Hey white people, we need to talk

Originally posted on my Instagram (IGTV)

Transcript of video I originally posted to my Instagram on June 1, 2020.

Hey white people. This is for you. We need to have a little chat.

There is so much going on in the news right now in terms of the protests we are seeing. Not just in the US but also here in Canada.

As Canadians, I know that we like to think that racism is an American problem. It’s not. It’s our problem, too. We like to think that we are nice people and that we’re polite and you probably don’t think of yourself as a racist and you would probably be absolutely…. embarrassed beyond belief to be thought of as having behaved in a racist manner. We’re respectable white people, right?

Ok, so, now that we have established that, fellow white people, we need to talk about race. We really, really need to talk about race.

Because all of this stuff that we see happening, all of these protests about police brutality, we have a job to do.

If you think of society like a hockey game—and I don’t watch hockey but, you know, as a Canadian I have to pretend I like it—if you think of society like a hockey game, it’s like we’re playing a game where white people have one set of rules and black people have another set of rules. A set of rules that disadvantages them and advantages us.

Black folks have been trying to tell us, they have been fighting, for generations to tell us that this is not fair. That the game is not fair. That the rules are not fair.

Sometimes we slap a patch on things and we like to pat ourselves on the back and say that we’ve done something, but we haven’t changed to rules. We haven’t fixed the problem. Because we don’t see the problem.

We like to think that (I think, anyway), we like to think as white people that our experience is universal! It’s the default! Our experience going to the grocery store, or dealing with the government, or in school, or wherever, just living our lives, that that’s how everybody experiences it.

And it’s not. We need to quit kidding ourselves that our experience is the default Canadian experience.

As white people, we can call the police, and the police are our helpers and they’re coming to help us. Black people can’t do that. They call the police and they’re taking their lives in their hands. I mean, heck, they’re taking their neighbours lives in their hands, because goodness knows we’ve seen shootings of completely uninvolved folks situations.

We as white people need to take a long hard look at the rules. We need to start recognizing how white privilege works and how structural racism works.

Because it’s not just whether or not we’re nice to Black folks. It’s how our entire society is set up, how we as white people from the very beginning have set up a society that advantages us and disadvantages anybody who doesn’t look like us.

I think we can probably agree that’s not a good society. That’s probably not the society that we want to pass on, to keep passing on to our children. I know it’s note the society I want for anybody.

We sometimes like to think that, well, I didn’t create this problem, this isn’t my problem, it was dead white guys like a century, a couple of centuries ago that started this problem. And sure, we’ve inherited the problem. But if we’re not doing anything to actively fix the problems, if we’re not actively changing and improving our society for everybody, then we are perpetuating the problem and we are part of the problem.

Black people have been telling us for generations that there’s a problem. And we don’t want to hear it. And we want to focus instead on whether or not kneeling is right, or whether or not a burning building is the right way to do things. As Trevor Noah said in his Daily Show clip, which you need to watch, there is no right way, because protesting is about saying that things aren’t right and speaking up against the dominate white system.

We as white people cannot and should not expect people of colour to identify the problem and fix the system while they’re still having to play the game with a crappy set of rules.

It’s on us to figure out white privilege. Which basically means that yes, our life can be hard, but our life is not hard because we are white. That’s basically white privilege in a nutshell.

We need to look at structural racism. We need to look at the way our education systems, our medical systems, our businesses, our institutions, our day-to-day interactions perpetuate racism. How they continue to benefit us and nobody else.

It is not easy work. And I am by no means done the work, I’ve only just started on my own journey in the past couple of years of trying to become more aware of these things. A really influential book for me was So you want to talk about race. And I really, really recommend that book to absolutely every white person I know. It’s really really hard to read. I mean, the language is easy and the chapters are relatively short, but it’s really difficult because it calls us out on all of our crappy behaviour. On all of the ways we make assumptions and we set rules that benefit us and we don’t even notice it.

That’s the scary thing. We don’t even notice it. So we need to start noticing and we need to start calling these things out and we need to start supporting each other in this conversation and quite waiting for somebody else to fix the problem.

We created a mess and we need to take responsibility for that mess. Even if it’s a mess that we inherited. Even if it’s a mess that we don’t personally see— I mean, I don’t work for the police, so why is it my problem? Well, it is my problem because it’s a society I live in, it’s the a society I conform to and that you conform to. It’s a society that we live in and that socializes us that Black people are thugs and criminals simply because they’re black. And that’s not right. That is wrong. We need to start calling out the language, the “jokes” that friends make and that we laugh at, maybe uncomfortably maybe not.

