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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

We are Beautiful, We are Doomed.

Generation Z (Gen Z), in regards to school and life in general, have a certain apathy that past generations—that even Gen Z ourselves—can’t quite comprehend.

Adults have tried naming it, but that usually ends with them blaming technology and cell phones (something they created).

But what is it, this dissonance of a gap between Gen Z and the rest of the generations? 

Being Gen Z—and an annoying philosophy nerd—I can give a little insight to it. 

We were born into a recession, financial troubles for our families, as well as the rise of celebrity culture and the internet, which only furthered the impact of things like eating disorders and insecurities.

Growing up in a world where the planet is on fire, you need a car to get anywhere, and debt is piling up from an inability to pay for things needed to live… Well, it can really impact someone’s ability to care.

It was easy to fall into the pit of despair and nihilism, which the internet saw a lot of during 2019-2022. 

Although recently, a new trend has surfaced called “Hopecore”. This hashtag of which has garnered over 9.8 billion views and is essentially exactly what it sounds like; the aesthetic of hope.

Instead of sticking with nihilism, this trend took off by boosting the people’s morale, showing them to look on the bright side. 

Call it a defense mechanism—a way for us to face the horrors of the world—but you can’t deny that there’s a certain type of beauty in it. 

In a twisted way, I think that this “Hopecore” trend would not have happened if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t. 

We saw the lowest lows then, and for a lot of people it was their eye-opening experience into the state of the world. It’s the two year period that I think spurred the rise of the absurdist or existentialist ideas that a lot of Gen Z seem to be showing on social media now. 

It serves as the “rainbow after the rain”. A necessary break from the distress and melancholia. 

Of course, there’s the argument that ignoring the bad is ignorant. But I don’t see it that way. 

I think that “Hopecore”, rather than being a way to turn the other cheek to the bad going on in the world, it’s instead a way for some to deal with it. 

I shouldn’t have to explain to people that constant negativity is bad for humans, so these breaks, where people can see and experience these little moments of joy, are crucial. 

People are getting more in touch with their thoughts and emotions—mostly because what else were we supposed to do stuck inside for roughly four years? 

This sparked the ultimate change in our generation, that I know for a fact others have been feeling too. Turning our despair into hope and determination—it’s new and simultaneously expected. 

“And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you” said Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher associated with defining nihilism. And with this quote, I would like to raise an opposition: we looked into the void and maintained freaky, uncomfortable eye contact with it to assert dominance.

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