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God Damned Unambitious Young People Make Me Furious

The problem with young people today is that they lack ambition.

When I was a lad, young people were driven to succeed. We weren’t satisfied with our lot in life – we hated our lot and worked like Hell to get a better one. Our lots were empty pockets, cabbage sandwiches and Friday night delousings with kerosene and a broken comb.

We had ambitions. Every lad in my class with a lick of smarts and an Anglo-Saxon last name believed he could be President and every gal felt she could silently support him in achieving it. As soon as we broke free of high school we strove for independence, success and a respectable amount of happiness.

But these young people today? They’re the most unambitious asshats to ever walk the face of the earth. They don’t strive for anything – and it’s because they’ve been given everything. All ambition means to them is the potential that they might have to get a job and pay for their own ski trips, laptops and anyexcuseforapalooza tickets instead of mooching them off their damned parents.

Just yesterday, I asked my neighbour what her idiot son was planning when he graduated high school and she told me that he’s taking a year off to vacation in Europe.

A year off? What the Hell is that? I took 3 weeks off in 1974 and that was only because I had a ruptured spleen, massive coronary and an out-of-state wedding to attend. And a year off from what exactly? Being driven to school in a Ford Windstar, trading hickeys and cribbing essays off the internet? He completed high school, not the 12 labors of Hercules for Christ’s sake.

In my day if you were 18 and went to Europe it was to fight the Nazis not to sample the hashish menu at the Mellow Yellow Coffee shop in Amsterdam and recover from the exhausting trials of being a damned teenager.

In my view, young people need to attack the future not run half way across the world to escape it and “find themselves.” All a youngster is going to find in Europe is socialized medicine, expensive gasoline and women that refuse to shave their underarms.

And if you do need a year off to recover from high school do us all a favour and stay the Hell overseas until you are able to manage a 4-hour work day without getting a nosebleed. Come back when you have some damned moxie and are ready to do more than just “kick back” and watch your life drift idly by.

They lack ambition. That’s the problem with young people today.

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199 Comments leave one →
  1. 12:11 am

    Dear Don,

    I am in complete agreement with you. They used to refer to “ambition” as gumption. I had a few relatives who left home to “find” themselves at the turn of the last century. They were given the proper going away gift so that they would never return to collect on the will. It worked!

    Warmest regards,

    • 12:24 am

      Many thanks mcnorman,

      I’ve always love the word “gumption.” It’s one of those words that has substance and which feels good when you say it out loud. A very fine word indeed.

      I think your family had the right idea. I’d be giving them a one way ticket and a photo (just in case they have trouble recognizing themselves).

      All the best mcnorman. I trust you are keeping well.


      • 12:43 am

        “I trust you are keeping well.”

        Yes, thank you for asking Don. As always you have those young ones pegged perfectly.

  2. 12:26 am

    Dear fried, Don… got ’em pegged. Time off from….playing Wii? Or, do their poor little baby eyes need a rest from those 3D movies like Avatar? And, who paid for those fancy games and movies to start with? Damn kids are coddled today! I say if they need to get away, they should take a nice long trip to Iraq or Afghanistan where they can “find themselves” and the “meaning of life” in a mud floor cave! They can serve the country that made their pampered lives possible while they are there! Do-less…that’s what my late Mother would call them!
    You keep telling those little ungrateful pipsqueaks like it really is, Don. Lord knows that their parents aren’t about to shake ’em and make ’em open their eyes to the REAL WORLD!

    Your fateful reader and FB friend

    • 12:31 am

      Dear Don
      My keyboard on my computer is messed up and skipping letters. Sorry about writing “fried” instead of “friend” in my comment.
      If I were one of those pampered little brats in your post, I’ll bet Mummy or Daddy would run right out and buy me a brand new Apple computer. But, since I have to WORK (a word that they find repulsive) for a living, I’ll have to save up for a while to be able to buy a new computer. In the meantime, please forgive spelling errors. It’s not that I cannot spell, but the keyboard is skipping keys. I will try to hit te keys harder in order to avoid writing something embarrassing or illegible.

    • 12:36 am

      Many thanks TPB,

      Coddled is a damned understatement. There are members of the British Royal Family that are more self-sufficient. It’s disgraceful.

      And you make an excellent point – if these young people really want to find themselves they’d be wise to seek a dishonorable discharge from the damned KISS Army and enlist to serve their country oversees.

      Many thanks TPB. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

      All the best,


      p.s. sorry to hear about your computer. They don’t build anything to last anymore. My first refrigerator lasted 30 plus years without incident. My latest needed a service call after 6 damned weeks.

      • Sedate Me permalink
        7:55 pm


        You mention refrigerators. I just unloaded a 42 year old Westinghouse refrigerator onto a couple of lazy, good for nothing, kids with kids. It was faltering badly, but still working. Until then, this frost-free unit worked perfectly. It only had one or two repair calls (remember when people repaired stuff?) the entire time. Amazing piece of locally made equipment! I also had to say goodbye to a 1950’s GE stove last year.

        It was really hard to do say goodbye to both and I fully expect their replacements won’t make it through 2015.

        It is shocking that we so easily accept this kind of inadequacy.

        • The Celtic Queen permalink
          10:58 pm

          I gave away a Hoover 620 Washing machine last year after 33 years because it was too large for our new place. When I think of what that work horse did I could have cried. All the kids nappies (diapers) and clothes all those years ago and it was still ok. I replaced a water pump once but what a machine. Like you, I brace myself and hope that I’ll get at least 5 years out of the new one.
          You are right we do accept this inadequacy way to easily.

    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      11:53 am

      Hahah Amen to that TPB and I love your Gravatar. Yours too Bearman.

      I agree that National Service would be the making of most of those ” I need to find myself ” dumbass kids. I knew a few lost souls in the 70s and let me tell you they found themselves pretty quite after they went to Vietnam for 12 months. If nothing else they could iron a shirt and spit polish shoes till you could see your face in them. They were disciplined, well groomed, no pink hair or rats tails hanging down the back. I think the same applies to a few adults too though Don. I think a lot of them have forgotten to grow up and seem to be stuck in Peter Pan mode.

      With parents that look like something the cat dragged home what do you expect from their sprogs?
      Monkey see monkey do!

  3. 12:30 am


    At the end of some of your statements…you should add…”and WE LIKED IT”. I think a year or two of service to their country might be just what the doctor ordered for some of the kids I teach when they reach that age. Thanks for your humor, I truly appreciate it.

    Mister A

    • 12:54 am

      Many thanks Mister A,

      I always appreciate hearing from teachers. Damned tough work in my estimation.

      I believe I’ve added “and we liked it” on a few occasions in prior posts. I’ve also thrown in my share of sayings like “and we were grateful for it” or “and we were better off for it.” The funny thing is, they’re absolutely true.

      All the best, Mister A. And good luck with those young people.

      Best regards,


  4. 12:35 am

    Wow! This is so completely true. What do young people today have to strive for?

    My son graduated from a high school which went longer hours and had Fridays off. He was very disappointed when he went to college and discovered he had to attend 5 days a week. He’s going to be even more shocked when he gets out of college and learns he’s expected to work 5 days a week 8 hours a day.

    • 12:48 am

      Many thanks Yellowcat,

      I have to admit I’ve often wondered about the way we structure education. It seems to me that sprogs start off their lives in daycare from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. five days a week and by the time they reach college they’re in classes 15 to 20 hours a week. I’d suggest it should be the other way around. Because, you’re right, they’re in a for a Hell of a shock once they start working.

      Nice to hear from you yellowcat.

      All the best,


  5. 12:42 am

    Of course young people today have ambition. The problem is, their ambitions are to get laid and get stoned.

    You wrote: “Every lad in my class with a lick of smarts and an Anglo-Saxon last name believed he could be President.”

    Given the sad state of our politiicians, with their sex and drug ambitions, young people today can and will eventually get to be President.

    • 1:03 am

      Thank you bmj2k,

      Lofty ambitions but I suppose they want to set goals that are achievable and realistic.

      And I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of politicians. We have a nasty lot at present and I suspect it won’t be long before we have a President with a dragon tattooed on his neck, a nipple ring and $500 a day crack habit.

      All the best, bmj2k, and thanks for visiting. Always good to hear from you.


  6. 12:44 am

    Hi Don. I found your blog quite by accident and have since added it to my RSS feeds. I’m also in complete agreement with you. My granddaughter is in her second year of college and, once the shock of having to meet the Prof’s expectations was over, she turned up on the Dean’s list more than once.


    • 1:08 am

      Many thanks tom1950.

      Welcome to my blog and thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m glad to hear your granddaughter has managed to get past the intial shock of college and is doing well in her studies. You should be damned proud (as I’m sure you are).

      All the best,


  7. 12:50 am

    Dear Mr. Mills,

    You’ve hit the nail right on the head…so to speak! The young people of today (Goddamn ones too) don’t have a shred of ambition anywhere upon them. I was recently interviewing a young man, who had applied for the position of a programmer in our company. His resume has an unexplained gap of an year, so I asked him to explain it. A. He “seemed” offended by the question. B. He told me that he was on a Sabbatical in Europe!

    As I understand this term Sabbatical, it means a Dad-financed expedition to explore the pleasures that he probably won’t have the time (or independence) to explore once he puts on the chastity belt given to him by the society, in a formal function called marriage!

    I haven’t taken a day off in six months, and vacations of more than 3-days a year are just out of question. Now these people run off to Europe at the slightest opportunity, under the pretext of “finding themselves”, which I believe is driven by a genuine need for they truly have lost themselves – but someone pays! I guess you also need to chasten the dads and moms who finance such senseless vacations.

    An Afterthought: Who knows the parents must be shelling out the money under threats of suicide!

    Thanks for another great post!

    Warm Regards,

    • 1:18 am

      Many thanks Shafali,

      I wish I could say I was surprised by the behavior of your recent job applicant – but I’m not. These damned young people today seem to think that they are doing you the ultimate favor if they agree to accept your job offer. The sense of entitlement is unbelievable.

      As for the parents, it could be that they are financing these ventures under threat of suicide. It could also be that that they are prepared to pay any price to be rid of these young people for an extended period of time.

      Many thank Shafali.

      Warm regards,


      • Prudence Dagg permalink
        11:55 pm

        I would assume that this made him a rather unqualified candidate. I remember hearing strong advice (though these year long breaks did NOT apply to me) to make every “vacation” or non-working period into a strength. He apparently didn’t even bother to mention any Italian he might have picked up, informal research, what he learned about work ethic, or anything to indicate that his trip might have been of some value. I don’t know about his qualifications, but he sounds like a poor resume writer/ interviewee.

  8. 12:55 am

    PS: That’s “under the pretext” in the previous post. Guess when you are typing with your teeth clenched and your ears belching out angry black smoke…you beat your language to pulp!

    Will you please edit it Mr. Mills, or one of the Grammar Nazis who visit your blog will shoot me down.


    • 1:19 am

      Done, Shafali.

      I spend a great deal of time typing with teeth clenched and ears belching out smoke so I entirely understand.


  9. 1:05 am

    I am just wondering if the out of state wedding was yours and if there was a shotgun involved?

    • 11:29 am

      Thanks for the question Bearman,

      The out-of-state wedding was not mine. Aggie and I didn’t even have our honeymoon out-of-state (or out of town for that matter). I’ve always said if you can’t find happiness in Pleasantville you may as well stop looking.

      I’m not sure about the shotgun, though. It was the 1970s and all manner of strange things were going on back then.

