- read this shorter article by the author
- read Kids These Days
It is almost ready for borrowing! My goal is to finish it in the next few days.
Have you read this review? It’s so good. It’s why I decided to read the book and I’m re-reading it now.
Can the political impulses that Harris represents, the ones that come out of our generation’s distinctive experience, mature into potent collectivity? Or are they individualist from the root, bound to decay into posture and then a racket—absent the guidance of more seasoned activists, or without connection to struggles more deeply historically or socially grounded?
The result can be formally radical but quite often conservative in affect and mood, dabbling soberly in the far-fetched notion that you can change the structure of society while everyone stays the same kind of people. This is one way of understanding why whiteness and masculinity continue to bedevil the socialist left, even in its committed antiracist and feminist quarters. A left that maintains a tether to a usable past is bound more tightly to the historical American nightmare. It can’t rush toward utopia, because it’s committed to engaging with people as they are and nudging them along.
The problem with becoming someone else, though, is that you’re disinherited from your history, so you can’t wield it effectively to understand the present or get ready for the future.
It is, in its way, a generational question. If you kill your parents, you won’t hear their warnings, and then you’ll eventually just become them without realizing it. If you listen to them, you’ll become them on purpose. The question is how to become new and stay that way, how to be a stable point moving steadily from past into future without a neurotic relation to either—neither clinging nor leaping. This is the existential core of the strategic question on the left. It’s a question about growing up.
Uh yeah this is really deep for a book review.
That’s a profound statement. Applies across many axes, as well. Or perhaps… one’s history is multidimensional.
I gotta say, it’s kinda terrifying to think that the Left is having the same issues I am as a parent without parents. I mean literally. Um, mundanely accurate.
And the advice that immediately comes to mind applies to all parties: let go of what you know, embrace what you want to become. I’ve seen the past, we make the same mistakes over and over. The future is more of the same. So now can just let go and become chaos butterflies.
oh my god. that’s crazy.
Finished it! It was good. Its strength is really diving deep into and showing with evidence all the fucked up things that we feel to be true but can’t necessarily name or prove. The conclusion (which is short anyway) was pretty meh and ended on a very dark note, unless he meant let’s do insurrection instead of let’s give up because we’re screwed, lol. My only other complaint is that this is supposed to be about millennials but he talks about kids a lot as if he’s unaware that we are no longer kids and a lot of us are in fact running things these days. I think it only claims to be about millennials to pick up on the weird media hype, but actually it’s about people born in the millennial cohort and since. Sounds like life just keeps sucking more and more for people born more recently. imo we should think more about that insurrection thing.