Friday, December 15, 2006


One of the most unsung sad stories of this world is the age gap in Europe. As their population pyramid inverts (more kodgers than kids), there is a job vaccuum at the top of the food chain. Even though their overall economy is stagnant on the continent, the few good jobs left are held onto with a death grip by older and older people. Most Euro kids coming out of school have no job to turn to. Instead they focus on internship after internship, advanced training after advanced training, apprenticeship after apprenticeship. All the while living at home, broke, and depressed. Forever postponing the launch of the "real life" they hope to lead when they "grow up."

At the end of the day, you end up 100 tragically overqualified twentysomethings competing for every job that comes up ... only to get aced out by a much less educated establishment player in his 40's.

Similar things happen in politics. Euro youth is entirely disenfranchised in that arena.

Meanwhile, the US youth has long won the culture wars. Euros have two choices: buy into American culture or be a global dork.

What's left for these people? Radicalism? Adventurism? Socialism? Someday, these guys are gonna start changing things on that continent.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


so much pessimism these days ... there must be a lot to be pessimistic about. Especially sitting here on the west coast, where according to the majority of people I talk to, the world is going to hell. Strange, it looks a lot more like heaven here to me. Of those things people continue to fight about worldwide, I see scant evidence here. When I hear "Unprecedented" I'm seldom disappointed by the following adjective about this country: unprecedented wealth, unprecedented freedom, unprecedented opportunity ... Whence does all the worry stem?

It's a bunch of rebels without causes. All those kids of the sixties, all those ex-hippies who are at the controls today transform our national culture faster than ever before by insisting on not getting old, not getting stodgy, not falling behind the latest trend. Sure, like their parents, they want a good life, a comfortable life, a safe life. But they have higher aspirations. Those elements are the floor of their culture-house, not the steeple. My grandparents fought for survival and quested for comfort for their families. My parents took comfort for granted, fought for independence and quested to deliver their families into luxury. Both generations succeeded, goals reaching ever higher as the generations stand on the shoulders of the precending. And no evidence of the same ceasing with my generation - the perpetual kids of the original perpetual kids. We want to, but find it hard to out-cool our parents, to out-speed, out-drug, out-spend, out-rebel. And we feel just the slightest bit inadequate. They invented rock. We just listen to it. They marched and changed the world. We just talk about it. We don't see that our goals are again higher, our contributions again building on those of our forebears. We don't know where we'll go. But maybe we should start thinking about it. Without goals, we're gonna get nowhere.

But to take a step back, let me marvel at how beautiful it is we have the right to do so. That's what our grandparent's grandparents fought for ... and won for us.