What time is it? Whine time!
I as mid-c aged citizen consumer want to challenge supply-siders’ obsession with a certain demographic and the demographic itself. Too many articles, too much talk, too much clever quipping and promoting are too one-dimensionally skewed to Millennials, while all others who are out there too, alive n kicking and consuming in droves, are all but ignored.
The smug, gross assumptions and broadcasting by Millennials about Millennials is, well, typically Millennial. That they don’t get it I understand. They are young and defined by their consumption, having been raised on pedestals by brand-brandishing parents of prosperous times who strove for friendship, fun and fandom over any semblance of traditional familial (parent-centric) hierarchy. Likewise, Mills are not entirely at fault for their self-absorption, nor for their incessant self-lauding, for they know reality (studied and documented) only via the limitlessness clicks n likes of the Internet and its addictive offshoot, social media, into which they were born, fully immersed from day 1.
Take, for instance, Wine Club buzz, trending uber-high at the moment. Millennials are lauding their retail-level influence, great taste and gross assumptions of being “firsts” and/or pivotal sea-changers in this retail arena. If one looks a tad closer, however, wine by subscription is little more than Mill consumption via retail hand-holding, in line with their preferences for effort-free gain from lifestyle platforms ripe with faux grass-rootedness and generified suburbia, no matter how tattoo’d or pierced or urban the window dressing is.
Mills also boast incessantly of their preferences for eco-friendly, global-hugging, PC-and warm-fuzzy-laden goods and services, marketing genius all age groups embrace, much of it valid, much of it thinly clad, materialistic virtue-stroking. Do Mills have enough of an outsider perspective to even see this? Pink ribbon pervasiveness is as big-money iconic as are golden arches, and non-rescue pet and dietary disdain possess their own penchants for snobbery, especially when broadcast for purposes of self-elevation. Re-use and living with less (aka quality over quantity), especially if devoid of status-marking logos and labels, is the only real consumerist evolution left to any of us. Problem is, it flies in the face of the capitalism upon which most nations function, the meta-platform upon which all exist/subsist, be it officially or not. Politically, the Millennial wave points to a Sanderesque conundrum – votes cast by well-intended, flannel-clad elites who don’t – and possibly refuse to fathom (for this would require in-depth learning/expertise, which requires discretionary effort) socialism and what, if fully implemented, it might mean for them.
I prefer to call Millennials, the “Trend Generation,” or “Trend Gen.” It points to their malleability as a demographic whose identity is crafted by consumption, euphemistically called lifestyle choices. An EZ target darling of supply-siders, the Trend Gen, thanks to so-called Smart Phones, came with its own free, 24/7 advertising machine, a two-sided, double-edged coupe. Having a penchant for word-smithing and enjoying the game that is Urban Dictionary publication, I am happy to report this, my latest submission was accepted and published – despite the great possibility that it was Mills who up-clicked the term.
What I don’t get is that supply-side obsession with the Trend Gen. Aside from the fact that they provide all their own advertising, Trend Gen starter incomes, financial dependency (all those Family Plans trending deep in pockets everywhere, handout subsidization so that the designer bags can yet be nabbed, all that extended parental housing), plus the reality of eventual offspring cost-bearing (which cannot be overstated), the Trend Gen is far more limited as a consumerist demographic than anyone seems to recognize. They are not the only demographic to target with such feverish tunnel vision.
I have grown tired of all the Millennial press & promo devotion in large part because I know the spending power of the older, named generations. Tech-assimilated (aka global consumers), financially actualized (olde worlde work ethic), and “young” far longer than their predecessors, their – and i am a member of this – collective, fiscal influence is substantial and still growing.
Retirement, a fast- fading, 20th c. concept, is not only passé due to longer term income security quests in our volatile economy, but also passé thanks to the life-enriching effects of active societal engagement, documented and in practice. Baby Boomers, the bridge generation to 2 centuries and 2 epochs – Pre-Tech (our horse n buggy) and Post-Tech – witnessed the stagnation and rapid shutdown of a generation of fully retired, parental sedentarians. Thanks to evolving lifestyle choices and the Information Age, what was witnessed was documented and shared. Adults decided not only to live well longer but also learned how to tackle that goal. Post-War generations do not just accept but embrace active societal and social engagement – not up to a certain age, but until the end of life. Sixty-five, schmicksty-five. “We” are going to be around – and consuming – for a long time, too.
Philanthropic non-profit entities, institutions, industries and businesses everywhere, who refuse at present to look past the luminous and loud likes of the Trend-Genning Mills, who all but ignore the preceding generations, do so at their own risk – and possible demise.