      Best regards,


  10. 1:12 am

    I was going to come up with a witty retort…but why? Maybe I’ll just smoke something and have a snack.

    • 11:35 am

      Thank you morethananelectrician,

      Unless what you’re planning involves a pipe tobacco and a decent piece of corned beef I’d caution against it. A man who works with electricity needs to keep his wits about him at all times. If you want to “get fried” do it on the job, not the couch.

      Plus, I thought you were in training. All the best lad.


  11. 1:23 am

    You bring up some very interesting points, Don, and vast possibilities. I’d like to think that if the Nazis ever enjoyed Amsterdam the way that many young people do today, WW II would’ve been more of a colorful beer garden party than the bloody free-for-all that transpired. Funny how Vietnam came to a fast close once the Golden Triangle kicked into high gear. But these are all just profound theories, and we all know that many youngsters are majoring in Slacker 101 thanks to the blood, sweat, and tears of older generations. Great blog, and humorous as always!

    • 11:40 am

      Many thanks Dan,

      You can major is Slacker 101? I’m not terribly surprised and would be interested in seeing the course outline. I suspect there is a heavy emphasis on “chilling” and a great deal of research on the proper techniques for “mellowing out.”

      Just one question. If Slacker 101 is the major – what’s the minor?

      All the best Dan and thanks for stopping in.



  12. Matt--the husband of Mrs (Dr.) Carol King permalink
    1:24 am

    I could not agree with you more and I believe “asshats” will now be one of my favorite words of all time. Thank you Mr. Mills

    • 11:46 am

      Many thanks Matt,

      Very nice to hear from you. I trust that you and the Doctor are both well. “Asshat” is a fine word isn’t it? I’d never heard of it before I started writing this blog and began receiving irate emails from young people. Along with “asslcown” it has become one my new favorite expressions. I don’t give them credit for much, but I have to say that on occasion those young folks can turn a colorful phrase.

      All the best and thanks for the comment, Matt.

      Best regards,


  13. 1:42 am

    Many young people mistake dreams for ambition. You know, the thing about ambition is that it takes a certain amount of momentum to find it. The more one is a layabout, the further and further one drifts downstream from the source of desire. It’s a hard row against the current after a lifetime of listless dreaming.

    Don’t just dream. Do.

    If you want to just be, however, get a government job with the Driver’s License Agency.

    • 11:56 am

      Very eloquently stated Joan of Argghh!

      I couldn’t agree more. You can have all the “big dreams” you want but as long as you’re laying around in your underpants playing x-box in your parents basement you’re not likely to make any progress toward achieving them. You need to take action.

      And I’m damned wary of those Driver’s License folks. They have it in for us seniors.

      All the best, Joan, and thanks for visiting.


      • Oldperson in youngperson costume. permalink
        1:29 am

        Mr Mills,

        You could add they are on your blog instead of doing something ambitious. Replies from young people would just proove the point further I think….You have this one in the bag.

  14. 2:21 am

    You really hit the nail on the head with this one, Don. What happened to the work ethic that got the older generations where they are today? What was so wrong with it? Unfortunately, it’s the parents to blame.

    • 12:07 pm

      Many thanks Jill,

      I have no idea what happened to a decent work ethic. Perhaps it’s packed a knapsack and took off to Europe for an extended vacation. It’s certainly been gone for a while. You’d think it would at least write.

      All the best, Jill.

      Thanks for visiting.


  15. Debbi permalink
    2:37 am

    Donald, you couldn’t be more right. Seriously, what ARE these young people taking a break from??? Whatever it is, they don’t have to go all the way to Europe to do it.

    On the other hand, if they’re that unmotivated, let ’em go to Europe and stay there. We’ll see how they feel after they encounter unlimited female armpit hair.

    • 12:13 pm

      Thank you Debbi,

      God knows what they’re taking a break from. Apparently being a teenager is more grueling than I remember. I’m actually surprised that they go to Europe. I didn’t think they went anywhere unless Mom could drive them there and then pick them up after.

      “Pick me up in Belgium. Just park outside and wait. I think it closes at 11. And don’t embarrass me or do anything stupid”

      All the best, Debbi.


  16. 3:10 am

    If young people want a year overseas, send them to Iraq, that will teach them a thing or two.

    • 12:14 pm

      Many thanks frigginloon,

      You’re damn right it would. All the best and thanks for stopping in.


  17. 3:29 am

    Well, Donald, as usual a well crafted and well thought out diatribe.

    At least your neighbor’s kid is graduating from high school. Around here the kids drop out as soon as they have learned how to cook methamphetamine so they can scrape up enough money to pay child support for their illegitimate offspring. There’s a reason why the phrase “Dumber than a box of rocks” was coined in the Ozarks.

    Keep up the good work.

    • 12:22 pm

      Thank you healingmagichands,

      Not to try and top you but at least in your neck of the woods they’re making an effort to pay child support. Around here they expect their parents to cook their methamphetamine and the state to pay for their illegitimate children.

      I always liked the expression “dumber than a bag of hammers” too.
      Lovely to hear from you and thanks for visiting.


  18. momromp permalink
    3:50 am

    May I say that I am incredibly impressed that you were able to attend a wedding after enduring your spleen rupture and MI. Or perhaps your spleen ruptured and your coronary artery clogged during the wedding. If the latter is the case, I hope you got to load up on good food during the reception before your spleen and vascular system decided to take a break.

    I agree wholeheartedly with today’s post. My students looked at me like I had two heads and a third eye when I would ask them where they were working over the summer. Kids.

    • 12:46 pm

      Thank you momromp.

      It was a trying year. While I can’t provide definitive proof, I suspect that the wedding was responsible for the heart attack. In addition to rich foods, the couple wrote their own vows. I think I felt the first twinges when the groom said “I promise to dig your groove.” It went downhill from there.

      As for the spleen, my doctor said it just wasn’t venting properly.

      Always nice to hear from you momromp. Many thanks for visiting.


  19. robinaltman permalink
    3:55 am

    I would laugh at this post if I weren’t choking on my tears and blowing my nose into my nightgown. It is so true. I wish I could raise my kids over again. I would raise them in a small cave in Southern Italy. I’d make them trap rabbits for food. They are the laziest butt heads, and I am the producer of lazy butt heads. Shame on me.

    We’re trying to get Kevin a job at a candy factory this summer. I can’t wait. Alex will be doing landscaping, God willing. Hopefully, it’s not too late. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s too late.

    • 2:28 pm

      Many thanks Robin,

      Don’t despair, there still may be time to take corrective action if you are prepared to write off one and focus all of your energies and parenting skills on the other.

      It’s a tough stand to take but likely necessary. And I don’t mean to be cruel but I’d recommend you focus on the lad who will be landscaping. That’s real work. The other boy is likely expecting a Willy Wonka type work environment and, frankly, it doesn’t bode well that he’s relying on you to secure the job on his behalf.

      With a little hard work on your part, young Alex will turn in to a fine young man and be trapping rabbits in no time.

      All the best Robin and thanks for stopping in.

      Best regards.


  20. 4:03 am

    Dear Mr. Mills,

    Whenever I lacked ambition it was either the nuns or my parents who knocked the ambition right back into me.

    Nowadays if a teacher tried to knock some ambition into a kid the parents would be suing the school in a heartbeat. And if a parent tired to knock some ambition into a kid social services would be called faster than one could say asshats.

    This is why I chose to have a dog rather than a child.

    Best Regards, Mrs. King

    • 2:43 pm

      Many thanks Mrs. King,

      I believe having a dog rather a child is an entirely sensible decision. In addition to being easier to train they are more loyal and generally have nicer dispositions.

      Plus, they don’t generally ask to borrow your car.

      All the best,


      • Gnash N. Teeth permalink
        12:00 am

        Yes, I, too, withstood the slings & arrows of my foolish 20-something mind back in the day when it told me it wanted to breed with my then-fiance. Thank the Lord my mama gave me common sense when it came to these things! (Well, she got knocked up unexpectedly w/ yours truly, and I was determined NOT to repeat that–unlike the single parent descendents of single parents we see too often these days!) Anyhoo, first and foremost in my brain came FINANCES. I knew I could barely afford to take care of myself, much less a sprog, so nix on that! I still can’t afford it, and by this time I’m 43 and don’t give a rat’s behind.

        Indeed, pets are better. Not only do they not borrow your car, but they don’t require diapers or college funds.
        Thank you, sir.

        • YellowRoses610 permalink
          12:23 am

          *Shiver* Nuns. Nuns and Priests. Oh Gods on Olympuis are they fast with rulers.

        • 12:32 am

          Thank you Gnash N. Teeth.

          Always a pleasure to hear from you.


  21. Ghost permalink
    4:03 am

    Sadly, I must agree with the majority of these. As you know, I’m 25, but I’ve been working since I was 18. I was begging for a job at 16, but the powers-that-be knew it would be better to complete high school education, at the least, before I did that.

    My younger brother, is one of those “damned young people” of whom you speak. 19 years old, no job, no interest in getting one, and his only interests are either playing the guitar or playing video games. If he was at least in a band it would be halfway understandable, but he can’t even be bothered to do that! I’ve talked to him until I was unable to feel my tongue, and it seems to go in one ear and out the other. He could even become a freelance “writer” or “artist,” but it’s easier to waste the day playing with his guitar or video games, smoke cigarettes, and basically slough off.

    My current ambition is to finish college so I can buy some land in the country, and build a house for my family. My girlfriend (soon to be wife… well okay, probably about 5 years from there but still, I know she’s “the one”) and my daughter. Yet little brother seems to think that when his father dies (long story, don’t ask… it’s a tale for another day, or when you have an entry that describes it) he is going to be willed his father’s land. Never mind that technically I paid for it (child support from a deadbeat father), he feels “entitled” to it. The only thing I think he’s entitled to, is a good swift kick in the caboose!

    Sorry, got off on a bit of a tangent there. It happens from time to time.

    Oh, as long as I’m posting, Mr. Mills, perhaps you might do an entry on young people and the military… “draft dodging” they call it, am I correct? I would be interested to see what you would have to say about that.

    Hoping this finds you well… and please keep writing!

    • 3:48 pm

      Many thanks Ghost,

      Very nice to hear from you again lad. And don’t apologize for the tangent. I found it quite interesting and have to say it’s refreshing to hear from a young person that actually has a 5-year plan. That’s exactly the type of thing I was referring to.

      Most young people today aren’t prepared to think of anything beyond what might happen when they get to the next level of their video game.

      I commend you for having a goal and for working toward it. Keep working on your brother. Hopefully he’ll wake up before too long and come to his damned senses.

      All the best, Ghost, and thanks very much for stopping in.

      Best regards,


  22. 7:30 am

    Haha… funny post Don. My sons and their friends seem to be a much more ambitious lot than those you’re writing about. They make me feel damn lazy with their 15 hour days and 5 year plans.

    Am I too old to take a gap year?

    • 3:48 pm

      Thank you kindly nursemyra,

      I don’t think you’re too old for a gap year. If you’ve raised a lad who is working 15-hour days and has a 5-year plan you’ve obviously been working pretty damned hard yourself and could likely use the rest. I’m impressed. Well done.

      All the best,


  23. 8:34 am

    Damn straight, Don. When I was a senior in high school, I wanted to be the Premier of Cuba; no small thought there, I’m telling you. I even read a couple of books about the place, one of em being written by Hemingway. The damn kids nowadays couldn’t find a book; it’s all Iphones and Imefirst. I can’t tell you how pissed I was when Castro usurped my main goal in life.

