An Alphabet Of Things I Don’t Like: E

Entitlement.

“An entitlement is the right to a particular privilege or benefit, granted by law or custom. If someone has a sense of entitlement, that means the person believes he deserves certain privileges — and he’s arrogant about it.”

I don’t remember much ever being said about entitlement until the year 2000. That’s when many young people started to seem to feel that they were entitled to anything they desired. That might be the latest trainers, (tennis shoes/sneakers) a mobile phone, (cellphone) or the new version of an X-Box or Playstation. And they didn’t want to work at jobs that they thought were not for them. Or work for pay that they didn’t think was enough.

Even when it was.

They didn’t want to have to pay rent and buy their own food either, and we suddenly had a generation of people still living with their parents into their thirties. They didn’t think much about obeying rules and laws, and started to disrespect authority in any form; from the police on the streets, to the teachers in the school classrooms. It hadn’t taken long for a huge number of over-tolerant mollycoddling parents to have created millions of surly cuckoos in their nests.

And they were scared to upset their own offspring.

Entitlement manisfested itself in other ways. Pushing in front of queues, complaining about the wait at a supermarket checkout, parking in disabled-only bays, and playing loud music on public transport or blasting it out through the open windows of their cars. They wanted to listen to their music, and didn’t care that others didn’t.

They were entitled.

They complained about their lot. They couldn’t afford to get a mortgage, so were unable to get on the property ladder. House prices were too high, so they had to rent. That’s if they ever moved out of course. They didn’t understand old people who couldn’t use a computer, or anyone who didn’t know what Spotify was. Social media ruled their lives, and provided them with a tribe to belong to.

Nobody else understood them, and everyone over 60 might as well be dead. Except their parents of course, because they provided a roof over their head, food to eat, and washed their new designer T-shirts according to the detailed instructions they were happy to dictate.

Most of those ‘entitled people’ are in their thirties now. Some are over forty. But they haven’t changed. You only have to look at how they behave during the Coronavirus pandemic to see those truculent teenagers are still in there somewhere. Entitled not to wear a mask. Entitled to go to parties. Entitled to walk around in groups with their friends. Entitled to buy one hundred rolls of toilet paper because it’s in short supply.

And they are buying tiny Ugg boots and Converse for their babies, and giving them gold bracelets to wear. And they won’t let them go to school in any old clothes, oh no.

Because they, like them, are entitled.

