Why Generation Xers Are So Forgettable

Comments

1

Oh well. Whatever. Nevermind.

2

The chart was made by a Gen Xer who understands that we need to divert the rage of the Millennials towards the Boomers. Don't blow our cover, Charles.

4

The best part of being a Gen Xer is that no one blames us for anything. The Boomers hate the Millennials, the Millennials hate the Boomers, and we can just sit back and eat some popcorn while we watch them battle it out.

5

Let’s see the Cold War ended during our generation, the internet was realized and LGBT changed from prosecution to acceptance. But what have those Gen-X romans ever done for us?

6

I mean, being an older millennial who grew up with access to all of the naked women, images and videos of STDs, bum fights, executions, and worse, being able to play the “kill everyone and take all of their shit” game, not understanding why everyone is crying because two planes hit a building and all that came after that, all the with the majority of human knowledge at my fingertips..

I get why the trammeled existence the younger folks led means they aren’t dead to the world, but is that why my generation apparently spans all of fifteen years?

Pretty sure they used to be 40-year affairs.

I’m not at war with anyone, except for anyone in my industry that gets in the way of my kill everyone and take all of their shit game.

Sux 2 b them.

Also I enjoyed reading Coupland. The last one I read had a grey cover and I laughed out loud at the bit about trapping people in a building in the Gobi Desert with heroin addiction.

See?

7

Only a capricorn would say something like that!

8

dammit my comment above was supposed to be directed @3

9

Bonsai Kitten!

10

The baby boom was an empirical demographic event. All the other ones are marketing tranches - age categories defined in relation to the baby boom. Old people and the young resent each other and so naturally, we get our circumstance described as a war between boomers and millennials. So this is all evidence that the baby boom generation still defines the terms of our society.

11

Um...first, Charles, you do not speak for the entirety of Generation X. (@1 FTW)

And neither do I, but my experience is quite different from yours.

I fought for and joined the union at Borders Books and Music in the WTC in NYC in 1997 and left before they decertified the union because other than having union representation and dues, the employees got NOTHING from their ability to negotiate as a union vs. Borders Corporate who was staunchly anti-union from the get go.

I graduated from college in 1994 with $15K in student loan debt. I never defaulted, but had to defer payment numerous times due to not making enough money or periods of unemployment when I could not pay and when I became totally and permanently disabled and applied to have my loans discharged (which took three years and almost as much work as my 4 year college degree) the amount discharged was over $12K, 17 years later!

And my friend who I went to college with became a legal aid lawyer the moment she passed the NYS bar (and no she has no family with money) with a starting salary of $26K a year and student loans payment of $800/mo got screwed over by the government who promised to pay a huge chunk of her loans off due to her public service did not and she is still paying and will most likely pay until she dies.

The only people I know from my generational cohort who own homes either had family money given to them to do so or got married and with two incomes were able to do so (usually it was a combination of both).

And finally, I don't know one person (though I am sure you know more people than I do) that has ever, in any way, believed the adoption of our values by corporate culture was viewed as progress. I have certainly never read anything touting as much or come across anyone who believed it, not in the past and certainly not now. Do cynicism and sarcasm ring any bells?

As a member of Generation X I see the generation before (Baby Boomers) as benefiting from privilege and circumstance (as long as they are white) and the generation (Millennials) after as wanting all of the privilege and circumstance (white or not, but especially and specifically if they are white) of the Baby Boomers and being pissed off that they it's not handed being handed to them out of the gate.

As a member of Generation X I was stupid enough to believe the society in which I lived had progressed and succeeded in at least beginning the dismantling of white supremacy (and that has everything to do with me being white and blind and stupid).

As a citizen of this country I don't have much hope for the future. I see an incredibly hateful society that is hell bent on total destruction if not allowed to maintain white supremacy. i see most people (regardless of age)interested solely in having shit tons of money and not caring about anyone or anything unless they get theirs. The only exceptions to those two prior statements are what I see in non-whites working to fight the system of white supremacy and young people who have been hit by violence and/or tragedy that has radicalized them (like survivors of school shootings).

Where are we at now, Generation Z? I don't even fucking know. I pretty much expect Gen Z to be the end (as it is metaphorically). Seems to me like the universe will be better off when humans no longer exist.

12

Xina’s comment is the most Gen. X thing I’ve ever read.
Captures the zeitgeist of the 90s perfectly.

