Disaster belief: It's not young people who imagine soup lines when the Dow Jones falls. They're too busy snazzing up their Web sites.
This letter (by this writer)
sums it up , the argument and the rebuttal, better than I ever could:
"it's good to see...
...that the eternal pastime of old people beating up on young people, which has literally been going on since ancient Greece at least, hasn't fallen out of fashion.
*Of course the older fellow in Keillor's office tale is more worried about his career than the callow youths in the cubes. He almost certainly has more economic responsiblities (kids, looming retirement) and higher expectations about his living environment (i.e. he probably wouldn't be blase about crashing on a buddy's couch or eating ramen if that job falls through).
*He probably also has a sense of responsibility to his employers inherited from the days when employers actually cared about their employers. The kids know instinctively that anyone who expects that their employment with Northern Grommets is anything other than an economic transaction -- one in which Northern Grommets holds an upper hand -- is a sucker. They are not treated with respect by their bosses, so why should they treat their bosses with respect?
*Keillor notes his father's instinctive solid conservatism. Of course, Keillor didn't know his father when his father was the age of those Gen Y twerps in the cubes. Maybe his dad wanted to have a wacky career in, say, public radio or something, but decided that hard work was the way to go when little Garrison needed feeding and care.
But thanks for suggesting that everyone should abandon any aspirations of creativity in lieu of good hard work at the age of 18. A quick glance at Keillor's Wikipedia bio indicates that he got his start in radio at the age of 27 and sold his first story to the New Yorker at the age of 28. I'm assuming he did something for money during his 20s. Thank God his creative career sprung forth magically in 1969; I'd hate to thing he might have been nursing dreams while working at that job.
Sorry, I don't usually get into writerly psychoanalysis, and I usually like Keillor's columns, but this one left a really bad taste in my mouth."