We need to call those out and we need to start having hard conversations amongst ourselves. And like I said, this is really hard work, and it’s really really uncomfortable. I’m right there with you, I’m trying to do it, too. And it’s not easy. It’s really really hard sometimes but we need to do it.

Because if we don’t do it, nobody can do it for us and nothing is going to change. Life is not going to get better for other people if we don’t start listening to other people.

And that’s really they key thing that I think we as white people need to be doing right now, is listening.

Listening to Black experiences. Listening to Indigenous experiences, and experiences of people of colour and quit assuming that everybody experiences the world the same way we do.

Because they don’t.

We need to take advantage of the resources that are already out there—and there are tons of resources. I’ve been retweeting lots in my own Twitter feed, same user name as this Instagram, but you hardly have to scratch the surface and you’ll find lots of great books, websites, podcasts that deal with these really difficult issues.

So we need to take that step and actively seek out and start listening. We need to quit waiting for somebody to come around and knock on our door and ask us to participate. We need to take ownership of our part of the mess.

And we need to support each other in this conversation because it is scary and hard to do. It’s hard to call out your friends. It’s hard to make a video on Instagram about race! It’s hard. It’s really really uncomfortable.

It’s uncomfortable to know that I, simply because I was born white, I am benefitting from centuries of structures. I didn’t ask for it, but I have it. What do I do with it? Right? And we need to not expect ally cookies, as folks on Twitter call it, we need to take responsibility and not expect accolades and pats on the back when we do the right thing. Because that’s the other thing, the other trap we fall into. And I get it, because it’s hard, and you want recognition,.

I guess what I’m saying is that this has a lot more to do with us than you might think it does. It’s on us to make the world better and to quit kicking this problem down the road for somebody else to deal with and to see more lives lost, to see more people imprisoned and punished unfairly because of the colour of their skin.

That’s not the world that I want to leave behind me. I don’t think it’s the world that you want to leave behind, either.

So we need to do work, we need to support each other, and we need to lift up Black voices and Black experiences. We have to centre them and their experiences.

They’ve been telling us this for generations and they’re tired.

We need to help figure out our crap and do the right thing.

Links & Such

Super Simple Recording Set Up

Do you find yourself suddenly needing to record audio or do a PowerPoint voice over? It’s not as difficult as it may seem! I am in no way a tech person— I started a podcast with zero knowledge about audio recording and editing— so I hope my tips and information will ease some of your fears!

A Blue Yeti hooked up to my iPhone via adapter.

Simple Audio Set Up

First off, the built-in microphone on your laptop or computer is going to be pretty crappy. If possible, you want to use a USB microphone. Blue Snowball and Blue Yeti (pictured above) are both good choices and popular with podcasters. If you don’t have the budget to buy one, ask around and see if you can borrow one, but if you think you’ll use it a lot it is well worth the investment.

Read through the how-to and experiment a bit before using the mic. There are different pick-up patterns—you’ll want the cardioid setting, which picks up sound from the front of the microphone.

You’ll need a device to record your file. I use Voice Record 7 on my iPhone. It’s simple to use, but there are lots of settings you can change up if you want to get technical. You can save your file to Google, OneDrive, or DropBox, or email it to yourself as an attachment or link to download. I usually record as an MP3 file and email it myself via my phone’s email app.

Another reason I like Voice Record 7 is that the app also includes tools to do some basic editing. You can easily trim your audio or add bookmarks.

If you’re recording on your computer, you can plug the microphone right in, but for a smart phone you need an adapter. The USB mic will draw power from your phone, so it’s good to get an adapter that lets you plug in the phone while you record. For iPhone, this is Apple’s USB camera adapter (about $50). In my experience, I can get about 45 minutes of recording time for about 10% of my phone battery unplugged, but this is going to vary based on your phone and battery life.

Another option is to use what’s called a lav (lavalier) mic, which are available as both corded and wireless versions. These are the clip-on mics that you use when lecturing. They have a regular mic jack, so if you’re using an iPhone you will need the Lightning-to-Headphone adapter. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but be sure to check out the reviews and do a little Googling before you buy.

