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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Gen Xers In No Man's Land

A fun read describing Gen Xers dilemma in Details this month: Has Generation X Already Peaked? It's not as interesting for who we are as much as it is who others - boomers and millennials - are not. Nothing terrilby illuminating, but a good reminder when our hubristic depth takes us to a place that may be a bit too clever:

"The millennials, spawned during the last days of disco, speak with none of the doubt and skepticism that have marked - and hampered - Generation X. They just love stuff. The love celebrities. They love technology. They love name brands. They're happy to do whatever advertising tells them to do. So what if they can't manage to read anything longer than an instant message?-that's okay! If anything, it's an advantage. Because literacy leads to self-reflection and critical thinking opens the door to doubt and skepticism, and stuff like that just gets in the way when you're trying to get ahead, and...did you see how fat Britney looks these days?!?!?!"

"Maybe...Xers really are slackers after all, or maybe [Xers], having been brined in hours and hours of media when we were growing up, have developed sharply calibrated detection systems for what's good and what sucks. And we generally prefer not to suck.

"Which is precisely why the American marketplace was bound to lose interest in us. Quality, it turns out, is Gen X's Achilles' heel. Good taste has crippled us. You might pretend to enjoy American Idol (in, of course, an ironic way), but it still makes you cringe, and that puts you at odds with the purchasing power of the gaping multitudes. In the eyes of millennials and Madison Avenue, we're the generation of fuddy-duddies, of critics and butterfly collectors, with our affection for lost and minor works, our wincing disregard for the grand statement..."

"Standards? Tradition? Quality?...If anything, the millennials, not unlike the boomers who raised them, are motivated by the wholesale deconstruction of anything that reeks of mildewy "standards." The Gen Y heroes-Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Kevin Federline, Laguna Beach cast members-are rewarded not for doing anything well, per se, but simply for doing a lot: for hustling, and for hiring publicists and agents who are skilled at cranking that hustle into a constant maelstrom of curiosity. Sucking is fine! Sucking is beside the point."

"The new world of Gawker and Us Weekly and American Idol and Laguna Beach is a fascinating one, to be sure, but it's no place for a guy who doesn't have the guts to part with his vinyl copy of Fables of the Reconstruction."

Call me sardonic, but am I the only one who finds it bitterly ironic that this 2-page sociological piece is buried in a mag that has Vin Diesel on the cover? I'll ask Seth.


Mnels said...

What's funny is that all the crap culture this author complains about is produced by......Gen Xers.

Adrian said...

The post was OK, but personally I'd lose the picture.

Seth said...

man, i stopped reading at, "They just love stuff. They love celebrities." lucky i saw my name when i scrolled down to comment. so in answer to your question, the only thing i find ironic is 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife. anyway, thanks for posting about that article if it were in my us weekly - unless of course it was opposite one of the "stars they're just like us" pages.

Adrian said...

it's just like seth to like everything. by the way the new picture rocks, but the color scheme conflicts a bit with the blog background. am i too critical? no i don't think so.