My Generation and “Me” Generation

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By Tiberiu Dianu


Back in my high school years, I had discovered James Joyce and became a fan of his literature. In fact, I was so much into him, that I decided to enter a regional English Literature essay competition. There I won a second prize award for an essay dealing with his autobiographical work. I have been keeping my award ever since, together with my personal documents and school transcripts, in a safe place at home.

Part of those years I spent deepening my knowledge into his works, and particularly in Dubliners, The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake. Although regarded as an apolitical author, Joyce was, in fact, sympathetic to the radical political movements of his time, particularly in anarchism, syndicalism (revolutionary unionism) and socialism, which, in those years, were influential for the avant-garde writers on their road to literary modernism.

During these years, after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency in 2016 fair and square, playing by all the rules of the democratic game, our nation has started to be confronted with a resurgence of the Left (both moderate and  radical-anarchist), the big loser of the elections.

Soon after the elections were called, an insurgence of anti-Trump rioters erupted in the cities of Baltimore, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Portland. The rioters went passive-aggressive. From cry to anger, from defense to offense. They seem to have forgotten the rules of the game. Now, albeit in minority, they want to change the rules.

I saw scenes of “re-Joyce” (no pun intended!) for destruction, during an “Odyssey” where, after their “Election Day Wake,” “Portlanders” have morphed into “Portraits of Anarchists as Young Men.” Then, I started to wonder, like Seinfeld: “Who ARE these people?” And I think I know.

Let me attempt to “paint” a “portrait” in 15 quick brushstrokes (in no particular order). They are the Generation of “Me,” consisting of those who:

(1) Are told they are “special.”

(2) Are told they are still “winners” when they lose.

(3) Receive awards for getting on the 5th place or lower.

(4) Play games without keeping scores.

(5) Call their parents on their first name and treat them as their “best friends.”

(6) Don’t see their fathers much or at all.

(7) Are peaceniks in times of war and warriors in times of peace.

(8) Text to each other when they sit at the same table.

(9) Text when they stay, text when they walk, and don’t hear when you ask them for directions.

(10) Use their reproductive system for sex, but don’t accept it for reproduction.

(11) Want to change the “family” definition by ignoring family’s basic function of natural reproduction.

(12) Believe Marxism is an “interesting” philosophy, but “incorrectly applied.”

(13) Say that “property sucks,” but demand that everyone is entitled to a “fair” share.

(14) Play “politically correct” when they run out of arguments.

(15) Love democracy when they win, and secession when they lose.

In the end, there is a silver lining for the Left, during the next four (eight?) years of Trump administration, and particularly for:

(1) Alec Baldwin, who will keep his pathetic SNL job as a Donald Trump impersonator.

(2) Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen, who will sputter with his heaved voice the same linear “protest songs.”

(3) Beyoncé, who will shape the “Formation” of a new generation of young African-American girls, teaching them about the moral values of being “bootylicious.”

(4) Madonna, Cher, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Amy Schumer, Samantha Bee (oops, she’s Canadian!), Adele (oops, she’s British!), and all the cohort of Pantsuit Nation feminist “bitches” (how they like to be called) with their pink pussyhats, who will make us “hear them roar” about their “vagina monologues” and “girls’ power.”

(5) Spike Lee, who will realize that “Father Knows Best” is not “over” yet.

Instead, he, the Father, will return to his abandoned home. And, with the former Single Mother, together they will try to fix their broken family. And pick their sons and daughters up from the streets and get them back to school or work, where they belong. Sons and daughters who are rioters now. And who are looting the cities of Baltimore, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Portland.

This is the “Me” Generation on steroids.


TIBERIU DIANU has published several books and a host of articles in law, politics, and post-communist societies. He currently lives and works in Washington, DC and can be followed on MEDIUM.

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    Hopefully, the four (possibly eight) years of Trump presidency will help the anti-presidential demonstrators to change their erratic behavior for the better.


    Trump’s electoral victory has been followed by a period of resurgence of the radical left. The rebels initiated massive demonstrations in several US cities. The scenes of that period could be described with some Joyce book titles, which the author of the article aptly emphasizes. There are people who don’t see beyond their own interests and ignore the world around them because they live in a universe of computers and smart phones.

  3. DANIELA says

    This article makes a beautiful comparison between the characters from James Joyce’s books and the Americans in the post-election Trump era. Joyce was a sympathizer of the radical political movements of his time.

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