Check your sound quality and do a test recording before you start. The needle on the VU meter should be approaching the red zone, but not in it while you record. If you’re not picking up the sound well enough, experiment with placement of the mic. You can also adjust the gain (essentially the microphone’s sensitivity) on the microphone, if you have a Yeti, or in the recording app.

The needle on the VU meter (Volume Unit meter) should approach the red zone while you are speaking, but shouldn’t be in it. If the device isn’t picking up enough sound, adjust your microphone placement or adjust the gain on the microphone or in the recording app.

Finally, listen to your test recording for ambient sound. You may pick up more (or less) ambient sound than you would think. Make sure that the ambient noise isn’t overpowering or distracting. If you’re in a quiet office you should be fine.

If you’re more comfortable with recording tech, you can check out the open source software Audacity. This seems to be the go-to for indy podcasters. The interface isn’t as fancy as you might get with other programs, but there is a huge help community and it’s free.

When you’re ready to tackle audio editing, check out the free, open-source Audacity.

Before I learned Audacity, I started with GarageBand, which came with my Mac. I found the interface friendly and easy to use, so it was a good way for me to start getting familiar with audio editing (yes, I was starting with zero knowledge!). It’s not the greatest for podcasting, but if you’re looking to record a lecture or conference paper and want a bit of editing ability (but not too much) it very much does the job.

Recording a PowerPoint or Screen

If you’re recording over a PowerPoint presentation, it’s even easier. Use the built-in recording feature with a mic for best results.

If you have a webcam, you can include your face in the recording. Be sure to check the placement of the webcam in relation to your face, especially if you are using one build into your laptop. You probably don’t want to be looking down your nose at your audience the entire time! This can be simply fixed by stacking some books under your laptop until you are more “face on” to the camera.

Record your lecture over top of the slides. You can delete your recording for a particular slide and redo it at any point without having to redo the entire thing. When you’re finished, save it then export your recorded PowerPoint as a movie file. (Your saved PowerPoint file will be quite large!)

For screencasts, I use Screencastify. (You can see an example of one I did here.) It’s a free plug in for Chrome and you sign in with your Google account. When you being recording you have the option of recording your entire computer screen or only an app window. You can have up to four movies saved at any one time; just download and delete to create space for more. Screencastify also offers some basic editing as well.

The challenge with recording a screencast where you type is keyboard noise. I did a bit of research into how to reduce the sound and learned that gamers who live stream buy very expensive keyboards to minimize key clicks. That wasn’t in my budget.

Instead, I put padding under my keyboard to reduce vibrations against the desk and suspended the microphone from my ceiling so it was a bit further away from the keyboard and didn’t pick up vibrations through the stand. It wasn’t perfect, but you do what you can with the tools you have!

I hope this information has been helpful. Feel free to reach out with any questions you have. There are lots of ways to approach recording and a lot of different apps and programs available—this is just what I’ve done.

Invasion of the Podcasters: Podcasting 101

I’ll be talking about my podcasting experience and all the things I’ve learned (the hard way!) in a two-hour workshop for Brock University students, staff, and faculty Wednesday 11 March 2020.

Once a fringe medium, podcasting has slowly and steadily grown to become mainstream. While big network names like I Heart Radio and Radiotopia are increasingly familiar to podcast listeners, there’s still room for the indie podcaster. Podcasts are in vogue and the listenership is growing; Apple has over half a million active podcasts in their listings as of 2020 and according to Nielson, over 16 million people in the US alone are podcast fans.

Podcasting offers a personal connection to your audience in a way that traditional radio or print doesn’t. The format is adaptable. They’re easy to create with a little know-how and topics can be as niche or broad as you wish. But with an overwhelming 30 million podcast episodes floating in the ether, how do you make your voice heard?

Join Alison Innes, Social Media Coordinator for the Faculty of Humanities and independent podcaster for a “Podcasting 101” workshop. Alison will share her experience co-creating MythTake and talk about the challenges and opportunities of independent podcasting. Learn more about the podcasting landscape and get a sneak peek behind the scenes of her latest podcasting project for the Faculty of Humanities.

Is podcasting right for you? Come and find out!

Invasion of the Podcasters: Podcasting 101 (PowerPoint PDF)

Pod Analysis (PDF)

My podcasting links in Wakelet.

(Coming soon) Listen to the entire workshop on Brock University’s YouTube channel.

