The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trend piece about Millennials finds new trend: that trend pieces are being written about Millennials!

The new trend about millennials? A lot of trend pieces are being written about them!

I am not making this up.

I think we’ve reached peak Millennial trend piece output. I hope. I pray. I don’t know any more. I thought surely “Generation Me Me Me” was the frozen limit. But the nightmare continued. We are now several Inception levels down into Millennial trend piece world, being pursued by trend writers on snowmobiles who shout incomprehensible things at us through the howling wind. Our ears catch only disjointed phrases– “Parents’ basements…  narcissists… helicopter.”

The New York Times now contains the epitome of this trend, in a piece where Sam Tanenhaus notes:

Suddenly, as you may have noticed, millennials are everywhere. Not that this group of people born after 1980 and before 2000 — a giant cohort now estimated to number at least 80 million Americans, more than the baby boom generation — was ever invisible. What’s changed is their status. Coddled and helicoptered, catered to by 24-hour TV cable networks, fussed over by marketers and college recruiters, dissected by psychologists, demographers and trend-spotters, the millennial generation has come fully into its own. The word “millennial,” whether as noun or adjective, has monopolized the nonstop cultural conversation, invariably freighted with zeitgeisty import.
This newspaper is no exception. A recent search of The New York Times database turned up no fewer than 122 mentions of “millennial” so far in 2014, on topics ranging from TV and pop music to travel and literature.

This is literally a meta-trend piece about how many trend pieces are written about Millennials. Then it goes on to be just a regular trend piece about how Millennials Possess (Along With The Attributes Generally Ascribed To Them) An Attribute You Wouldn’t Expect!

Again I say, as we have said so often before:




I mean no ill will to any individual writer. I understand that we all must eat, even those of us who earn our bread by cranking out yet another story about how many stories there are about Millennials.

But still, here is a guide.

Perhaps a compromise would be just to print the headline and let us infer the contents? It’s a familiar tune, and if you give me a couple of bars, I can absolutely play the whole thing through, with flourishes.

“Millennials: The Most [Adjective] Generation Yet.” You wouldn’t even have to include any text. Just “blah blah helicopter blah blah basement blah blah self-absorbed.” We could take it from there.