Slackers, unite!

Next month I'll graduate and be just another unemployed slacker.

I'll move back in with my parents and talk about how if life isn't like the Love Boat then it's not even worth trying.

At least that's what I'm supposed to do, being an X'er and all.

But anyone who still believes in that Generation X garbage probably thinks that a new Buick is the pinnacle of style.

The truth is, it's a little early to be giving up on our generation. We may not be CEOs, but we're not even 30 yet. And if we never make a million, so what?

Of course many of us resist the pull of the rat race. And with good reason: In my middle-class high school, many of my friends' parents who had been loyal to a company for 25 years lost their jobs during Bush's non-recession. My friend Dylan's dad had a Ph.D. in physics and ended up delivering pizzas in his later years.

So many of us swore off that merry-go-round long ago. I personally decided to live a Waldenesque existence and not become a slave to the accumulation mentality, or something like that.

But then my senior year had to go and become contaminated with the Contract with America and more Rush Blowhard and that . that trial.

Now I'm wondering, who's going to be there to stop the next Golf Pro Congress from putting schoolchildren on chain gangs and calling it "Working for Education" if everyone who ever went to college in the '90s is hiding out in a barn and making a statement by not voting?

Who will tell the rest of the story when the next well-fed radio announcer makes his fortune telling people that the environment is in its best condition ever, since the gutting of that damned Endangered Species Act?

And (forgive me on this one) who's going to take over the prosecution's case when Marcia Clark retires?

Seriously, I'm beginning to think it would be frightening to sit around and let power-hungry Newt-alikes do all the work. Imagining the U.S. 20 years from now without any of my peers in power brings to my mind images of a world that doesn't place any value on families like mine: My niece would be graduating from an orphanage while her mother struggles to find a "pink collar" job. My parents would be spending their retirement in a tent and the only things I would have gained would be a bunch of new rules to protect me from myself and a minimum wage that would force me to give up my sleeping hours to pay the rent.

But it's up to people like me and my like-minded "slackers" to make sure that doesn't happen. There's a lot of smart people with good ideas being written off by the older generations as being lazy, apathetic, uninspired. But you know what? Those same people elected Nixon to the presidency twice.

And if you don't have what it takes to go to Capitol Hill, don't worry. There are several ways to take control. We can vote, educate ourselves, vote, volunteer for a social organization, support a campaign and vote.

So does being "slackers" mean that we make a profession of slacking off, or does it mean that we're responsible for picking up years of slack left by our predecessors' years of neglect?

Ask me again in 20 years.

Jennifer Sargent is a senior in creative writing. Don't worry, she'll be out of here in August.

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