Good luck, suckers. You had the misfortune of being born into the bloated carcass of a dying world, and now you’re this rotting planet’s only hope for salvation. I do not envy you.
But, since you bothered to look up from your phones to listen to what I have to say, I’ll offer some advice:
Don’t follow your dreams. Seriously. Your dreams are stupid. You are using a 2015 model to plan for the future, but by 2035 everything you know will be obsolete. Inviolate institutions will go the way of the polar ice caps and Bill Cosby’s reputation.
I once thought I would make a living as a newspaper reporter—travel the globe speaking truth to power and comfort the afflicted. People did that. Then a Terminator-like force of technology reduced the Fourth Estate to rubble; and I woke up to find myself marshaling my journalistic training to blog about a celebrity’s psychological meltdown. I was a “content creator” creating snark for malcontents. And I was in my underwear.
Remember that everyone hates you. Casual Anti-Semitism is, like, a thing. The way the gluten-free diet is a thing, except palatable to way more people. From the BDS movement to the lame tweets of an ascending cable talk show host, anti-Semitism is showing itself to be so pervasive it no longer sounds wrong to non-Jewish ears. It’s like a dreadful pop song that loses its offensive edge the longer people are exposed to it.
How else do you explain the world’s reaction when we hear, say, a leader of a nation sing his oft-repeated refrain that his country’s right to wipe Israel of the face of the Earth is “non-negotiable.” Instead of reacting with horror, the most powerful nations on the planet tap their feet to that sick beat and hand over a cushy nuclear arms deal.
Carry mace. This one is just for the ladies. The Women’s Liberation movement was something from your grandmother’s day, so let me break it down for you: There once was a time when men could get away with staring at your breasts in meetings, pushing their junk up against you in public and passing you over for promotions based on your uterus’s ability to produce life (and, thus, theoretically hurt a company’s productivity).
Oh, wait, that was Thursday. True, we are no longer living in the “Mad Men” era, but with college campuses and the military covering up rape, and victim-blaming still the knee-jerk reaction of a male-dominated society, we’ve still got a long way to go, baby.
Wear Sunscreen. That famous line from Tribune columnist Mary Schmich back in 1997 is still true today. More so, in fact, as death rates from melanoma have increased significantly in the last decade. And medicine’s best defense against this killer is a dollar-store face cream. We are all going to die.
So, welcome to adulthood, Class of 2015! Enjoy it while you can.
After a ten-year career as a newspaper reporter for the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register, Mayrav Sarr left to try her hand at child rearing and freelance writing.