Podcasts mentioned (in no particular order):

  • The Endless Knot
  • Ologies
  • Footnoting History
  • What A Day
  • The Daily
  • The Intelligence
  • Daily Zeitgesit
  • You’re Wrong About
  • Dear Hank & John
  • This Podcast Will Kill You
  • The Trojan War Podcast
  • The Odyssey Podcast
  • History of Ancient Greece
  • MythTake
  • Better Podcasting
  • History Extra
  • In Defense of Plants
  • PetaPixel Photography
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • Sawbones
  • Standard Issue
  • Worst Year Ever

New works

I’ve been hard at work the past few weeks finishing off some of my works-in-progress and adding more to the list. I’ve updated my online portfolio–take a look, and if you see something you want, drop me a line!

Muggs

Muggs, in her sixteenth year, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully with assistance of the vet on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Born May 25, 2004 to a distinguished line of barn cats, Muggs is predeceased by her mother, Little Chubs, and two litter mates. Very early in her life, Muggs left rural farm life with her human to preside over a series of city apartments.

Muggs took the provision for and protection of her human very seriously, spending countless hours of the day and night watching for potential threats from errant birds and squirrels. She was highly trained in culinary arts, examining nearly every molecule of food consumed by her human for fifteen years. Her own refined palate was partial to delicacies including butter, Cheese Whiz, cereal milk, and tuna fish water.

True to her distinguished breeding, Muggs was a consummate hunter known for spending countless hours outside on her rope stalking bugs and microscopic prey. Despite her best efforts, which included bringing three live mice to her human in the course of one night (c. 2006), Muggs was unable to train her human in the finer points of hunting and this family trait dies with her.

In her free time, Muggs enjoyed gardening and communing with nature. She was particularly skilled in pruning grasses and houseplants, birdwatching, and hiding under bushes.

Among her lesser known talents was her skill as a visual artist, creating innovative masterpieces in acrylic, oil and digital media using her paws and fur on a variety of surfaces. She also experimented with textile arts and left her own mark on homemade baking from time to time.

Often misunderstood as aloof, high strung and anxious, Muggs was very affectionate with her human on her own terms. She was particularly concerned with her human’s rest and relaxation and dedicated endless hours to sitting on top of her human and human’s work. She was learned in both Greek and Latin, having spent hours with those texts. In her downtime, she relaxed with TV shows such as Bondi Vet and Great British Baking Show.

Muggs is very sadly missed and fondly remembered by her human, who extends a special thank you to the team at Garden City Cat Hospital for their excellent care and kindness during a very difficult process. Private internment at the farm. In lieu of flowers, she has requested that all humans give their kitties extra snuggles and treats in her memory.

Inside Out and Outside In: Public Scholarship in Classics

img_7499CAC/SCEC 2019 
McMaster University 
9 May 2019

Panelists: Amy Pistone, Darrin Sunstrum, Jeff Wright, Victoria Austen-Perry
Chair: Katherine Blouin
Organizers: Aven McMaster, Katherine Blouin, Alison Innes

When we talk about public outreach or public engagement with Classics, we tend to think of scholars communicating their research and ideas beyond the confines of the classroom or scholarly community. But there has always been a thriving community of non-traditional scholars who are interested in the Classical world and whose engagement with ancient history, literature, and culture can often reach a much wider audience than many scholars’ public outreach efforts. This panel will follow up on the 2018 CAC panel “Public Facing Scholarship in Canada” to continue the conversation about the place of public scholarship and the ways that members of the CAC can support it. The panel will highlight some of the people doing Classics outreach from positions other than tenure-track faculty, in particular how they take advantage of the possibilities offered by digital media, and will draw attention to ways that we can involve non-academics as contributors as well as audience and address the problem of gate-keeping within our discipline.

The Changing Face of Public Scholarship

Amy Pistone
Email:amypistone@gmail.com
Website: amypistone.com
Twitter: @apistone

For many academics, ‘public scholarship’ brings to mind things like Op-Eds in major newspapers, lectures for non-specialists, podcasts, or maybe even participation in a documentary. These forms of public engagement can often seem daunting or, at the very least, time consuming. Many academics are interested in engaging with a broader audience outside the academy, but do not feel like they have the ability to engage in a large-scale project.

This paper will look at a range of different ‘low stakes’ forms of public engagement that scholars at any stage of their career can use to connect with the broad classics community online. Digital tools offer simple ways to share our passion and expertise with a vibrant community ranging from high school students to non-traditional scholars to general enthusiasts of the ancient world. I will speak to my own personal use of blogging and social media (Twitter in particular) to make my scholarship more public-facing.

