Thursday, June 14, 2018

How two words screwed up a whole generation

IT IS the two-word message that we're all taught as kids. But it has actually stopped a generation of Australians from growing up.

Luke Kinsella

I'M A millennial, and whenever I write about my generation I always find myself thinking about the same thing: helicopter parenting and their "stranger danger" mindset.

It explains almost everything.

I've written a lot about Millennials. I've written about emotional fragility among Millennials.

I've written about social media addiction. I've written about how Millennials crave responsibility in their lives. I've even written about the lack of support for free speech among Millennials.

I was blessed with amazing parents who understood the dangers of helicopter parenting, but without sounding crude, many Millennials weren't.

We're the most helicopter parented generation of all time.

What are helicopter parents, you ask? They're parents who hover around their child, ready to swoop in if they see them challenged or distressed.

They don't let their kids walk to school on their own. They interrogate their kids with the "who, what, where, and when" every time they leave the house.

They pave their kid's road to success for them. They micromanage their kids' schedules. They shower their kids with cash. They do their kids' homework for them.

They don't let kids resolve disputes among themselves.

They resolve fights between their kid and somebody else's kid by calling the other kid's mum. They answer questions that are intended for their kid, on behalf of their kid, when their kid is standing right next to them.

Helicopter parents are obviously kind, loyal and loving people. And if the victims of helicopter parenting are products of their time, the perpetrators of it are too. They're well-intentioned.
The original Safety House logo.

The original Safety House logo.Source:News Corp Australia

But then again, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Rates of mental illness are soaring among my generation. We're the most depressed, anxious and suicidal generation in recent memory, while simultaneously being the most pampered and looked after. How is this possible?

Even with unparalleled financial and emotional support, I often hear my fellow Millennials say that their "life is a mess" and how they need to "get their life together" - the latter of which I hear a lot.

Millennials are struggling with finally being responsible for themselves. They're struggling with juggling basic expectations of adulthood.

Most 20-year-olds are uncomfortable with even being called an "adult". But can we really be shocked that adulthood hasn't come naturally to a generation who've been treated like toddlers their entire lives?


The average millennial enters adulthood in three turbulent stages. Let me paint the picture.

To begin with, they're narcissistic and entitled. This is the first stage. They rush into adulthood overconfident and naive. They've given themselves credit for the success their parents gave them.

So for a short-time, their expectation of getting everything they want spills into their experience of adulthood and they become extremely demanding.

They chalk down initial setbacks to "no one understanding them" and they develop victimhood mentalities: they're perfect and it's always somebody else's fault.

But then, the second stage hits. The setbacks build up. The real world breaks through their narcissistic surface and a traumatic crisis of identity occurs.

They get hit by obstacle after obstacle and eventually, they realise their incompetence and begin to fear the world.

All of sudden, society is a scary place fraught with dangerous hurdles that didn't exist before.

Blame "stranger danger" - history's most well-intentioned, yet misguided lesson. I'm glad to see that the phrase is slowly dying.

Millennials were actually taught that every adult they didn't know was a "danger" to them. It astounds me that anyone thought this was a good idea.

There is a middle ground between teaching kids basic street smarts and teaching them to fear everyone they don't know.

Thanks to helicopter parenting and "stranger danger", Millennials are scared of the real world and can't fend for themselves.

They've been taught to always rely on the help of an adult - but not just any adult. Adults are dangerous! Only trust your parents!

After an 18 year high, Millennials finally crash-land into adulthood after realising how unequipped they are to survive by themselves. Life is no longer the cosy and comfortable place it once was. It's a scary, competitive world where success takes time.

The third stage lands the knockout blow. They start feeling like failures.

In the second stage, Millennials realise they can't get what they want just because they want it. In the third, they realise they don't know how to get what they want regardless.

They've been robbed of the confidence to solve problems by themselves. So what happens when their parents ditch them? They feel scared, alone and most of all, helpless.

Their whole sense of self comes crashing down as they realise their road to success is a lot longer and bumpier than the instant gratification their parents gave them.

They realise the superficiality of their childhood success and how it was built on the foundations of their parents' support, not their own brilliance.

They stop blaming others and begin blaming themselves.

They go from believing they have everything in control to the exact opposite.

Parents nowadays see their kids as blocks of granite from which they can sculpt the perfect human being.
These Millennials look happy, but maybe they're only at stage one at this point.

