Freak-out in Wine Country: or why I don’t find jokes about Millennials Funny

Aren’t Millennials just the worst? Haven’t they ruined society as a whole? Why don’t they ever look up from their phones? What makes them so special? Yes, these are just a few of many such questions modern entertainment has posed to us. Tricky, thought provoking questions all of them. However, being somewhat of an expert on the modern millennial mind – I was born in 1994 and therefore am a Millennial myself – I will attempted to answer. Okay here I go. No, we aren’t the worst – that goes to whichever generation invented the Atomic Bomb. Society was already ruined when we got here. The modern phone is a technological marvel, why should we look up from it? And, probably a lot of things make us special – we’re a very diverse group of people. Now why, my Wee Readers, do I even feel the need to say these clearly obvious truths to you. Because it feels like our modern media has forgotten them.

We can see this in things like Amy Sherman-Palladino’s cracks about ‘trigger warnings’ in the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life; the reports that Modern Family’s Haley is a narcissist ; or the overwhelming feeling of deep resentment for the youth of the world that comes off in every joke in Netflix’s Wine Country. Ah now we come to the title of the post, but don’t worry this isn’t a review for a terrible, terrible movie merely a triggering incident. And a slightly embarrassing one at that. But first some background. Wine Country, made by Netflix and staring many actresses that should know better, is a truly atrocious film. Filled with many unfortunate implications beyond it’s clear hatred for Millennials, not limited to – a successful woman giving up an amazing job opportunity for the approval of people she doesn’t know anymore, and the implication that if a 50 year old woman doesn’t see herself as a little old lady, then she’s kidding herself. So I guess whatever age you are, you’re going to find something to hate in this film. But seeing how this is my blog, we’ll focus for now on the Millennial jokes.

Over the years you get used to hearing those kind of jokes. To stamping down the embers of deep seated rage every time a character on screen makes a crack about Twitter, or Hipsters; or the general supposed self-absorption of every single member of an entire generation of people all across the globe. However, it was about the time the women in Wine Country where standing in the middle of the art show they’d been kindly invited to by their waitress, calling the other patrons assholes for admiring the – admittedly very weird – art, that I found myself overcome with tears . Not the proudest moment of my life, I will admit, but an interesting one nether the less – I don’t think I’ve ever been triggered before. I was barraged with memories of a particularly uncomfortable Online Tutorial of one of my previous Psychology courses. When one of the tutors running the course – not my own thank the Gods who don’t throw lightening at me – decided to take a detour from what we were actually discussing, to go on at length about the psychologist/ researcher Jean Twenge and how wonderfully insightful she was. Don’t know who that is, ooh lucky you.

Dr. Jean Twenge is an American Psychologist most known for her research into generational differences. She has published several books on the subject including: iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellions, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood (2017) ; The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement (2010) ; Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled – and More Miserable Than Ever Before (2014) – which should tell you a lot about the tone of her theories. She has popularized the notion that Millennials, or young people today (I realize they’re not all Millennials, it’s more just a buzz word to refer to the young ) are Narcissistic because they were praised so much when they were growing up. For, she explains, doing nothing. Yes you heard that right, it’s the participation trophy speech. So if you ever have the misfortune of hearing some jerk complain about handing children stickers or trophies for participating in something, just remember that you have Dr. Jean Twenge to thank for that experience.

Of course you might be saying right now, Wee Lassie, surely this woman is a professional Psychologist – sure, maybe she got it wrong pertaining to a global scale – but there must be some sliver of truth in her research. Well, honestly I can’t say for sure either way in that regard, having never forced myself through the torture of reading such infuriating theory laden books. So, for all I know she could have gotten something in there right, I will allow for that slim possibility. However, Twenge has been accused of cherry picking her data. That is she decides on a theory – i.e young people are narcissistic – and chooses the test results that best correlate to this view of the world. So, it’s probably best to take most things she says, with a little pinch of salt.

Thus, as we can see this feeling of resentment towards Millennials and Generation Z (that’s the generation that comes after Millennials) is not merely limited to our popular culture. There are real people out in the world who believe and perpetrate these myths about today’s young people. But what we really have to ask ourselves is, why? Why all this venom towards the young all of sudden? Well one theory is, perhaps it’s not new at all – after all, older generations have been feeling resentful to younger generations since there were people. In fact, the term ‘Generation Me’ was not originally used to describe Millennials at all, but rather Baby Boomers. Another theory is that it might be political – at least in regards to our media output. Millennials are more likely to be/vote Left-Wing. Which is a threat to the generally more Right-Wing owners of the companies that produce many of these films and shows. But whatever the case, these views and resentments do exist and serve no real purpose in our society other than to breed resentment between us. And how dose that help anyone?

Alright, winding down the rant now.

So, what’s my point, really? Am I saying that the prejudice that young people face is worst than the prejudice thrown at older or middle-age folk? No, of course not – but nor should it be seen as less important. After all when one is trying to make a point against ageism in their film – in what universe dose it aide your message to make snide, hurtful comments about another age group? If anything it hurts your cause, because people who feel attacked – whether or not you feel that feeling is valid – are not going to be listening to your argument. Though I’d like to point out that the film that kicked off this rant – Wine Country – is so awful, I’d argue it makes no deeper point what so ever. *gasps for breath* Oh my God, that felt so good, I’ve been keeping that in for so long.

