It annoys me- these “generational designations”. Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Whatever. Depending on whom you read, Gen X’ers are defined as being born between 1977-1981 (though most seem to end at 1980), most often to Baby Boomer parents (though that seems to be often left out).
By most standards, I am considered Gen Y (whatever), but I don’t feel Gen Y- privileged, capitalistic, competitive. My pop cultural references are not those of Gen Y. I admired John Hughes and was (neigh AM) in love with John Cusack. I remember watching MTV at 4 years of age and singing ‘Love is an Elevator” at the top of my lungs. Remember when MTV played music? We joke, but I do- vividly. What ever happened to Matt Pinfield anyhow? Needless to say, my parents were thrilled. I watched “Save By the Bell” followed by “Black Adder” or “Red Dwarf”. I know where I was when Kurt Cobain died. My favorite bands were (sometimes still are) Duran Duran (for reals! Seen them twice in concert), The Cure, Belly, Soundgarden. My parents were baby Boomers and I their lazy offspring.
This difference could not be better illustrated than in the differences between my sister and myself. Born just 15 months apart (Irish twins!!), we couldn’t be more different. While many of her references are mine as well, they were most certainly learned from me. Sure, she liked Alice in Chains, but she’s really a Pedro the Lion kinda gal. Yes, “Reality Bites” is one of our favorite movies (or at least mine), but I was Vickie character (Janeane Garofalo), she only played at her during summers home from college. Hell! She went to college. I went to work. She is striving towards a career. I merely hold a job. She has never known depression (not in the clinical sense at least).
[side note: I don’t know why I identify that as not being a Gen Y problem but I do. I’m sure there are plenty of 20-year olds bummed about something, but I’m old and I don’t care]
She sees the world as half full. She’s vegetarian for christsake! She embodies everything I think about the Gen Y generation with less of the Mommy/Daddy complex- thank god.
The worst insult anyone has ever given me is accusing me of not knowing what I’m talking about (see rant above).
“You can’t possibly remember that!”
“You’re just a baby!”
This got under my skin again recently while I was reading Chuck Klosterman. How dare you imply that “Saved by the Bell” was a Gen X only show. Uh… I watched it too. And what’s more, I wasn’t a grown man doing it; I was a teen (for whom the show was designed!). What kind of 20 something sits around watching Saturday morning programming in anything other than an ironic fashion?
I will say this now and I suggest you and all your neigh saying buddies take heed:
I’m sure it makes you feel better, perhaps it helps you feel younger; to belittle or disbelieve my memories, my feelings, and my life; but you’re making a fool of yourself. Quit it! I saw “Rocky Horror” when I was 5. Caligula and Glory when I was 8. My father bought me “Appetite for Distriction” when it came out. (PS- my Dad is probably cooler than your Dad. Perhaps that’s why you act this way). My favorite song when I was little was “Karma Chameleon” and I knew all the words. I heart “Labyrinth”, and “The Neverending Story”, and “The Boy Who Could Fly”. Try me. Test me. I dare you. I’m 37 in a 27-year-old body. What’s worse, I always felt mature but now I just feel prematurely old. I blame you.