    Now the only goal the damn kids got is who can run up the biggest bill on their parents credit cards.

    • 3:49 pm

      Many thanks El Presidente,

      Premier of Cuba? Damned interesting career aspirations, Jammer. I’m not sure about the politics but it’s hard to argue with warm weather, attractive women and decent cigars. Shame about Castro but try not to be bitter. There’s still time and, you never know, maybe you could start with something smaller like Mayor of Havana?

      All the best Jammer.


      • The Celtic Queen permalink
        3:02 am

        Jammers come on down to Oz. An abundance of beautiful women, beautiful beaches, beautiful weather and this summer has been exceptional although not where Loon lives. She’s been through a heat wave the past few weeks. Don’t know much about cigars.
        As the Lara Bingle ad says, ” Where the bloody hell are ya?”

  24. Mike permalink
    8:53 am

    Shut up, old man !!

    just because you are old and had other experiences don’t mean that you can criticize young people of today !

    What if you were young again?

    Won’t you be also doing those supposedly foolish things that young people do nowadays ??

    • 3:50 pm

      Thank you Mike,

      “Shut up, old man !!” That’s a fairly terse greeting, lad. Would it have killed you to open with “Dear Mr. Mills” before you start tearing a strip off me. Regardless of your views, it’s always appropriate to take time for the niceties. My mother was quite clear on that.

      Now I hate to disagree with you, lad, but I’m fairly certain I do have the right to criticize young people and not just because of my age or experience. I’m sorry if you don’t like it but that’s freedom of expression for you. You don’t like my criticisms and I don’t care for nose rings but for the time being we both have to live with them.

      All the best, Mike, and thanks for sharing your views.


    • YellowRoses610 permalink
      12:26 am

      What if you used proper grammar and spelling.

      What if you had something interesting to say.

      Go back to 4Chan.

      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        12:29 am

        Sadly the spell check,
        removed my question marks,
        Very Ironic.

        • 12:35 am

          Ha. Many thanks Rose.

          I can always count on you to jump into the fray. You’re a damned pip.

          All the best,


  25. lookingforsomethingtofind permalink
    9:46 am

    I agree with you Don. Not all young people all that way, my plan is to go to grad school after university, put some time into the service and then go into politics. One of my friends here, wants to be a supreme court justice. I think ambition is making a come back, hopefully it is coupled with common sense.

    • 4:40 pm

      Many thanks lookingforsomethingtofind,

      Your plans (and the plans of your friend) are ambitious indeed. And I thoroughly approve of public service. May I ask what your political ambitions are? I did some work with a number of levels of government and found them all to have their own unique characteristics.

      Glad to hear that ambition may be on the rise again. And if it is, I share your hope that it is coupled with some measure of common sense.

      All the best and good luck!


      • lookingforsomethingtofind permalink
        1:56 pm

        I’d like to be governor of New York someday. My plan is to perhaps start in the state senate, do some good and hopefully gain enough support to make a bid.

  26. 10:25 am

    i know a canadian kid who’s so lazy, he’s moving to the states just so he can spell neighbor and favor without the us. 😉

    • 4:41 pm

      Thank you Nonnie,

      Damned disgraceful is what that is. The boy ought to be ashamed of himself. Of course I suppose there is the possibility that he is just trying to escape those Canadian death panels I’ve been reading about lately. Sounds like a damned barbaric place to me.

      Nevertheless, you may wish to alert Homeland Security or Fox Television.

      All the best,


    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      2:51 am

      You’re kidding right lol?

    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      3:12 am

      Opps this was meant to be for you

      You’re kidding right? lol

  27. 12:36 pm

    It saddens me to say that we’ve finally come to our first difference in opinion Don. I do agree that the majority of young people everywhere lack the ambition and/or necessary brain power to do much of anything these days. However, it’s my contention that a year in Europe, or anywhere else in the world would do these assclowns a world of good.

    They need to learn that there are other cultures, other ways of life than the fast-food, bottled water, Wii gaming, Facebook friending, Farmville playing, my biggest problem in life is this pimple mindset that is now so prevalent.

    North America isn’t the same hard working utopia that you grew up in Don, and these kids could do with some damn perspective. Now Texas, and as a result a lot of America is changing their high school textbooks to nix Jefferson out and add John (I’ve never met a pagan author I didn’t want to burn alive) Calvin as the most important shaper of the US government. They’re going to be teaching these already ignorant kids that the earth is 6 thousand years old and Adam and Eve had a pet T-Rex. It just isn’t right.

    I think that a year abroad will teach these young hooligans some analytical and critical thinking skills to enable them to become our future leaders. God help us all!

    • 4:41 pm

      Many thanks Scott,

      Nothing wrong with a healthy disagreement and you make a number of very good and valid points. I still believe, however, that the only people who learn though these kinds of adventures are the Europeans themselves. And all they’re learning is that American kids are as obnoxious in person as they are on television.

      Hopefully, I’m wrong.

      All the best,


      • 9:53 pm

        Personally, I believe that their year abroad should be while enrolled in the Peace Corps or in the US Army. They’d likely learn a lot more doing something like that than lying around toasting their patooties on the Riviera and ingesting drugs in Amsterdam.

        • 12:37 am

          Well said, healingmagichands. Thank you.

          • 3:22 pm

            “Personally, I believe that their year abroad should be while enrolled in the Peace Corps or in the US Army. ”

            A lot of people of my (yes the younger) generation don’t feel that the best way to experience a country is to go with either the express purpose of killing its citizens or as any other agent of a almost globally reviled government. Call me crazy!

            Many young people, myself included, go abroad independently, and finance it independently of either parents or the US taxpayer. There are myriad options! Teaching English is the usual route but there are many ways to represent your country individually and thereby help to restore the somewhat tarnished reputation of Americans abroad.

            If you’re definition of “ambition” is to go into the rest of the world to bully, order, or kill via US government, then yes, we lack it.

            As for the Peace Corps, there are still plenty of other ways to do development work, and the Peace Corps can often be resented, even as they help, as an agent of the US government. In the past it has been documented that the Peace Corps was used for information gathering (all those young ambitious volunteers had to send home reports about their areas) for later, quite destructive operations in some areas. Please see the book Confessions of An Economic Hitman.

            There are plenty of ambitious young people out there. We just want to do it differently, and to avoid mistakes of previous generations.


  28. 2:03 pm

    still laughing at comparing high school to the 12 labors of Hercules.. wonder how many of those stressed out grads even know what you refer to?

    • 4:41 pm

      Thank you Laura,

      I wonder myself. A shame, there are some great stories there.

      Best regards and thanks for visiting,


  29. Catherine permalink
    2:13 pm

    Ambition?!! I would be impressed if these young assclowns could even spell it correctly. After 70 years with the same bank my father is now looking for a new one. The reason? Last week he received a letter from them saying, “Unabell too prossess mandate”. These youth training schemes have a lot to answer for.

    • 4:59 pm

      Thank you Catherine,

      Jesus…that’s disturbing.

      And further proof (if I ever needed any) that I was right to stick with the First National Sealy Posturepedic Bank of America. I may not get much in the way of interest but at least I have confidence in the person handling my money.

      Really, just disturbing as Hell. Your father must be beside himself.

      All the best,


  30. 2:55 pm

    Great post, I agree totally. Though in the kids defense, “Ambition” is now probably classified a mental illness that has to be treated by Ritalin and such drugs.

    • 4:59 pm

      Thank you markps2,

      You’re absolutely right about that. Something like “dissociative ambition disorder” or “early onset apathy disorder.”

      Best regards and thanks for the comment. You’re bang on!


  31. 9:24 pm

    Young folks think they’re ambitious when they dream about getting on a reality show. They all want to be the next Idol, the next Model. It’s all about shortcuts to success.

    I could rant on, but I’m on my way out to grab my lottery ticket — and to find me a sugar daddy. You know, it’s actually hard work waiting for a rich old husband to die.

    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      10:54 pm

      Try to find one with a bad cough then lol.

    • 11:13 pm

      Many thanks, Marissa, and welcome.

      Good luck on the sugar daddy front. If you ever downgrade to a Splenda Daddy let me know. I have a brother with a modest pension and an interest in younger women.

      Or, you could follow the Celtic Queen’s advice and look for an old man with a bad cough. It’s always a sign that the end is near. And if for some reason he continues to hang on, up his bacon,eggs and sausage intake. Old men can’t resist a greasy breakfast – even though we know it’s going to kill us in the end.

      All the best.

      p.s. Nice to hear from you Celtic Queen. I hope you’re keeping well.

  32. marymcmary permalink
    9:32 pm

    Ambition? I may not have aimed terribly high, but at least I knew what I wanted to be and went for it. I got my college degree and teaching certificate and am now happily teaching elementary school music. My sister, on the other hand….. 24, still living with the parents, sells Avon halfheartedly, and spends most of her time hanging around with her friends on campus. Never mind that she quit college 2 years ago after 4 years of not accomplishing anything. Much like a student I was discussing with a colleague earlier today, she needs a good butt-whooping to get her into shape.

    I am thoroughly disgruntled now just thinking about it. I may have slacked off every now and then, but by gosh, I took care of business when it mattered. Young people today. Bah.


    • 11:22 pm

      Many thanks Marymcmary,

      I hate to disagree but in my estimation you aimed pretty damned high. Teaching is a difficult profession and an important one as well. If we had more good teachers we’d have a Hell of a lot less nasty young people. Some decent parents wouldn’t go amiss either, of course.

      I hope your sister gets her ass in gear soon and grows the Hell up. Selling Avon half-heartedly is unfortunate at 24 – but downright sad at 40.

      All the best and thanks for visiting.


  33. 9:35 pm

    Hiya Crabby,

    As a delegate of my generation, I can assure you that some of us are very, very ambitious, but to use myself as an example just looks far too arrogant on paper (I tried, shook my head, and had to delete those paragraphs).

    Myself notwithstanding, I agree with you. Most of my generation plays too much grab-ass, has deplorable taste in just about everything, and wouldn’t know hard work if it came wrapped in soiled dungarees with grime under its fingernails. Some of us work pretty hard to make our bread, and work hard also to enrich ourselves so we don’t bore each other on Friday nights at the beer-talk table, but for the most part I wouldn’t argue too proudly for my age group.

    I’m not lamenting the soft-palmed, helicopter-parented idiocy of my peers, however. The more wussified, weak and wimpy my peers act, the more boring and mindless their lifestyles, the more my own efforts stand out to people of your own generation — and I must say, that doesn’t bother me at all.

    Nice place you got here, Crabby. Might have to stop by from time to time.

    With Earnest Respect and a Raised Glass,


    • 11:36 pm

      Many thanks BothEyesShut,

      A very interesting comment and I appreciate your sharing it with me.

      If you’re ever considering writing a book, “the soft-palmed, helicopter-parented idiocy of my peers” would make a damned excellent title (and decent subject matter as well). I know I’d buy it.

      Thanks for the comment and for stopping in. I’ll be sure to pop over and visit you as well.

      All the best.


  34. 9:39 pm

    I wouldn’t know what to do with a year “off”. I’d be homeless if I didn’t work for a living. And I’d be bored out of my mind. I think I’ll keep working. At least now I get to work one job instead of 3 🙂

    • 12:48 am

      Many thanks Tracy,

      Enjoy the new job. I’m sure it will be a great success. And keep you busy enough that you won’t need to be worrying about how to handle time off.



