AuthorFarsad, Negin

I've noticed a trend among my friends, family, acquaintances, baristas, pharmacists, dentists, and basically anyone I come into contact with. When I ask them how it's going--an innocent question that we've all learned to answer lightheartedly since the beginning of time--they now say some version of "The world is on fire and the country is falling apart but, ya know, fine."

At first, I thought it was funny. A spin on the ol' classic "Good, thanks." I even took a few turns at the wheel myself with chestnuts like, "Well, there's war, inflation, and too many tech bros, but I'm OK."

But at some point it occurred to me that, no, this is annoying. I am actually "fine."

I am actually "doing good, thanks." Why do I--we--have to be so insistent that the world is falling apart? Why do we characterize everything as terrible? Why do we do the performance of misery?

I get it: The abortion ruling sucks, the war in Ukraine sucks, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California being absent from her job sucks, Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia sucks. In fact, the GOP in general sucks. There's a lot to feel crappy about. But, since the beginning of time, there has always been a lot to feel crappy about.

The bubonic plague was a total downer. The Khmer Rouge was a pile of poop, at best. Since the mid-twentieth century, we've all had to deal with the specter of nuclear war. In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan was a bogeyman, there was something called "junk bonds," and everyone wore shoulder pads. That must have been rough! In the 1920s, Americans had to have fun despite alcohol being illegal! Beer was illegal. And yet, the 1920s roared!

Unlike our current moment, in previous generations, the geopolitical didn't always invade the personal. And the perception of personal life could be maintained on an even keel. But now? Now, millennials are convinced that they're broke. They're convinced that they came into the workforce during the worst of economic times, and they constantly joke about having to live with their parents.

But guess what? They're wrong. The statistics show an entirely different story. Millennials make good money--great money--the most money, in fact, of all the generations before them, even adjusted for inflation. But what do they do when they're eating their avocado toast? They complain about things being awful.

Let's look at crime. New York City is constantly held up as our most crime-ridden city. New Yorkers complain...

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