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What it means to be Generation X, a Meandering Rant from TSF1

Posted on November 28, 2009 | By Christian | No Comments

Ok, lets start this with a look inward. I asked myself “self, what are you?” Once I started looking (and got past the initial chaos rattling around in my head) I realized that’s not such a simple question and a lot of what Generation X is, is what its not. You can’t put a box around Generation X and say oh, its all about grunge and apathy. Or look to movies like Reality Bites and Star Wars… because yes, whether you want to admit it or not YOU were effected by Star Wars and the Jedi bed sheets you had as a kid. Its not about that big hair you had, or gray hair now and looking at 40 as “not that old”. Its not about whether you are “corporate” or keeping it real. Its not about whether you live with someone you aren’t married to or whether you are now a responsible parent or not. Its not about whether you worry about how the lawn looks or whether you are “green”. I could go on for hours but the truth is, its not about a lot.

Now, once we admit to ourselves its not about a lot we have to look at that. Its not about a lot. Is that disaffection I smell? So what is it about? Well, its about our experiences. As a group of people who were born in the 60’s & 70’s we all have some similar experiences. We all went to grade school and suffered through the same lousy curriculum and some of us even picked up the “new math” along the way. But more importantly, in my humble opinion, its about the history we lived through and how we experienced those events.

As a child I remember our TV having 13 channels and even remember the day my father brought home a betamax and we watched Star Wars and Young Frankenstein in the comfort of our shag carpet home. We were the first generation of Sesame Street fans and the first generation exposed to the 24 hour news cycle CNN brought us. We lived through some seriously significant and historic events. As kids we saw Reagan shot and the Space Shuttle blown into pieces. We had MTV and Lollapalooza and Al Gore gave us the Internet.

As GenXers we’re considered flannel wearing slackers with no interests or motivation? Yes, I like my grunge and flannel. I miss Nirvana. I’m often cynical and definitely unmotivated at times. I am without question anti-establishment and definitely don’t want to take any crap from Baby Boomers. Oooh they make me so mad with their rules and expectations! Are they all retired yet?? And Generation Y?? Come on.

So, now what? Well, we’re all at an age where responsibility rears its ugly head and keeps us from partaking in the indiscretions of our youth which we would otherwise jump head first in. We are pressured to act as adults but still feel like 16. Should we portrait ourselves as role models to our kids or nieces and nephews or whoever, when we know deep down we did the all the stuff the generation before us warned about and would probably do it again if we could get away with it. Generation X doesn’t play by the rules, so should we tell others to? Heck no. We are anti-establishment! Fight the man! Unless of course that is going to take a lot of effort, because then I’m not so into it. I think this is what Generation X is.

Oh, and by the way… Barak Obama is a Gen Xer. But then again, so is Woody Harrelson. Take from that what you will. ~cg

<Please give it a listen: TSF1: The Slacker Revolution Begins!>

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