Friday, February 20, 2004

GenX faces rage of the revolting Ys

The views of Ryan Heath, a 23 y.o. UTS communications student, are a fascinating litmus test on the emerging divide between Gens X and Y – by date of birth, he nicely sits inside (but not by too far) my theorised Thatcher’s election (May 1979) demographic watershed.

Two years ago, Ryan wrote "Boomers face rage of the revolting Xs and Ys"* (no URL). As the title suggests, it is a stirring anti-boomer polemic, in which Gens X and Y were co-equal stakeholders.

Fast forward to the present, and Ryan’s views have changed rather remarkably:

We Challengers [= GenY] aren't going off in a huff like the hippie set nor are we about to enter a collective depression like Generation X.

Ouch! Leaving aside the ontological issue of how depression can be possibly be collective, it seems pretty clear that Ryan sees his age cohort as a very different crew from GenX.

I’ll grant him that in part, and in whole when it comes to histrionics:

We have more degrees and more experience of the real world than many MPs (same URL).

[Memo to Ryan – this is not a particularly persuasive line when uttered by a 23 y.o. uni student, who has been enrolled in the same course for at least the last four years.]

And then there’s his real-world naïveté – which would be almost cute, if he wasn’t shining his high beams into my fragile equilibrium in so doing:

I'm not interested in applying for a credit card from a company that discriminates against me because of my age, or a department store that thinks I move too often to be trusted with a store card (same URL).

Ahem – Ryan, dear: especially when it comes to 22% plus interest-rate store cards, I think you’ll find that the lenders are supremely uninterested in your frequency of moving domicile (or your age, for that matter). If you’re really that desirous of being on the receiving end of a red-hot usurious poker, here’s how it works. First, get your first card, which will usually require a job (that’s spelt J-O-B, as they say on Jerry Springer). I know that call centres suck, and all – but the beauty of credit is that you don’t need to keep the J-O-B for very long at all. Indeed, as soon as your first card’s approved, you can quit work without fear or adverse consequence. The beauty of the system, you see, is that as soon your first card’s maxxed-out, other card offerors will offer you their products, on a “pre-approved” (no checks made) basis. And as for that holy grail of yours – the store card – I’m pretty sure that once a check of your credit file is made (five cards and no defaults, because one can be used to pay off the other), getting this little icing-on-the-cake will be a cinch for you.

* Sydney Morning Herald, 20 [or 30] January 2002.

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