Re: Alienation and Smoking
Personally I feel that the current state of the world and pessimistic (not in an insulting way) views such as these are a constant.
No matter the generation, time period or society in question there is always disdain for the new and especially for those we deem useless or misguided. This happened with my generation. We were called generation Y because nobody could think of anything good after Gen X. Both were considered too wild and unguided by our free love, baby boom spawned parents, who were considered too wild and unguided by their hip swinging rock/jazz loving predecessors "the silent generation"
who were considered too wild and unguided by the starters of the civil rights movement "the greatest generation"
who were considered too wild and unguided by the bootlegging, flapper loving founders of suffrage "the interbellum generation" of the roaring twenties
who were considered too wild and unguided by the extremely forward thinking, artistic and disillusioned "lost generation" who were.... You get the idea. This probably goes back as far as there has been conscious thought.
The youth will always be seen as squandering their time, gifts and energies. The new thought process will always be seen as wasteful and unneeded and it will always seem old and mundane/traditional once it's time passes and a new lot are birthed that think the old ways are to be forgotten and their new ideas and thoughts are so radical that nobody born before them could have possibly been so extreme.
It's all pointless to worry about in my mind. I straddle the line. I love tradition and nostalgia but I am a forward thinker. I believe in an almost Darwinian theory of personal existence. To stagnate is to die. But we can't truly move forward unless we look to the past and determine what is truly new so we can make something nobody has experienced before.
Kids are always seen as without motivation or drive. It's part of being a kid. The majority will do little to influence the world and change things (for better or worse) but those are not the people you read about. The books are written about the shining pinnacles of their time. This is why many of us look back and feel that today's youth is so far below their ancestors. They are the same, just with different trends, fads and societal norms.
Some of the kids always grow up. They are the ones our descendants will read about and compare their own children to scoffing all the while about their lack of motivation and direction.