These Millennials look happy, but maybe they're only at stage one at this point.Source:istock

Millennials see success as an obligation, like paying back a debt.

So when they're thrown into (what they perceive to be) the deep end, they feel guilty for feeling like they can't provide a return on their parents' investment.

They blame themselves for feeling unworthy of their parent's support. And worst of all, they don't have the know-how to repay their parents even if they wanted to.

So parents, what were you thinking? I couldn't think of a worse combination of messages to send to budding adults.

You've simultaneously made them fear the world and feel obligated to achieve success.

And you haven't equipped them with the life skills necessary to achieve that success.

For Millennials, life is like playing Roger Federer in tennis without a racket, and being expected to win.

Can we really be surprised that rates of youth anxiety, depression and suicide are so high?

Make no mistake, this is a crisis. Millennials have been robbed of the very essence of human wellbeing: responsibility.

This is Jordan Peterson's message: that Millennials don't feel in control of their own lives.

This crisis of responsibility has bred a crisis of meaning. After all, meaning in life is derived from one's responsibilities.

But how can Millennials be responsible for something or someone, if they're entirely dependent on other people? Millennials don't feel useful, so they're asking questions like "why am I here?" and "what's the point?"

If you treat kids like helpless pets, they'll end up feeling like purposeless social experiments. They either won't feel in control of their own lives, or will struggle with being in the driver's seat after decades of being a passenger.

Parents exist to make their children not reliant on them. Unfortunately, Baby Boomers greatly

Over-estimated their role in their children's upbringing, and a whole generations of kids have been left miserable, helpless and fragile as a result.

It's about time we left helicopter parenting and stranger danger to die in the scrap-heap of history.


Taking the 'Beauty' Out of Beauty Pageants
The Miss America Organization announced this week that it will no longer judge women on their "outward physical appearance." To that end, the swimsuit competition is gone. "We are no longer a pageant," Gretchen Carlson, the group's head, explained. "Miss America will represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent and empowerment."

Before I go on, let me confess my shameful secret: I like looking at really beautiful women, including when they wear bikinis.

It feels so good to finally say that out loud for all to hear.

Still, I never liked beauty pageants very much. I find the ones for little girls to be particularly creepy. Childhood is a precious and finite resource. Once you lose it, it's gone forever. Teaching little girls to obsess over hair and makeup and sexualize their appearance leaves me cold.

But that wasn't my complaint about the adult pageants. They always seemed a bit condescending and demeaning to me, but not for the reasons you always hear. It never really bothered me that traditional beauty pageants "objectify" women.

If you hadn't noticed, physical beauty is a huge part of our economy and our culture. And before you go on about this showing how sexist or "lookist" American society is, physical beauty is a huge part of literally every culture on earth and has been for all time. Notions of beauty are fluid, sure, but the interest in beauty - or desirability - itself is an expression of human nature. Can it go too far? Absolutely. Can you get rid of it? Nope.

Moreover, this is not because it's a "man's world." The glossy women's magazines are run by women and read by women. The beauty industry is valued at more than $400 billion, and the average woman spends $15,000 on beauty products over her lifetime.

Now, some feminists might claim this is because the patriarchy imposes norms and standards that women feel compelled to follow to get ahead in business and society. I guess there's some truth to this to the extent that many women want to be attractive to men. But guess what? That's always been true everywhere. It's also true that many men want to be attractive to women. If you have a problem with that, take it up with Darwin.

Moreover, women are more liberated from traditional roles and stereotypes than ever before. It doesn't seem as if interest in beauty, fashion and fitness has declined in the process, does it?

The point I'm getting at is that beauty pageants are competitions over who is the most beautiful of the bunch. The effort to turn beauty pageant contestants into public philosophers or would-be stateswomen always struck me as not only unfair but occasionally cruel. No one asks bodybuilders how they would bring about world peace. Hell, I offer my opinions for a living and I've never been asked that question.

Contestants on "American Idol," "America's Got Talent," "American Ninja Warrior," "Top Chef," "Shark Tank" and "America's Next Top Model," not to mention Olympic athletes, hope to be the best at what they're there for. They aren't graded on how they answer questions about the Mueller investigation or the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, as happened at the Miss America pageant last year.

