1. The ginger seal.
Here is my personal rendition of the expression that is perpetually splayed across the ginger seal’s face:
Think you’ve seen it before? That’s because you have — on Nefanya, the Soviet-era cartoon character, to be more precise. A more reader-friendly comparison might be Fred Armisen on Portlandia:
And the similarities don’t stop there. “This ginger seal is an outcast from its. colony,” the Shortlist wrote, “They don’t want him. He’s ugly and they don’t want him.” If you think about it: the ginger seal has been ostracized from its community in much the same way as a pre-hospitalized Amanda Bynes antagonized other celebrities, putting it in the same unique rank as Bynes’ targets: Drake, Miley, and even President Barack and Michelle Obama.
And finally: the feet. They’re obviously webbed, but more importantly, they’re visibly lazy. Much like my dog, myself, and other like-minded 20-somethings, the ginger seal has a lazy wrists that, unlike ours, are also kind of lazy ankles and extend to the tip of the seal’s feet. The mere gait of the ginger seal — even its neutral posture — evokes laziness. All in all, he’d fit in quite well with the Internet trolls of our day, slumped alone behind a computer all day.
2. Rob Ford.
He’s overweight, addicted to crack, Canadian, and a belligerent drunk. Already, these credentials are enough to suggest a kindred spirit between him and millenials. And yet…there’s more. On top of his lengthy criminal record, he’s also the mayor of Toronto. A lunatic drug addict holding a high position in public office? Smells like recent years to me! Mayor Rob Ford is the archetypal warning and lesson we could all use for what happens when someone is extra sloppy with modern technology. In him lives every political and media scandal from the past five years. He’s got a little bit of Weiner in him, a pinch of the racist Mitt Romney (I’m referring to Ford’s botched Jamaican accent), and a whoooole lot of Miley.
3. Sally Draper.
Long gone are the days of my come-to-Jesus moments. Now I only have come-to-Sally moments. It occurs when I see a younger cousin or one of my best friends’ younger siblings and, though only one year has passed, they look as if they’ve aged ten. It’s funny because even if they did really age ten years, I would still be older than them; and their dramatic change in appearance every time I see them always seems to reflect that. It’s not startling in a look-how-grown-up-little-Sarah-looks kind of way, but more so in a Jesus-Mary-and-Joseph!-Sarah’s-tits-are-huge-do-you-think-she’ll-steal-my-boyfriend? kind of way. And Sally Draper is pretty much the poster child for this kid.
4. Snoop Dogg (oh, Lion, sorry).
First he was Snoop Dogg, now he’s Snoop Lion…obviously there’s something he’s trying to tell us, and I think that “something” is that he’s an animal. He’s practically volunteering — begging, perhaps — to be our generation’s spirit animal. And why would we want to deny him that?
Snoop also seems to define our generation in other, more nuanced ways. His promotion of “Pass Pass Tuesdays,” for example. Like millenials, he enjoys getting high. And, like us, he too is excessive.
After following him on Instagram for a couple months, one notices that the whole “Pass Pass Tuesdays” thing is a bit extreme. For a full day, every week — and a work day too, mind you — Snoop encourages us all to get high and take a break from life. Once you adhere to this, you begin to notice how often Tuesdays come along too; how rare of an occasion this isn’t.
5. Anthony Weiner
You thought I forgot about you guys, didn’t you? I wasn’t going to leave the sexters out; I’m an equitable woman. And this is an ever-burgeoning population.
Anthony Weiner has grown more into a caricature of himself than anything else in the past couple years. Which makes him all the more primed for spirit animal meme-ification. He is the living embodiment of the irrepressible male libido that lives inside so many millenials. He’s at once a serial sexter and a serial dic-pic-er. And, as is the case with many millenials, and crucial to his body’s makeup, is the sloppy way in which he went about it. Forget covering up his tracks; the man literally tweeted his penis to the entire world as he was trying to run for a political position. Even after he got caught he maintained our generation’s stubbornness and didn’t learn his lesson.
And finally, there was Carlos Danger.
6. The Pomeranian
A quick google search of “pomeranian dog” was all I needed to back up my claim that this dog is one of our generation’s spirit animals. For the search yielded a website that houses millions of Pom memes, which goes by the name of ICanHas.cheezeburger.com. And what is the url ICanHas.cheezeburger.com if not a succinct explanation of our generation?
It would be naive to assume that dogs are still only used as pets; if there’s one image that encompasses our generation nicely it’s a woman using a small dog as an accessory. And so it should come as little surprise that leading the pack in the most popular breed of dogs-turned-accessories is The Pomeranian. Just look at the thing! It’s a goddamn living, breathing stuffed animal. A case in point:
As you can see, this photo also points to our predilection for humanizing our pets. The Pom, however, is one of the only breeds of dogs that really cooperates with us. Here’s a Pom who fell victim to our age of self-obsession, and lost his temper when his owner gave him a bad haircut:
In a triumphant and frankly unsurprising turn of events, the dog goes Chucky all over the owner’s ass and haunts him for two days straight by refusing to walk on anything but his hind legs. This all feels very Planet of The Poms to me…
7. The “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” woman.
My intention is not to poke fun at the elderly or these life call machines, but rather to poke fun at the actress in this commercial and the human who wrote it. I’ve searched in the cupboards, under my bed — everywhere — and still, I’ve yet to find a phrase that sums up the millenial generation quite like this one. Like pretty much everyone, everywhere, who has graduated college, when millenials reach their mid-20s, they trip up a lot. They fall — which is only natural — but instead of teaching themselves how to get up on their own, they scream and cry until someone gives them a hand or a life call. The only difference between 20-somethings and this woman is that we can get up. We just don’t want to.