Let me introduce myself….

Hello, my name is Frederick Heller. I grew up, went to school and currently reside in southern New Jersey. I am a 24-year-old, recent graduate of Rowan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a minor in journalism.

I have decided to start this blog after a period of seeming post-graduation stasis, one in which I have been constantly questioning the ways in which I wanted to apply the tools I acquired at Rowan University and apply them in a way meaningful to me. Having been a part of running a blog and constructing my own blog while at school, this medium seemed like an appealing way to try to do this.

I’m sure that after seeing my fields of study, it is obvious that I enjoy and have invested time and interest into the craft of writing. Another thing that has captured my attention throughout my young life has been the “political” world or the world of American social issues. This has been evident for as long as I can remember: I was the 4th grader whose attention was captured by the 2000 presidential election, the 18-year-old who could not wait to vote, the guy who uses social media to find sources on, share and discuss current issues. To put it tenderly, I am a clear and unabashed nerd.

However, what has not always been clear is that these two realms of interest would prove to be two that I would want to/know how to combine. But as I have gone through some early life changes, what has become clear to me is that I both enjoy and seem to be able to somewhat effectively provide my own insight into politics, social issues and so on.

So, after extended thought on the subject, I have decided to filter my interests and voice into this project: Millennial Rage.

Why so mad?

‘Millennial Rage’ is a term that I have heard repeatedly–or has stuck out more to me–in the last few years. I am not sure of its origins, but I do know that it is meant to relay an attitude of discontent that has grown amongst my millennial generation (those born between 1980 and the 2000s).

If you look at the political and social landscape that the millennials see staring back at them, I think it is obvious where this discontent comes from. The millennial generation–my generation–will see radical shifts in what is deemed normal or modern civilization, will be forced to confront those changes amidst an array of institutional decay, and will do so burdened by the financial and political failures of previous generations.

We live in an era in which the American middle class has evaporated, long-existing economic and social disparities have been exasperated, educational systems have both failed and skyrocketed in price, and the legacy of American exceptionalism has seen our geopolitical world grow more tumultuous.

And now, as we stand upon the cusp of millennial assertion of will in our culture, these mounting issues and fledgling institutions loom as a source of defeated apathy. However, all our prior generations seem to see is this apathy, not it’s possible sources, and through this apathy they dismiss us as the “generation of the whining and entitled.”

While I acknowledge that my generation’s apathy is our greatest shortcoming, I refuse to accept it as a defining characteristic. Rather, I see it as a symptom of what we know must be confronted in a world that science tells us is changing in ways humans have never seen before.

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#Ferguson protest in Memphis, Tenn. (Image by Chris Wieland is licensed by CC 2.0)

 

When I hear ‘millennials,’ I don’t just think of a generation consumed with themselves, buried in their phones. Instead, I think of a generation heavily involved in and witnessing the changes wrought by activism: #BlackLivesMatter, the Human Rights Campaign, green activism, and so on. I think of a generation that is more active as volunteers and humanitarians and eventually as organizers, then either of the previous two.

So, to try and sum up, this project is about reacting to this moment in time from the lense of a millennial. This project is about trying to provide an insight into how the realities of my generation don’t necessarily translate to those that preceded it, and, quite frankly, how they could and should not.

Moving forward 

From here, I hope to begin posting on a regular basis about the issues that pop up over time in a few different ways. I hope to produce posts that capture my initial incredulity with certain social issues, respond or provide my opinion on trends that I notice, and occasionally go more in depth and research larger concepts that seem to come to the forefront. As time goes on, I hope to be able to open this up to other projects in regards to different forms of media.

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Green activists protesting outside the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Image by kris krug is licensed under CC 2.0)

Full disclosure: I am a political and social liberal, and this fact will be evident in my opinions and the issues I tend to look into. That being said, I welcome discussion and opposing opinion, but do so with the desire that said conflicting ideals be presented in a realm where facts, accuracy, and reliable sources are valued.

While I proudly identify as a liberal, I resist the urge to generalize and sort people into two categories: conservative and liberal. I think that the most toxic, most polarizing, most divisive trend that has developed in recent political and social history has been this trend to separate ourselves, draw lines and refuse to believe that there could possibly be issues in which we can find common ground. I see this trend as one that has been exasperated by crony capitalists, a failed media and leaders who have been unwilling or unable to cut through the noise created by the former two.

As we move forward, my greatest desire is not just to write or respond to issues, but to show that nuance is the missing ingredient in our discourse and that these nuances tend to tie us together as opposed to hold us apart.

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