The expectation that these women must answer such questions always seemed like a kind of insecure overcompensation that often bled into forced virtue-signaling. Even the talent competition implied unease with the whole premise of the pageant. "See, we're not just pretty faces! We can say smart things and do cool stuff like ventriloquist acts and wicked xylophone recitals!"

But at least the talent and Q&A stuff amounted to an effort to battle against the stereotype that beauty queens - and beautiful women generally - are just airheads.

What stereotype is Miss America competing against now?

According to the Miss America Organization, the new mission statement is: "To prepare great women for the world, and to prepare the world for great women."

"We're experiencing a cultural revolution in our country with women finding the courage to stand up and have their voices heard on many issues," Carlson says.

In other words, they want to prove that women - attractive or, presumably, otherwise - can be smart, confident activists and leaders. Did we not know this already?

Why not just call it the Woke Olympics and be done with it? It might make a great radio show.


The Diversity Racket

The Left's efforts to eviscerate meritocracy in favor of "inclusion" is reaching metastatic levels 

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” —Eric Hoffer

In modern-day America, there is no greater racket than diversity. Moreover, the American Left’s ongoing determination to eviscerate meritocracy in favor of “inclusion” is reaching metastatic levels.

We begin in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio and newly appointed schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced their intentions to diversify admissions to the city’s eight specialized high schools — by eliminating the admissions exam. “We cannot let this injustice continue,” de Blasio declared. “By giving a wider, more diverse pool of our best students an equal shot at admissions, we will make these schools stronger and our city fairer.”

What “injustice?” Asian dominance, it would seem. Asians comprise 74% of the student population at Stuyvesant, 66% at Bronx Science, 61% at Brooklyn Tech, and 82% at Queens HS for Science at York College, despite comprising only 20% of the total NYC public school population.

How do officials intend to make the pool wider? “To remedy the dearth of black and Hispanic students, the mayor proposes expanding enrollment by 20 percent, with additional students who failed to get qualifying scores, but only from majority black and Hispanic middle schools,” columnist Lisa Schiffren explains. “And he wants to bring in the top 7 percent of each of the 600 middle schools in the city. Consider that many of those middle schools do not report even one student reading or doing math at grade level.”

For a hack like de Blasio, dumbing down NYC’s best high schools is preferable to taking on the all-powerful teachers union and fixing the schools known as “failure factories” they have cultivated — for decades.

In a stark and oh-so-revealing contrast to these contemptible machinations, a homeless black student educated at a NYC charter school aptly known as the Success Academy just received a full ride to MIT. “Moctar Fall, of The Bronx, is one of 16 members of the charter school network’s first graduating high-school class — all of whom nabbed spots at four-year colleges ranging from Barnard and Tufts to Stony Brook and Emory,” the New York Post reports.

Unsurprisingly, the Success Academy and other charter schools that put the lie to leftist education schemes are considered beneath contempt by de Blasio and the teachers’ union.

Chancellor Carranza? “Not so long ago, chancellors were hired to run schools and promote educational excellence for all students,” columnist Micheal Goodwin asserts. “Now they’re hired to engineer outcomes based on race, ethnicity and family income.”

Tragic, life-wrecking outcomes.

Where else is meritocracy on the ropes? An Obama administration “diversity road map” directive released in January 2017 requires Navy commanders to “effectively manage diversity” and “refine approaches to engender a sustainable culture of inclusion.” It will be enforced by layers of bureaucracy, including the total force integration board, the executive diversity advisory council, and the diversity and inclusion council. It is part of an overall initiative spearheaded between 2012 and 2017 by the Department of Defense which asserted that diversity “is a strategic imperative, critical to mission readiness and accomplishment, and a leadership requirement.”

As The Washington Times notes, the directive “has the hallmarks of former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the eight-year officeholder whose legacy is steeped in social change.” The same Ray Mabus who sought to “gender-integrate” Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) job titles by removing the word “man” from them.

Warped priorities seemingly have their consequences. A three-month Navy review reveals that nearly 85% of its junior officers “struggled to react decisively to extricate their ship from danger when there was an immediate risk of collision,” Defense News reported.

This stunning lack of basic seamanship included struggles with “operating radars and the associated tools at hand,” and applying international rules “practically during watch standing, especially in low-visibility situations.” And while most of the first-tour officers of the deck (OODs) demonstrated the ability to remain clear from other ships in a simulator, they nonetheless demonstrated an inability to “take immediate action to avoid collisions” when they found themselves in actual extreme situations.

