Teenage Revolution: How the 80s Made Me

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Gen X was kept at arm's length from businesses and celebrity. While every millennial might seem like an oversharing Kardashian, posting vacation photos on Facebook is actually less obnoxious than s couples' trapping friends in their houses to watch their terrible vacation slide shows. I think in many ways you're blaming millennials for the technology that happens to exist right now.

Now imagine being used to that technology your whole life and having to sit through algebra. Companies are starting to adjust not just to millennials' habits but also to their atmospheric expectations. Dan Satterthwaite, who runs the studio's human-relations department and has been in the field for about 23 years, says Maslow's hierarchy of needs makes it clear that a company can't just provide money anymore but also has to deliver self-actualization.

During work hours at DreamWorks, you can take classes in photography, sculpting, painting, cinematography and karate. When one employee explained that jujitsu is totally different from karate, Satterthwaite was shocked at his boldness, then added a jujitsu class.

Millennials are able to use their leverage to negotiate much better contracts with the traditional institutions they do still join. Although the armed forces had to lower the physical standards for recruits and make boot camp less intensive, Gary Stiteler, who has been an Army recruiter for about 15 years, is otherwise more impressed with millennials than any other group he's worked with.

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This generation is think, think about it before you do it," he says. They're coming in saying, 'I want to do this, then when I'm done with this, I want to do this. Here's something even all the psychologists who fret over their narcissism studies agree about: millennials are nice.

They have none of that David Letterman irony and Gen X ennui. The Internet was always positive and negative. And now it's ," says Shane Smith, the year-old CEO of Vice, which adjusted from being a Gen X company in print to a millennial company once it started posting videos online, which are viewed by a much younger audience. Millennials are more accepting of differences, not just among gays, women and minorities but in everyone. I prefer that to you're either supermainstream or a riot grrrl," says Tavi Gevinson, a year-old who runs Rookie, an online fashion magazine, from her bedroom when she's not at school.

It's hard, in other words, to join the counterculture when there's no culture.

Maybe that's why millennials don't rebel," she says. There may even be the beginning of a reaction against all the constant self-promotion. Evan Spiegel, 22, co-founder of Snapchat, an app that allows people to send photos, video and text that are permanently erased after 10 seconds or less, argues that it's become too exhausting for millennials to front a perfect life on social media.

But if you need the ultimate proof that millennials could be a great force for positive change, know this: Tom Brokaw, champion of the Greatest Generation, loves millennials. He calls them the Wary Generation, and he thinks their cautiousness in life decisions is a smart response to their world. Find new and better ways of doing things. And so that ethos transcends the wonky people who are inventing new apps and embraces the whole economy," he says. Sure, that might be delusional, but it's got to lead to better results than wearing flannel, complaining and making indie movies about it.

So here's a more rounded picture of millennials than the one I started with. All of which I also have data for. They're earnest and optimistic. They embrace the system. They are pragmatic idealists, tinkerers more than dreamers, life hackers. Their world is so flat that they have no leaders, which is why revolutions from Occupy Wall Street to Tahrir Square have even less chance than previous rebellions. They want constant approval--they post photos from the dressing room as they try on clothes. They have massive fear of missing out and have an acronym for everything including FOMO.

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  • They're celebrity obsessed but don't respectfully idolize celebrities from a distance. Thus Us magazine's "They're just like us! They're not into going to church, even though they believe in God, because they don't identify with big institutions; one-third of adults under 30, the highest percentage ever, are religiously unaffiliated.

    They want new experiences, which are more important to them than material goods. They are cool and reserved and not all that passionate. They are informed but inactive: they hate Joseph Kony but aren't going to do anything about Joseph Kony. They are probusiness. They're financially responsible; although student loans have hit record highs, they have less household and credit-card debt than any previous generation on record--which, admittedly, isn't that hard when you're living at home and using your parents' credit card.

    They love their phones but hate talking on them. They are not only the biggest generation we've ever known but maybe the last large birth grouping that will be easy to generalize about. There are already microgenerations within the millennial group, launching as often as new iPhones, depending on whether you learned to type before Facebook, Twitter, iPads or Snapchat.

