I read this this morning.
I shouldn’t have, but I did.
It was the usual “Gen Y is so spoiled, they think they’re so special, life is really hard, our parents and grandparents got up every morning and woke up and built this country, so FUCK YOU whiners” piece.
Once I saw “yuppie” in the title, my bullshit detector should’ve gone off, but it didn’t.
Yes, our grandparents were the greatest generation.
And yes, they survived the Great Depression.
And our parents built the world we’re living in right now.
Here’s a list of things that our parents and grandparents didn’t have to worry about:
And the thing that nobody mentions is that our Greatest Generation grandparents rose to prosperity (or at the very least, managed to survive) on systemic reforms that changed everything. Many of which, I might add, were demanded by unions.
The 40-hour work week.
Health insurance for employees.
The G.I. Bill.
A federally-mandated minimum wage.
Medicare and Medicaid.
Stafford Loans and Pell Grants.
Increased spending on public schools and public works.
The Dust Bowl reclamation.
The New Deal.
Overtime pay laws.
My grandfather, God rest his soul, was a career military man. Every single adult paycheck he drew until very late in life came from the taxpayers of the United States of America.
His housing was subsidized.
His health care was subsidized.
He retired with a FULL PENSION, which meant that he went on collecting his general’s salary as if he was still working.
Think hard about your grandparents.
A lot of them have the same kind of story.
Worked the same job for 25 or 30 years. Retired with a full pension. Lived happily ever after.
Raise your hand if you know anyone—ANYONE—who has the option of doing that these days.
I’ve been downsized four times—FOUR times—in a 15-year career. On average, that means that I lose my job once every four years over something I had nothing to do with.
I’ve done contracting work for Capital One.
Here’s a little-known fact: if you’re a contractor, they have a limit on how long you can work there. They keep you on as a contractor for two years, and then they let you go for at least three months.
If they have work for you when those three months are up, you’re lucky. If they’ve found someone cheaper to do the job for the next three years, you’re shit out of luck.
But it’s all done in the name of not having to pay your benefits and unemployment insurance.
Alright. I’m done.
Yes, I’m sure the young kids could use a swift kick in the ass—technically, I’m Gen-X, so you Gen-Y kids and millenials need to get your shit together—but anyone who says that prior generations built it without any help is officially full of shit.
Don’t try this at home! India’s Olympian Shiva Keshavan luges down mountain roads, sometimes among animals. Watch the full video and find out more about Shiva Keshavan as he aims for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.
You can also subscribe to the official Olympic YouTube channel.
As some of you know, I had a bit of an altercation today with a woman named Diane on an airplane.
I had a great time antagonizing her, reading your responses, and just generally trying to have fun with an irritating person. But I did have a point and I just want to put it out there.
I know I can…
Sure, Soviet cosmonauts had to face the difficulties of space travel, which were tough enough.
But what if they happened to crash land in some unknown territory? At the height of the Cold War? What would they do? How would they survive and contact their countrymen? What if they encountered hostile animals or other humans?
For all these reasons, the cosmonaut survival kit that our friends at The Appendix dug up is remarkable.
Read more. [Image: RuSpace]
If a catcher is not a New Englander, he has to have the soul of one. He lives in a hostile universe, convinced that nobody understands him but God and other catchers—and he isn’t so sure about other catchers. Catching is a sacrifice for which even the sternest Puritan God must grant a reward. The reward is called winning. Perfectionism is hard to contain, and once a perfectionist catcher gets going, he is carrying a whole team of prodigal sons on his shoulders. He wants to make things move, and for a man who really wants that, there are no off-hours. After a road game [Carlton] Fisk will have a beer or two with the boys, but four is his limit. “Some guys have to work for a living” is his getaway line when a good time seems about to be had by all. In hotel rooms as remote from Charlestown as Los Angeles, the New England conscience will climb the wall. What did I do wrong? What could I have done better? “I’ve never come out of a game when I could say, ‘There. I’ve done everything right,’” he says.
- Melvin Maddocks (Sports Illustrated)
Read the rest: “Breaking the Mold” (July 30, 1973)
Photo by Malcolm W. Emmons (1972) via Mears
Woolworth Building, New York, 1926.
Were we tougher or dumber? Or both?
I’m a Gooner, so I don’t feel too sorry about Spurs’ failed attempt to make it rain this offseason, but even I have to admit that Spurs fans are overreacting a bit right now.
We (Arsenal fans) have been mocked by a lot of results-oriented people down through the years. We say we’d rather play beautiful football and finish third than win every match 1-0.
Everyone else (including Spurs fans) scoffs.
And yet Spurs fans are in a panic, even though they’ve won most of their matches 1-0.
The problem isn’t in the players. Or in the manager, for that matter.
It’s in the team’s makeup.
A Premiership team is like a heavyweight boxer.
And a heavyweight boxer can be one of two things: bigger than his opponent, or faster than his opponent.
Spurs bulked up. It’s a methodical style: crowd your opponent into a corner (lots of high pressing), suffocate him with body shots (grab and hold possession), and kick the shit out of him there.
They already had two legitimate holding mids in Sandro and Dembele, and they added two more who could play in that spot in Capoue and Paulinho. Then they added Vlad Chiriches, another defender.
But what they’re lacking is someone who can throw that knockout punch. They spent an obscene amount of money on Roberto Soldado, who has all of one goal in open play so far, and threw good money after the bad in the form of Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela.
So yeah, they’re stingy as hell, but they’re lacking flow, creativity, and whatever that je ne sais quoi is that leads to pretty football and, you know, goals.
Now for the mass hysteria.
I won’t insult your intelligence. You’ve all seen the Rocky movies. When someone tries to bully you, you’ve got two options: slug it out or stick and move.
Arsenal decided to fight it out and won. City decided to stick and move and just tore Spurs to shreds. And yes, 6-0 is a humiliation of the highest order, but let’s not panic just yet, Spurs fans.
It’s still relatively early in the season and you’ve turned over half your roster. And in spite of it all, you’re still just eight points off the top.
Keep your coach. Yes, it’s not pretty. Yes, the losses hurt.
But they’re getting results.
And if results are what the fans are after, Spurs should be fine.