Two Minutes Hate & Millennial Goldstein


Actually, it was more like two weeks of hate

If you pay any heed to the mainstream media – or even the more “commercialized” alternative media such as Infowars – you’ll probably have been bombarded with updates on the silly saga of Michael Rotondo. The question you should be asking is why? Why should a litigious domestic dispute make it to the local news for a day, let alone headlines across the western world for weeks? There’s an agenda at work here, I’d say, an agenda to explain our guttering economy and declining standards of living by shifting blame from neoliberal globalization (among other things…) to a scapegoat like, oh let’s say, a convenient caricature of a misbegotten millennial exemplifying everything supposedly wrong with young people.

Now, I don’t really want to acknowledge this Jerry Springer type “news” by discussing the details of this case but my thoughts are that this man is a fool for:

  • Getting a girl pregnant when he had no means to support his child, although such pragmatic reservations might lead to full blown anti-natalism in an era of such poor job security. Welcome to the gig economy!
  • Taking his parents to court for evicting him from their property when it should’ve been obvious he had no case.
  • Going to the media when one look at his life, hell, one look in the mirror should’ve convinced him that the ministrations of journalists would only make things worse.
  • Letting this situation fester for years, pinning his hopes on a lawyer or judge to solve it for him; there’s no fool like an optimist.

However, Michael did make one interesting point, which is that a psychiatrist diagnosed him with schizophrenia in order to provide themselves with a continuous source of revenue. I’m surprised that detail actually leaked into the media circus, because it acts as a counterpoint to the rhetoric that he should “GERRA JOB!”. Certainly diagnosis with a severe psychiatric disorder will exclude you from the military (any state job, really), which is the old standby for unemployable proles. I’ve no experience with government recruitment agencies in the United States, but, if they have him on file as a schizo I wouldn’t expect any luck there either. Which leaves just cold-calling civilian employers, with a lack of  recent experience or connections making that pretty hopeless even if he’d been smart enough to try and keep the diagnosis secret. This is one reason I believe you should not talk to psychiatrists, just as you should never talk to the police. (Transcript here.)

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