The Strange, Fascinating, and Often Counterintuitive Nihilism of Young People

A brief look at two generations of cynics.

Matthew Maniaci

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Photo by Nick de Partee on Unsplash

I am a millennial, and I own it. Born in the mid-80s, I’m approaching my mid-30s, and boy does it feel like I’m approaching my mid-60s.

I’ve got memories of two major stock market crashes, the election of the nation’s first black president, and the attacks of 9/11. In my lifetime, LGBTQ folx have gone from closeted freaks to out and proud, which fills me with so much joy.

Lots of stuff has happened in my 30-ish years here, is what I’m trying to say. And boy has it made me grumpy.

It’s made a lot of people my age and younger grumpy. So grumpy, in fact, that we’ve started rebelling against our boomer parents and fighting back against the system that shaped that grumpiness.

It’s led to a large number of articles about the boomer/millennial divide. Boomers blame millennials for the ills of modern society while millennials blame boomers for leaving them a world that seems on the verge of collapse while enriching themselves.

While this is great for the news outlets that publish them, very little is accomplished other than further driving the generational rift. And, while I’m going to touch on it a bit, I don’t want to harp…

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Matthew Maniaci

I write about everything from my experience with mental illness to politics to philosophy. Much of my so-called "wisdom" is from Tumblr dot com. He/him/his.