If you’ve enjoyed or been in some way moved by this mad wee rant of mine, remember to follow the wee blog if you haven’t already; and to check me out on Twitter and Instagram; also, my new Facebook page – The Wee Writing Lassie – and Pinterest just for the fun of it. Until next time my Wee Readers, have a bonny day.

The Wee Writing Lassie’s Top Ten Evil Songs

Come on we’ve all heard one some time in our lives – they’re the kind of song that gets stuck in your head. The kind of song that repeats over and over  no matter how much we beg them to stop. The kind of song that can burst out of your mouth at the most unfortunate of times.

These are evil songs, and now because I care about your well-being so much my wee readers – and certainly not because I just wanted to write another blog post and thought this would be funny – I shall now list the top ten worst of these terrible afflictions on the human psyche. 

10. Chim Chim Cher-ee

Taking the lowest spot on our list we have this haunting little ditty from the 1960s adaption of Mary Poppins . It’s been placed at this position because despite its tendency to repeat on a loop inside my skull, and its almost impossible to spell title – I find it mostly unoffensive, at least compared to some of the other songs on this list. Unless you count Dick Van Dike’s cockney accent as offensive, of course.

9. Gilmore Girls theme song

The first of the TV theme songs to grace this terrible, awful list – the memorable theme of the popular tv-show about a mother and daughter with a peculiarly close relationship, hyped folks up for the fast talking dialog and easy-going feeling that made the show so enjoyable. Originally written as a full length song by Carole King, this Theme song will continue to play on within you no matter how long you run from it.

8.Wake me Up Before you go go

Written by George Michel and recorded in 1984 by the band Wham! This song will follow you to the day you die – but there are worse fates. This is certainly one of my favorite songs on this terrible, awful, no-good list.

7. All about that Bass

Written by Meghan Trainor and Kevin Kadish and released on June 30th, 2014 – this song clearly intends to promote positive body image. Which is great message, but I would be able to appreciate much more if didn’t keep bursting out of my mouth at the most inconvenient times…All about that base, ’bout that base…Ahhh!

6. Happy

Written, Produced and performed by singer Pharrel Williams – this is a very well named song. Just listening to it makes you feel all happy inside, thus it is the only song on this list that I whole halfheartedly recommend getting stuck in your head.

5. Crazy Frog – Axel F

Well…I suppose we can make a song out of anything these days. I would be surprised if you hadn’t heard of The Crazy Frog – a Swedish CGI character created by actor and playwright Erik Wernquist in 2003. And I would be even more surprised if you had never once contemplated smothering that blue frog in a fit of rage fulled insanity.

4.Narwhals, Narwhals, swimming in the ocean

Is it just me or are these songs getting…weirder as we go along? Performed by Jonti Picking and released in 2009 ‘The Narwhal Song’ is by far and a way the most random of the songs on this list. I mean what do the lyrics even mean? Why are the Narwhals causing a commotion?!

3.Shake it off

Written by Taylor Swift, Max Martin and Shellback and released in 2014 as the lead single of the album 1989; this bouncy song may not be one of Taylor Swift’s better compositions, but it’s certainly one of the most memorable. Seriously, you’ll be humming this tune till your very last breath.

2. Duck Tales theme song

Yes, well we’ve all been expecting this one…it is the Grandfather of all the evil, stick-in-your-head-right-up-to-your-death-songs to ever grace this earth. Composed by Mark Mueller and performed by Jeff Pescetto for the 1987 series, and by Felicia Barton for the 2017 revival – I chose to put the original up above simply because it was the one that started it all, though both versions are equally catchy. Truly, there should be no song that could top it on a list such as this, so then…why isn’t it at the top?

1. Zip-a-dee-do-dah

You’ll notice that, unlike the others on this list, I haven’t placed a video here for you to easily watch this particular stick-in-your-head song. And the reason why is simple – I don’t want you to, I wouldn’t want anyone to get this song stuck in their head as thoroughly as it has mine.

And the sad thing is, I didn’t even listen to the song and it still got caught in my head.

Back when I was a child, my school had this recital, a contest if you will – the idea was that all of us kids who played recorder (which was everyone, since it was mandatory ) would play a tune, and whoever played it the best would get to move on to violin. Which looking back now makes no sense, since if I’m not mistaken I don’t think those two instruments are related. You’ve probably already guessed the song we were made to learn…that’s right Zip-a-dee-do-dah. From then on that parasite took up residence in my head and has never once loosened its grip, no matter how many of the other songs on this list I hum to try and drown it out. Chim Chim Che-ree has come the closest, but each time I think Zip-a-dee-do-dah has been defeated, it’s always just retreated. Yet, this is not why I’ve given this awful catchy song the top spot.

Truth be told, when I say the other songs on this list are evil I don’t really mean it – I mean they’re catchy, and sometimes very annoying. But the songs aren’t really evil in the true sense of the word; however I don’t think I can say the same for Zip-a-dee-do-dah. For you see the song originated in the Disney film Song of the South, one of the most racist films the company has ever made, which given their back catalog is actually saying quite a bit. So racist in fact that the company has desperately tried to distance themselves from the film, even denying a blue-ray release to it, yet like an unwelcome guest at a party Zip-a-dee-do-dah refuses to simply leave.

Thus ends this terrible, no-good list – if you’ve enjoyed discovering or re-discovering these brain-burrowers check me out on twitter, or Instagram; or follow the wee blog if you haven’t already. If you agree with my list, or think I’ve left one out comment down bellow.

Until we meet again my wee readers, have a bonny day.