13

Chuckie didn't grow up in the US - he is no more Gen X than I am African.

14

Christina @ 11 is an angry nd bitter soul. what a shitty way to go through life.

15

Charles, don't generalize any one group of people. I am among many Boomers wise enough to vote Democrat, happily voted for Hillary in 2016 knowing she was the ONLY sound choice for #45, and will continue to vote Big D.
@10 Alden: We do?

16

Anyone who judges a person based on the random and uncontrollable time and place thier parents fucked is a worthless moron.

17

Total bullshit. First of all, the political generational differences are exaggerated. Sure, young people, overall, tend to vote to the left. Older people vote to the right. Same as it ever was. That was certainly the case during the 1960s and early 70s, when the whole idea of a generation gap became widespread. Partly this was because younger people were more open minded when it came to topics like race, sex, and religion. But a big part of it was Vietnam. People are selfish, and when you send them off to fight in a stupid ass war, they get pissed, and protest. They even blow shit up.

When Bush started his stupid war, he understood this. That is why he didn't draft anyone. Let the poor (literally poor, as in broke) mother fuckers and the patriots fight in the stupid ass war. Everyone else just muddles along in their lives. They don't take over campuses, they don't try and shut down the government, they don't throw money onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange -- they basically don't do shit. Oh, some protested (young and old) but not the masses of young people like there were in the 60s. That's because most of the youngsters were worried about their student loans, not their fellow youngsters suffering in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Maybe you should do a little fact checking before you write this shit, Charles. First of all, you of all people should know that dictators don't need the consent of the governed (aren't you from Zimbabwe?). Second, if there is a tipping point (where an oppressive majority can thrive) it sure as fuck ain't 53%. That, my friend, is the most Trump got at the last election, by age group (https://www.statista.com/statistics/631231/voter-turnout-of-the-exit-polls-of-the-2016-elections-by-age/). That is nothing compared to other statistics (like race or race and religion). My guess is, even that number could be explained purely on those factors. Older America is whiter and more evangelical (a group that went overwhelmingly for Trump).

No, dude, age has very little to do with it. Race, religion and most of all, population density are the key political elements right now. Big cities overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Rural areas vote Republican. Check out this graph from the 2012 election: https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/0*6ekM2t6RD3PEnd89.png. It is from this article (https://medium.com/@davetroy/is-population-density-the-key-to-understanding-voting-behavior-191acc302a2b) and the data is clear: Cities vote Democratic, in overwhelming number. Not 53%, not 70%, but well into the 80s and 90s. If the election was held only in densely populated areas Democrats would not only win, but win by such a huge margin that the rest of the world would just assume the whole thing is rigged. Who wins by 80%? Democrats do, in the city.

Anyway, generational differences now have way more to do with culture, not politics. Some grew up with smart phones, Facebook, Britney Spears -- some did not. Of course politics rears its ugly head at various times (some remember 9-11, just like other remember when Kennedy, or King, was shot). But those are basically memories, and nothing more. They don't represent a widespread difference of opinion on matters of the day, like whether Trump is a fucking asshole or not. Poll boomers in Seattle or rural Texas and you are likely to get very different answers, even though both remember when the Beatles were making music.

18

"Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life as a movie not about the origin of life, but the origin of the Trump voter..." wonderful, Charles, as this about the billionth "explanation" I have seen for Tree of Life...it must be art!,,,good analysis here, as a Seattle born Xer, I remember Vietnam and Watergate on the back burner, the part of the 70's where nothing worked, vending machines, pay phones, all in disrepair, and I remember having to learn (and quickly forget) the metric system...I loved the decaying movie palaces downtown, remember when they would pack The Coliseum movie palace once a year with Seattle kids to watch Zefferelli's Rome and Juliet? Or when I went (underage) to see Apocalypse Now at its first run at The Town, and they handed out printed programs and the film had no screen credits,,,AND standing in line for my fifth Star Wars viewing at the UA150 (what a screen) and watching the line of people waiting for Close Encounters at The King across the street, which cheapo General Cinemas presented in 35mm and 4 track dolby, pointed out endlessly by stellar Seattle Times reviewer John Hartl,,,phew, anyway....

19

Oh my God. I’m a boomer and I detest Trump and love AOC. I have lots of boomer friends who agree with me. Even my 90 year old mother calls me every week to rant about the orange douchebag in chief! Fortunately not everyone in the older demographic is insane.