  35. 9:43 pm

    What is wrong with refusing to shave your underarms?

    It’s a waste of time for a hard working woman and leaves little stingy spots to annoy you when you work up a sweat.

    • 9:56 pm

      Thanks sledpress. I was wondering the same damned thing. If men don’t have to shave their underarms or legs, then by gum I don’t see why I should spend time, money and energy removing the secondary sex characteristics God gave me. And if that bothers the viewers, tough. They should look somewhere else. I have grave doubts about a man who requires his woman to look like a little girl except for her boobs.

      • Ghost permalink
        10:20 pm

        Granted, you do have a valid point there. Personally, I couldn’t give a hoot less if my girlfriend shaves her legs or not. But then you have to consider the flip side of the coin too; women get up in arms over being “forced” to shave whichever area, but then they get on us guys about not shaving our face, when it’s a much more noticeable part. Unless a woman is a stripper or some such unsavory profession, there really aren’t that many people who are going to notice if she shaves her *AHEM* or her legs or her armpits. And if the guy is truly worth keeping, he’s not going to throw a hissy fit over his significant other not shaving.

        So why is it that men should have to shave when it’s just as inconvenient, not to mention more expensive and time consuming? I just hacked off my beard from this winter, and the only reason I’m keeping it off is because it gets too hot in the summer. I stop shaving in October, and my girlfriend knows it, but she also knows why. It would be nice if we were all naturally bald in certain areas, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t have time to shave one day, or my girlfriend’s razor needs to be replaced.

        I think we should all just stop shaving altogether… but then people would find something else to complain about. Oh well…

        • 12:54 am

          Should women routinely shave their mustaches too? Some have them, you know. lol

        • 6:49 pm

          Ghost, I have never gotten on a guy to make him shave. I try not to be a hypocrite.

          My first husband had a full beard which I used to help him trim and shape. After we divorced, his 2nd wife forced him to shave which was a crying shame since he had next to no chin and looked about 1000% better with a beard. My 2nd husband had a beard which I loved and I still wish he would let it grow again. Most of our friends have beards to.

      • The Celtic Queen permalink
        9:36 pm

        It usually has nothing to do with the man wanting the women to look like a little girl but as everything to do with personal hygiene. I wouldn’t want to be looking at your hairy armpits if I was getting a massage. Ewh!
        Each to his own but I’d rather not be washing sweaty and hairy underarms.
        By the way I’ve trimmed my husbands armpits and pubes for years. There’s no need for him to look like a damned gorilla either. Nose hair, ear hair , you name it, it’s gone. He never used to now he prefers to keep them all trimmed and neat. He feels much more comfortable.

        • 1:56 am

          Who ever suggested the people who lie on my massage table can see my armpits? I wear a tee-shirt. Pants, too. I don’t give the kind of massages where people expect you to remove clothing, in case there was any confusion, and as for sweatiness, I reserve the goddam right to sweat in the gym and the garden, but it’s amazing how showering and Thai stone afterward take care of that.


          I think the vaguely plucked chicken skin look of a shaved armpit is kind of creepy, myself, and for the record I would be desolee if the gentleman I am currently seeing were to remove his full beard.

          • The Celtic Queen permalink
            2:40 am

            I suppose living in a hot climate a nice sleeveless cocktail dress or summer frock and hairy underarms isn’t the look I want.
            Funny I’ve never really notice that plucked chicken look on Australian women. But I did notice the five o’clock shadow on my Greek neighbour and that’s her facial hair. Poor girl.

    • Gnash N. Teeth permalink
      12:04 am

      I haven’t shaved my underarms since 1986 and am no worse for wear. I tend to break out in these awful red dots, which, to me, looks a lot worse than a few stray hairs where God put ’em!

      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        12:36 am

        …..Both men and women should shave everything but their heads. Body hair is nasty.

        I’m going to go shave, exfolate and mostierize now.

  36. 11:12 pm

    Thank you for inspiring me, Mr. Mills. I told my daughter if she wanted a PlayStation that she was going to have to get a job. She snapped back at me and yelled, “I’m Only six years old!” (She’ll be seven on Wednesday). I told her that children her age are working twelve hour days in Honduras. I am willing to compromise and let her work four-hour days for now.

    • 1:01 am

      Thank you Ahmnodt,

      My old mom used the birthday rule of thumb. If you were 7 years of age you should have seven friends at your birthday party and were fully capable of working a 7-hour day. Nothing heavy, mind you.

      All the best,


  37. YellowRoses610 permalink
    12:09 am

    Ow. Way to rip into me. I took a Six-month hiatus after high school. In my defense I had spent two weeks in a Mental hospital. ^_^; (Hoping you won’t judge me on that one.)

    As for ambition, I plan to become a World Renown Writer, a Professor in Egyptology and decode writings in ancient tombs.

    I must admit I don’t have a job but I’m in College and trying to become decent in Latin and Learn Ancient Egyptian. Sorry. I guess I am a lazy teenager.

    I do how ever walk a mile to school spend about an hour or a bus, go to my classes, study, research, have coffee with my friend Dave, (He’s a rather funny guy in my political science class. We talk about history and Mythology.), smoke a cigarette or two, take the bus to the mall, check in on my sister in-law at work (She’s five months pregnant) then have a Soda , take the bus home, and walk q mile home. I have a small dinner, talk to my father for a wile, assuming he and my mother have no menial task for me I make a pot of tea and start cracking the books. I then get online, read my pirated PDF’s on mythology and relgoin, and drink my tea.

    I talk With Mystsong for a few hours, (This is normal the time I start drinking if it’s a drinking night), stay up reading and talking till I notice it’s two in the morning and I havce to get up at Eight. Take my medication. Meditate, Pray (Yes We witch/Pagan types do) and go to bed.

    Oh and If I’m drinking I end up doing River dancing and or practicing my Feincing and Martial Arts.

    This is Monday-Thursday. Friday Saturday and Sunday I have no school. If none of my friends come over I hit the town, and hang out in Coffeeshops or the library, get my shopping done, and sometimes Catch a movie. Then I get online

    Unambitously and gumption free yours,
    Rose Willamson

    • 1:08 am

      Many thanks Rose,

      I don’t think unambitious is a word I would have ever picked to describe you and I can guarantee you’re about as far from “gumption-free” as humanly possible.

      Keep working at the studies, Rose. You’re doing a Hell of a good job.

      All the best,


      • YellowRoses610 permalink
        1:40 am

        Glad for the vote of condifidence. I must admit I’m relaxing before midterms so I’m not all stressed out

        I have to do a five to seven page research paper on the Egyptian god Set, (Seket in egyptain)

        My Prof for that class (English) thinks I’m a “Character”. What ever that means.

  38. 1:51 am


    You know I always see eye to eye with you (in part because we’re both short), and today is no different.

    The whole “lack of ambition” thing aside (only because I get that part), I don’t understand why it is that kids these days feel they have to go to places like Europe just to “find themselves”.

    Why in the hell would they be in a place where everyone has a funny accent and has to pay $12 for a measly beer? It doesn’t make sense. If they’re that desperate to figure out where they are, they should call one of those 24-hour hotlines, or put their photo on the back of a milk carton, for that matter. (Because let’s face it; despite what the statistics say, there are still quite a few dairy lovers out there.)

    Oh, and if they want to see hairy female armpits, they should just come to British Colombia for the summer and plant trees. That way they can ogle those beast-like folically-abundant eyesores all they want, and earn some money while they’re at it.

    (Sorry, Don. I know I should keep my personal opinions on hygiene to myself, it’s just hard sometimes.)

    Wonderful as always, Don. I think it’s safe to say that your ruptured spleen, massive coronary and out-of-state wedding wasn’t all for naught, as it turned you into the stalwart educationalist you are today.

    Your mellow (but not in a yellow way!) aficionado,

    • The Celtic Queen permalink
      3:47 am

      I do agree with you about the hairy armpits. They ‘re usually wet and unattractive. When I was in Poland most of the women relatives knew I was a hairdresser at one stage in my life so insisted I cut their hair. Off came the jumpers, body odour a plenty and hairy underarms. It was very off putting. Not only that they don’t shower daily as we do in Oz. Their legs are also very hairy and closely resemble men. We had my sister in law over here for 6 weeks at Christmas and she did shower every second day but the hairy underarms and the sleeveless tops were the order of the day. They look like they have spiders under their armpits. Ewh! Body hair is gross on women. I think even pubic hair needs to be groomed.

    • 11:34 am

      Many thanks Bschooled,

      I appreciate invitation to British Columbia. I suspect that my limited ability to bend would put a slight crimp in the tree planting – but it’s always good to know where you can find a small army of hairy women. One never knows when one might need one.

      All the best, Bschooled.

      Your friend,


  39. elizabeth3hersh permalink
    9:01 am

    “My first refrigerator lasted 30 plus years without incident. My latest needed a service call after 6 damned weeks.

    Was it by any chance a Philco, Don? I have an almost obsession with what I call ‘refrigerator porn’. By refrigerator, I mean pre-1960. I undress them with my eyes, want to explore inside and yearn to stroke and caress their loveliness (seriously, I cannot keep my filthy hands off them). They are all built like a brick shit-house. Although I love the heft of the door of a Sub-Zero and it’s blazing-fast chill factor (and especially if it is cherry paneled), there is still nothing lovelier than an antique fridge. Oops, am I off thread? Nothing to add here other than the observation of another ‘nailed one’ by Mr. Mills. Even my cardigan wearing, well educated daughters are l-a-a-a-z-z-z-z-y by my ‘old-fashioned’ standards.

    • 11:50 am

      Many thanks Elizabeth,

      I’m afraid it wasn’t a Philco. I believe it was a fairly run of the mill Westinghouse. It was a damned workhouse.

      Now, while my level of enthusiasm for old appliances may not be quite as passionate of yours, I certainly do share your appreciation of the design of 1950s appliances. (I feel the same way about cars too, of course. And clothes. And most everything actually.)

      In fact, I still have a Universal Cooler Freezer in my garage. I’m going to guess it is about 60 years old and still runs very well. It’s an old ice cream freezer that you open from the top. I bought it on a lark from a local dairy (it still has their stickers on it). Not only is it functional (if you enjoy gallons of ice cream) but I’ve always thought it was a damned handsome piece of furniture.

      All the best Elizabeth. Very nice to hear from you.

      Best regards,


  40. 4:30 pm


    Just this past week, I attempted to tell my young son Tommy (6) he was lacking ambition , to my suprise , he whole heartedly agreed ! He then noted he also lacked Annihilation and Alien Smashers 2 from his video game colletion !

    What can I say old boy , I tried .

    have a good week Don ……..~David

    • 11:51 am

      Many thanks David,

      Sounds to me like that boy is giving you lip, sass and some pretty serious guff. You’ll want to address that, David, before he gets into his teens.

      All the best, David, and thanks for visiting.


  41. 5:45 pm

    Hi Don,

    One of my university lectures began with a quote that was a shorter but not dissimilar rant about what was wrong with young people today. The sentiment was familiar, cliched and boring – until the lecturer revealed that the quotation was more than 500 years old, so old it had been translated from latin.

    If these 18 year olds have the opportunity to travel and enjoy a carefree existence during the ONLY time in their life when they will have so few responsibilities, why does it bother people so much? It seems to be a smart thing to do, as in 5 or 10 years that opportunity will no longer be there. Also, how many parents do you know who have happily laid down a lump-sum sizable enough to pay for a whole year’s worth of travel? In fact, in contrast to their stay-at-home counterparts, most of these travelling youths are actually more ambitious, more responsible, and more independent.

