A Millennial Moment

There is something worse than a generation gap. There is a worldview gap.

My generation – Generation X – was the last pre-computer generation and the last generation to reach adulthood before the Safety Cult had metastasized into a mainstream religion. When we were teenagers, we were expected to learn how to drive – because the cars wouldn’t do it for us.

We rose to the challenge.

Most of us learning to drive in cars with manual transmissions because back in the ’80s when we were teenagers, most of the cars within a teenager’s budget had manuals.

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Or suffer the humiliation of riding the bus with the 14 and 15-year-olds. Oh, yes. In that better, vanished time a kid was able to drive himself to school the day he turned 16 – which meant driving to school for the last two years of high school, so that by the time one graduated one had been driving for several years and was ready to deal with the adult world of driving.

The Millennials who are now rising – and “feel the Bern,” many of them – grew up strapped in, learned to be fearful and passive. They are not allowed to drive to school until they are practically out of school. They have been taught to regard cars as dangerous and despoiling things.

I met one such Millennial the other day at the coffee shop where I usually go to write these rants. It is my caffeinated version of Orwell’s (or rather Winston Smith’s)  Chestnut But Tree Cafe. The waiters know me and keep my cup full without my even having to ask.

Anyhow, I’m friendly with another guy there, who is friends with this young Millennial. She proudly told me all about her new car – about how saaaaaaaafe it is. Not how it drove or looked. The first thing she waxed rhapsodic about was Lane Keep Assist.

Many new cars have this, apparently because many people have difficulty keeping their car in its travel lane and require “assistance” – in the form of electric motors attached to the steering gear – that nudge the car left or right, accordingly, when the driver isn’t.

Probably because she’s texting.

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