The 2014 '30 Under 30'

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Hipsters respond to Princeton professor’s harsh critique of the “ironic” Millennial Generation

Millennials are hiding from life behind their hipster glasses. Or at least Princeton University Professor Christy Wampole thinks so.

In an opinion piece that appeared in the New York Times last November headlined “How to live without Irony,” she wrote, “Irony is the ethos of our age” and “the hipster is our archetype of ironic living.”

The ‘i’ in ‘iGen’ apparently stands for ironic.

This is not a compliment to hipsters. Wampole argues that “irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise.”

Little did she know that she messed with the wrong subculture.

Self-proclaimed hipster and HuffPost Live producer Jacob Soboroff took offense to Wampole’s attack and aired his grievances publicly on HuffPost Live Thursday.

“I thought this was unduly harsh on hipsters and threw the ironic label on hipsters,” he said. “It rubbed me the wrong way.”

Jonathan Fitzgerald, author of “Not Your Mother’s Morals,” said the piece was a “punch in the stomach” during the web show. “I was so pissed off,” he added.

But after the hipsters on HuffPo were done venting about how Wampole misunderstood them, they dove into the question of whether Millennials actually are ironic.

Radical Social Entrepreneurs editor Zachary Caceres, also a guest on the show, argued that Millennials are ironic because of how “absurd” today’s world is.

In response to Wampole’s article, Caceres wrote on his website, “Our leaders regularly lie to us (the truth hurts), and people who actually tell the truth are punished by those in power.”

He continues,“We can’t find jobs and we can find even fewer that are meaningful or offer upward mobility….we’re paying off our gargantuan student debts or more likely, not being able to pay them.”

HuffPost College Senior Editor Will McGuinness also cited the atrocious youth unemployment rate as a reason. “Millennials are more than ironic, they’re pessimistic,” he noted.

In an effort to be positive, Soboroff said that Millennials could also be described as “sincere,” arguing that more and more college graduates are joining service corps like Teach for America.

But McGuinness was quick to shoot down Soboroff’s ‘Pollyanna’ interpretation of the economic situation young people are facing.

“That’s just a funnel for people who don’t have the opportunity they thought they were going to get,” he fired back.

Soboroff then threw out the word “apathy” to describe the iGeneration because “they don’t really vote.”

“Less than half show up to the polls,” he added (which is technically true – 49.3 percent of Millenials voted in the last presidential election.)

So, to put it bluntly, even Millennials think the Millennial Generation is ironic, pessimistic, and apathetic.

Cheers, iGen!

 

 

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