I’m a killennial. You haven’t heard of us? Well, then, let me explain. I’m part of a growing group that wants to kill anybody who uses the "m" word in public.
We’re not defined by demographics: some of us are seasoned marketers who first developed these murderous instincts when exposed to similar bollocks about Gen X many years ago, but others are younger types whose homicidal desires stem from constantly being misrepresented in such stereotypical ways. It’s more of an attitudinal thing: we tend to share a belief in empirical data and over-index on TGI statements such as: "I’m normally a mild-mannered person but sloppy strategies make me go a bit psycho."
For any law enforcement officers reading, it’s important to emphasise that we rarely put these violent tendencies into action (speaking personally, there was that unfortunate awayday massacre in Slough a few years ago and a couple of strangled researchers – but that’s about it). This is partly because we are usually in a minority in the room and our targets are typically defended by forests of flipcharts.
But it’s also because our opponents are so hard to pin down: one minute they’re claiming that millennials are self-centred, the next that they’re civic-minded; one minute that they want instant gratification, the next that they’re anxious about the future; one minute that they shun the status quo, the next that they’re arch-conformists.
When our nemeses can’t even agree on an age-band (depending on who’s talking, the label has
been applied to anyone born between 1976 and 2004), it’s hard to take aim.
Instead, our death wishes are largely fantasies. We fulminate at conferences and board meetings, dreaming about ever more fitting ways to annihilate these nincompoops. When pundits argue that millennials never watch TV, we want to bludgeon them with every single televisual device there is. When experts say that today’s youth don’t like brands, we want to poison their Starbucks, Coca-Colas and Fever Trees. When critics say they’re the most important audience in every market, we want to reverse over them in a new 4x4.
Of course, we know that these dark feelings are very wrong. But then so are most of the foundations of the millennial creed. And once you’ve heard – for the umpteenth time – that a quarter of the population are exactly the same as each other but also completely different from all previous generations, it can send you over the edge. So I feel a sensible jury would look kindly on anyone who was provoked by a pen portrait of Savvy Sophie or Ethical Ethan.
Anyway, apologies if this sounds a teensy bit extreme, but I hope you’ll see that my little cull would be more like pest control than mindless slaughter. Wasps not badgers, if you like. The truth is that "millennial" traits span the ages. And if you want proof that other generations can be equally lazy, selfish and shallow – look no further than this piece.
Andy Nairn is a founding partner of Lucky Generals