The student voice of Vista del Lago High School

The Raven's Call

Every generation has sucked

Social change is proclaiming generations

Ana Amaya, Features Editor

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The Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z are the primary generations today. The only difference amongst these generations is that one is proclaimed to be dreadful.

Let me give you a hint, it is always the generation in adolescenceof the timethat is proclaimed.

But, why is that? A generation consists of people of the same age group with similar interests and experiences. In a sense, it is our music, our slang, our fashion trends, our acceptance, and even our dietary preferences that declares us dreadful.

The truth is that every generation has been the worst. Every generation has sucked.

It is not that we are terrible, we are just young. Adolescents are complete novices in life, and persistently hearing “When I was your age[…]” is not making their place in society any less dreadful.

During the post-war time period, swing music came to the Depression-era Generation. The adolescents of the time were known to be rebellious teenaged girls who went to speakeasies to dance.

The roaring twenties was not only an epoch of illegal bars and sparkly dresses, but an era for social and political change. Farms were exchanged for the city, the 18th Amendment was ratified, black culture flourished, and the 19th Amendment was ratified. Had it occurred this way if the younger generations had not taken part?

According to OpEd News, “This new youth culture of the 1920s became the focus of a national obsession. Even adults played a part, with some attempting to imitate the new trends while others found themselves repulsed by them. But whatever adults of the time felt, they could not deny that the new world created by their country’s youth was having a drastic effect on the American population as a whole.”

Young women in the 1920s and minority adolescents redefined their generation and America. This rebellious behavior that was denounced and condemned moved African Americans away, but not completely, from white supremacy. Women today have the ability to exercise their voting rights because of the young ladies from the jazz age.

 

Despite gangsters like Al Capone and promiscuous dresses that lengthed above the ankle, the youth of the 1920s led the way to political change in the United States.

“[Flappers] were smart and sophisticated, with an air of independence about them, and so casual about their looks and clothes and manners as to be almost slapdash. I don’t know if I realized as soon as I began seeing them that they represented the wave of the future, but I do know I was drawn to them. I shared their restlessness, understood their determination to free themselves of the Victorian shackles of the pre-World War I era and find out for themselves what life was all about.” – Colleen Moore

 

Although all generations are important to American history, there are generations that took tremendous part in American social change.

After World War II, America thrived with economic prosperity. The 1950s and early 1960s were  eras of economic flourishment, a continued route to equal rights, and more unethical music and fashion styles.

The silent generation conceived the new generation, the Baby Boomers, and they were the youth of the eras. The styles of the youth consisted of petticoats and full skirts, suits, leather jackets, letterman jackets, grease, pompadours, and pinup and beehive hairstyles. The music was no other than Elvis Presley, Frankie Valli, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, The Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, and many other singers that sang about dreams in soft melodic tones.   

Despite the great music being produced, the older generations did not appreciate the music.

In Elvis and Me, Priscilla Presley confides that her mother and many other adults viewed Elvis as obscene. She wrote that young girls were scolded for listening to the king of rock n’ roll.

Interesting enough, this is the man who sang about his blue suede shoes and teddy bears.

My mother stated emphatically that [Elvis] was a ‘bad influence for teenage girls. He arouses things in them that shouldn’t be aroused. If there’s ever a mothers’ march against Elvis Presley, I’ll be the first in line.’”Priscilla Beaulieu Presley

Maybe there is something in the music that makes older generations find faults in adolescents and makes the younger generations act for social change.

Although the civil rights movement was led by adults, adolescents took it upon themselves to follow the movement. In 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested and commenced a boycott that was guided by Martin Luther King.

Years following the King-guided boycott, came student activism in the 1960s. Students continued the civil rights movement that was started in the 1950s. College students were arrested and many experienced physical harm for change.

Yet again, the generation in adolescence was proclaimed to be rebellious teenagers. And again in the late 1960s, teens were just hippies who smoked marijuana and spent their day doing yoga. But in all reality, they were not.

The teenagers that were criticized are the reason for our diverse schools today, with the guidance of Martin Luther King and other activists that sought change.

Starting in the 1970s, students still continued the movement. Social change was being made for women’s rights and gay liberation movements. Abortion laws and equal rights were being fought and still continue to be fought for to this day.

Older generations were distraught at the youth’s behavior, which included John Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” epidemic. This comment led to the realization that the younger generations did not follow traditions and focused more on social change.

Following the social change, came social acceptance.

Younger generations became accustomed to social change and respected it. With homosexual celebrities like Elton John, George Michael, Boy George, and many others came acceptance and the fight for gay rights. The impact of aids in the 1980s and early 1990s called for marches that drew more than one million supporters.  There was demand for medical funding for AIDS that is still being demanded for today.

Singer Elton John told The Guardian, “I should be dead – six foot under in a wooden box. I should have contracted HIV in the 1980s and died in the 1990s, just like [Queen lead singer] Freddie Mercury, just like [actor] Rock Hudson. Every day I wonder, how did I survive?”

Not only do adolescents support women’s right and minority’s rights, but they also support the LGBT community. Adolescents support equal rights for everyone. Equal rights are human rights to them.

Today, Generation Z continues the social change that commenced about a century ago. Anti-gay crimes have increased, minorities are still being discriminated, and women are still being underrepresented. But just like the other generations, Generation Z will surpass these challenges that many are facing today and have faced before.

As claimed by HuffingtonPost, Generation Z is the first post-race, post-gender generation and the greatest giving generation. They are the first generation for which schooling was paired with community service and a well-known Gen Z idol is  Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist.

Unlike other generations, Generation Z is changing the tech world. Through social media, adolescents are making change.

Teenaged users are advocating important manners on social media, for example the Black Lives Matter movement, Undocumedia, the LGBT equality movement, and environmental movements.

Teenagers are looking for changes that will better the environment and their society. There is of rise of vegan teenagers, a rise of eco-friendly teenagers,  a rise of teenaged volunteers, and a rise of amazing teenagers.

Older generations do not realize that they have caressed and nurtured the younger generations. They are the teachers for the younger generations. They repeatedly tell their students “you are the change” but when there is change, they proclaim us as dreadful.

We are not dreadful, we are social change.

“When adults say, ‘Teenagers think they are invincible’ with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.” ― John Green, Looking for Alaska 

 

 

 

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The student voice of Vista del Lago High School
Every generation has sucked