Comedian Tom Ballard is known for the biting social commentary in his jokes. The podcaster, former Triple J presenter and TV host has never been backward in coming forward with his political views. His new book, I, Millennial is cut from much the same cloth, as he grapples with various important issues and considers the implications for other disenfranchised youngsters like himself.
This is a short, but highly readable book that packs in a lot of facts and detail alongside Ballard’s thoughts and gags. Those people who saw his stand-up show, Enough, will be familiar with some of this material. It is essentially a missive about the two Bs: billionaires and boomers, and how these groups ensured that millennial folk got handed a raw deal.
There are some chapters where Ballard considers things like the role of the unions and how they fought hard to win worker’s rights (something that seems unthinkable in today’s gig economy). Topics such as the housing crisis and income inequality are also considered from several different angles. Ballard delves into these contemporary events, whilst also exploring issues like climate change and its greater implications in a post-Covid world.
At its core this is a dissection of Australian politics at its paltry finest. On this front, Ballard is pretty scathing of both major political parties and traces back some of our contemporary problems to previous events throughout history. It may not be the most original manifesto at times but Ballard succeeds at packaging some ideas into great truth nuggets that should provoke future debate.
In I, Millennial Ballard speaks for his generation by putting down a bunch of thoughts into a highly coherent form. This includes dissecting how on earth we got here to begin with. Because in doing so, we may just find a way outta this shit-storm.
In short, Ballard’s book is a clarion call to light up fellow millennials’ bellies with fire before our planet burns to a crisp. Scary stuff.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Tom Ballard’s I, Millennial is out now through Simon & Schuster Australia. Grab yourself a copy from Booktopia HERE.