The Lost Generation – victims of excessive self-esteem

"My dad says I have to get a job." "Bummer, dude."

What do you do with a whole generation of slackers who thinks they deserve rewards just for existing?

The creative class is a lie

Someday, there will be a snappy acronym for the period we’re living though, but right now — three years after the crash of 2008 — American life is a blurry, scratched-out page that’s hard to read. Some Americans have recovered, or at least stabilized, from the Great Recession. Corporate profits are at record levels, and it’s not just oil companies who are flush.

For many computer programmers, corporate executives who oversee social media, and some others who fit the definition of the “creative class” — a term that dates back to the mid-’90s but was given currency early last decade by urbanist/historian Richard Florida — things are good. The creativity of video games is subsidized by government research grants; high tech is booming. This creative class was supposed to be the new engine of the United States economy, post-industrial age, and as the educated, laptop-wielding cohort grew, the U.S. was going to grow with it.

But for those who deal with ideas, culture and creativity at street level — the working- or middle-classes within the creative class — things are less cheery. Book editors, journalists, video store clerks, musicians, novelists without tenure — they’re among the many groups struggling through the dreary combination of economic slump and Internet reset. The creative class is melting, and the story is largely untold.

It’s happening at all levels, small and large. Record shops and independent bookstores close at a steady clip; newspapers and magazines announce new waves of layoffs. Tower Records crashed in 2006, costing 3,000 jobs. This summer’s bankruptcy of Borders Books — almost 700 stores closed, putting roughly 11,000 people out of work — is the most tangible and recent example. One of the last video rental shops in Los Angeles — Rocket Video — just announced that it will close at the end of the month.


Some of these employees are young people killing time behind a counter; it’s hard for them, but they will live to fight again. But education, talent and experience — criteria that help define Florida’s creative class, making these supposedly valued workers the equivalent of testosterone injections for cities — does not guarantee that a “knowledge worker” can make a real living these days.


Is it a recession, a transition, a reset, or all of the above? “I think we’re nowhere,” says Donnelly. “We’re in a no man’s land.”

Well boo-fucking-hoo you WATBs.

Seriously, who do these morons think they are? Did they really think they were just going to crank out the next great American novel in their spare time and then live la dolce vita evermore?

My generation looked forward to 40-50 years of hard work after graduating from school. A lucky few would get rich, far more would die in middle age from strokes and heart attacks.

These are the leaders of tomorrow? We are so fucked.

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29 Responses to The Lost Generation – victims of excessive self-esteem

  1. myiq2xu says:

    As I get older I’m turning into my dad.

  2. Dario says:

    But for those who deal with ideas, culture and creativity at street level — the working- or middle-classes within the creative class — things are less cheery. Book editors, journalists, video store clerks, musicians, novelists without tenure — they’re among the many groups struggling through the dreary combination of economic slump and Internet reset. The creative class is melting, and the story is largely untold.

    I would say the ones who bought into the idea that someone who didn’t excel at anything could be a good president.

    • Three Wickets says:

      Also, the Salon writers definition of creative class as people who work in marginally creative fields is incorrect. Richard Florida’s definition of the creative class is the urban, progressive, educated, professional class with money to spend. It promotes the migration of wealth back into big cities where intelligence, enlightened ideals and money can multiply. It’s snobby as hell and a central component of the original Obama political movement.

      • Three Wickets says:

        Most “grassroots” Obots kids would therefore be creative class aspirationals. Which is why the hipsters on parade at the Wall Street protests appear a bit lost. In this economy, it’s difficult to be aspirational about much of anything, and they are waking up to that realization. How will they keep paying for their $5 lattes at their favorite coffee shops if things don’t change. If they were truly “creative” maybe hipster millenials would be driving an urban renaissance in creativity as there was during the 60s or even the 80s. Mostly they seem good at moping and shallow snarking.

  3. DeniseVB says:

    It didn’t help that Obamacare keeps them on mumsie and dadsie’s health insurance til they’re 26. No incentives there 😦

    • Dario says:

      I’m not sure the health insurance is doing it. These people would be without insurance if they were not included with the parents’ health insurance. Often they may have a part-time or low paying job that doesn’t give coverage.

  4. foxyladi14 says:

    the uber spoiled generation. 🙄

  5. foxyladi14 says:

    o/t Amanda wins her appeal 🙂

    • Dario says:

      I have mixed feelings about Amanda. She seems to have taken the wrong road and is not blameless for what’s happened to her. On the other hand I don’t believe she’s an evil person. The Universe will make a decision and she may have learned her lesson.

