Mitski, Gen Z, and Me.

By Laura Crisp Davis - March 16, 2022
Mitski, Gen Z, and Me.

Greetings from a train somewhere between Milwaukee and Chicago. I have to whisper because I'm surrounded by Mitski fans basking in the afterglow of last night's sold out concert.

In case you’re new to my little blog, I’m a GenX mom, comic, screenwriter, author, blah-blah-blah.

Listen, I need to tell you something about Gen Z.

I’ve been to more than a few “concerts” with my kids and I’ve been a bit concerned that they didn’t know what that word means.

Like, I once drove them from Chicago to Detroit to see a particular indie singer with a respectable following, and I was just stunned at how chill the music and the crowd were. It was like folk got a reboot with emo vibes.

I am happy to report that although Gen Z’s music taste is somewhat different than my moody, bass-heavy, screaming Gen X vibes (and that’s mostly a good thing, even if it puts me to sleep), their COOL factor is off the charts.

Standing in line for Mitski last night, I haven’t seen so many doc martens and chuck’s in 25 years. And the piercings and hair colors? Individuality and non-conformity level: AWESOME. Oh, how was Mitski? A true performance artist. That audience knew EVERY word of EVERY SINGLE SONG.

More importantly, I overheard some of the most informed freaking conversations. They’re not loyal to any political party, in fact they're frustrated by them all. They’re fed up with “extreme capitalism ruining everything,” and ESPECIALLY fed up with the slow progress on climate change. They don't care about identifying with a career (you know, how we Americans start every introduction with our job title?) They'd rather travel, and connect with people, and create art and music. They expected that Ukrainian people would not blame the average Russian person and they expected that Russian people would protest their leader’s violent acts of war. 

Um, that’s not what happened 30 years ago. God, I can’t imagine that happening back then. The protesters would’ve been arrested or killed. Probably both. 

You guys, in all honesty, I've recently felt that weight in my chest return—that one that kind of, sort of went away after The Wall came down—and I’ve been at a loss what to say to my young adult kids as they witness the news. 

It turns out, they don’t need me to say a thing.

Gen Z is rational, informed, self-aware, and not effing around.

I didn’t want to forget this feeling because there’s so much crap going on and I want to cling to the thought that our coming-of-age kids aren’t going to tolerate it anymore.

In this moment, on this train, the future is a little less scary and a lot more hopeful.

There's no punchline and I'm not sorry.

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Sometimes I'm serious, sometimes I'm silly. Any scripts referenced are for educational purposes only. (My lawyer made me say that part.)