Finally, as a junior faculty member who does not have a permanent position, I will speak in particular to how the changing job market and the precarity of many young scholars has actually increased our public engagement, as we are rethinking what an academic career will look like and finding new models for how to be a classicist. I will also talk about how — paradoxically — decreased job prospects have actually empowered many young scholars to do more daring and controversial work in the public sphere, and highlight some of the most exciting examples of this work being done in the US, Canada, and the UK.

Podcasting and the Power of Conversation

Darrin Sunstrum
Email: dsunstrum@brocku.ca
Twitter: @darrinsunstrum / @mythtakepodcast
Podcast: MythTake

Podcasting provides a creative space to engage with the field of Classics from outside traditional academic spaces. The open access nature of podcasting extends teaching beyond the classroom and provides a friendly, accessible introduction to the Classics for the public. At the same time, podcasting allows us to expand the discussion of ideas beyond what is given in a course syllabus.

My own podcast provides a space to engage the public in a transdisciplinary conversation about Greek Mythology, connecting it to larger themes in culture and society. By blending scholarly literary analysis with discussion of contemporary issues, our conversational podcast invites listeners to engage with Classics. Equally it provides an important space for us to practice scholarship outside the traditional university framework and to contribute to the development of our field. By mediating the space between traditional academics and the public, podcasting is a fertile creative space for academics, independent scholars, and the public to come together.

On Being a 21st Century Homeric Bard

Jeff Wright
Email: jeff@trojanwarpodcast.com
Twitter: @trojanwarpod
Podcast: Trojan War Podcast, Odyssey: The Podcast

I spent the first 20 years of my professional life as a high school Humanities teacher. I loved serving as my students’ “point of first contact” with the amazing worlds of philosophy, literature, and history. Ten year ago, I decided to narrow my focus, to Greek Mythology and Homeric epic. I left the traditional classroom, and set out as a travelling Demodocus. For the next 7 years I performed Greek Epic – in bars, clubs and cruise ships; at the National Arts Centre and at Oxford University – but mostly in high school auditoriums. During those “live performance years” I developed an understanding of how contemporary audiences respond (or, frequently, fail to respond) to Homeric epic. I discovered the recurring “stumbling blocks” to contemporary audience’s understanding; and I learned the places where Homer continues to provoke delight, laughter, and tears.

In 2016 I launched Trojan War: The Podcast: an experiment in translating my live show to the medium of podcasting. The podcast consists of 20 hour-long episodes, each offering 45 minutes of serialized story, and 15 minutes of informal “teaching” on all things epic. My experiment succeeded. To date, the podcast has been downloaded 500K times, by listeners in 156 nations. A lot of diverse listeners, it turns out, are eager to dive into Greek Epic, if you package the content in a way they can access. Odyssey: The Podcast is due for release in 2019.

I suspect that in the years to come, podcasts will more and more become the “point of first contact” for students encountering the world of Greek Mythology and Homeric Epic. This paper will describe my experiences transmitting Classical content and scholarship to audiences outside of the university classroom, and share what I have learned about the value of such work for spreading a love of the ancient world and an understanding of its myth and literature. Our disciplines should talk; we share a common goal.

#WCCWiki – Using Wikipedia for Public Engagement and Mobilising Change

Victoria Austen-Perry
Email: victoria.austen@kcl.ac.uk
Twitter: @vicky_austen

As the fifth most visited website in the world, with more than 5 million articles in English and 30 million registered users, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia is arguably one of the most, if not themost, influential source of information available to us all. However, as with any community-based and collaborative project, Wikipedia is not devoid of prejudice – it is, as Victoria Leonard (2018) states, a ‘mirror that reflects society’s biases and prejudices back at us’. The facts and figures provided in articles do not just reflect what people know, but also reveal how they think about it, and what they think is important, and this is all too evident in the gender bias on display across the platform. Out of the 1.5m biographies on Wikipedia, only c.17% focus on women; and only 20% of those female profiles feature images. When it comes to classics specifically, an estimate in 2016 found that only 7% of biographies of classicists featured women – even when prominent women (such as Mirriam Griffin) were mentioned, it was merely in relation to their husbands. This disparity speaks to a general marginalisation and omission of women in academia, but it can also be linked to the fact that at least 85% of Wikipedia editors are men.

