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In ten years, YHB is most likely to be doing laundry

Your Humble Blogger reads over at Matthew Yglesias’sses Atlantic.com blog about the Bizarre Poll Result of the Day. Evidently, it seems, according to Mark Penn, there was a poll of 600 California young-uns, 16-22, calling them on their mobile phones, no less, and amongst the questions asked was What do you think you will most likely be doing in ten years? Open-ended, not multiple-choice.

Again according to Mark Penn (Mr. Yglesias quotes from the new book Microtrends), more than two-thirds gave some sort of working-related response. 12 percent said they would be raising a family, 12 percent said they would still be in college. One percent said they would be in the military in ten years. One percent said they would be snipers.


What do you conclude from this, Gentle Readers?

If it were a news item, all timely-like, rather than in a book and therefore probably more than three years old, I would assume that there was some comic video making the rounds where some smart-ass responded to some similar question with sniper, and it had become a minor catchphrase. Without that, I would figure they’d got six from the same high school, and that somebody had made that joke in class, and the six poll respondents had heard it. Or that they had six buddies, which would mean that their list was rotten. Or that one of the people making the actual calls was pulling a fast one. All interesting, plausible theories.

What would not be a plausible theory is that one out of every hundred young Californians actually, reallio trulio expects to become a sniper. And that we have suddenly tapped into some deep cultural trend, here.

Well, and you could presumably read into the response some sort of cultural whatnot by virtue of six people thinking it was funny or clever to say sniper, rather than telling the pollster they wanted to be clowns, wharf bums or jewel thieves. I would be skeptical about having tapped a cultural geyser on that one, though, unless you could actually trace the gag back to an SNL skit or some such thing with wider influence. Could be one school, could be one town.

Mark Penn, evidently, buys that the new, the now generation really has snipery ambitions. Mr. Penn is being paid oogobs of money by the Hillary Clinton for President campaign for his expertise in analyzing polling data. But to be fair, he probably didn’t actually write the book.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


More specifically, of those 6 respondents, 1 was planning to be a sniper for the military, and 5 were planning on hunting down the asshole who gave out their cell phone number.

For ten years?

Although, thinking about it, if YHB were to become a sniper, it would probably be ten years before I hit anything.


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