    Those rising microgenerations are all horrifying the ones right above them, who are their siblings. And the group after millennials is likely to be even more empowered. They're already so comfortable in front of the camera that the average American 1-year-old has more images of himself than a 17th century French king. So, yes, we have all that data about narcissism and laziness and entitlement. But a generation's greatness isn't determined by data; it's determined by how they react to the challenges that befall them.

    And, just as important, by how we react to them. Whether you think millennials are the new greatest generation of optimistic entrepreneurs or a group of 80 million people about to implode in a dwarf star of tears when their expectations are unmet depends largely on how you view change. Me, I choose to believe in the children.

    God knows they do. The original version of this article said that Jean Twenge is a professor at the University of San Diego. Twenge is a professor at San Diego State University. Will Others Follow? The U. Photograph by Andrew B. Joel Stein. May 20, New York. Millennials 'We Can Do it Better.


    All rights reserved. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. It was the decade of young rebels, from the beginnings of the environmentalist movement in Germany to peace demonstrations in the East and West. A study shows: Germans remember the s with a deep sense of nostalgia. The 80s had a clear idea of friend and foe against the backdrop of the Cold War; things have become complicated since.

    Remember the hit song "99 Luftballons" also known for its English translation, "99 Red Balloons" sung by German artist Nena? There was no escape from this iconic tune that year, from the Hofgarten in Bonn, the public gardens in Germany's former capital where tens of thousands had formed a human chain to demonstrate for peace that summer, to the airwaves reaching either side of the Berlin Wall at the height of the Cold War.

    It was an era, when culture and politics could not have been any further removed from one another. This is exactly how many people remember those exciting days, the rebellious s: an era that saw more political events unfolding in quick succession and thus affecting the world of art and subculture than any other post-war decade. An online-survey conducted by the research center YouGov, which was carried out on behalf of the German news agency DPA, shows that the 80s are indeed still Germany's favorite decade.

    When asked in which post-war decade Germans would like to live, 23 percent opted for the s, followed by 18 percent who preferred the s, and 13 percent who decided in favor of the s and the s, respectively.

    Steven Soderbergh Makes 80s Nostalgia Revolutionary

    Only 9 percent gave preference to the s, and a mere 5 percent to the s, with the s being the least preferred decade with only 4 percent. The results of the study should hardly come as a surprise, as in the past few years a number of publications dealing with the subculture of the 80s became international bestsellers. There was also a great deal of hype around several exhibitions on art of the 80s. And more recently, German television, in cooperation with international broadcasters, showed a whole series on called "Deutschland '83" featuring images of teenagers in torn jeans taking to the streets and revolting against their parents while listening to the musical stylings of the day called "Neue Deutsche Welle" not to be confused with Deutsche Welle.

    In various surveys in the past few years, Berlin has repeatedly turned out to be among the world's three favorite cities, particularly among young people. Punk versus police: there were many clashes during demonstrations in the s, as was the case in this image taken in Berlin on May 9, This trend cannot be interpreted in isolation but has to be understood within the context of the remnants from the s that are still dotted all across the city. Most visitors flock to the remains of the Wall that once divided Berlin.

    Many young people say that it is the main attraction of the city, as the fall of the Berlin Wall was one of the few events to shed a positive light on Germany - especially since this event came about in a peaceful fashion and without a single shot being fired. The years preceding the fall of the wall on November 9, , were politically charged in a way that the world has not seen ever since. A badge of honor for many: activists in Germany still use this design to express their opposition to nuclear power. Meanwhile in the former West Germany, people joined peace marches and human chains across the country in the early s, protesting against the escalating arms race of the world's superpowers.

    Many also took part in demonstrations against the construction of nuclear power plants, with a now-iconic a yellow sticker attached to their jeans or leather jackets depicting the sun with a broad smile and featuring the words: "Nuclear power? No, thank you. Despite the peace movement gaining considerable momentum and being actively backed by certain political heavyweights, including former German Chancellor Willy Brandt, the rockets still ended up being stationed in West Germany.

