“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.” – Socrates (469-399 B.C.)
The more things change, the more things stay the same. Sure, it’s a cliché, but often clichés are very true. Generations from the beginning of time have always looked at each other side-eyed with apprehension. They have made rude comments about each other, often the elder generation telling the young whippersnappers to get off their lawn, which is why Socrates’ (or as Bill and Ted might put it—Socrates Johnson) quote is both timeless and timely.
As if you can’t tell, I am a card carrying member of Generation X, a member of the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” demographic. And I’ve spent plenty of time calling Baby Boomers some choice names (“sellouts!”) and have joked about Millennials (“the vape cigarette is the man bun for the mouth”). But in the end, we’re all together in “this thing we call life” (RIP Prince). Plenty of good, bad and ugly can be found in all generations.
That brings me to Alexis Bloomer, Millennial-aged TV anchor and journalist based in Texas. A couple of weeks ago she posted a video of her pointing a finger at her generation, accusing them of being the worst generation that ever existed. The video went viral and Ms. Bloomer has been interviewed by several media outlets (most famous being Fox News). Some people think Ms. Bloomer’s speech (done in her car and filmed by her smart phone while she obviously reads off a written script), is the equivalent of Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech. For some of you who haven’t heard of Ms. Bloomer and her soul-stirring speech, here is a quick link:
“Dear Elders, I’m Sorry”
Now whereas, many people supported Ms. Bloomer and her rant, many have come forward to tell her she’s got some nerve to paint one entire generation with a generic brush. And I’m going to join the latter.
First off, Ms. Bloomer eviscerates her fellow Millennials for not having basic good manners, saying “yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am.” She claims her generation doesn’t hold doors open for ladies or show any basic respect. Are there Millennials who have no concept of graciousness and class? Of course, but you’ll find rude people in all demographics. And has Ms. Bloomer seen the behavior of both Donald Trump (Baby Boomer) and Ted Cruz (Generation X)? Definitely not Miss Manners (Silent Generation) approved.
Obscene music? Has Alexis Bloomer ever heard of “I Shot the Sheriff” a song done by both Eric Clapton and Bob Marley and The Wailers? Did she know the Johnny Cash lyric, “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die” or “Fuck tha Police” by NWA? Misogyny also has a musical history with songs like “Under My Thumb” by the Rolling Stones, “I Used to Love Her” by Guns ‘n Roses, and “Bitches Ain’t Shit” by Dr. Dre.
And of course, music has always sung the praises of carnal pleasure in such songs like Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and Liz Phair’s “F**k and Run.” Prince’s “Darling Nikki” got busy with a magazine and Cyndi Lauper extolled the virtues of female masturbation (or as I like to call it Rubbin’ Hood) in “She-Bop.” And when Nina Simone sang about wanting some “Sugar in Her Bowl” well she wasn’t talking about a sugar bowl you find on the kitchen table.
Ms. Bloomer also wags her finger at her generation for their love of cursing just to prove a point. People have been cussing since the beginning of time. Has she ever heard of Lenny Bruce or George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words?” Heck, even my grandma said shit!
Speaking of language, Ms. Bloomer isn’t fond of Millennials and their slang like “bae.” Please, all generations define themselves by their own unique language from 23-skidoo to neato keen to groovy to tubular to sick, and so on. (Somehow fetch never happened).
In her rant, Ms. Bloomer also accuses Millennials for idolizing the wrong people like the Kardashians as if no previous generation ever idolized certain celebrities. Fabian, David Cassidy, Vanilla Ice and Tiffany all had their fans and then pretty much disappeared.
Millennials are also lazy, entitled and don’t care about serving their country according to Ms. Bloomer, which is ironic considering she didn’t seem to put much work into her rant and she looks like she’s gunning for a position at Fox News. Back in the 1990s Generation X-ers were called slackers. And not serving their country? Well, just who does Ms. Bloomer think has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan? The Greatest Generation? And let’s not forget all the wonderful Millennials whose volunteer work enhances our communities.
Watching this rant (and also spending some of my time in the journalistic realm) I just knew there was a story behind the story. So I did some investigating to find out more about Alexis Bloomer.
For someone who scolds her generation for their addiction to the Internet and social media, Ms. Bloomer has quite a presence on both. She has both a personal website and several social media accounts. There is nothing wrong with having a personal website or working with social media; I have both. But Ms. Bloomer’s website and social media accounts have all the depth of a Jimmy Choo in-step. Ms. Bloomer seems more about making herself a brand rather than showing any evidence of solid journalistic work. Her Facebook page alone shows just a smattering of her interviewing rodeo riders and countless posts about fashion, jewelry, her personal PR appearances, professional photos that look more like cheesy boudoir photography and countless selfies including shots of her possibly fake breasts and belly ring. I’m sure iconic journalist Nelly Bly did the same thing. Oh, no, she didn’t! She was actually a ground-breaking reporter that paved the way for generations of women! I am a card-carrying feminist, but with the likes of Alexis Bloomer no wonder my favorite journalist is Bill Moyers.
And for every stereotypical Millennial Ms. Bloomer paints with a very broad brush, there are countless Millennials doing wonderful things, some well-known some living in obscurity. One Millennial I truly like and admire is Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter (now with CNN) Sara Granim who helped break the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky child molestation case.
As I mentioned, generations have always complained about one another, and this was often reflected in pop culture, especially in television. In the 1970s we had All in the Family. In the 1980s we had Family Ties. And now in the modern age we have Black-ish. Hmm, All in the Family, Family Ties, Black-ish? Sound like Kardashian-related shows.
And what will happen to Alexis Bloomer? Well, Fox News is probably looking for another addition to its roster of standard-issue blondes. But most likely Alexis Bloomer will be this year’s answer to Nicole Arbour and her “Dear Fat People” rant. Nicole Arbor? Who? “Dear Fat People?” What?