Oh Guardian. Oh, Guardian.http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/12/millennial-baby-boomer-trade-places-stab-envy
1) I'm not entirely sure that life in the 1950s and 1960s was actually all that awesome. Yes, there was free university education. And around 25,000 young people per year took that up, the vast majority of which came from a private school background. There were a number of bright kids from council estates who passed the 11+ and went to Oxford, but they were always a small minority, who's voices have been massively over-represented. And yes, house prices were a lot cheaper, but for most of that time period, that only helped men, as married woman, in particular, weren't even allowed a mortgage for most of that period. I'd also suggest that for a lot of people, the 1950s and 1960s were pretty shitty. If you were queer and your sexuality was illegal. If you weren't white. If you were a woman who had got pregnant unexpectedly before 1967, or a woman who wanted to say "no" to sex with her husband, as marital rape actually only became a crime in 1991.
Oh, and people had MH problems in the 1950s and 1960s too. Only back then, there wasn't much in the way of decent treatment. Lithium, the oldest and clunkiest of the bipolar treatments, wasn't approved for psychiatric use until 1970. Until then, you could stay at home and your family could do their best to look after you, or, if you had a major episode, you could be institutionalized, possibly for a very long time. Most anti-depressants weren't about and if you had hallucinations or delusions you got a blanket diagnosis of schizophrenia and long term incarceration. Yes, millennials suffer from high levels of anxiety. But they have WAY more options when it comes to dealing with them.
2) I'm also unconvinced that artistic and not-techie people are confined to the over-60s now. There are young people running stalls in craft markets. I've met them. There are young people working as teachers, as artists, as writers. And there are points which can be made about job insecurity/comparative salaries/cost of living etc but I don't think this article makes them. It just says "the baby boomers could be artistic. We can't". Well, actually, a lot of people do. Also, Lucy writer person, you are a journalist. You have a creative job. Stop citing your friend who works in customer service.
3) This article is achingly London centric and I think it is massively undercutting the entire point. London isn't the whole of the UK. What is true in London is not a deeply profound point about the state of the generations. I bow to no one in my deep seated affection for our capital. I think it's an awesome city and also not populated by puppy kickers. But I do think the narrative that is pushed about housing/wages etc is massively skewed by London. London housing prices are insane. And yes, they screw everything up. But that's not a comment on baby boomer vs millennial. It's a comment on the fucked up London housing market. Lucy and her boyfriend have to pay £1500 per month for a room in a shared flat? THAT DOES NOT EXIST IN HUGE SWATHES OF THE COUNTRY! IT IS NOT A GENERATIONAL ISSUE! IT IS A LONDON ISSUE! BE HONEST ABOUT THIS FACT!
The housing market in London is scary. That it is causing a ripple effect throughout the south east is scarier and it is something that should be discussed. But discuss it for what it is. Don't say "millennials can't buy houses because they have to pay £1500 per month for rent". The rent on my last flat (which was a lovely three bed in a perfectly nice bit of Glasgow) was £620 per month.
4) Why are the Guardian incapable of writing these articles comparing the lives of people from different demographics who aren't, you know, also middle class London dwelling Guardian journalists? It is always two of their columnists who compare lives and that surely is a pretty rarefied demographic to begin with.
5) University fees and housing costs are a massive issue and I think are going to contribute massively to increasing class immobility. I do think that. Please don't think I am not. But writing stupid articles about how everything was lovely and easy for the happy Bohemian types who went to university in 1955 compared to the put upon and oppressed kids born after 1985 is annoying. Each generation has its own crosses to bear, its own mountains to climb. And that doesn't mean that those problems aren't problems, and should be addressed, but address them for what they are. I like accuracy in my journalism, not emotional manipulation.
(That was rather long. Sorry. You may now all tell me why I'm wrong.)