by Drew Baumgartner
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Generation Gone, Aleš Kot and André Lima Araújo have consistently set up competing ideologies — Akio vs. General West, People vs. Government, Idealism vs. Realism, Generation vs. Generation — but the most important (and most nuanced) has probably been those of Elena and Nick. She’s a put-upon optimist, willing and able to take on the abuse of the world in order to Get Shit Done, while he’s a self-pitying, privileged nihilist who sees no future beyond destroying what little of the world he can before he dies. In many ways, they represent the poles we might set for the spectrum of attitudes of Millenials: either cooperate with a system designed to exploit you (and potentially make incremental changes from the inside), or try to blow it to pieces. Those are the extremes, but in increasingly divided times, it’s important to bear in mind that neither one is necessarily “correct.” Indeed, as Elena (and Generation Gone) rejects Nick’s “fuck the world” strategy, Baldwin seems to emerge with another.
Of course, we don’t know exactly what Baldwin’s plans are. He mentions “building an army,” but we don’t get much beyond that. But we do have a better idea of Baldwin’s superpower:
It’s hard to imagine a more appealing power-set for our times than the ability to see how our actions will play out — the kind of perspective that the more shortsighted attitudes represented by Nick and Elena lack. This gives me confidence in Baldwin’s plan, even though I haven’t seen it — I suspect he’s gamed this out way further than Nick’s tantrums or Elena’s penned-in reactiveness. He knows what effect his actions will have, and has plans for those reactions beyond tearing down the world with him.
But that will put Elena in an interesting position. She’s now working for D.A.R.P.A., effectively cementing her pro-establishment position (though that may be more out of necessity than faith in the system), while Baldwin has staked his position as anti-establishment. Are their goals still aligned? Will Baldwin’s plans threaten Elena in the same way Nick’s did — will destroying the establishment mean destroying Elena? Baldwin may have a different approach than Nick, but the conflict might largely be the same.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?