Gen X at 40

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abuIskander -

er, golly, where did that come from? Craig and I interrupted our usual weekend of evicting widows and explaining to Gen Ys why it was OK for us to blow weed while they mustn't, when we took a short break to catch up on your mighty organ. We have had cause before to comment on your strange Gen X sense of deprivation at having missed out on great stuff like seeing Hendrix but now you sublimate your understandable envy of the golden perfection of our gilded youth and ennui about your own boring adolescence in the decade that style and wisdom forgot, but really this is too much. Back to the Island for a remedial course in Boomerdom 101

Alan -

Hah! Good one. Well, you know the great thing about any statistically based informaion is that is never applies in the particular.

You know, I was trying to think of that light hearted little TV play about Oklahoma frying care of Soviet ICBMs as another example of why being 20 in '83 was less fun than in '73, '93 or '03. Not that you should care in anyway because of it. I just feel it is something to do on a weekend - illustrating one's deep and hidden angst. One of the oddest things about it was the coincident blip of German euro-pop: Flaco, "99 Luftballoons" and DaDaDa. Fripp and Eno were much better at the dreary pointlessness of it all a decade earlier. But no good for dancing.

abuIskander -

Interesting that you point to 73, which wasn't a great year but in many ways belonged more to the 60s than the 70s. We talk about decades, but the trends to which we are really referring don't co-incide with the zeros. In many ways, the 40s lasted till (you pick) the accession of ERII, the start of Korean War or the election of Ike. What we think of as the 60s pretty much arrived with The Beatles and either died at Altmont or were mercy killed by the arrival of Punk. We'll pull a discreet curtain over the awfulness of the 70s. The greedy 80s either began with the election of Thatcher (79) or Reagan (80) and seemed to last forever. Given the plethora of Gordon Gekko wannabes (complete with bad razor cuts and wide loud braces) accompanying the leadership advance teams here on the weekend, the 80s <i>zeitgeist</i> still seems a powerful hangover as the 21st Century/Third Millennium still scratches around for a theme, three years in. My elderly friend, Mr Willson, has decided to ignore all this nonsense and lives in unrepentant 60s splendour in rural PEI, unlike my youngish friend, Mr GenX40 who now struggles for enlightenment somewhere in Darkest Southern Ontario.

Alan -

You are right in that decades are an improper means of marking change. I always thought the seventh year of the decade was the better marker if only due to the implications in popular music: '57 and Buddy Holly, '67 and Sgt. Pepper, '77 and punk rock. I was confounded by '87. I thought the Pogues and the rise of traditional music might have been it. '97 and the Lilith Fair. Pushing it a bit there I think.

abuIskander -

Interesting thesis, but surely Presley was the breakthough? But the stuff that made Presley possible and reflected the changing <i>zeitgeist</i> go back to the much earlier 50s (and some of the rock to the late 40s). And surely Pepper was a culmination, but even in defining something, it was a more transient part of the 60s than that which began with the moptops on Sullivan. Rubber Soul and Revolver also captured distinct moments. But then so did Bringing it all back home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. You can do that with a a handful of 50s acts (Presley, Everlys, Holly), prolly a dozen or so 60s acts (lots of really good moments from The Who, The Zombies, Kinks, etc) which are still alive too in addition to the catalogues of The Beatles, Stones, Dylan... Fair prob doing that after 73. Of course we lost the transient universality of <i>youf</i> culture and for years it's been so fragmented that only an accident of packaging transcends momentarily - a Shania, Lord bless us all.

Alan -

<p>You wrote:<p><ul><i>...we lost the transient universality of youf culture and for years it's been so fragmented that only an accident of packaging transcends momentarily...</i></ul><p>What was the event that started the corporatization of rock music so that what was an uncrossable barrier in 1981 is now a wholesale assumption of each realm in the other. Not about the making of money through music but the approporiation of pop music in the making of money? Jackson's Pepsi ads? The use of "Revolution" by Nike?

abuIskander -

Interesting thesis, but surely Presley was the breakthough? But the stuff that made Presley possible and reflected the changing <i>zeitgeist</i> go back to the much earlier 50s (and some of the rock to the late 40s). And surely Pepper was a culmination, but even in defining something, it was a more transient part of the 60s than that which began with the moptops on Sullivan. Rubber Soul and Revolver also captured distinct moments. But then so did Bringing it all back home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. You can do that with a a handful of 50s acts (Presley, Everlys, Holly), prolly a dozen or so 60s acts (lots of really good moments from The Who, The Zombies, Kinks, etc) which are still alive too in addition to the catalogues of The Beatles, Stones, Dylan... Fair prob doing that after 73. Of course we lost the transient universality of <i>youf</i> culture and for years it's been so fragmented that only an accident of packaging transcends momentarily - a Shania, Lord bless us all.

Alan -

Interestingly, Ian Williams has writing a love letter to the latter end of, as you describe it, "the decade that style and wisdom forgot".

Alan McLeod -

More evidence of the conspiracy against Gen X. It appears we are getting too old for a job. Thank God we had no interest in work in the first place.

Alan -

And yet another newly offended "oldie olson".

Note to me: don't complain about this stuff and don't wear white belts. Around 1986 I gave Robyn Gibson permission to shoot me on sight if I had a white belt on.

Alan -

Here is an interesting piece on the economic woes of the Gen X generation. Sounds just about right to me - interesting resumes abound.