A Tribute to Generation X
I read the above blog post and had to share it. It gave me a chuckle. But aside from that, I’ve been thinking a lot about my generation lately, GENERATION X, especially in light of the Time Magazine article that came out today about the Millennials and how they are going to save the world or something.
It is so weird. Suddenly I turn around and I am the oldest person in the elevator. I don’t feel old, I just am old. I guess.. So much has happened to each generation, I know. But as a Gen X’er I’ve gotten to be part of a really cool bridge generation into the future.
Can you believe that for approximately the first twenty years of my life there was no internet or email? Imagine that we still made mix cassette tapes in high school of cool music – bands like Depeche Mode and The Cure. Imagine that my friends on my block and I used to go outside to play after elementary school; games like tag or kickball. Imagine, I was a “latch key kid” where I spent a couple hours after school alone at home without adult supervision at a super young age doing homework and watching reruns of Little House on the Prairie on Channel 11.
We loved Mary Lou Retton in the Olympics and saw Tonya Harding injure Nancy Kerrigan to get ahead in figure skating. The Chicago Bulls were THE team. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman (before his North Korean ambassador stint) and on the LA Lakers, Magic Johnson. It was our Generation that popularized snowboarding and skateboarding and the “X” Games.
The crown jewel of our generation was of course the Grunge music movement that brought amazing bands such as Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots. We had/loved MTV music videos.
Guess what? We popularized tattoos and piercings.
We had Brandon Lee and The Crow. We had Reality Bites which depicted “The Waif” look (Winona Ryder) and “The Slacker” look (Ethan Hawke). We had Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink and other John Hughes movies. We didn’t have to try to be cool. Things just were cool. We worked really hard, studied really hard. We played hard too; we had raves and Ecstasy. We pretty much had to go to college and are still paying off the student loans to prove it. We couldn’t wait to move out because our parents weren’t cool.
Things changed so fast. We watched the Challenger disaster on TV in the sixth grade. We had Dolly, cloning and the advent of IVF. We had the beginning of the Human Genome Project. We figured out how to use HAART therapy to turn AIDS into a chronic disease, not a fatal one. We saw major advances in breast cancer and prostate cancer help extend many lives.
We watched “Mr. Gorbachev tear down that wall”. Dan Quayle was a heartbeat away from our country’s nukes. We saw Bill Clinton say “I did not have sexual relations with THAT woman” and then we watched George Bush Jr steal an election from Al Gore. We watched The Killing Fields in college. We saw the assault weapons ban expire. And we proudly watched Nelson Mandela end apartheid.
We saw people get rich off the dot com boom and then get poor. We bought homes in the beginning of the real estate bubble. We saw the corporatization of America, NAFTA, and Globalization…We helped support the rise of the Starbucks empire.
I know, there is so much more. And of course it is all still evolving…But sometimes it is nice to sit back and reflect on what we’ve seen happen in this world. I’m proud to be of Gen X. Are you?