They’re one of the most deadly scourges known to mankind; a ravenous, unstoppable beast with more confirmed kills than the deadliest of snipers; a pestilence and a blight upon the world. They’re known as Millennials, history’s perfect killing machine, and they won’t be satisfied until they’ve taken us all to hell with them. They’re also the heroes we need.
By now you’re no doubt familiar with the past year’s laziest headline format, wherein a previously robust industry or business, or even a cultural concept, shows the slightest hint of decline. Who’s to blame in each instance? Certainly not, say, corporate mismanagement, nor the naturally shifting whims of taste and style, nor the vagaries of market demand. No, instead it’s the dreaded Millennials, whose bloodthirst is rivaled only by their hunger for avocado. Take a look at a mere random sampling of their recent rap sheet: “Young Americans Are Killing Marriage” said Bloomberg. “How Millennials Killed J. Crew” offered NYLON. Elsewhere Millennials caught a body off of handshakes, cereal, McDonald’s, and the workforce. While older generations might be forgiven for cowering in fear before the awesome destructive power at work here, if we can pause a moment, amid the grim cries of the killing fields, in almost every case the targets in the sights of the Millennials are deserving. Millennials did nothing wrong.
Here are some of the best things Millennials have killed this year. And remember, my young friends, as a trusted Gen X journalist, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in your underground Sriracha caves.
Less than one-third of Americans under 35 own a home. The reason for that? Definitely because young people nowadays are lazy and listless, unlike your generation, who did things the right way. But perhaps also playing into that, and hear me out here, is that the idea of owning a home is a pointless, archaic dream of a bygone era. Saddled with too much student loan debt—an average of around $37,000—Millennials have decided it might not be such a good idea to take out another loan to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, all so they can… tell people they own a home.
Sales of cereal, which were almost $14 billion in 2000, dropped to around $10 billion last year. This is a very bad thing for anyone who owns or operates a cereal concern and absolutely no one else, because a cold bowl of sugar milk is not an actual meal, it’s a crayon box you can digest.
Marriage sucks. It has always sucked, for all of the disreputable reasons regarding patriarchy and property and religious nonsense we’ve known for a long time now, but the difference is, instead of silently tolerating it, Millennials have actually done something about it. They’re not getting married at anywhere near the rate of previous generations. In 1980, for example, two-thirds of 25-to-34-year-olds were or had been married. In 2015 that dropped to two-fifths. Yes, yes, again, it’s partly because video games and porn have rendered them all catatonic, sterile zombies and they have fuck-apps on their phone that means they never make the type of authentic love connections you did on your first and third marriage, but they also understand there’s really no point to it. You can raise children together unmarried if you want, you can live together unmarried now. And besides, as we’ve established, they wouldn’t be able to afford a house to move into together as newlyweds even if they wanted to.
Millennials are killing the golf industry, because golf sucks and has had it coming for a long time. Pick up a real sport, like SoulCycle.
If you could wear golf on your finger it would be a diamond. Either because they’re savvy enough to recognize that ostentatious shows of wealth are disgusting, because they couldn’t afford one even if they wanted to, or because they’re not getting married (remember that part from before?) Millennials have shown less of a demand for the sparkling finger rock of privilege. That could be, and reasonable people might disagree here, because they’re disgusted by funding war lords in conflict zones. Crazy kids.
In a survey this year, 56 percent of consumers said they had purchased napkins recently, while 86 percent had purchased paper towels. The Washington Post suggested all manner of reasons for why this might be, from frugality to environmental consciousness, but here is the correct answer: Napkins are the toilet paper of the kitchen, and it takes about 15 of them bunched together to clean anything up. Paper towels, on the other hand, are reliable and sturdy. You could buy a roll of those bad boys and keep the entire home that you do not own dry and spotless for a month. That’s called innovation.
Bar soap, on the other hand, is the toilet paper of the shower, in that it’s what you rub all over your ass. Perhaps it’s not surprising then that sales of it have declined of late, in part because many women have 19 different foams and $45 cleansers for every specific body part, but also because the idea of recycling the same glob of ass and crotch lint in an ouroboros of germs from one body to the next is somewhat less appealing to younger people than it was to their parents and grandparents, all of whom died at the age of 19 from dysentery.