75 thoughts on “An Alphabet Of Things I Don’t Like: E

  1. You’re preaching to the converted here, Pete. Like Pippa, I don’t have any children, so I won’t rant about parents, because I’m sure it’s a very tough job, but it’s true. Everybody is entitled and has a right to everything, but nobody is responsible or has to do anything in return. I regularly interview people working for charities, local associations, or people in charge of local facilities (youth centres, libraries…) and they are always reluctant to have their pictures taken, as they don’t want to be the centre of attention or get credit. What a contrast!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t like entitlement either but I don’t think the blame lays entirely on politicians of any era or political leaning…I think much of it comes from this celebrity culture but who am I…Yes, I probably spoilt my kids in some people eyes …Ponies etc BUT she had to muck out, pick out the hoofs and muck out the field(not the best) job in the world as those who know will confirm … she learnt the value of …you work for what you have …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m on my guard with the kids, swift retribution awaits at any hint of entitlement, that and the fail safe ‘you can have my phone for an hour but first you must look after the goats for an hour’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just read that Ivanka and Jared had to pull their three children out of school after parents complained about their obvious flouting of covid precautions demanded of all parents and children at the school. Sometimes the entitled get their comeuppance.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And apparently New York City is not welcoming them back to the social scene. They may have to move to New Jersey. Don’t know the English equivalent of that, but it is rather like moving from a Mercedes to a Chevy.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Something like moving from Kensington to Hackney. 🙂 (Two very different districts of London. One expensive and fashionable in the west, the other dangerous and run down in the east.)
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to admit that my daughters are a little entitled, but it’s not entirely their fault. My husband and I have enabled them. We’ve spoiled them and babied them. That said, they’re also really great people. Both of them have gotten off to a slower start, yes, but they wouldn’t think of putting others at risk by not simply wearing a mask. They were never wild or disobedient. They certainly weren’t perfect but they were and are kind. And both of them are healthy, happy and are moving on with their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pete, this essay was right on target. In recent years, the younger generations have felt entitled to what their parents and grandparents have worked so hard for years to have, but they want it RIGHT NOW. I think it’s this sense of entitlement which is giving rise to socialism in this country among the younger generations. Since they are unwilling to work at low wages, and are too impatient to wait for financial growth in the workplace, they view big government as a provider. Let the older taxpayers fund their so-called needs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I won’t get heavily into politics, David, as I am aware of your own affiliations. But I do not think there is one real ‘Socialist’ living in America. You have lived in Europe, and well-know the real meaning of Socialism. Even the so-called American ‘left’ is comparable to our right-leaning Conservative Party. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s those on the IOW who think they’re above the rest of us who often choose not to wear masks and spit at those serving them in the food shops. It’s bad in my own village of Bembridge and I keep seeing other examples around the Island. As you say, ’twas ever thus.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Everything that goes on in the social media world is designed to encourage narcissistic behavior and attitudes…”me me me” and the constant need for followers…everyone wants to be a star…I work in TV and I know it for a fact.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. I’m agog about your Thatcher/Carol connection….That piquant thought aside, entitlement is a grave issue. Yes, I believe Thatcherism started the rot. She/it/her legacy/the whole ’80s culture entitled & enabled Cummings/Johnson/Gove – and the breaking of the Red Wall. “Entitlement” is a key to all our ills (E.g. why the fuss about wearing a goddamn mask to help check the spread of disease? Get over yourselves!). I condemn “Millennial” parenting but I’m on dodgy ground because I’m childless. And we must pity people for being afraid to face terrifying reality, whether they’re trying to examine why or not. There is such a thing as society – and it’s been corrupted by marketed “entitlement” over last 40 years. Democracy doesn’t work without voters’ personal accountability and full access to information, (A Saturday pm rant! Sorry!)

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Rant away, dear Pippa. It is always a delight to see your comment on one of my posts.

              When Thatcher moved from Chelsea to a house in Belgravia, the armed police special operatons department that I worked with used to protect her premises 24/7. One armed officer outside, one inside. She was still considered to be the number one target for the Provisional IRA, right up until the day she died.

              When she started to deteriorate mentally, she did strange things like packing suitcases and telling the officers she was off to an important conference, or wandering around the house in her underwear asking them who they were. Our personal contact number was for her daughter, Carol. So I had to ring her and inform her what was happening, so it was recorded and logged. Sometimes, she would drive up and stay the night to calm her mother down.

              I have to say that Carol was always impeccably polite, and a pleasure to deal with. She even told me that her brother Mark was ‘only interested in trading on mum’s contacts and reputation’.

              When I retired, my colleagues got Thatcher to sign a copy of her autobiography, and presented it to me as a ‘joke gift’ , as they knew I despised her. I still have it around somewhere.
              Best wishes, Pete. x

              Liked by 2 people

  9. I loved this post Pete. Early this morning I went to get the groceries with my mum, and even though their is still no mandatory mask wearing (that’s changing in two weeks though). Everybody wears them though, except: well…you guessed it those that aren’t entitled to them. Seriously: so annoying! 😔😔 Like you I’m definitely fed up with that kind of behaviour myself Pete 😔

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Do you get many in Beetley? I always think of it as a sleepy hollow unencumbered by persons under the age of 40 😊. I think I must be on a post break, but it wasn’t intentional. Am sure I’ll post something again sometime!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I see some around here mostly 3 miles away in Dereham, which seems to be divided between those sort of people, and the very elderly. I was also including those in London, from 2000-2012. Glad I hadn’t missed any posts. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t like entitlement either but I think if I had to single out a group it would not be today’s young, many of whom can’t get jobs and are stuck with student debt. I’d probably go for the privileged classes, folk like Johnson and Trump who think being in power is their birthright, or the rich who think they have ‘earned’ their wealth and that the poor deserve to be poor

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know what you mean, but the entitlement of those odious weasels has been around since the middle ages. Working class and middle class people used to do the decent thing in society, and behave well. Now so many of them are jumping on the entitlement bandwagon.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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