    In defence of my generation, it’s not our fault that we have no direct experience of war or kerosene delousing. We do have more opportunities, and I think it’s good when young people take advantage of that. Older generations have worked hard to make this a better world, why start complaining now because it IS a better world?

    I think a lot of irresponsible youths have plenty of time in the future to settle down and become model citizens. Go easy on them 🙂

    • 11:55 am

      Many thanks Kay,

      I appreciate your taking the time to share your views. I have no intention of “going easy on them” I’m afraid but I am grateful for your comment and will give it some serious consideration.

      All the best,


      • Anonymous permalink
        10:44 pm

        I mean this in the least offensive way possible, but fuck you, sir. That is all.

  42. 11:29 pm

    Don –

    You’ve outdone yourself with this post. So much good stuff in so little space. “Lick of smarts and an Anglo-Saxon last name…” Brilliant.

    It seems ambition has gone the way of the under-achieving dodo. Or the passenger pigeon, which despite its industrious ways, soon gave into laziness and was carried around by the tireless rikshaw pigeon. Or the Coelacanth, whose bold, ambitious trawling of the depths was soon passed by over-achieving ape-men and various flightless birds, who also became extinct or tricked into being farmed for their feathers and hides. Some were even persuaded to move to Antarctica, where their flightlessness “might” become an asset somehow, if only because no predator worth its fangs would deign to freeze its ass off pursuing it.

    Anyway, cripplingly funny post, Don. I joined today’s youth L-ing my A off. I did regain my senses and beat them about with a 2×4 and an IBM Selectric just to show them who’s boss and won’t be joining their extinct brethren anytime soon.

    • 12:04 pm

      Many thanks CLT,

      I’m afraid you’re right. Ambition has gone the way of the Labrador Duck, the Réunion Flightless Ibis and the Liverpool Pigeon. A real shame. Those Liverpool pigeons were good eating. Tasted a little like Carolina Parakeet.

      Always good to hear from you CLT. Many thanks.


  43. paper doll permalink
    6:25 am

    Don when someone tells me they have to “find themselves” I get a big head ache…Lord ‘o mighty.
    If they can’t find themsleves …perhaps it’s because their head is up their ass … My advice ? If you can’t find yourself, find someone else, but get the hell on with it

    • 12:07 pm

      Many thanks Paperdoll,

      Damned sensible advice. Much better than the advice I’d been doling out – “You can’t find yourself? What the Hell kind of moron are you?” If you have no objection, I think I’ll start using yours.

      Many thanks Paperdoll. Nice to hear from you.


      • paper doll permalink
        4:57 am

        If you have no objection, I think I’ll start using yours.

        be my guest Don, it’s an honor.

  44. DJ Mills permalink
    3:30 pm

    I have no ambition. I strive for low responsibility and minimal effort while demanding high pay. This is why I work for the Federal Government.

    • 6:58 pm

      Thank you DJ,

      I hope you are pulling my leg here, lad. If not, I’d have to say I’m disappointed. I’ve known a great deal of public servants (and been one myself) and while there are no shortage of those that are useless slackers who do little more than grouse, moan and talk about it all just “being pensionable time” they majority take their jobs and their responsibilities seriously and who believe they can make a difference.

      Unless things have changed dramatically, there was room for movement, promotion and lots of opportunity in government. I’d encourage you to take advantage. It’s “only a job” if that’s all you want it to be.

      All the best.


  45. 3:32 am

    For once Mr Mills I will be disagreeing with your weekly rant. I think there are an awful lot of ambitious young adults out there trying to finish school and find a job.

    Your neck of the woods might be different from mine (Canada) but kids here have to compete to get an education after having gone through one of the worst primary and junior school educational systems known to mankind. If they are fortunate enough to have made their way through grades 1 to 12 they then get to compete with millions to get a seat at University or College. So after 16+ years of school they then get to try and enter an incredibly awful job market competing with many laid off workers with more experience. Fresh out of school with no work experience isn’t going to be the first in line for the job. So if they have the money to travel the world for a few years I say “why not!”. Why not get “life experience” as well as an education.

    While trashing the entire generation why don’t we give those who do make the effort a nod for a job well done.


    • 12:02 am

      Many thanks RLP.

      I don’t think I’ve been overly rough on the young people. All in all, I think I’ve been fair. Still, you’ve put me in mind of an idea. I’ll do my best to try and come up with a post that does nothing but point out the positive attributes of damned young people. There must be somethings….they create jobs in law enforcement. That’s a positive. Thanks for the idea – I’ll get writing ASAP.

      All the best.


      (By the way, that RLP looks a little too close to RIP for my liking.)

  46. Sedate Me permalink
    4:29 pm

    Mr Mills,

    I’m sorry but I have to disagree with you somewhat.

    I don’t think much of people with ambition to begin with. They tend to be arrogant, selfish, greedy, bastards who are in it only for themselves. That’s why I think today’s young people ARE ambitious. They are arrogant, selfish, greedy bastards who are in it only for themselves!

    The only thing they are lacking is a work ethic. They are too lazy to even qualify as slackers. They just expect to be handed jobs with enormous paychecks and incredible perks. They don’t expect to work to get them or even work once they get them. They just want to lie around and collect massive paydays.

    You know, like Too Big To Fail financial executives, which is probably what half of them will eventually become.

    • 12:06 am

      Many thanks Sedate Me,

      You make a very interesting point. At first, I was prepared to argue back that they aren’t ambitious, they’re just selfish and have an all consuming sense of entitlement. But after rereading your comment a few times now I’m not so sure.

      I’ll go pour myself a rye and give it some more thought. Still, regardless of what they are – they damned well piss me off.

      Many thanks Sedate Me. I appreciate your stopping in.

      Best regards,


  47. ferxist permalink
    1:27 pm

    Dear Mr. Mills,

    I know that situation, but over here in the Philippine metropolis, it’s not because the teenagers are given everything they want. It’s because they’re given nothing, no matter how hard they work.

    I saw a video of someone asking a beggar child on the street, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The boy replied “A doctor, or maybe an overseas worker.” So full of life. Sadly, very few of them realize these dreams, due to their circumstances.

    You could also blame it on drugs. Sooner or later, they perceive that they cannot achieve their dreams. They let illusions and induced chemical reactions shatter their goals in the future. What chance did they have? They live on the street. They didn’t get a proper education, having to spend their day begging for alms, or being manipulated by syndicates for their alms. Their only escape from that harsh reality is drugs.

    Being satisfied with something that can take away their hunger, misery, and pain, they lose their will to struggle, content with their pitiful lives.

    It’s just sad.

    Jonathan Ferxist

    • 12:07 am

      Many thanks young Jonathan,

      I appreciate the comment very much, lad. Indeed you’re right – it’s just damned sad.

      Many thanks for visiting.

      All the best,


  48. 10:07 pm

    Dear Mr Mills, as you will remember, I have occasionally stopped by to check on your health. Bowels – check. Heart and blood pressure – check. The time has come for me to suggest that you (and a few of your commenters) make an appointment to see a psychologist for some anger management and some cognitive behavioural therapy. Or maybe some analysis to help you over the neglect and abuse of your childhood. On second thoughts, get thee to a psychiatrist: a nice relaxing atypical anti-psychotic/mood stabiliser is possibly in order. I’m sure that then you and the young folk of the world would be a whole lot happier. Sincerely, Miss Eyeball.

    • The Avenger permalink
      6:31 am

      After seeing what you do for fun eyeball I feel that it’s you and your non nurse partner in crime who need the doctor. A proper unbringing would never have resulted in such vile behaviour. That’s not just a bit of fun you’re perverted!

      • 3:51 am

        I do believe I recognise the poisonous voice of a female troll. A troll by any other name (this one has many) still smells as bad as ever.

      • 7:27 am

        What’s an “unbringing” Avenger? And just what is it you’re wanting to avenge?

    • 1:29 pm

      Many thanks Miss Eyeball,

      I appreciate your interest in my health and the confirmation that I do, in fact, have both a heart and bowels. It’s damned comforting.

      I’m concerned, however, about your recommendation that I avail myself of some form of self-indulgent quackery. The only damned mood stabilizer I need is a decent tuna sandwich, a Murder She Wrote re-run and the occasional glass of rye.

      The last thing I need is some overpriced brain shrinker telling me I have “Histrionic personality disorder” or “Intermittent explosive disorder” and prescribing me a combination of free love, thorazine and talk therapy.

      In my view the world will be a whole lot happier when people stop looking for analysis, a diagnosis and an excuse and start looking to take personal responsibility for their actions.

      I do appreciate your concern, however, and intend to stabilize my mood with a light rye immediately.

      Best regards,


      • 4:00 am

        Dear Mr Mills,
        You don’t like free love? I always thought if love was not free then it wasn’t worth having.
        I only suggested the above course of action as I find my psychologist is very good for me, though I must admit that it took a long time to find her.
        Enjoy your light rye, Mr Mills, I’ll drop by again soon to see how you are doing,
        Best regards to you too,
        Miss Eyeball.

  49. 11:29 pm

    I really like this blog of yours Mr. Mills. I put it in my blogroll after reading only a couple of your posts. Clearly you have learned much in your long life. Such wisdom is a gift.

    I am only 53 and don’t really know squat. However, I’ve been around long enough to observe something in contradiction to your present claim. I think that the percentage of non-ambitious youngsters has not increased at all since the days you and your peers were in swaddling cloths. It only appears that it has because the culture of the USA has gone so far beyond the pale in self-indulgent claptrap. This is partly due to the industry of Madison Avenue, and partly due to the fact that the ethos of your generation over-emphasized economic productivity. This created emotional negative pressure which in turn created a generation of self-involved “thrill seekers”. Anyway that’s my crackpot theory.

    Thanks for blogging sir!

    • 1:31 pm

      Many thanks David,

      I appreciate the comment. I’m not sure I’m in full agreement but you do raise some interesting points and I’ll be sure to mull them over.

      All the best and thanks for visiting. I hope to hear from you again.

      All the best,


  50. 12:38 pm

    Entertaining as always 🙂

  51. 3:17 pm

    Well Don you have got to believe that not all young people are a problem, just most of them. The problems you and others point to in this missive is directly proportional to the ignorance and lackadaisical behavior of the PARENTS or lack thereof!

    Having raised one brood and another by remote control (moron ex-wife), I can categorically state without any reservation that asinine parenting is 100% the cause of young peoples stupidity and ignorance today!

    Don’t ANYONE try to tell me otherwise, because I am never wrong;-)

    IOBC (Irascible Old Bastards Club;-)

  52. 2:41 am

    I read “asshats” as “ass shats”, I must need new glasses but I’ll be stuffed if I’m going to go let some foreigner optometrist smarty pants rip me off, i’m wise to them I tell you, nothing wrong leaning forward and using a magnifying glass, thats initiative for you, something else those young ones lack…

  53. 6:30 pm

    I greatly appreciate your comments. I’m 35, and I see it all around me–especially in an urban area like Dallas. We’ve got a bunch of winey 20ish kids from the Park Cities (where all the rich folk live) who sit around at Starbucks all day pretending to be poor.