What can we do, then, to rectify such stark gender imbalances? The online activism of the Women’s Classical Committee UK (#WCCWiki), begun in 2017, has already made huge strides in combating these issues, not only by training new female editors, but also by hosting monthly online ‘editathons’ to create new or improve already-existing female classicist biographies. Since its inception, the project has already doubled the representation of female classical scholars on Wikipedia. In this paper, I will explore the role of Wikipedia in mobilising change through the lens of the #WCCWiki project; and provide a short lesson in how to become a Wikipedia editor yourself.

Bibliography
Times Higher Education
The Guardian
Wikipedia

Consciousness Raising: SCS Toronto 2017 – o pietas animi

The 2017 meeting of the Society for Classical Studies that took place from Jan. 5th-8th in Toronto had a common thread running through it: a growing interest among classicists to engage wider audie…

(Source: Hannah Čulík-Baird  Consciousness Raising: SCS Toronto 2017 – o pietas animi)

I found this in my Twitter feed this morning! Hannah Čulík-Baird has written a summary of a conversation that took place during the AIA/SCS annual conference.

Remember I was just blogging about my conflicting feelings about not being there? Turned out, thanks to Twitter, I was still a part of the conversation! Not only was MythTakes briefly mentioned in a panel (unbeknownst to me), but by picking up on the #aiascs hashtag at the right time, I joined the conversation about podcasting Classicists. This is a perfect example of the power of Twitter to widen conversations!

It’s also a very important conversation and I have more thoughts on it that I plan to work out here, but for now, please enjoy Hannah’s post!

in defence of millennials

This morning on Twitter the hashtag #HowToConfuseAMillennial is trending and of course it is filled with the usual stereotypes of millennials being ignorant, spoiled, precious snowflakes who expect the world handed to them on a silver platter. It makes me so angry.

I am only a few years off from being a millennial myself. Because I went back to university after working for a while, I identify much more with millennials than whatever my generation is. I’m in the same life stage as some millennials: trying to transition out of university life and into the working world, struggling still to find permanent employment in an economy that really sucks (through no fault of our own, I might add), and pay off the heavy student loans we acquired because, unlike earlier generations, a single university degree rarely seems to be enough to find employment and working unpaid internships has become de rigeur. 

I went to university with millennials and many of my close friends are millennials. They are establishing lives of their own as contributing members of society. They are raising children and trying to make their way in an economy that is not friendly to all (do the people writing the think pieces appreciate how much childcare costs these days?). We follow several generations that had unprecedented economic and education benefits. We can’t expect to get jobs without post-secondary education, so not attending college or university isn’t an option. Our predecessors could work the summer and pay their year’s university tuition; they defaulted on their student loans to the point that now, the only way to “get out of” OSAP (government) debt is death. Seriously. OSAP loans are immune to bankruptcy because an earlier generation of post-secondary students didn’t want to pay their thousand dollar debt. Now, we are graduating with $20k debt into no jobs, insecure part time jobs, or unpaid internships. We are criticized for living with family and not buying our own homes, but how can you buy a house when you can’t make a living wage? We didn’t create this economy; the people complaining about us not working did.

I have spent the past nine years teaching millennials in the university classroom and they are a diverse and fantastic bunch. I love my students. I love their energy and passion and their desire to learn. They are contributing to their society through their jobs and volunteer work. They are dealing with unprecedented anxiety levels and pressure to do well so they can get a job somewhere, somehow when they are done their degrees. They are struggling with financial and academic pressures in a social, political, and economic climate very different to that of the preceding generation. 

The millennial generation is as varied as any other. Are there millennials that fit the entitled stereotype? Sure, but there are entitled people in EVERY generation. They’re not unique to the millennial one. And before blaming them for being self-important, special little snowflakes, let’s take a minute to ask WHY they might be that way. Who raised them? Who gave them participation trophies and minimized competition so no one’s feelings got hurt? Who passed their school assignments so they wouldn’t feel the sting of failure or be left behind their friends? It wasn’t the millennials. It was the people now complaining about the millennials.

So if you want to confuse a millennial, here’s how: Tell them they need a university degree, but saddle them with debt. Shame them for living with their families, but price them out of the housing market. Criticize them for not working hard enough while you retire to sunny climes. Tell them they’re lazy for not working, but run the economy into the ground so there aren’t enough secure jobs to go around.  Tell them they need to be saving for retirement by the time they’re thirty, but don’t pay them a living wage. Sneer at them for being entitled after you’ve spent their lives telling them they are.