A week ago, popular columnist Njoki Chege shook the blogosphere with a piece that claimed today’s cohort of young men has increasingly become spineless, lazy and ambitionless. She referred to the ill-fated generation as Blueband boys, which I assume was an inference to what they were fed for breakfast while growing up.
My old man, Grandpa Richard, is of the opinion that all my comrades, irrespective of their gender, are exhibiting characteristics peculiar to a Blueband generation. The metaphor, he states, transcends beyond their squishiness and the amount of fat in their bodies. “The problem with your comrades is that they’re all nothing but sugar, ice-cream and laziness incarnates,” says the greybeard whom it is rumoured that he fed on ballast for breakfast while growing up.
During their time, Grandpa and his peers were gristly, sinewy and hard as nails. Theirs was a generation that never anticipated instant gratification, and thus they had to labour in order to eat their own sweat—sometimes literally. Growing up, they were expected to do their chores in the morning, attend school during the day and wind up by entertaining themselves with hoes (pun unintended) at the garden.
Flip the coin to present day comrades who have been raised with nannies at their beck and call ready to satisfy their every whim. They wouldn’t raise a finger to help with the chores and wouldn’t recognize a calloused hand if they were smacked right across the face with one. Their idea of work is playing video games from dusk to dawn and following Fera Sticker on Instagram. It’s a national disgrace and Grandpa Richard wants something to be done about it.
I once mentioned how during Grandpa’s time when someone turned 16, they were kicked out of their parents’ house and forced to find their own domiciles. If they couldn’t find a house, they were expected to build one with their own two hands. But my present-day comrades prefer to cozy up at their mama’s long after graduation; sucking on the familial tit for 30 years more than God intended.
To add salt to injury, the mollycoddled generation claims to be suffering from all kinds of disorders such as ‘learning disorder’, ‘mood disorder’, bipolarity et al. To Grandpa, all these disorders are just but excuses to skive work. There is nothing wrong with a comrade that a 12-hour work shift cannot fix.
And their emotions seem to be none the tougher. When a well-meaning columnist points to them their warts, they will fold up at a corner in Twitter from where they will cry and hurl epithet-ridden hashtags like a child throwing tantrums.
“Yours is a generation of spongy cry-babies who wouldn’t survive a day on this world if we took away your Instagram accounts, nightly internet bundles and skinny jeans.” says Grandpa Richard. “You need to let go of your YOLOs and devise ways to strengthen your resolve, bodies, minds and souls. The time for handling you with kid-gloves is long over.”