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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

This whole generational conflict thing has gone too far.

The big picture: Pollsters and the media love to play up the differences between Gens Z and X, between millennials and Boomers, but generational borders are always in flux, and who you are has much more to do with where you are in life than who you happen to share birth years with.

What's happening: A piece this week in Canada's Walrus magazine made the case that TikTok is the new front for a generational war between Gen Z and the millennials.

  • This is dumb.
  • Not the story itself, which is a cogent exploration of the unique dynamics of TikTok, but the fact that Gen Z is apparently spending valuable seconds making fun of millennials for their love of Harry Potter.

Don't get me wrong: I love making fun of millennials as much as anyone else, especially if they insist on telling you their Hogwarts house. As a 42-year-old Gen Xer, I've been living in the shadow of that demographic Death Star for years.

Be smart: As Philip Bump noted in the Washington Post in 2015, generations are constantly being recalculated and renamed, which is why Gen X has also been known as "Grunge Kids," "13th Gen" and "20-Nothings."

  • That last one makes my point: What we think of as a fixed generational identity has more to do with where a group of people is in their journey through life.

Details: Gen Z is more progressive and quick to adopt technology? Well, have you ever met a teenager, like, ever?

The catch: Demographic makeup and changing technological options obviously do make a difference from generation to generation, which is why your grandma probably isn't stanning TikTok.

  • But seriously, check out "31 pictures of grandparents who were wildly hot when they were younger." They used to be totally cool, because generally speaking, younger people — not specific generations — are cool.

The bottom line: We all used to be young, and most of us will eventually be old. And that's the most essential generational fact there is.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
8 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say. 

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