A message to the present and future
As my newest daughter is born, I speak for my generation. The “nameless.” The generation whose label is not only a mysterious symbol, but a sign of illiteracy as well. Generation X. I speak to the up and comers, the students of today, and those who are the target of 7 out of 10 commercials and 8 out of 10 television channels- Gen Y and the subsequent letter based generations that MAY follow. May my daughters heed these words of a member of the “Lost Boy” generation and have these word’s intent tattooed across their brains and serve as a reminder of their parents who lived it, who were it, and still manage to make the mortgage payments on time.
So, How can I say this with some adult like tact…Generation X is sick of your bullshit.
The first generation to do worse than its parents? Please. Been there. Generation X was told that so many times that it can’t even read those words without hearing Winona Ryder’s voice in its heads. Or maybe it’s Ethan Hawke’s. Possibly Bridget Fonda’s. Or maybe it’s John Cusack’s. Generation X is getting older, and can’t remember those movies so well anymore. In retrospect, maybe they weren’t very good to begin with.
But Generation X is tired of your sense of entitlement. Generation X also graduated during a recession. It had even shittier jobs, and actually had to pay for its own music. (At least, when music mattered most to it.) Generation X is used to being fucked over. It lost its meager, introduction to adulthood 401-K savings in the dot-com bust. Then came George Bush, and 9/11, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Generation X bore the brunt of all that. And then came the housing crisis that we helped fuel because of the boomers propaganda about “How it is.”
Generation X really wasn’t surprised. Generation X kind of expected it.
Generation X is a journeyman. It didn’t invent hip hop, or punk rock, or even electronica (it’s pretty sure those dudes in Kraftwerk are boomers) but it perfected all of them, and made them its own. It didn’t invent the Web, but it largely built the damn thing. Generation X gave you Google and Twitter and blogging; Run DMC and Radiohead and Nirvana and Jay Z. Not that it gets any credit.
But that’s okay. Generation X is used to being ignored, stuffed between two much larger, much more vocal, demographics. But whatever! Generation X is self-sufficient. It was a latchkey child. Its parents were too busy fulfilling their own personal ambitions to notice any of its trophies-which were admittedly few and far between because they were only awarded for victories, not participation.
In fairness, Generation X could use a better spokesperson. Barack Obama is just a little too senior to count among its own, and it has debts older than Mark Zuckerberg. Generation X hasn’t had a real voice since Kurt Cobain blew his brains out, Tupac was murdered, Jeff Mangum went crazy, David Foster Wallace hung himself, Jeff Buckley drowned, River Phoenix overdosed, Elliott Smith stabbed himself (twice) in the heart, or Axl got fat.
Generation X is beyond all that bullshit now. It quit smoking and doing coke a long time ago. It has blood pressure issues and is heavier than it would like to be. It might still smoke some hydro designer dope, if it knew where to get some. But probably not. Generation X has to be up really early tomorrow morning.
Generation X is tired.
It’s a parent now, and there’s always so damn much to do. Generation X wishes it had better health insurance and a deeper savings account. It wonders where its 20s and most of its 30s went. It wonders if it still has time to catch up.
Right now, Generation X just wants a beer and to be left alone. It just wants to sit here quietly and think for a minute. Can you just do that, okay? It knows that you are so very special and so very numerous, but can you just leave it alone? Just for a little bit? Just long enough to sneak one last fucking cigarette? No?
Whatever. It’s cool.
Generation X is used to disappointments. Generation X knows you didn’t even read this whole post.
Again, it’s cool.