem with Home Depot. It can be a little hard to find help in there, but usually the person I wind up talking to can tell me way more about the job I’m doing than I ever cared to know (and is eager to do so). Plus, there are always hundreds of open parking spots at the Home Depot. That’s important in a big city like Houston. Big cities need a certain number of big open parking lots where people can go.
3. The American Dream
Still pretty good, all things considered.
2. Soap Bars
I’m dubious that soap bars are dying or dead, because that’s what I buy when I shop for shower soap, and they always have exactly as many options as I need, which is two:
- Dial (for when you want that puckered pore sensation)
- Irish Spring (for a softer caress)
It will be a shame if soap bars disappear, because they are a perfect product that costs very little.
Personally, I recommend it.