As any cynic knows, the easiest targets are previous generations. It’s simple for millennials to be cynical toward people who are older than us:
- They’ve already had a shot at running the world. That means all remaining problems must be the result of them screwing up.
- They have different views of morality and propriety. This obviously means they’re prudish, bigoted, narrow-minded, and generally wicked.
- They’re, well, old. So we can point to hilarious examples of why they’re silly–look at those old people with their sagging skin and high pants and McDonalds coffee! They can’t even use Facebook right!
When cynics look further into the past, things get even easier. We can make whatever sarcastic joke we want. It could be unfair, and even untrue (Victorians were afraid of sex! Puritans hated fun! The Middle Ages were full of ignorant superstition!). It still sticks.