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A baby boomer holds on for millennials

What post-pandemic America will look like, especially for those under 40, is unclear at this time, but in his insightful new book, I can’t even: how millennials became the burnout generation, Anne Helen Petersen gives us many reasons to be concerned even with the election of Joe Biden.

As a major in the ’60s, I feel generational guilt whenever I compare my lot to that of today’s millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996). Without any virtue on our part, my friends and I got a good deal on everything from college admission to jobs, but we never transferred our good fortune to those who came after us.

COVID-19 has been a “great clarifier” for Petersen. What she means by that is that the coronavirus has illuminated, not caused, issues ranging from racism to unequal health care that currently haunt America. A COVID-19 vaccine will not cure these problems, nor end the burnout of the millennials who are at the center of I can not even. “The work was shitty and precarious before; now it’s more shit and precarious, ”says Petersen.

In his 1931 essay, “Echoes of the Jazz Age,” F. Scott Fitzgerald showed how it is possible to blend personal history and generational history into one narrative. Petersen, like a number of modern American writers, took advantage of Fitzgerald’s example. She is a thoughtful supporter when it comes to her generation. I can not even is the perfect companion to the brilliant millennial comedy of the streaming service Hulu Pen15.

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