A brief primer on the generations…
THE GREATEST GENERATION – People who came of age during World War II. Put their lives on hold due to Hitler’s epic douchebaggery. Post-War, the country was prosperous. Highways and infrastructure were built. New homes and communities made. They settled down and had…
THE BABY BOOMERS – The children of the Greatest Generation. Many went off to Vietnam. Others became hippies, embraced flower power and shit. Turbulent times. Assassinations. Fights over civil rights. Sid and Marty Krofft TV shows that blew kids minds and made people wonder if Sid and Marty weren’t taking a little something.
GENERATION X – The baby boomers’ kids. I was born on the tail end of this so I identify as a Generation Xer. We grew up in the 1980s, a time of relative peace and prosperity. In fact, things were so good that we kind of got depressed about it in the 1990s. With no wars or major events to bring us together, we just wore a lot of flannel and listened to incredibly boring alternative grunge music.
Typical lyrics were, “I am depressed…I’m sooo depressed, I am depressed about what will happen next. I dress like a lumberjack, because life is no good, oh look at me I’m going to chop wood…chop wood chop wood chop wood chop wood!”
Be careful what you wish for though because just as we were getting our lives started as young adults, terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. A whole new era of bullshit came to fruition.
Politics became nastier as a result. Not that it ever wasn’t but the country split right down the middle. Confidence was shaken. Businesses went belly up. The economy tanked. I dare say we’re the first generation in a long time to not do as well as their parents.
And it’s our turn to take things over, isn’t it? You’d think so. But look at the presidential contenders. Hilary and Trump are both about 70. Those pesky baby boomers are just going to hang onto everything forever. Thanks a lot, improved health care.
Except, not really. The Greatest Generation knew when it was time to go to Florida and play golf and shit. The Baby Boomers are going put their brains in robot bodies and still be running shit in 2100.
True, computers were pretty lame back when we were kids. Having the Internet was considered like a weird, ham radio type hobby until I went to college and then it kind of exploded. But Generation X embraced and popularized the Internet in its early days, Instant Messaging which would eventually be replaced by texting, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You’re welcome. Or we’re sorry, depending on your view of the Internet.
Actually, we will never apologize for Buffy. Frankly, we’re wondering why in this new age of new life being breathed into old shows, why isn’t there a Buffy rehash? Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan still have their moves and honestly, Nicholas Brendon could use the work to keep him out of trouble.
I digress. If you’re a Generation Xer, you feel like the world skipped you over. Angst, angst, angst…SHIT AL QAEDA!!! angst..angst…angst… Such has been our lives.
I get a little offended when we’re lumped in with the Baby Boomers. Watch the news and you’ll hear about Baby Boomers or Millenials. Generation X is never mentioned. Maybe because the plural form is the non-catchy “Generation Xer.” Thanks, person who named our generation.
Even worse, I think the millennials aren’t aware of Generation X. They just think everyone born before 1990 is a Baby Boomer.
Example, at my company, Beige Corp, the world’s premiere producer of beige products and supplies, millennials will look at me and be like, “Why can’t that BOOMER die already so I can have his job?”
And I’ll be like, “Jesus Christ! I’m not that old! You’ve skipped an entire generation! People who liked the A-Team as kids are not ready to croak yet. Shoo! Shoo! Go bother that guy in accounting who liked Lassie when he was a kid. He’s going to croak any minute.”
Shit. Generation X was really screwed over. Which brings us to:
THE MILLENIALS – Have never known a life where you couldn’t think of a question and ask the Internet. I get a little worried about them whenever they say things like “safe space.” But the Baby Boomers hated my flannel. And the Greatest Generation hated the Baby Boomers’ tie dye shirts. And whoever the hell was before the Greatest Generation really did not like those…I don’t know. Whatever the hell they had.
So go forth, Millenials. Enjoy being relevant much earlier that my dear Gen Xers were. And I’m just kidding. You guys are great. Please check my blog often and if I ever write a book buy several copies. Snapchat it to your instatwitter.
But please try to remember that Gen Xers aren’t as old as the Baby Boomers. Anyone who watched Buffy in her prime isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.
The musical episode transcends generational gaps. or so my 6 year old tells me.
Of Buffy? Yes it was great
Great blog post 🙂 Out of all your blog posts that can be called purely thought-provoking, do you think this one is the most thought-provoking so far of 2016 even though you just put it up today? I was born in 1984 and I would like to think of myself as a Generation Xer taking into account that anyone born before 1990 is considered one, but not going so far back to the baby boomers. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂
All of my blog posts are awesome and museum quality. It’s hard to pick out just one as the best. It just annoys me. I’ve read articles by serious news outlets where it is clear a millennial reporter isn’t aware that there is an entire generation between the Baby Boomers and the millennials. We’re so forgotten.
I’m a Gen Xer too, albeit an early one. Post punk, British New Wave, think Blondie and Billy Idol. And it pisses me off to be lumped in with the boomers too. For all our angst, though, we might be the last generation to get shit done. The Millennials are going to be living with their parents till they’re 40 just to pay off their student loans. I cringe thinking about what the future holds for them.
I feel like that has hit us too but I’m on the other end of Gen X. Everyone going to college is a great thing but either the cost needs to come down or more opportunities need to be made because the model of “just hike up tuition and the kids will pay for it when they get jobs” doesn’t work when there aren’t enough jobs to go around.
I also think its time to stop putting a stigma on getting into the trades. If you’re a dry waller or a roofer or something it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily stupid. You’ve got a skill that can be used to make money.
Finally, no one wants to go to college to end up working at Wal Mart but when there’s an overabundance of degrees, college grads need to be considered so they can at least make some money while they try to do what they set out to do.
A lot of people go to college, can’t find work in their degree field due to the competition – they’re too new and considered underqualified, but are considered too overqualified to work at Wal Mart type jobs, so they just end up on the couch.
Sucky trap to be in. You’re either too smart or too stupid depending on which job you apply to.
That is absolutely true. Auto mechanics? Geniuses. Same with electricians, plumbers and so forth. Just because you don’t sit behind a desk tapping on a keyboard, doesn’t make you a slacker, either. You are right about the trap being between being over and under qualified. It was a really great post and this was a really through and insightful comment.
Baby boomer here. All I can say is that the music was great, and our parents hated it. My dad was Greatest Generation, and his dad thought that big band music and Dixieland jazz were too radical.
Generation X yup. You smashed it.