Boomer touchy-feely values fading?

Is it just me, or is TANSTAAFL1 making a serious comeback?

All around me I seem to be seeing people broadly agreeing with the notion of “shut up and train,” “no pain, no gain,” and other anti-whining statements such as “welcome to my life.”

What I’m hearing a lot less of, and seeing almost none of, is excuse-driven behavior.  Oh sure, the parents are still trying to push it down folks’ throats.  But I’m seeing credible behavior out of my students.  Where I’m seeing the opposite are all the places you’d expect to see it:  telemarketers2, politicians and assorted “civil servants”3, and yuppie scum4.


  1. TANSTAAFL:  “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”  Check the wiki if this is new to you..
  2. I’ve been a telemarketer.  Shut up.  You personally may not be scum, but 80% of the profession is, and you know it.
  3. As I’ve now started teaching in community college, I fall into this category:  I am a civil servant whose job is to give folks a leg up in history:  I’m part of a little horde whose task is to make sure that the widest possible group of citizens understands what is required to keep our government afloat for the next generation to inherit.  A public-institution teacher who does not understand that he is a minor civil servant is a disaster-in-waiting.
  4. Especially real-estate investment bankers, but particularly that god-awful subset of yuppie that insists on fobbing off their parenting duties onto other people while simultaneously attempting to dictate that it be performed in the least-responsible manner possible.

Hat Tip:  John Scalzi.

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  1. Not in San Francisco it ain’t….

    Oh, btw, you hit the nail on the head in footnote 4: investment bankers are the scum of the universe. SCUM.

  2. I know. I work with them.

    I would be surprised if it were different in SF: One, you’ve got Haight-Ashbury, where folks celebrated the notion that you could find enlightenment in a dime bag, and, Two, you’d actually have to have a native generation of its own to speak of. Over in the Bay, I can see that. But the number of natives in our generation that I met… I was only there a year, but I could literally count them on one hand. And still hold my coffee cup.

  3. Mike

     /  September 7, 2006

    To quote the great Army running Jody “You gotta deal with it”. I think that is one of the reasons I like the army as a institution, we tend to be open, direct and effective when dealing with issues. And our biggest challenges come from someone who isn’t a soldier dictating to us changes “we” need to make because we are “insensitive” to things. I am glad we are at war, the sensitivity issue isn’t so big a deal now, but some of the problems that feel under it are now being dealt with in a direct “yeah you are insulted, now get over it and fix it” method.

    Death to touchy-feely (outside of the bedroom that is).

  4. Yep. “Suck it up” has a lot to recommend it.

  5. Mike

     /  September 8, 2006

    New rule:


    “Mike’s UN Rule – The effectiveness of an organization or person is inversely proportional to the amount of talking/negotating that they do”.


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