    It wasn't before that the governments of the US and the then-Soviet Union agreed on a step-by-step disarmament process which saw the eventual departure of the Pershing II missiles from German soil. German soldiers in uniform were among those who took part in peace protests in Bonn's public gardens in October Despite being defeated by NATO, German environmentalists and peace activists still managed to make considerable headway during the 80s:.

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    In , the Green Party moved into the Bundestag, the lower chamber of the German parliament. Their signature look consisting of handmade sweaters and worn-out sneakers on their feet was not only a matter of personal preference but a sign of defiance directed at other parliamentarians. One out of five Germans below the age of 24 voted for the newly established Green Party - or for other alternative movements - starting with provincial elections in the early 80s and gaining considerable momentum to last.

    Germany also witnessed significant changes in attitudes towards homosexuality in the course of the s. Sexual acts among men continued to be illegal in West Germany, whereas in East Germany, that prohibition was restricted to acts involving minors only. Painting their murders as suicides, Veronica and J. Veronica manages to foil J.

    The tale of two girls who form an obsessive friendship and then plot to murder the mother of one of them made headlines around the world and prompted a rash of insalubrious and sensationalist coverage, accusing the girls of everything from being lesbian Satanists to symbols of the moral decline of civilization. Jackson said that his intention was to focus on the friendship between the girls rather than the crime, and it is in this respect that it truly shines.

    The fantasy world the girls create, from their hysterical love of opera singer and movie star Mario Lanza , to creating and populating their own imaginary land and nurturing secret hatreds, perfectly captures the otherworldliness that makes teenage friendships so memorable and so dangerous. The fizzing chemistry between Winslet and Lynskey drives a pitch-perfect script which richly deserved its Oscar nod and makes it all-too believable when the friendship becomes unhinged, and spills over into the territory of tragedy.

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    Set at a nightmarish boarding school somewhere in Britain, it focuses on Mick, who is relentlessly bullied by the Whips, senior boys in self-appointed positions of authority. But Mick and his friends Richard Warwick and David Wood kick against the system, culminating, after a brutal corporal punishment scene, in the boys finding automatic weapons and firing on the other pupils, staff and their parents — a scene that was shocking then, and has lost none of its power over the years thanks to the tragic events at Columbine and elsewhere.

    But in its state-of-the-nation satire, and its surreal, almost Bunuelian tone, the film lasts far beyond the wave of counter-culture it rode originally, and remains a real landmark of British cinema. Directed by photographer Larry Clark , the story centers on Telly Leo Fitzpatrick , Casper the late Justin Pierce , Jennie Chloe Sevigny and Ruby Rosario Dawson , four under-aged New York teenagers, who spend their time partaking in drugs, unprotected sex, and violence attacking a random man in a skate park.

    Certainly cast-wise, Coppola delivered. The frighteningly young and attractive cast play the Greasers, a gang of poor teens in s Tulsa, whose rivalry with the wealthier Socs becomes a war after Johnny Macchio kills their leader Bob Leif Garrett. But its gorgeous black-and-white lensing, boundary-pushing Stewart Copeland score, greater focus, and the depth of feeling in the central performances all undeniably make it the superior picture. But his little hobby gathers steam after a classmate commits suicide, kicking off a minor revolution among his classmates, bringing in the attentions of beguiling student Nora Samantha Mathis , the FCC and his corrupt principal Annie Ross.

    Plus the sheer fury it feels — thanks in particular to the superb performances by Wood, Mineo and especially Dean who would all meet tragic fates themselves after filming wrapped — still feels like a firecracker today. Wannabe Tracy Evan Rachel Wood will do anything to become popular in her freshman year, and she soon finds it in her best friend — and popular It girl — Evie Nikki Reed. Their romance is just as romantic and heartfelt as what Shakespeare wrote down, but with an added dash of A-list class and social commentary. On top of that, the rise of gangs, like the Jets, establishes a growing problem in America at the time: the collapse of the nuclear family.

    Jet leader Riff Russ Tamblyn finds that a gang is more of a family than the one he was born into.