/* -- OnThisday Script -- */ /* -- /OnThisday Script -- */

Thursday, June 08, 2006
On this day:


Mornings are the times my brain likes to wander. During this morning’s commute I ponder generational monikers and the insufficiency of both of the Big Ones to adequately describe people like myself. The term Baby Boomers refers to the post WWII generation, and is sometimes extended to those born up to 1964. Generation X originally referred to those born in the ‘60’s through the ‘80’s, although the media typically ran away with the neologism Generation X, spinning it to their own needs despite its conception in Douglas Coupland’s novel of the same name. The novel that coined the phrase was talking about those who spent the 1960’s in grammar school: too late for the sexual revolution; too early for grunge rock.

Generations, and their delimiters, are arbitrary. Most people think of them in lineal terms, like walking through some kind of cultural doorway, but the advent of different generational cycles overlap in waves like successive bell curves, each starting and ending slightly offset; the boundaries are fuzzy. Taking a populist view, there’s a lot of uncharted territory between the common demographic boundaries. Those of us now in their forties have fallen into the void, as intimated by Mr. Coupland.

I’ve always referred to us as ‘Tweeners, because we are caught in between the vast cultural forces of the self-involved Baby Boomers and their children for whom the trendy title of Generation X was appropriated. Perhaps a lame handle, but compare it to some others proffered: Baby Busters, an obvious play on the Boomers, and unworthy of consideration because of its riding the skirts of Boomer mythology; or even Wedgies, which is obviously a joke, but the concept is sound. Still marginalization seems to be our calling card. We don’t fit anywhere, or we’ve become so adept at keeping our heads down, we’ve escaped notice. Either way, we’ve remained out-represented, doomed to be forgotten.



Post a Comment

<< Home