Wednesday, May 10, 2023

"Special Snowflakes" aren't so special anymore. They're common as dirt.


That's the reluctant conclusion of the author of an article titled "The Truth About Generation Snowflake is Even Worse Than We Feared".

... we have an entire generation now – really anybody under the age of 25 – which seems to think a) that mental health problems are common, b) that having one is a legitimate reason either to avoid doing something undesirable or to receive special treatment of some kind, and c) that it’s wrong to ‘judge’ or stigmatise anybody if he or she suffers from such a problem. And the effect of those beliefs is the same, however sincerely they are held: avoidance of responsibility; self-centredness and navel-gazing; excuse-making and shoddiness. Each year a growing number of undergraduate students on my course don’t sit their final exam in May, when they should, but during the re-sit period in August, because their mental health issues are purportedly so crippling. Does it matter whether this is because they are just pretending and want a few more months to revise, or because they are genuinely in dire mental straits? At the sharp end, the consequences are identical.

One used to be able to convince oneself that kids would grow out of this kind of thing once they entered the ‘real world’ of employment – just as one used to be able to convince oneself that they would grow out of being woke when surrounded by real adults. The truth is that the opposite is happening: society is being forced not just to accommodate but to encourage the eccentricities of the young. Hence my institution and its 25% exam extension bonus for the anxious, and every employer on LinkedIn advertising its ‘duvet days’ and ‘mental health afternoons’ and therapeutic working environments. What’s worse is that the grown adults, who have no excuse because they were raised in the good old days of the stiff upper lip, are getting in on the act. Last year, when a student at my institution unfortunately died, the other students in his various seminar groups (who barely knew him) were encouraged to apply for extensions to the submission deadlines for their coursework by their 40-something module tutor on the basis that “I’m sure you guys are struggling”. The same staff member later himself went off work for four months (at full pay, of course) with that other favourite, ‘stress’. 

I don’t therefore believe that a solution can be found to this issue now; these attitudes are ingrained and almost universal among younger people (though I am aware, of course, that there are plenty of exceptions) and, as I have suggested, are even infecting the old. I’m afraid we are simply going to have to watch a vast experiment unfold – the political and cultural consequences that follow when, for the first time in human history, the majority of society describes itself as suffering from a mental health problem and deploys it as a ‘get out of jail free’ card at the drop of a hat. When, indeed (consider the absurdity of the times in which we live!), having an abnormally low mood has become normal. And when this condition is at its rifest among the professional classes – doctors, teachers, lawyers, accountants, architects, civil servants – who have graduated from university and basically run society. The only advice I can give is to hold on to your hat – because things are about to get interesting, and not in a good way.

There's more at the link.

I can't help but agree with the author as far as many urban youth are concerned.  They've become past masters at exploiting the bleeding heart liberals, nanny-statists and behavioral apologists who infest our society.  Whether it's gaining an unfair advantage, wriggling out of taking responsibility for their actions, or reducing - if not eliminating - the punishment due to them for violating our laws and standards, they always find an excuse.  Of course, real life tends to be a slap in the face to them when they eventually run into it - but the problem is, often they don't run into it until it's too late.  They're coddled and sheltered from the consequences of their fecklessness until they finally run out of excuses, and then they blame "the system" or "the Man" or "racism" or "intolerance" or some or other phobia for the sudden, harsh reality in which they find themselves.

A classic example is the juvenile (in)justice system.  During my years as a prison chaplain, I lost count of the number of angry, embittered inmates who were convinced the system was against them, and they were victims instead of criminals.  Why?  Because in crime after crime after crime, the juvenile (in)justice system did nothing effective to teach them the error of their ways.  They received slaps on the wrist instead of real punishments, and were (sometimes literally) allowed to get away with murder on the grounds of their youth.  The day after they turned 18, they proceeded to do exactly what they'd done so many times before - but this time the system treated them as adults, and slapped them with a more appropriate penalty for their actions.  They were horrified, disgusted, angry, vengeful.  They did nothing more than they'd been doing for years, but now they were being victimized for it!  It's hard not to see where they're coming from.  They should have been slapped down harder and harder for each successive crime, so that they got the message early on that there was no future in such a life.  They weren't - and now that reality had caught up with them, they couldn't understand it and didn't know how to handle it.  Thus, they viewed themselves as victims rather than perpetrators.

I don't know that I'd wish this on any effective armed force, but I have to say that one of the best cures for this sort of "special snowflakery" (criminal or otherwise) used to be compulsory military service.  I know I went into uniform as a self-centered, entitled, stuck-up little git.  It took me all of a couple of minutes of exposure to my basic training instructors to realize that if I wanted to survive, let alone thrive, I was going to have to do some very serious, very rapid growing up!  By the time I'd been in that environment for a couple of years, I'd learned the hard way to be a far more balanced human being - because every time it seemed I hadn't, my instructors and/or my comrades in arms would beat the stupid out of me, sometimes literally.  I wasn't alone in having to learn that, either.  Most of us emerged from military service "sadder but wiser", as the old saying goes.

Unfortunately, with the death of the draft, that learning experience is no longer available to our young people.  Perhaps we should change that.  The truly "special" snowflakes wouldn't survive it, and the rest of us would be spared their excessively irritating presence thereafter.  What's not to like?



