Being a staunch card-carrying member of Generation X, I have to say I have greatly enjoyed the recent blogs and articles that have recently come out about us. We mock the feud between the Boomers and Millennials, we have our Jan Brady middle child episodes (which one of them is Marcia?), and we kick back to watch the shit-show with a cold one, all the while refusing to acknowledge the fact that we are getting old.
We never really had to stand for or against anything (unless it was Tipper Gore and her PMRC bullshit). We are the first generation who actually LIVED with the outcome of the Civil Rights movement. Most of us have no clue what a segregated school is, and that is a wonderful thing. No major wars, no major global conflicts, no major national conflicts, and the Cold War was petering out. In fact, we did witness the end of that nonsense.
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” –Ronald Reagan
So many fantastic innovations came our way. Truly, we are the generation of life not only being made easier, but we are also the generation of life being made recreational.
With all of these reasons to be relatively unaffected, why is Generation X often labeled as being an “angry” generation? I even remember back to my teen years… we did seem fairly angsty. It also seemed to me that there were not a shit ton of reasons that we were so angsty. Then I started wondering… were we really?
We were shown angst. We were taught angst. By whom? The people putting out the movies, pop culture, and books. Boomers. Yeah. Most of them living through young adulthood in the 1960s and we know those folks were some enraged muthafuckas. They certainly made a lot of their rage, and those who paved the way for us X-ers certainly made a big business out of telling us we, too, should be angry.
Problem is… we don’t like being told what to do.
I don’t know any true X-ers who are angry, angsty, or dissatisfied with the lives they led as youngsters or even the lives they lead now. Why is this label continually slapped on us, though?
What are your thoughts, Barb?
I’ve never thought of myself as angsty to be honest. Cynical? Yeah, I’ll agree with cynical.
Why would I be, considering we had it relatively good? Personally, it’s been about all the broken promises from boomers. We were the generation raised on a steady diet of, “You can have everything we have if you just work for it. Education, house, family, vacations, the whole ball of wax”. And then they burned the entire structure to the ground.
Boomers ended all the regulations that kept college and housing reasonably affordable, gutted fair wages and made sure they were the last ones who had those opportunities, while raising us to believe nothing had changed and our failures were our own fault.
Instead of getting mad about it though, a lot of us just sort of checked out. We muddle along, never really expecting anything to get better. In the meantime, boomers and millennials fight about who’s the worst, and forget we exist.
But hey, whatever (and aren’t we the generation responsible for teaching the young’uns exactly how that word is to be said? beautiful!)
I, Dissy, think a lot of these feelings didn’t apply to me because I didn’t know anyone older than me that I wanted to be like. That’s a little sad, I think.
Anyhow, in the spirit of the ’80s, I say to you,