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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 6, 1951)
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Why haven't w heard from today's youth?
IN TIME, this week, appears "The Younger
Generation". . . a major report on the nation's
silent, cryptic youth. The following are excerpts:
Youth today is waiting for die hand of fate to fall on
its shoulders, meanwhile working fairly hard and
saying almost nothing. The most startling fact about
the younger generation is its silence ... It does not
issue manifestos, make speeches or carry posters'. It
has been called the ' Silent Generation."
But what does the silence mean? What, if any
thing, does it hide? Or are youth's elders merely
hard of hearing?
But youth is taking its upsetting uncertainties with
extraordinary calm. When the U. S. began to real
ize how deeply it had committed itself in Korea,
youngsters of draft age had a bad case of jitters;
but all reports agree that they have since settled
down to studying or working for as long as they
can. The majority seem to think that war with
Russia is inevitable sooner or later, but they feel
that they will survive it.
Hardly anyone wants to go into the Army; there is
little enthusiasm for the military life, no enthusiasm
for war. Youngsters do not talk like heroes; they
admit freely that they will try to stay out of the
draft as long as they can. But there is none of the
systematized and sentimentalized antiwar feeling of
the '20s. Pacifism has been almost nonexistent since
WerM War II; to are Oxford Oaths.
Butyouth's ambitions have shrunk. Fewyoungstc
today want to mine diamonds in South Africa,
ranch ia Paraguay, climb Mount Everest, find a
cure for cancer, sail around the world, or build an
industrial empire. Some would like to own a small
independent business, but most want a good job
with a big firm, and with it, a kind of suburban idyll.
The younger generation can still raise hell. The
significant thing is not that it does, but how it goes
about doing it. Most-of today's youngsters never
seem to lose their heads; even when they let them
selves go, an alarm clock seems to be ticking away
at the back of their minds; it goes offsooner or later,
and sends them back to school, to work, or to war.
The younger generation seems to drink less. 4 'There
is nothing glorious or inglorious any more
about getting stewed, " says one college profes
sor. Whether youth is more or less promiscuous than
it used to be is a matter of disagreement
Fact is that it is less showy about sex ... As a
whole, it is more sober and conservative, but in in
dividual cases, e.g., the recent dope scandals, it
makes Flaming Youth look like amateurs.
Educators across the U. S. complain that young
people seem to have no militant beliefs. They do
not speak out for anything. Professors who used
to enjoy baiting students by outrageously praising
child labor or damning Shelley now find that they
cannot get a rise out of the docile note-takers in
their classes. : ' '
The only two issues about which the younger
generation seemed to get worked up are race rela
tions and world government; but neither of these
issues rouses anything approaching an absorbing
Many students and teachers blame this lack of
conviction on fear the fear of being tagged "sub
versive. Today's generation, either through fear,
passivity or conviction, is ready to conform.
But God (whoever or whatever they understand by
that word) has once more become a factor in the
younger generation's thoughts. The old argument of
religion v. science is subsiding; a system which does
not make room for both makes little sense to today's
younger generation. It is no longer shockingly un
fashionable to discuss God.
He is short on ideals, lacks self-reliance, is for per
sonal security, at any price. He. singularly lacks
flame. In spite of this, he makes a good, efficient
soldier relying on superior firepower.
The best thing that can be said for American
youth, in or out of uniform, is that it has learned
that it must try to make the best of a bad and diffi
cult job, whether that job is life, war, or both. The
generation which has been called the oldest young
generation in the world has achieved a certain
Young people do not feel cheated. And they do
not blame anyone. Before this generation, "the
were always to blame. It was a standard prewar
feeling that "they had let them down. But this
generation puts the blame on life as a whole, not
on parents, politicians, cartels, etc.
Says a TIME correspondent in Boston: "You
cannot say of themYouth Will Be Served? because
the phrase suggests a voracious striking out front
security, wealth and stability. The best you can say
for this younger generation is, Youth Will Serve.
With reports on subjtcxa lik this and
on subjects growing even more directly out of the
headlines TIME each week attracts 1,600,000 of
America's alert, most intelligent, most influential
families ... the families who do the most planning,
recommending and buying in the home and out.
Every week, these people are America's largest
audience of best customers.
Every week they take TIME to get it StraiK
Tho Wccldy Ncv;cmagasino
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