For the generation, born in 1994, late Nirvana frontman “Kurt Cobain has always been dead” and actor Robert De Niro is better known for being a retired CIA agent in Meet the Parents than as the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather.
They “watch television everywhere but on a television” and have “never seen an airplane ‘ticket’,” according to an annual list created to detail the generation gap.
The “Mindset List”, whose 2012 edition came out Tuesday, was created in 1998 ahead of the start of the US college year “as a witty way of saying to faculty colleagues ‘watch your references’,” and aims to give insight to the “intelligent if unprepared adolescent consciousness”, its authors say on their website.
“They (college freshman) can’t picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it,” and consider “the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds”.
The list’s authors are Tom McBride, an English professor at Beloit College, Wisconsin, and Ron Nief, a retired public affairs director at the same school.
Their website, themindsetlist.com, says reality for this multicultural, politically correct and “green” generation includes that:
l Entertainer Sammy Davis Jr, The Muppet’s Jim Henson, musician Stevie Ray Vaughan and horror movie character Freddy Krueger have always been dead.
l Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.
l Since they were in nappies, karaoke machines have been annoying people at parties.
l GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
l Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles.
l Shampoo and conditioner have always been available in the same bottle.
l Girls in head scarves have always been part of the school fashion scene.
l All have had a relative – or known about a friend’s relative – who died comfortably at home with Hospice.
l As a precursor to “whatever,” they have recognised that some people “just don’t get it”.
l Grandma has always had wheels on her walker.
WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
l Schools have always been concerned about multiculturalism.
l Wayne Newton has never had a moustache.
l IBM has never made typewriters.
l McDonald’s has always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.
l They have never been able to colour a tree using a raw umber Crayola.
l Lenin’s name has never been on a major city in Russia.
l Employers have always been able to do credit checks on employees.
l Macaulay Culkin has always been Home Alone.
l Personal privacy has always been threatened.
l Caller ID has always been available on phones.
l Iced tea has always come in cans and bottles.
l They have never known life without Seinfeld references from a show about “nothing”.
l Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.
l The Royal New Zealand Navy has never been permitted a daily ration of rum.
l The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens.
Radio stations have never been required to present both sides of public issues.
l Students always had Goosebumps.
The website also offers tips for how professors can use the list to spark student discussions. – Sapa-AFP