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Stephanie Leary



Writer and WordPress consultant



Updated: 2017-08-31T15:12:08Z

 



We’re not Xennials. We’re Prodigies.

2017-07-01T06:40:21Z

There’s Now a Name for the Micro Generation Born Between 1977-1983, and according to Dan Woodman at the University of Melbourne, it’s… Xennials. I’ve heard other names, quickly shrugged off: the grunge generation, the Oregon Trail generation, Generation Y. …There’s Now a Name for the Micro Generation Born Between 1977-1983, and according to Dan Woodman at the University of Melbourne, it’s… Xennials. I’ve heard other names, quickly shrugged off: the grunge generation, the Oregon Trail generation, Generation Y. None quite fit. I don’t think Xennials does, either. It’s a mashup term, a shipper name for the two things you desperately want to bring together. The thing is, a name produced by Venn diagramming labels already given to other generations doesn’t fit us. We’re not the overlap between the Gen X and Millennial generations. We’re the gap between them–and the bridge. Our salient characteristic is not the seven years of our birth. It’s that we spent our seven teenage years in the mid ’90s, specifically 1995 and 1996: the years the internet matured and home computers became affordable for the middle class. Before that, if you’d been on the internet at all, you were very likely an upper-middle class subscriber to one of the companies that tried to create walled gardens of insipid internet-delivered pablum: Prodigy, CompuServe, or AOL (in that order). After 1996 or so, it became commonplace to have one of those services, or a connected computer you could use a little bit at school, or dialup at home through a local ISP, or a shiny new ethernet port in the wall of your dorm or office–and to use those things to explore the parts of the internet that hadn’t been built or curated by your provider. The internet at large was pervasive among the middle class by the late 90s. The original providers started eating their oxen and dying of dysentery before the boom years finished them off entirely. And the important thing for our generation is that we encountered the new, wild-grown internet when we did. It arrived in our homes and high schools just as we were shaping our worldviews, and it wrenched us from local to global perspectives. We went online, we looked up fans and hobbyists talking and teaching about our favorite things, and we made friends. They were from all over the world! It was cool! It was more than cool;, as it turned out: it gave us an ambient awareness of the daily lives of people in other countries. Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook have amplified this awareness to a constant scream, but it was there on mailing lists and in IRC chats and in newsgroups. Our teenage pen-pals were internet users, and we got to talk to them almost daily. Generation X were mostly adults when they underwent the internet paradigm shift, with mixed results. In my work, I encounter a lot of Gen Xers who understand the usefulness of the web (or hell, built the thing), but are just not enthused about social media networks. They’re on Facebook so they can share pictures of their kids with their parents… and that’s about it. If they work in a field that doesn’t keep them online all day, it’s easy for them to retreat to the local sphere of awareness. Millennials didn’t have to shift their paradigms at all; for them, the internet was always there once they started school, woven throughout their childhoods and educations. They grew up thinking globally–though somewhat hobbled by their incomplete social studies educations, since they’re also the No Child Left Behind generation.   Our generation did have to shift paradigms, and we didn’t yet have many teachers or parents who could explain this new world to us. We walked that bridge from analogue childhood to digital adulthood, one by one. Some of us didn’t take to it–the kinds of people who didn’t enjoy dinking around on dialup on a Saturday afternoon, soaking up the world’s coolest-looking assembly of human kno[...]



Fascism Watch is done.

2017-04-07T17:12:23Z

It’s been a month since my last Fascism Watch post, and at this point I have to admit that the temporary hiatus is now permanent. I hadn’t planned to take a break, but once I’d been away from it for …

It’s been a month since my last Fascism Watch post, and at this point I have to admit that the temporary hiatus is now permanent. I hadn’t planned to take a break, but once I’d been away from it for over a week, I realized just how drained I really was.

A lot has changed since late November. People are investigating Trump’s Russian connections and whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com is doing a pretty good job of summarizing the news, among other things. I don’t feel like I’m leaving you in a complete vacuum.

My politics Twitter list, where I got most of the links I shared here, is public. Feel free to subscribe.

Thanks for keeping the Watch with me.




Fascism Watch, March 7

2017-03-08T05:03:27Z

Trump China Warns of Arms Race After U.S. Deploys Missile Defense in South Korea What Happens When We Don’t Believe the President’s Oath? Donald Trump White House ‘targeting US journalists with help from Russian intelligence’, former NSA analyst says Trump’s …Trump China Warns of Arms Race After U.S. Deploys Missile Defense in South Korea What Happens When We Don’t Believe the President’s Oath? Donald Trump White House ‘targeting US journalists with help from Russian intelligence’, former NSA analyst says Trump’s administration, having plagiarized Exxon’s press release, is now taking credit for projects launched before the election. Trump budget would slash Coast Guard funding: report Longtime Trump Adviser Calls Critic a “Stupid Ignorant Ugly B—-” which is no surprise to anyone who’s ever listened to a word that comes out of Roger Stone’s misogynist mouth. Congress Chaffetz: Americans May Have To Choose Between New Phone, Health Insurance I mean, it's one cell phone, Michael. What could it cost, thirteen thousand dollars annually with a $200 per-visit deductible? pic.twitter.com/hkpqirQ12b — von (normal) rosceau (@VonRosceau) March 7, 2017 The Ethics Case Against Betsy DeVos As former ethics counsels to Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, we’ve reviewed more than our share of ethics filings for cabinet nominees. Seldom have we seen a worse cabinet-level ethics mess than that presented by Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s choice for education secretary. Her extensive financial holdings present significant—and unresolved—conflict of interest issues. She also failed to provide the Senate with accurate information about her involvement with outside organizations. We have regretfully come to the conclusion that these concerns disqualify DeVos for that cabinet position. Nearly 250 education and civil rights groups say they oppose Betsy DeVos. Kellyanne Conway says the opposition to DeVos isn’t from “real people.” Democrats are holding the Senate floor all night to rally opposition to DeVos. [...]