Monday, August 13, 2007

A Generation In The Making

I remember being about 10 or 11 and in the car with my father and complaining that there was no name for my generation, and how I felt a little depressed about this, like nothing was ever going to happen to me because my generation had not been deemed worthy of a name.

I think my father pointed out that it was a little early.

Anyway, a couple of years later the book Generation X came out, and after that it was mayhem. In the blink of an eye, we all knew everything about Generation X, and it seemed like only moments later that there was a Generation Y.

So, all well and good. Problem solved. Except, not really. Because they keep screwing with the boundaries of the things. And I am right at the boundaries of both generations, by the loosest of definitions. By the tightest of definitions, I belong nowhere and in another ten years I will write an article about the distinctive characteristics of people born in 1977, kind of like this, which will be depressing.

I don't know. The whole experience has made me a little skeptical of generational labels. I mean, the original description of Gen Xers -- slackers dubious of the value of getting ahead -- belongs in a long tradition which includes, at a minimum, Maynard G. Krebs and Gidget's Big Kahuna.

On the other hand, when I look at people a few years younger than me, I think "My god, their way of life is so distinctive."


Charlie said...

At some point I would like to see a "Masters of the Universe" generation.

Captain Colossal said...

That can be you.

Noko Marie said...

The Gen-X date-shifting seemed to me to start right away (ah, I now see a clear explanation of this in the Wikipedia definition).

I've always been sort of proud to be part of Generation X, which I associate with slacker-dom, hanging around coffee-shops, and a little disaffection. According to Wikipedia, some regard the name as pejorative. Probably for the same reasons.