20

@19 S. Kelley: YAAAAAAY!! I'm not alone (or insane, either)!!!! Can I buy you a drink?

21

excerpt from the interwebs is best response, imo.

[Douglas] Coupland constantly denied both the idea that there was a Generation X and that he was a spokesman.

This is going to sound heretical coming from me, but I don't think there is a Generation X. What I think a lot of people mistake for this thing that might be Generation X is just the acknowledgment that there exists some other group of people whatever, whoever they might be, younger than, say, Jane Fonda's baby boom.
— Coupland, CNN, 1994[11]

Coupland was offered large sums of money to act as a marketing consultant for the Generation X age group,[12] but he turned them down, notably refusing to create an advertisement for Gap.[13] "Generation X" nonetheless became a marketing force, as the name and ideas were used to market products and services, such as the clothing store Generation Next and the 1995 Citroën car models called "La Generation X" as the XM.

In 1994, before the publication of Microserfs, Coupland declared in Details magazine that Generation X was dead.[14] He stated that the term had been co-opted as a marketing term, and that members of Generation X were relatively resistant to marketing ploys.

The biting, ironic tone of the novel and its pop culture allusions helped bring about a new era of transgressive fiction, including the work of authors Irvine Welsh and Chuck Palahniuk. Still in use are the term Generation X and its many derivatives, such as Generation Y and Generation Z. Many critics linked the novel to the popularity of grunge and alternative rock,[citation needed] but it makes no reference to grunge, and the song that is widely credited for boosting grunge into mainstream popularity (Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit") was released after the novel's publication. (@1 again FTW)

22

Generation X invented and still holds a controlling interest in Surveillance Capitalism. So, like, maybe not quite an accidental omission in that interwebs-article there.

Oh, and clickbait, too. It's so ingrained in Gen X by now that Charles, like so many of his fading, middle-aged peers in the "content industry," probably doesn't even realize he's doing it anymore.

23

@21,
Very interesting, thanks for posting that!

Yeah, as someone born in 1973 and therefore solidly in the middle of Generation X (if there even IS a generation X as Coupland pointed out) I feel like my peers and I are more representative of NOT wanting to be lumped in with the baby boomers rather than having some other arbitrary traits and beliefs shoved on us.
The boomers had their time in the sun and made some headlines and so on, but that time ended and I was not a part of it nor did I connect with it in any way. Times change.

24

I prefer to think of Douglas Coupland as the creator of one of the world's best war monuments: two giant War of 1812 toy soldiers (the American one knocked over)

25

As usual, I do not fit into the paradigm. I'm in my 60s and I think AOC is awesome. I don't understand why boomers get so much crap from later gens. You can thank boomer women for legal abortion, gender equality, slacks for women and a bunch of other stuff. But I know it's more fun to tar everyone "old" with the same brush. Too bad AOC is braver and more energetic than most of her age group. As soon as they die off the world will improve dramatically. (See how dumb that sounds?)

26

@4 LeisureSuitLarry: I'm a child-free Boomer whose nieces and nephews are all Millennials. If they hate me, nobody's said anything. To quote Urgutha Forka @1: "Oh well. Whatever. Nevermind." By the way, I blame you for generalizing alongside Charles, Mr. Gen-Xer.

27

@25 randommonkey: Wa-HOOOO for the WIN!!! You GO!!!! Can I buy you a drink (I'm 54 1/2--among the last of the Boomers)?

28

Millennials have inherent, built in fluency with the newest technology of the day - social media. Baby Boomers were born into the biggest sustained economic expansion in the history of the species. You do the math.

29

@28: Oh yeah---Twitter. I forgot that. How good are you at engaging in an actual face to face verbal conversation, Sporty? Crunch numbers all you want and stare facedown into your SmartPhone while bitching that you can't drive to work because the @#$%ing microchip activated key fob to your 2015 SUV with Alexa-activated GPS system won't function.
I'm still with Urgutha Forka @1 and @25 randommonkey, and proud as punch to still be blessed with driving a classic with manual steering, built to last and running lie a champ.

30

@29; Aww, crap! Make that "...blessed with driving a classic with manual steering, built to last and running like a champ." Griz needs red wine before posting this late at night. For some reason it eliminates my number of typos.