Vice Adm. Richard Brown attributes this incompetence to “a bell curve distribution.” He explained, “We had 27 who were on top, we had 108 who were in the middle and we had 29 who were kind of at the lower end.”

One is left to wonder whether such bell curve distributions provide any comfort to the families and friends of 17 sailors on the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain killed in what a Navy report called “avoidable” collisions.

Retired Navy admiral James A. Lyons doesn’t buy the elevation of inclusion over talent. “I believe the current problems our ships are experiencing can be traced to these mandates,” he asserts. “With the hundreds of millions of dollars that are expended to build today’s sophisticated warships, we must have the ‘best and brightest’ to man those ships. Now is the time to take the lead by breaking the shackles of political correctness and put the Navy back on an even keel.”

From the Navy, we move to air traffic control — and utter insanity. “The safety of America’s airline passengers is being compromised for the sake of diversity in hiring air traffic controllers, an attorney suing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ host Tucker Carlson on Friday,” Fox News reports. Attorney Michael Pearson stated that an FAA sub-group known as the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees determined the “workforce was too white.”

The story has come to light due to a revived lawsuit filed by Andrew Brigida. In 2013, he graduated with two aviation-related bachelor’s degrees from Arizona State University, one of the FAA’s Collegiate Training Initiative schools. He also aced the Air Traffic Selection and Training exam (AT-SAT). Nonetheless, he hasn’t been hired in five years.

Why? In 2013, the Obama administration determined that diversity was more important than merit. Preference was no longer given to CTI graduates, and a “biographical questionnaire” (BQ) was added to the screening process.

Fox News obtained a copy of it. “Applicants with a lower aptitude in science got preference over applicants who had scored excellent in science,” Carlson reveals. “Applicants who had been unemployed for the previous three years got more points than licensed pilots got. In other words, the FAA actively searched for unqualified air traffic controllers.”

Fox also obtained an internal email written by an executive at the firm that revised the BQ. It admitted the test had nothing to do with finding the most qualified controllers.

Brigida filed a lawsuit against the FAA in 2016. It was was initially dismissed, but U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich overturned that decision. William Perry Pendley of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, a public-interest law firm representing Brigida, stated the blindingly obvious. “We’re not talking about somebody driving a truck,” he said. “We’re talking about somebody guiding an aircraft into snowbound Chicago.”

Is this the final straw for diversity mandates? Or will fear of flying give way to, say, fear of surgery?

Only the diversity racketeers know for certain.


Footy Stadium sign divides Australia

AUSTRALIA was completely split by a sign at a Melbourne footy Stadium in groundbreaking new territory for Aussie sport.

ETIHAD Stadium has introduced gender-fluid toilets for all spectators during the annual Pride Game between St Kilda and Sydney.

Social commentators and footy fans have been divided by the move to designate three toilet blocks throughout the Docklands venue for all-gender use.

Signs posted throughout the stadium and then flashed on the giant screens inside the stadium advertised one toilet block on each level of seating have been converted into bathrooms that allowed spectators to use whichever gender bathroom they identified with.

The stadium signs read: “Gender diversity is welcome here. “Please use the restroom that best fits your gender identity or expression.”

The move follows the AFL’s staging of its annual Pride Game at Etihad Stadium, celebrated by St Kilda and the Swans before and during the round 12 game.

Both clubs have been widely applauded for their public support for inclusion of LGBTI communities in football and everywhere else in Australia.

However, many other commentators believe Etihad Stadium’s decision to scrap traditional mens’ and womens’ gendered toilets was a dangerous development.

Other commentators applauded the symbolism of the toilet re-allocation.

The drama did not entirely overshadow the commitment of both clubs to promote inclusivity on the night.

The Swans wore rainbow coloured socks in support of the cause, while the Saints wore rainbow coloured numbers on the back of their jumpers.

Both clubs also posted messages in support of the LGBTI community on the banners they ran through at the start of the game.

Host broadcaster Channel 7 also pledged its support of the AFL’s Pride Round.

LGBTI activist Paul Kidd tweeted on Saturday night in support of the AFL’s public support of LGBTI inclusion initiatives.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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