    I agree that many mistake dreams for ambition. I say, if you have a dream–be ambitious about it. Pursue it and make it happen. As a caddy told an older (than me anyway) man who got to play golf at Augusta when he asked for a short iron at the Amen corner, “You didn’t fly all this way to lay it up!”

    I have a dream of getting a doctorate so I can tell these young buckaroos a thing or two about ambition in college (well, seminary actually). I am now making the sacrifices to make that happen, financially and timewise. There is no excuse for laziness.

  54. lianamerlo permalink
    12:20 am

    I bet you’re unsatisfied with the new excuse kids are using to extend their free room and board at their parents’ house: “The job market is really tough nowadays.”

  55. Imateenagertoo permalink
    10:19 am

    Look, Don.
    I don’t think you should ever, EVER generalize as you have done in this post. Sure, youngsters nowadays have little ambition, or at least, less than they used to have in the past. But that is no reason to write a diatribe of the world’s youth. I’m a teenager too, and I have done and achieved a lot. Not to be immodest, but it’s true that there are a small percentage of us who actually feel like achieving something in this world.

    Exactly which war do you expect teenagers today to fight in? What hardships do you want them to face? We have a different set of challenges to face, and some of us actually feel like rising up above them. You cannot expect us to run away from home to learn how to live alone. Just because your idiot neighbor’s son is holidaying in Europe and you’re angry about it is no reason to put up such a post on the internet. It’s unfair of you, and I would expect something better of someone who has seen as much of life as you must have.

    I don’t really know why I’m so affected by your post, but I beg that none of your other posts are as harsh as this.

  56. pot head permalink
    2:00 pm

    i like how you think its our fault that we lack ambition. if it wasnt for every old person giving into the desires of young people it wouldnt be like this. so in reality its your fault things are this way. your generation is the one that made everything easy for us. its not our fault that schools have gotten more relaxed or that we take a year off to go to europe. its your generations fault for making it this way. if you want to blame anyone for our behavior nowadays, blame your self.

  57. 2:16 am


    That’s hilarious….one of your tags for this is “trench mouth”….too funny!


  58. 1:55 pm

    If I might add just one more comment here. This is from the San Francisco newspaper and I think it proves that not every teen has a lack of gumption:

    You GO girl!


  59. Mariah permalink
    8:56 am

    I hate how so many people (at my school) have no values whatsoever, no ambitions, and act on impulse! They cheat, show ignorance, have sex for sport, girls wear ridiculously low cut shirts and tight jeans [not to mention that the major emphasis on girls is being stick thin and getting silicon implants], and most guys can’t even hold a door for a girl! Ugh! I’m just glad my parents raised me to have more dignity than that and I’ve come to appreciate your blog because often times my own generation disgusts me! [I am 14 by the way.]

  60. Student permalink
    5:19 am

    I think one thing that affects kids today is the intense competition that they face everywhere they turn. I’ve struggled through a difficult engineering curriculum at a large university for the past three years of my life. I continuously hear the message from the media that what the United States needs most is engineers to help us compete in the global economy, but the message I continually get from my professors and competitive classes is “you are not smart/ elite enough to be here, get the hell out.” People can only take so much before they give up.
    And furthermore, I’m afraid that the situation today isn’t what it was when you were young, where a bit of hard work for four years will give you a degree and a job. In my field, chemical engineering, the amount of prerequisite knowledge you need to even begin to contribute new ideas to the field is incredible. A master’s degree is commonplace in most fields now because four years of undergraduate studies is only enough to learn everything that has been accomplished up to this point.
    It is much harder to start up a business, or create an innovative product today than it was 40 years ago. Ambition only works after slogging through 6-7 years of education after college.

  61. Montecristo permalink
    3:50 pm

    Do agree with this one I want to be a neurosurgeon when I get older yet most of my class mates don’t even no what they want to do by the end of college. I’m a straight A-student and actually get made fun of because of my ambition and determination.

  62. Loaf permalink
    12:47 pm

    I do not think it is such a hot idea to make little kids work 8 hour days. In your time that may have been necessary. Now it is not. In stone age, kids probably had to help pin down the leg of a sabertooth, while dad took care of the business end. That doesn’t mean you still live that way. If someone doesn’t want to work 15 hour days; does not want to become the president, that is a personal choice. Some might want to work a pleasant 10-5 job and have time for their family and hobbies afterward. Some might enjoy a real vacation of a week or two every year. It is not a crime to take a real vacation. Everyone can’t be Obama. There is always room for the writers, the painters, the football players, and the guy who works 8 none too hectic hours in the driving license office.

  63. Violalalin permalink
    9:19 pm

    YOU ARE FANTASTIC!!!! Can’t wait for more… you are a genius!

  64. Snowkiss permalink
    9:39 pm

    I know too many cases of this…
    All they want to do is listen to their ipod, get immersed in movies, and just laze around.
    I wonder if they ever get bored?
    Well, as they say, the darker the night, the brighter the stars shine.
    And those stars are mighty few…

  65. Markus permalink
    12:26 am

    Very True. I’m probably the most indifferent person I know and I actually have very simple goals for myself. I consider myself relatively void of ambition in general and I have no problem with that whatsoever. They hardest part about it is telling people because I did so well in high school (and academics in general) that they assume I should be doing “big things” because I’m “intelligent” but I don’t care to live up to anyone’s expectations but my own and I prefer the simpler things. It’s rare that circumstances get under my skin enough to motivate me to anything more than I feel necessary. I have no problem watching the world go by. I enjoy observing others; being on the outside looking in so to speak. I tried the overachieving, self-motivation bit in high school and found it an exhausting way to please everyone else when I honestly, truly, did not care about the things they told me I should. I’m far more content and fulfilled with just being a drifting, casual observer of life than feigning ambition. I’m sure you’d find it unfortunate to hear that I have no problem with my apparent lack of ambition and I won’t fight you on that because of my general indifference for most things. I will agree, however, that there is certainly a lack of ambition in today’s youth if I’m any reflection of said youth.

    • 5:17 pm

      Markus and Mango, I liked your posts. In fact, I’ve enjoyed reading all sides of this discussion and found myself laughing out loud at some of it. It is unfair to blanket all youth with the negative statements being made, yet the only reason I’m on this blog in the first place is because I did a google search for “when young adults lack ambition”, trying to get my head around why my step daughters are so lazy. So, I’ll admit that my self-righteousness, borne of many years of 12 to even 24 hour days running my own consulting firm, had me nodding my head in agreement at some of the judgements and pointed sarcasm – until I reflected to a greater depth.

      I have always believed that not everyone is meant to have a title. We should be able to make our own choices in life without being judged, as long as we’re not hurting others, and we’re supporting our decisions and lifestyle through our own means. People like Markus and Mango and others below my post are not the youth that piss me off. Their very ability to be so thoughtful and eloquent in their responses shows that they didn’t spend their development years glued to reality TV shows and computer games. And so few people are happy in their jobs in the first place, so why force anyone into a situation like that if they are able to support themselves to be as they want to be. There will always be people with ambition to build and maintain the infrastructure, to create soul-changing art, and to immerse themselves in the scientific development and preservation of the world, etc. So, we don’t need to be worried about a dying workforce, and ambitious humans.

      The youth that get under my skin are those that never have to experience any consequences for their actions or decisions. They are either overprotected from feeling hurt or fear or deep sadness, and cruise along as they please; or their parents don’t give a damn and they can make their own rules. So, how do they learn to be even a casual observer of life when they don’t have a very deep perspective from which to work? How can they have any self-confidence if they don’t even truly know what their personal best is because they’ve never been expected to try or work hard?

      I think ambition (I prefer ‘motivation’) is borne of a solid personal foundation. I hold parents responsible. The entire education system is declining because parents can’t see their little Johnny failing and it must be the school’s fault and schools don’t want to be seen as being unable to successfully educate kids, so, policies are changed, requirements softened, and kids are passed now whether they know the subjects for not. Whatever happens, little Johnny mustn’t cry or feel bad about himself. Thank goodness University is a different story, but professors face lots of hassle (I have one friend, a Professor of Communications, who had to introduce segments to teach basic grammar to College students in their first year).

      I am trying to convince my husband that if my step-daughter, who is 23, fails any more classes (she failed three years of University, downgraded to college this year and already failed one class) then she should no longer be allowed to live in our house (she lives there alone, everything paid for). She is not being forced to go to University nor to study the discipline she has chosen. She truly can be/do whatever she wants. But, she claims she wants to be a Bio Engineer, and that she studies hard and doesn’t need a tutor. So, whose fault is this? We adults, all in our 50s (her mother included), are enabling her laziness.

  66. Mango permalink
    8:25 pm

    As I was reading the comments after the article I intended on posting a response very similar to yours Markus. What’s wrong with being “unambitious”? If someone wants to tell me what I should be doing with my life, and judge me on that accord, that’s their prerogative. But don’t get so indignant when you realize that not everyone is like you or wants the same things out of life as you do. If you consider that ambition is nothing more than the desire to achieve a particular end then I suppose everyone must have it. Someone tell me what is wrong with leading a relatively simple life. We are not all out to change the world and many that are end up just making it worse than it was before through their misguided overzealousness. Just as the older generation says it sickens them that kids (including adults in their 20’s) are so lazy and unambitious it equally sickens me how the vast majority of these baby boomers, who were once democrats now turned republican, once “free spirits” now turned hard-nosed codgers, continue bashing the people who have barely been on this planet long enough to begin screwing it up. Maybe instead of criticizing the people who live in the so-called disagreeable world others have built you should start criticizing the ones who built it. In any case, such stark generalizations have always irritated me. The world is not so neatly divided into such categories as many seem to view it. Each individual has their own skill sets, their own faults, their own perspectives and convictions. Lets stop saying “oh those damn 20 year olds, those damn Muslims, those damn blacks, those damn corporate profiteers and governmental warmongers” and start realizing that there are 20 year olds more ambitious, capable, and accomplished than you or I will ever be, Muslims more good-hearted and rational than you or I will ever be, black people who are smarter, more just, and determined than you or I will ever be, “corporate profiteers” who are more generous than you or I will ever be, and “governmental warmongers” who have their thumbs on the pulse of the worlds issues and needs more than you or I ever will. Some of us become precisely what we detest; some of us don’t even realize until much later, if ever, that we’ve made such drastic wrong turns and miscalculations. But one thing is certain, that even the best of us, the most intelligent, right-minded, and ethically sound, are merely clumsily bungling our way through life never really certain of what the hell we are or should be doing.

    All in good debate. No (well minimal) personal offense intended.

  67. 5:01 pm

    I like your blog, but am a little offended by the blanketed statements. My husband and I are both “young people,” (I’m 28; he’s 31) and we are successful and ambitious, as are most of our friends. My husband is an attorney and I am a professional writer. We both wanted the life we have since we were teenagers, we worked hard for it and we attained it. Granted, we were taught that hard work begets success, which necessitates more hard work. Our parents did not raise us to be unambitious or lazy.

    Perhaps we are the exception, but that hasn’t been my observation.

    Again, I enjoy your blog. I just saw an opportunity to defend some of my peers and maybe debate a little.

  68. 4:58 am

    Dear Don,

    I love the part about Europe!

    Times change, and now every lad and girl KNOW they can be President, all at the same time!

    Don, whoever you are, I love your blog.

