The generation that reached what passes for maturity in the age of social media is the most status-obsessed — and hence etiquette-obsessed — since the ancien régime.
They are all miniaturists: There hasn’t been an important and original book of political ideas written by an American Millennial, and very few of them have read one, either. But they are very interested in individual pronouns and 280-character tweets.
It is extraordinarily difficult for any one of them to raise his own status through doing interesting and imaginative intellectual work, because there is practically no audience for such work among his peers. Worse, the generation ahead of him stopped paying attention to Millennials years ago, and the generation behind him never started. …
Some years ago, I was at a cookout at a friend’s in the suburbs of Philadelphia. One of the guests was a well-meaning young Democratic state legislator of the familiar modern type: doggedly and dully progressive, rich, suburban, Osmondite in his regard for convention, overly self-assured, and — this was before it became a red flag in and of itself — dating a pretty young woman about half his age. He wanted to talk about abortion, because that’s what people like him do at parties. It was a cordial enough conversation, and he — being insufficiently schooled in the new etiquette — used the descriptors “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” And every time he uttered the words “pro-life,” his hall-monitor of a girlfriend (I do hope they got married; it would serve the both of them right) snapped at him: “anti-choice.” Like an angry little weasel, making whatever noise it is that angry little weasels make when they’re laying down the mustelid law. Kind of a chirp, really.
So mean, but there’s a grain of truth in there. The wokest generation was shaped by the left in our schools.