Narcissism Now

The Santa Barbara shooting has me thinking about the seriousness of entitlement mindsets and the danger they pose.  America’s been complaining about spoiled, self-centered youth for generations now, but has it reached a tipping point?  A point where the children are failed–if not actively reinforced–by parents who essentially share their warped views?

Two examples from the current semester:

A young man and his father arranged a meeting with me to complain about how a low grade on a final exam lowered his semester grade from an A to a B.  There was no cogent argument made that this was inaccurate grading, just an expression of dissatisfaction with the result, plus an implication that I was obligated to agree and give them the A they wanted.  The fact that this meeting was taking place ten months after the fact–late in the following school year–didn’t faze them, either.

In another setting, I received my first and only formal grievance in ten years as a college teacher.  After getting back the first draft of the first essay of the year, a young man stormed into my supervisor’s office and ranted about how cruel I was.  My offense?  I had written critical comments on his first draft.  Specifically, I had noted “weak transitions” and that he needed to bring his diction and clarity up to a higher level.  His feelings were hurt, and that was that.

Back to the Santa Barbara shooter, a comment at Instapundit yesterday illustrated the millennial generation thusly, and I’m inclined to see the insight in it:

I mean, picture a blind date, “Hi, Suzy, I think you made a wise choice by coming to meet me for dinner. I am magnificent. I am very angry right now, because main street had 5 green lights in a row, then when I was expecting a sixth one, it turned red, because some female, an old lady, pressed the button for the cross walk. I almost ran her over, I was so mad. I still can’t get over it. I think you should have sex with me to distract me from this unrecoverable disappointment. I’m 22, born to a rich American family in the 21st century and I have experienced more suffering than anyone in any third world country or at any time in history. I insist that you shower me with love and adoration. The time to begin is now. Ready,…Go! ….otherwise I kill you.”


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