Sunday, August 09, 2009

Is It Because They're So Young?

Two events of the last day make me wonder about the younger generation. And maybe it isn't the generation as much as it is talented youngsters with big egos. Whatever it is, there are a few 20-somethings that I really have little to no respect for--no matter WHAT accomplishments they may have on their resumes.

Very early this morning, I finished reading the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich. This is the story of the founding of Facebook and, to tell the truth, I am so disgusted by the whole thing that I have to think whether or not I want to continue using Facebook. I didn't find a sympathetic character in the entire book and I find the developer/co-founder/whatever he is a real sleazeball. Zuckerberg--the co-founder--seems to be as big an asshole as Steve Jobs is. Of course, the people who were screwed over by Zuckerberg are only a half step less sleazy than he is, but less sleazy they are. And Sean Parker--a co-founder of Napster--is just scary. I cannot believe ANYONE would want their company associated with this guy in any way, shape, or form. After reading about these people, I just wanted to take a long, hot shower. And I definitely would never want to meet any of them in person.

So, I'm just surfing around the web this afternoon when I find the STORY of the day--and it, too, makes me wonder what the hell is going on. Patrick Kane is a star with the Chicago Blackhawks. He is making money hand over fist--and stands to make even MORE when he signs his contract next year. (He probably will get anywhere from $6-8 mil per year, or more. And this doesn't include any endorsements.) He is 20 years old. He was arrested this morning.

Some time around 5 AM, Kane and his 21 year old cousin were picked up by a cab in the nightclub district of Buffalo, NY. When the cabbie charged them $13.80, the kids gave him $15. The cabbie gave $1 back in change and said he didn't have the coins to give back $.20. The kids got mad, one of them grabbed the cabbie by the throat, one punched the 62 year old man in the face and broke his glasses, and then they took the $15 from the guy. The cops were called, the cabbie pressed charges, and the kids were arrested. And that is pretty much where the story stands at this time. Now the waiting period begins to see if anything more comes of this.

Now back to my original question. Are these kids--and to me they definitely ARE kids, as they are young enough to be my children and most of them are even younger than my youngest--just being kids? Or are they so filled with their own egos that they believe they can get away with whatever they want? Do they feel as if the world owes them? Have they had it so easy that they don't think they have to behave with any amount of manners?

The people in the book are, basically, computer geeks. They seem to not have many of the social graces and live in their own geeky worlds. They also are geniuses, or very close. But, does this mean they can't treat people with any decency? Does this give them license to do what they want and hurt others because they 'don't know any better?' Just because someone is 'brilliant' doesn't mean he/she should get a pass when it comes to being a decent individual. But, in many circles, I guess genius lets a person get away with anything.

Then, we have the athlete. For the most part, the Red Wings (and probably other teams, as well, but I know about the Wings) let their players develop and mature before they are brought to 'the big club' and payed hundreds, or millions, of dollars. Many teams, however, have 18, 19, 20 year old kids signing big-money contracts and praising them to high levels. These kids don't have the maturity to handle the pressure, the fame, or the money that they have. Many of them believe the hype surrounding them--mainly because they were big fish in little ponds from the time they were toddlers and have been told from the time they could walk how great they are. And they were handed everything as soon as it was seen that they had any amount of talent whatsoever. So, they have egos that just won't quit.

I know that I have no idea how much of anything I read regarding either of these stories is true or false. I really can't judge any of these people. I want to believe that the next generation isn't going to hell in a hand basket, but after reading too many stories like these, I don't know if I CAN trust.


Ranger Tom said...

It's the parent's fault... Today's kids have been brought up in a style that they get everything they ask for, never having been taught how to earn it.

So of course they have no respect.

One more reason this country is slowly dying of rot from the inside.

cmk said...

While I would NEVER wish a poverty-level (or NEAR poverty-level) existence on anyone, I think the fact that The Oldest and her husband have very little money is the best thing that ever could have happened to my grandchildren. They appreciate everything given to them, they know better than to expect designer label clothes, and they use what they have before getting something new. At this point, anyway, they are the most unmaterialistic kids I have ever seen. And I hope they stay that way.

meleah rebeccah said...

Wait...the founders of Facebook are assholes? OMG. I need to read that book.