Generational Contradiction

I don't know what exactly the statistics are but I'm guessing tattoo parlours are doing very well these days.

In general, and at least how I came to understand it here in North America and Europe, tattoos are/were symbols reflecting one's individualism or iconoclastic world view. For us, tattoos are about expressing one's self whereas in other cultures (or tribes) it has more cultural significance dating back centuries.

Getting a tattoo is a defining feature of the millennial generation and often strikes me more of a 'herd mentality' if not narcissistic trend. It's a generation struggling to find an identity and tattoos has been a great source for this.

Except and ironically, on the way it became less of an individualistic proclamation and more of a collectivist affirmation.

What I find interesting is the more they attempt to exert a unique tag via a tattoo, the more they reveal themselves to be anything but. What's the point if everyone has one? Moreover, where it counts most - in the intellectual and philosophical realm - millennials have no concept of what liberty entails if polls and surveys showing them accepting socialist ideals and theories are to be believed.

In other words, the more they try to be individualists the more they're tribal.

It's not uncommon to hear millennials say 'I believe in the right to express myself' while in the same sentence accept the cracking down on free speech for others (i.e. hate speech).

Intellectually, they haven't thought things through and may explain in part why they think 'shouting down' their opponents (and in the case of Antifa the use of violence) is an acceptable form of argument.

It's looking more and more like they haven't brushed up on their Aristotle or rational and critical thinking skills. Of course, where this ignorance is pointed out, they just claim it's all derived from a 'white racist' culture and call it a day.

There's no question - really there shouldn't be a debate - as to who threatens Western culture at the moment and sure as hell ain't 'Nazis'.


The other day I passed by a public high school and flirted with the notion of public schools being fortresses of propaganda.

While doing so a line in Bruce Spingsteen's 'Never Surrender' popped into my head: We learned more from a three minute record than we ever did in school'.

Of course, Springsteen probably didn't see this as a criticism of public education (anymore Roger Waters likely doesn't think 'another brick in the wall' is really a product of progressive policies and thinking). In fact, Springsteen is likely to show up at a teacher's union rally in support of them.

Such is the power of Howard Zinn's revisionism, eh?

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