    Warmest regards,

  69. mike, not the rude guy up top permalink
    2:44 am

    I happen to be 22 years young and I don’t know a lot but I do know the market for decent jobs is part of my problem. I don’t lack ambition I lack opportunity. I just so happen to live in the Lansing area of Michigan. My training in precision machining means absolutely nothing when thousands of automotive workers are out of a job so now my life long dream of building cars is now pretty much a pipe dream. At least I finally got a job working with cars now even if it is only changing oil and tires, it still beats 3 years of pushing shopping carts. On a side note my belief on the problem of youths these days stems from the lack of manual transmissions in cars, just a thought.

    • Sedate Me permalink
      8:01 pm

      You live close enough to Detroit to warrant my condolences.

  70. Oldgoat permalink
    7:55 pm

    What the hell is this “find themselves” crap? When I was a young man, I always knew where I was – right where my dad said to be. If I wasn’t, I would shortly return there courtesy the toe of his boot.
    200 years ago (more or less, I don’t recall exactly as I was fairly young then), we left the shores of Europe to make something of ourselves in the New Country. What exactly do they expect to find over there? Some of the crap we forgot to pack?? Assclowns indeed.

  71. Kid permalink
    7:41 pm


    When I came across your blog, I must say that at first I felt the “young person” in me get riled up at your comments. However, in spite of that, I found that a lot of the things that you were saying were interesting; it was interesting to get a classic senior’s view on modern society. You really are that classic “damn-kids-get-off-my-lawn” kind of senior.

    So, I sat and read a couple more of your blogs, scowling when I read the things that I found to be untrue, and laughing when I read the stuff that was.

    And then, I read this article, and smiled.

    I’m living in a very privileged household, and I’ve always had lots of family members to support me, lots of resources at my disposal, and lots of time to sit around and truly exercise that attitude of laziness that most people my age seem to adopt. But, there’s one thing that really sets me apart. One thing that I am always frustrated with when dealing with the other kids my age, at school or otherwise.

    Practical ambition.

    I decided, around the age of 15, that I wanted so very very badly (as badly as a young girl can want something) to be a pilot. I wanted to fly like those old world war pilots in their Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes. I wanted to fly like those grinning fighter jet pilots in the CF-18’s, and do all those cool tricks like those beautiful captures of the Snowbirds flying overhead.

    I wanted to be like Amelia Earhart, grinning with painted lips and disappearing into the clouds, leaving people wondering at that amazing bit of history that I left behind.

    This would be what you call a “vision of grandeur”. It isn’t very practical. But it’s what got me started.

    I worked and worked and worked towards this goal. I joined Air Cadets and eagerly soaked up every morsel of information I could. I listened, did what I was told, and sweated until I could impress my superiors enough to hope that they would recommend me for a scholarship that would start the journey to answer my dreams. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to become a pilot under my own finances (it’s very expensive to learn), and I knew what I had to do to get this scholarship. I approached it practically, fingers-crossed, sweating and teeth gritting all the way until at the age of 17, I received a scholarship to get my Glider Pilot’s License.

    Then, through the whole summer, I lived on a base while learning how to fly, my skills and learning being put to the test every day. I pushed gliders across dry fields under 37 degrees celcius weather conditions while being expected to watch circuits and explain wind conditions to my instructor who patiently waited for me to get the hang of things (I did not want to let that man down). I nearly failed, but I kept on pushing until I got through it and landed to the standard. This experience did more than just teach me to glide, it taught me to be a stronger, better person. A person with better character.

    And then I went back to school in the fall.

    People my age have ambition, but that ambition is usually centred around the accumulation of money and possessions. They want more than anything to “achieve” these things, but have no ambition in the sense of the way that they are going to go about getting these things. They expect that if they simply want it bad enough, society will somehow give it to them.

    “I’m going to be a model, singer, business man, actor, etc.” These are the things I hear ringing through the halls every day. And the people saying them have no idea how to even start working towards these goals. I heard a guy talking in the hallway yesterday, boasting about how he was going to be an accountant and work his way up through some big company. The math teacher comes around the corner, and mentions that you need math to get into those programs in university. The guys response was “No you don’t! Accountants use calculators anyway!” As the math teacher walked away, I hear him mumble “Stupid bitch.” and continue boasting to his friends about how he was “gonna prove that bitch wrong.”

    He wants to be an accountant only because it makes you money. He wants to be an accountant, and he isn’t even taking math.

    I hate how people my age don’t have strong ambitions, and don’t have a clue as to what kind of effort they have to put in to achieve their goals. I worked so hard this year as well, and this year I managed to receive the Power Pilot Scholarship, and I’m going to learn how to fly powered aircraft. Adults, a select group of my friends, and other cadets recognize the significance of this. The response of most people at my school is that what I’m doing is “pretty cool” and “wow, I wish I could do something like that”. They then usually start talking about what so-and-so said about “that other guy” or what they plan to do on the weekend.

    Some kids my age have that spark of ambition, and know how to get where they want to be. A lot don’t.

    A few days ago, most of my friends were busy writing tests or studying at home. I had an appointment with my teacher advisor, and I was waiting, walking around the hallways by myself. I hadn’t been walking around the school by myself in a while; my friends are usually with me.

    I felt like the only grounded teen on the entire 3rd floor.

    So, I guess what I mean by all this, is thanks for the blog. It was a good way to spend my morning. I don’t agree with everything that you say here, but this article hit it bang on.



    • York Mills permalink
      6:30 pm

      While I can’t speak for my brother, I have to say that I think you are a very impressive young lady. (But I suspect he would agree, isn’t that right, Don?) Best of luck, York.

    • Sedate Me permalink
      1:30 pm

      You wanted to be like Amelia Earhart? Laudable, but (Spoiler Alert!) I seem to recall her story didn’t end so well.

  72. Jason M. permalink
    10:54 pm

    What’s wrong with socialized medicine?

  73. Teenandproud permalink
    5:57 am

    Dear Mr. Mills,

    I have to disagree with you on this. I am definitely a “young person” (I am going to be a senior in high school this coming year), and I definitely do not lack ambition. I am a straight “A” student, take plenty of Advanced Placement classes (getting B+ to A in those), and have never needed my parents or teachers to push me to achieve. If I get anything lower than an “A” i get angry at myself and push myself harder (and this is in every subject, not just one that i enjoy., even if i do not like the subject, i still work hard). My parents don’t have to worry about doing that.

    I currently am looking at colleges, and once i graduate from college i plan to either work in my chosen field for a few years to gain experience (i hear employers really like that) or go to graduate school, where i plan to get the highest degree i can get in my field so that i am able to get the best job i can in my field.

    While i personally do not have a job, that is because i instead spend my time volunteering for organizations like “Feed My Starving Children” and “Habitat For Humanity” (which is an organization that builds homes for those who can not afford housing normally, but are still able to maintain a house at a lower cost.) In my opinion these are very worthy causes, and while i am able, i love helping those in need. Also, because of the “Habitat for Humanity” volunteering i am gaining construction experience that i would not otherwise have. So it is still beneficial to me.

    Plenty of my friends are just as ambitious as i am. And it is not like we are what you would expect for this. I go to a performing arts high school, and this has actually helped me because it has allowed me (and my friends) to do something that we love to do, in addition to simply learning in the traditional way.

    I am sorry that you seem to have met all of the unambitious and lazy teens and young adults out there. While i am not contesting that they do exist, i only hope that you can see that we are not all like that. There are plenty of us out there that are as ambitious as you please. And i am sorry for all of those teens that have been rude to you.

    Best wishes,


    P.S. Mike, if you want Mr. Mills and people like him to reconsider their opinions of teenagers, than it is probably not a good strategy to say things like “shut up old man!!!”. that will only reinforce what they are already thinking. if you want to change their minds, then be polite. Just saying.

  74. Teenandproud permalink
    6:05 am

    Mr Mills,

    I have to admit that there are plenty of ambition less teens out there. i just wanted to say that there are also teens with ambition. thank you for the article, i found it very interesting.


  75. 3:14 am

    I have no ambition. We all die, so why do anything? Well, I want to do something in life. I have to idea what to do though. I’d like to say I’m spinning around like a compass, looking for direction. But being a young peron, I’m too lazy and decide to just stand around.

  76. Andrea Guilla permalink
    4:27 pm

    That’s true!
    Your blog is very nice.

  77. Galen permalink
    12:30 am

    Unambitious? Young people are driving the world of today far more than your crabby old generation ever did. I and my friends here in Montgomery County pour hundreds of hours of community service into projects all around the city, study for hours after school every day, and keep ourselves connected to each other and the world outside the US in an effort to keep this country great while we figure out how to help it rebound from years of getting screwed by complacent adults willing to elect dignified, incompetent people just like themselves into office. If any of us are truly unambitious, it is because of how cynical they have become seeing people crushed by the economy, hard working people out of work and struggling. I spend every hour of my life busting my ass to get a great education, one I will continue into college instead of learning how to shine shoes with my tongue, thank you very much. America’s age of declaring itself superior, hardworking, and just is certainly waning. If you’re not careful, maybe us youngsters go to Europe and stay there, and work as hard as we do to make it great. You can enjoy the peace and quiet until your old bones rust and Social Security dries up because there are so many of you old farts that we cannot bear the weight of your collective uselessness. Go to Europe if you expect the young to waste their precious ambition helping you feel secure about the future instead of going out and attaining it.

  78. Anonymous permalink
    10:23 pm

    You’re an idiot.

  79. 9:03 am

    I am a young person, I had ambitions in my few years ,however when I reached for university they started to fade. I can describe myself right now “With no real aim” , All what I do now is reading books , giving advice to other students.

    It just frustrates me to see one of my friends saying “I can never be a dentist. I’ll just go to the military ; you guarantee the salary there. “. But it frustrates me even more that I can’t tell what I am aiming for. I can’t even find something “worthy” of writing in my little blog, which I had been visiting everyday for more than a year, without updating any article.

    What do you see as a solution for this problem, Don?
    I know there is a string, but I can’t find it’s start to be able to follow.


  80. Forest Karrlson permalink
    12:21 am

    You need talk from a “young person” as i write this i was just looking up the definition of unambitious on google but this page came up and i clicked on it and read your ranting and id like to say that i work my ass off for good grades in school and when i graduate i will not fly over to europe im going to go to a university and work my ass off there and then when i do have a life im going to make sure theyre not like the ones you mentioned in your article.

  81. 1:53 am

    Hello Don,

    I stumbled across your article while doing a research paper for my sociology class regarding the importance of education from a functionalist point of view and frankly, I have to agree entirely with you. I have met some of the newer generation who slip through the cracks and actually want to do something but the lot of them are simply interested in partying and getting drunk or even pregnant! That last part is the one that I truly can’t wrap my head around. I’m 28 now with a full six year service in the Alaska Army Guard, I’ve been deployed once and perhaps the single most important lesson I’ve taken from my time is that while I should enjoy my twenties and use them to explore my life, I should also take the time to learn what I want to do with my life.
    I graduate in 2014 thankfully and while I definitely had a late start I will be able to hold my head high knowing I achieved something that separates me from any random person on the street I may pass. Frankly, the idea of being in my 30’s and still not having anything to my name like a home ,degree or in the very least a damn good job terrifies me. How can a person take pride in themselves when they look back on their lives and realize that they have essentially done nothing of any real worth?
    My only idea for getting the new generations on track? A mandatory enlistment (for all healthy adults) in the military for a minimum of two years. I realize this is a very controversial subject but after going through basic training myself, even though it is significantly ‘gentler’ than what it was in the 80’s and prior, the benefits that ‘anyone’ no matter how stubborn they are, are simply undeniable! You can be the most arrogant and authority hating individual on the planet but eventually, you will get tired of push ups or whatever else the Drill Sergeant’s concoct. Sooner or later, you will fall into the group and take note of the lessons being given. Most importantly, you will learn the value of hard work.