Anonymous said...


O/T and FYI

Another lesson in “un-history”

“King Hochschild’s Hoax”

boron said...

Not only did we lose the draft, we also find ourselves encumbered with the femimization of the Armed Services; the little darlings are pampered to the nth degree "Oh! he/she can't do this, 'they're' having their monthly stress (whether with female genitalia or not)."
I'm not at all certain that bringing back the draft to straighten up the weak spines isn't a bit of wishful thinking.

Mark J said...

This portion of your commentary:

'They received slaps on the wrist instead of real punishments, and were (sometimes literally) allowed to get away with murder on the grounds of their youth. The day after they turned 18, they proceeded to do exactly what they'd done so many times before - but this time the system treated them as adults, and slapped them with a more appropriate penalty for their actions.'

reminded me of a scene from RAH's novel 'Starship Troopers', where Mr. Dubois was discussing how things were before their current system was set up, using the parable of housebreaking a dog.

Amazing how prophetic some things could be, considering this was written over 60 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I would support the draft if military actions were limited to not include endless wars arising from entanglements in treaties that hold very little bearing to the people, yet great avenue for select industry and dastardly politicians.

Anonymous said...

The author mentions the capitulation of the adults and the institutions (presumably of higher learning). I say it is more than that; it is the many machinations of government. It is become evermore pervasive.

That which is dishonorable, is no longer. Everything is game. This is one result of decades of welfare, increasingly without strings or stigma.

Everything is connected. The institutions create a mindless, needy people, devoid of knowledge, uncaring. The same make demands of the institutions. While they may realize it is they who bear the cost, they care not for they are driven to gain to themselves as much and as soon as they can. The corrupt in government and the institutions which it compels, are only too happy to oblige.

(Consider how many of those institutions are headed by former government senior level; or, are the fields of harvest supplying senior officials.)

These circumstance remind me of the corrupt, rabid mob at Sodom demanding Lot's divine guests.

One can no sooner hold back the tides than to turn the head of society bent on its own destruction. The latter would be clearly seen except for the bred ignorance and material lusts.

2 Chronicles 7:14; Joshua 24:15; all of 1 Thessalonians 5 are your standing orders.
It is not easy; in fact, quite difficult, but is worth it.

Eaton Rapids Joe said...

With our cities turning into war-zones, young people do not have to be drafted to learn the unforgiving realities of combat.

Refusal to deal with problems means the problems will grow until they cannot be avoided.

MSG Grumpy said...

I too was "young dumb and stupid"
Dumb is the crime of not learning, Stupid is self inflicted ignorance and I had a double helping of both as I was convinced I Knew everything. Then boot camp happened and I came face to face with the fact that I was woefully ignorant and suddenly had a burning desire to Learn (or it could have been the push-ups).

BUT, the snowflakes of today no longer have that opportunity as our Armed Forces have been corrupted and are now fully Woke.
I do not know what this social experiment will produce, but I'm thinking "Dark Ages" and "Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth".

MSG Grumpy

coyoteken48 said...

While I agree with most of what you say I think that having the draft is the worse thing that we could do. We do not need to further empower the government to indoctrinate, brainwash and build up a trained force to stomp on us when they think it's time to destroy the vestiges of our freedoms when they come up with their next manufactured crises. And there will be one.---ken

Maniac said...

I think I'd rather Russia and China drop the tacticals on us rather than have people like Trigglypuff run the country.

Anonymous said...

I just spent the last year and a half recovering from serious depression. It included seperation from my wife,medications and extensive therapy. I would have been in even worse shape of I hadn't worked my ass off prior to have the resources to keep up with the bills with no job. The only social services was from the VA, so it was "prepaid" by my naval service.

heresolong said...

The military is accommodating these kids just as much as everyone else. Cards that you can hold up if the DS is stressing you out too much? Relaxed physical standards?

I teach high school math and I'm not sure I've ever seen so many kids with special plans (504 and IEP). Most of them don't actually do any work, but they have accommodations so we have to work with and around them to try to get them to pass.

Anonymous said...

Another problem with many youth these days is no work ethic. Every business owner I talk to cannot find people willing to work.

SiGraybeard said...

The "special" part of special snowflake is behind so much of the crap going on in society now that it can't be understated.

You can't categorize me! I'm so special that you can't just call me by the same pronouns as anyone. I'm so special you can't just assume that I'm a girl or a boy just because I obviously am one. If you just use the normal pronouns, that's as much violence as if you shot me.

The worst ones by far are the special snowflake parents that pressure their child into thinking they're in the wrong body or that they're gay. I've never once heard of it being the father pressuring a child like that.

Anonymous said...

Mark J:
Re: RAH. My thought exactly!

Anonymous said...

REinstating the draft is simply a sick idea.

Sorry, there is no other way to describe it.

Boys have become men in all societies for the entire history of humanity. Very few of them did so by being drafted into a military.

And this military will subject our young men to CRT, political correctness, LGBTQ+ indoctrination, and then send them to die in wars whose aim is to spread these same "values" across the globe.

The idea is just ridiculous.