This is Aaron Clarey’s new book, except it’s not Aaron Clarey’s new book. Yes, he originally came up with the idea, but for various reasons he decided to pass on the project to someone else, in this case a chap called Vince Barrick. So Barrick is the official co-author, editor and publisher of this book. I admit to being rather bemused by all of this, and I fail to see just why this is a good or even necessary idea, but I’ll roll with it and do what needs to be done in order to write an honest review.
How not to become a millennial is a textbook for Millennials to attempt to recover from the awful fate of being the progeny of the Boomers. It is also a warning and a guide for future generations to avoid the same fate. Because to be fair, when you consider that the older Millennials will soon be hitting 40, it’s probably too late for most of them. If you haven’t got out from under 100K of student loans by that age then you’re just not going to be buying a house. At least, not with the current economic reality, (although in the times of the Chinese pestilence, who knows which way things will jump.)
The book is divided into two parts: The Problem, and The Recovery. Part One sets out in excruciating detail why the Millennial generation is such a disaster. A good amount of blame can be laid at the feet of the parents, and Barrick does so. If you’re into Boomer bashing then this will be just the thing to get you through these lonely virus days. But it’s not just Boomer parents that get hit about the head with the blame bat. Teachers, bosses, psychologists, politicians, feminists and professors from that same generation can luxuriate in their own individual chapters dedicated to detailing with infinite precision just where the original blame for how Millennials ended up the way they are.
Chapter 3 goes into the most detail of all. Barrick wanted his text to be thorough and unassailable. As he says at the beginning of this 65 page chapter:
Chapter 3 is a very involved, detailed and lengthy chapter, full of charts, data, and statistics. The primary purpose of the chapter is to provide the empirical argument that the Millennial generation has failed in all major categories that matter. But if you either know that or do not need to be convinced of it, you may consider skipping or at least skimming chapter 3.
I read it, but gee whiz it’s hard going. And this brings me to my first criticism of the book. I really think that this could have been edited down a lot more than it is. There is a great deal of padding in the book, and the worst offender for this are the almost endless lists that continually pop up whenever a point needs to be made.
In a mere half a century, .0025% of the time humans have existed on the planet, these
“professors,” “doctors,” “politicians,” “philosophers,” “fellows,” “adjuncts,” “researchers,”“grad students,” and “social scientists”
“theories and hypotheses” “studies and research papers” “experiments and tests”
thought they knew better than human nature.
This is the first example of what I’m talking about; it occurs in the third paragraph of Chapter 1. As a consequence of this and other padding examples, the book is 426 pages long. It’s a very hard slog. Which I think not only detracts from the book but also makes it rather unlikely that a generation that is renowned for being slackers are going to be able to get through it.
If they do manage to get through it then they’ll probably just wander outside and pop a gun in their mouth because this is really depressing reading. But readers should persevere because there is a great deal of truth in this book, which accounts for the high level of depression when attempting to absorb all of it.
Part 2 is where solutions are offered. But the solutions are brutal.
STOP BEING STUPID
Chapter 13 – Your Dreams are Stupid
Chapter 14 – Stop Majoring in Stupid Shit
Chapter 15 – You Are Not Independent Minded,
Unique or Smart. You are a Conformist
Chapter 16 – Yes, You Have to Pay Back Your Student Loans
Chapter 17 – Your Career is NOT the Most
Important Thing in Life
Chapter 18 – Lazy People Work Twice as Hard
It goes up to chapter 36, all along the same lines. Once again, all of it is on topic and accurate. It is the stuff that the Millennial role models and mentors abdicated because they wanted to be touchy feely, which means not be responsible for the consequences of their inaction. If I could sum up the entire second part it would be with the words lazy and ignorant. Those are the twin self-inflicted bugbears that have resulted in the misery of Millennials and which they have the power to individually overcome.
But there are many external factors which Millennials cannot overcome. The economy being a giant con sitting on the back of a stock market Ponzi scheme is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to the challenges that they face. Throw in unaffordable housing, the driving down of wages through mass immigration, and a host of other awful breaks largely driven by the desire of Boomers to have it all until the day they die and beyond, and you wonder just how they will be able to overcome these hurdles while still playing by the rules.
While reading the book I had a growing awareness of just what the root cause for all of this misery actually is, but it wasn’t until the very last two chapters that the answer dawned on me. Chapter 35 is titled Self-Love is for the Worthless, and deals with the incredibly destructive cult of self-esteem, an abomination which I have written about at length on more than one occasion.
A trademark of the Millennial generation has been the self-esteem movement. The idea was that if you built up the confidence in your child to go on and do great things, that child would have the confidence and courage to…well…go on and do great things. And so a whole host of self-esteem boosting measures were taken by parents and teachers to give the Millennials the highest levels of self-esteem the world had ever seen.
But why has this been the case? What caused this generation shift to focus on everything internal, a narcissistic self-involvement that has resulted in casual misery.
You can go about insularly loving yourself, worshiping yourself, and masturbating to yourself both physically and intellectually. But you will have wasted your life and lost the game. Your existence will simply be you within your own mind your entire life, constantly trying to figure out how to beget value from society and other people without offering them something of value in return. A metaphorical psychological, emotional, and (likely) financial parasite as work is beneath you and your fear of work quarantines you from the rest of society. And though millions of people will be around you in crystal clear reality you will be lonely, you will be by yourself, you will truly be unloved, and you will die alone. Your existence on this planet, in this universe will have been truly pointless because you were too damn lazy to put forth the effort to be of value to other people. You will have squandered everything on yourself.
For Barrick, the answer to this conundrum is other people. The final chapter of the book is titled, Other humans are the only things that matter in life. Even though we have just got through over 400 pages on why humans suck big fat donkey balls, it turns out that other people is the answer to everything.
However the importance of other humans is conveyed, the point is your life should be lived and decisions made to achieve two things in life. One, to maximize the time you spend with other humans. And two, to maximize the quality of humans you spend time with. And though that policy may send you down a path of labor, rigor, toil, and sacrifice it is worth it in the end as there is nothing else in life. Your insular self ultimately does not matter. It’s the time other quality people choose to spend on you. Following that principle – whether it’s in your career, your education, your social life, or your love life – will lead to a better life overall than any sweet-tasting lies or political religion ever will.
Barrick came close with this book, but he missed the real offering. The root cause for the cult of self esteem was the fact that the Boomers turned away from God. All of the misery that the Millennials are going through is due to their parents’ abandonment of faith and their own subsequent ignorance. Contrary to popular belief, God and religion do matter. The evidence is plain to see in these 400 odd pages. The Boomers arrogantly thought that they were beyond God, that they had evolved past religion. But when denied the validation of God through worship and thus through their families and communities, their only recourse was to fill the void. The cult of self esteem is internal validation to fill this gaping hole. The mad pursuit of worthless degrees in the face of all evidence that this is an extremely poor idea is due not to what the degree is worth economically, but what it needs to be worth to them in a spiritual sense. The degree is the validation, it is their self belief. Human beings still need to believe in something, no matter how above all of that religion malarkey they think they are. And when our world has an infinite amount of things to seek validation in, then people will believe in just about anything.
The answer is not to worship other people, no matter how high value they may be. It is to worship God and through Him build families and communities within which those all important human bonds are forged and where our need for human contact is met. This book is an abject lesson on the consequences of what happens if a society turns away from God. It is not what the writers intended but it is there and plain to see for anyone who chooses to look. In that regard it is a damning indictment of progressive thinking and belief. But above all else it is a warning as to where we are heading and the perils that await us. Left as they are, things are only going to get worse.