  82. Anonymous permalink
    11:58 pm


  83. Lazer permalink
    9:01 pm

    Im a hard working 23 year old, currently finishing my last college credit, sitting at my 60 hour a week job right now on my break and I completely diagree with this article. I will say it sickens me what this generation has become, but if they want to fuck off and party thats their god damned right and who in the fuck are you old man to tell them otherwise. I fuck off ocassionally and party, but only after my works done. I dont think the problems with the youth, but with the older people. Ive had more than a few older people get pissed at me because Im more successful than they were at my age. Its almost like they have a sense of entitlement that just becasue their numerical value is higher than mine that the are better,wiser, or can somehow treat me as a second class citizen. The best is when I have research, statisical data sheets, and facts to back up what Im talking about and I know more than these elders do and am more ambitious and they still act like im a fucking idiot. Times are also different too as there is very limited upward mobility due to the fact that people need these pieces of papers called degrees to some how be worthy of a job. Whatever happend to just being competent and having a fucking brain? You want to know something every job I\’ve ever had I outperform even my bosses when it comes to work and they still dont give me promotions because I dont have the credentials. This system is so fucked and Im kind of happy that this younger generation doesnt give a fuck. We\’re not all not lazy retards you haggard old bag, but some of us give the others a bad rap. Im just just as sure there were slackers in the older generation because as the lyrics to The Talking Heads song goes \”Its the same as it ever was\”.

    Oh and on a side note I know im violating your comment rules, but fuck is such a marvelous word. Its in-fucking-credible, awe-fucking-some, beauti-fucking-ful, a-fucking-mazing. You see what I did there old man I used it in a positive connotation as an interjection.

    Best Regards,
    An old, grumpy, pissed off youngin.

  84. Jack permalink
    1:27 am

    Stop moaning you old cunt. It’s ignorant, cynical, useless, self-righteous pensioners like you that are currently draining the UK economy; not the majority of young people, who are bright and motivated.

    If it irritates you that much fuck off back to 1974, otherwise continue to reminicise about the war and cricket and tea and England and whatever else you do, but stop bloody whining.

    Successive Tory governments and New Labour have created a economy so dependent on one square mile of speculating shitheads in the City, destroying manufacturing and production and creating a generation dependent on benefits. At least New Labour sent more young people to Uni which is a good thing not least to counter the stupidity of people like you. Now there’s just a plethora of the most dull and uninspiring office-based sentences of tedium in Marketing, Accounts, P&R, Recruitment, Software Development and the charge sheet goes on.

    Why should I pretend that I’m that bothered about becoming a middle-manager somewhere soul-destroying so I can get a death-grip at 70%, if I’m lucky, or a good old Jag or Roller which I would wager you have got which is good enough reason not to acquire one.

    The only place young people can go these days, if they’re ambitious, is in politics, law or media where they’re all scum, or fuck off overseas and work for some huge multinational that can give them some decent opportunities.

    Maybe ambition for you was going round the colonies and giving the Germans a nice spanking but that was 70 years ago and that time is over, and soon so will yours, you old git.

  85. 6:03 pm

    Hey why dont you try searching for jobs and doing all ya can just so some Tory government can take it all away from you I have ambition thankyou very much and mainly its to get the fuck outta this shithole of a country. 2 degrees and no one will employ me hows that for fairness?

  86. 8:05 pm

    What exactly are we supposed to be working towards?

    I’ve been laid off 5 times in the last 3 years. I now work at about one-third the wage I worked at 4 years ago. I was just laid off again and my employer said “You are the most professional worker I’ve ever hired, but I can’t afford to keep you.” At 14 dollars an hour how much less do I have to make to keep a job?

    And what if I do succeed? I get married to a woman who may or may not stick around. Thanks to your generation and no-fault divorce she can leave at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all and enrich herself in the process.

    She’ll get half of everything and then get alimony, the kids, child support, and maybe even more if she decides to make false accusations that, although completely dis-proven, still destroy my reputation and empower the courts to further privilege her at my expense.

    I’ve got two bachelors degrees. My first degree was a pre-law degree from WKU. My female professor told me I would never get into law school because they wouldn’t allow me to pass the bar. I had a 3.8 gpa. I went back to school for psychology degree and to hopefully get a masters and doctorate but the feminist adviser they gave me told me, “You’ll never get a doctorate and it bothers me that you think you can come here and get a bachelors in two years and then go get a masters just like that.”

    As a man in this society I am not equal. I’m a piece of shit until I prove otherwise. I do this by being a soldier and suffering the horrors and deprivations of war or by working myself to death making money AND then giving that money over to support women and children.

    Who supports me? Who gives something back to men? Who has any obligations to men? Where is there an identity in all this that I can be proud of? Men and shamed and blamed no matter what we do. The only person who doesn’t shame me is my copy of Skyrim.

    What you advocate for men is to be slaves. To work hard and fulfill obligations that will never be reciprocated.

    Well pal I’m not property and I’m not going to become property by getting married. I don’t see employment as lucrative and every job I’ve ever had has been a dead end despite having two bachelors.

    Ambition is for people with connections and family contacts. It’s for women who can get affirmative action and preferential treatment all their lives. For working class guys like me ambition is just pounding my head against the wall and getting nothing but a headache.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If society punishes male achievement or attempts to achieve enough then it gets what its got–apathetic men who aren’t ambitious. That’s what you get when you blame men for everything and say that men in power is why there is everything bad in the world.

    Fuck that and fuck you old man.

  87. 4:36 pm

    As a young person, I am sick of this attitude. I worked hard all my life to get a degree and the career I want, even if it meant fighting you old buggers who refuse to give me a chance. I have ambition, but I was born at the wrong time with the wrong brain. Try being disabled in this economy. I hate my lot in life just like you, but you cynical oldies won’t lend a hand to us “lazy young people” . You wonder why we get apathetic?

  88. Anonymous permalink
    4:49 am

    I’m a young a person, a college student to be exact, and I think you’re right on. Then again I grew up in Iowa, worked on the farm, and walked up hill both ways in the snow to my rural school everyday.. so in a lot of ways grew up the same way you old farts did. But society seems to be trending downwards. You guys should have done a better job of not letting the country go to hell these past 50 yrs

  89. Adam permalink
    4:51 am

    I’m a young a person, a college student to be exact, and I think you’re right on. Then again I grew up in Iowa, worked on the farm, and walked up hill both ways in the snow to my rural school everyday.. so in a lot of ways grew up the same way you old farts did. But society seems to be trending downwards. You guys should have done a better job of not letting the country go to hell these past 50 yrs

  90. Anonymous permalink
    6:53 pm

    I know loads of smart, ambitious, driven, motivated, and successful people of the gen-x, gen-y, and those on the cusp.

  91. Eric permalink
    5:11 am

    I had a couple thoughts in response to this article. The original makes me think of my grandfather, except your article seems a little more thought out and a hell of a lot more tactful.

    The first thought was the personal side:

    My goals have never been materialistic, but contemplative. I never cared for possessions, titles, or taking charge of my life. Instead, my interests have always been in finding truth, emotional healing, and surrendering the flow of my life to God (although I’m not religious, it’s this is the best metaphor I can come up with).

    People like me at one time would likely have been monks or priests, but religion today is mostly dogmatic, political, and moralistic jabber, so I’m not attracted to that circus.

    And I’m not looking to get preachy here (I swear I’m not religious, or even Christian, I’m just on a roll here), as what anyone does with their life is their business, but *every major world religion* strongly recommends asceticism, which is a lack of worldly ambition. I can find a multitude of Bible verses and Buddhist sutras as examples (I don’t want to clog this comment with them though).

    I also like to think that my “lack of ambition” has brought me to some pretty unique experiences. I spent 3 years homeless in a large city – very unique and challenging experience. I lived out in the woods for a while. I can now handcraft a traditional wooden bow straight from a tree, simply because it was an interest I pursued, largely at the expense of having economic ambitions.


    The second thought was less personal and more observational:

    I think young people as a whole are actually getting a little wiser. It’s rare I meet older folks who don’t confuse ends with means (and seem to insist that ends be met with specific means that happen to be familiar to them).

    When I discuss the subject of machine automation eventually becoming advanced enough to do almost all the necessary but menial jobs for us, my (young) friend responds with, “Cool! Then people won’t be forced to do them and can turn to art, science, and more fulfilling occupations,” while my grandfather is horrified by the idea: “Then what would force people to work? Everyone would be lazy.”

    He doesn’t seem to understand that work is not an intrinsically fulfilling end, it’s a means to an end (for most people, those ends are survival, comfort, and community/feeling like one has a purpose). Not that there’s anything wrong with work or using it to fulfill other desires, it’s just that my young friend seems to have a more refined discrimination because he understands the difference between means and ends.

    I think my overall point here in the second thought is to hold up a bit of a mirror. I don’t see many people that think this type of thought (“Damn these unambitious young people!”) to feel happiness or joy or gratitude or have any positive experience at all with these types of thoughts. My best guess is that older folks who feel critical of the world today are mostly (and naturally) scared of the unfamiliar. Technology changes at an incredible pace, and culture responds to that pace. I’m not saying this is what’s happening for you, but it’s worth considering that a post like this is less about young people and more about your own unexpressed feelings.

  92. James permalink
    12:25 am

    Even though I’m 17 I completely agree with you on this, people are amazed when I tell them I own a business but to me it was just a yeah of hard work which should be a normal thing for everyone, without hard work you get nothing where I live. Teens who just aspire to “be famous” are a drain on society, It’s good to be ambitious but having a plan is extremely important and you shouldn’t just assume you’ll get famous from sitting on your ass and wishing for the best. “Good things come to those who wait”. Not true, good things come to those who go out and earn it. Another thing is that a lot of people blame other people for their problems, it’s not Obama’s fault you’re too lazy to go out and earn some money to buy some more bullshit coffee. Selfies are not more important than building a future for yourself.

  93. Anonymous permalink
    4:56 pm


  94. 7:13 pm

    “Anglo – Saxon” last name? tbh imma go know like first you’re a fool, now you’re a fucking klansman. wtf mf

  95. Erika permalink
    11:01 pm

    Well i never had “ambition” because most of the things our market fundamentalist neo-liberal (all values are driven by market value) society has to offer are meaningless and pointless to me. The fact that i have two advanced sciene degrees and work experience in a third did not stop me from dropping out of the work force to pursue my own interests.
    I prefer freedom which in our society costs your entire life and attention.
    I would rather LIVE my life, and work next to none.

    Since it was drtummed into my head that “SOCIETY DOESN’T OWE YOU A LIVING” i can say that it is a two way street, I do not owe society a DAMN THING EITHER. I am sick and tired of the welfare whore corporations sucking government titty socializing the cost of WALL STREET while privatizing the profits.t, and then being told that “we are lall in this together” and have to subscribe to collectivism for the peons (we owe children a public school indoctrination that will turn them into mutant drones, WE OWES the government for our freedom we owes we owes we owes…)

    Very little of anything society has to offer ha any value to me.
    Land certainly and self sufficiency is what i am wanting, not being forced to participate in a POS human farm that conitnually milks me of my life energy.

    And yes, my husband and i are rapidly approaching the point wwhere we can pretty much drop off the grid and mostly leave society behind.


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