      • ralphb says:

        It appears to me her main problem was in choosing the wrong friends. Unless of course you are including not living some sort of chaste life in your “feelings”.

        • Dario says:

          I guess what I’m saying about my “feelings” is that I find her story that she didn’t do the killing partially believable. For that reason, I would let her go if I were in the trial jury. But the evidence is murky.

    • DandyTiger says:

      From a legal point of view, it appears there was 0 evidence and 0 motivation, so I’m really happy the murder verdict was overturned. Who knows if she did it or was involve in some other way. And who cares.

    • WMCB says:

      I liked Iowahawk’s reaction:

  6. WMCB says:

  7. blip says:

    Jerry Lewis Merritt over at Talk Left reminds us that today is the day that OJ Simpson was found not guilty 16 years ago.

    She thinks OJ was innocent cuz the gloves didn’t fit.

    Jerry never met a perpetrator she didn’t swoon over.

  8. WMCB says:

    Gawd, what whiny ass titty babies. I don’t begrudge anyone feeling bad about the economy, or the lack of jobs, no matter their profession.

    What I object to is the sense, threaded all through this piece, that this “creative class” thought they were somehow different. That the laws of economics and trade and reality itself would never apply to them in any real sense, because unlike their bourgeois striving parents and those icky uneducated blue-collar people, they were just more awesome and enlightened and better in their very essence. Their tragicness is so much more tragic than the tragicness of the unemployed forklift driver because, well……. I was making tragically hip art, dammit, and that ought to count for something.

  9. DandyTiger says:

    I think perhaps the “creative class” is confusing me with someone who gives a flying fuck about their sorry asses.

  10. Mimi says:

    I remember talking to recently graduated high schoolers in the summer of 2008 before they headed off for college what the creative class was exactly. After talking a while it was apparent they did not know either. I deduced it was a marketing made-up term. In short it was bullshit.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Chris Bowers will be sooooo disappointed:

      Cultural Shift: Out with Bubbas, up with Creatives: There should be a major cultural shift in the party, where the southern Dems and Liebercrat elite will be largely replaced by rising creative class types. Obama has all the markers of a creative class background, from his community organizing, to his Unitarianism, to being an academic, to living in Hyde Park to shopping at Whole Foods and drinking PBR. These will be the type of people running the Democratic Party now, and it will be a big cultural shift from the white working class focus of earlier decades. Given the demographics of the blogosphere, in all likelihood, this is a socioeconomic and cultural demographic into which you fit. Culturally, the Democratic Party will feel pretty normal to netroots types. It will consistently send out cultural signals designed to appeal primarily to the creative class instead of rich donors and the white working class.

      Chris was a poetry major

      • WMCB says:

        Chris was a poetry major

        Bwahahahaha! I did not know that. And I find it hilarious. Not because I scorn poetry. I love it – I have shelves of it. But because these asshats think that an entire productive economy can somehow be run on the “creative class”. That the poets and the academics and the musicians will be magically fed and provided with energy, and cars, and products from……somewhere.

        They are not the creative class. They are what was always formerly known as “the leisure class”. That class has always existed only in a society prosperous enough to support them. A society where those who actually produced tangible things had money left over to spend on arts and toys and music and science and literature.

        There is nothing wrong with there being an artsy leisure class. It’s one of the great benefits of a prosperous society, and I appreciate them a great deal. But the narcissism involved in thinking that they could be the great drivers of an economy, rather than a nice side effect, is simply ludicrous beyond words.

      • Mary says:

        Poetry major? WTF?

        Splains a lot. Probably had helicopter parents who didn’t tell him poetry is not a real major—it’s a hobby. Nuttin wrong with poetry, but it’s not a way to make a living.


  11. propertius says:

    But, like dudes: they like have like Facebook and like Twitter so they’re like the smartest generation EVAH.

  12. yttik says:

    What’s really creative is figuring out how to build a business in this economy and create some jobs. One of the many things we’ve failed to teach this generation is how much art, poetry, innovation, goes into starting a business, building a home, being productive.

  13. They’re out there calling attention to the same corporate abuses that Hillary and Bill and Sarah have been fighting.

    When y’all get up the guts to go camp out for 2 weeks in NY getting wet and getting maced, let me know.

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