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Posts Tagged ‘generation x’

“Common knowledge proclaims the death of dreams, but we are still sleeping, waiting to awaken.” ~Theodicus

not-giant-enough-letter-xI have never been a fan of sharing my feelings with others, which is funny if you consider how long I’ve been blogging and doing precisely that. But this medium lends itself nicely to letting it out without fear, because I can relieve my stress and express myself using my favorite mode — writing.

I am Patient X. I am on the cusp of relevance and irrelevance at the same time. I am from the generation that is both full of itself and apart from itself at once, still struggling to define itself in the Era of the New, where more recent means better. I fight to maintain shouting distance with these new technologies, to keep up to date and utilize the next best thing.

But I will forever be behind because advancements stop for no one. My computer was obsolete before I even extricated it from the plastic. The phone I have in my pocket is two generations behind and I still don’t understand all of its features and functions. I know of drones, and Amazon Fire Stick, and cars that park themselves, but I couldn’t possibly tell you how to manipulate any of them. Which is okay, because even though I’m deep into this age of technology, I can still appreciate rudimentary constructs.

I am Patient X. There will never be another like me, like my generation, straddling the line between what has come before, what is here now, and what dreams may come true in the (very near) future. If I spent enough time delving into all this technology until I was overflowing with knowledge I still wouldn’t be caught up, so I just learn what I need to in order to get by, and I hope things don’t change too much more from now until I will stop needing all of it. If I will ever stop needing all of it.

It’s interesting to watch my children (aged 11 and 8) mastering what seems so complex to me, and laughing at my forays into figuring it all out. I take out a flash drive, something that used to be so en vogue not too long ago, and they look at me as if I’ve grown three heads. It’s all digital, they tell me. Transferring files is as easy as snapping your fingers anymore, and I just scratch my head. There are more than a few ways to do any one thing these days, and learning just one of those ways takes me a while. Mastering it takes me even longer, if it can be done at all.

I am Patient X. I will probably always love blogging, even after it too has become outmoded, replaced by whatever replaces Twitter, sent out to pasture to chew its own cud. I will probably always appreciate the smell of a book more than the words on a screen. I will probably always question if digital music is real or just a figment of our collective imagination. I will probably always want to figure things out for myself rather than simply Googling it.

The future is in convenience, tied to whatever can make things easier for us as a civilization, and in some ways that’s already true now. Taking time to do things carefully, in painstaking details, is a dinosaur, lost to the ravages of time. I already miss it, even though its ghost is still around.

Haunting me.

Sam

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generation-xRemember when we were supposed to be the next big thing? Well, it seems like that time has passed. Our society is still focusing on those damn Boomers, and on our own children (the so-called Millennials), but what has happened to Generation X?

If you were born between 1965 and 1979 then you technically fit into this category along with me. You were probably conceived amidst pomp and circumstance, because our parents were part of the illustrious Boomer generation. There are just still SO MANY of them. Which stands to reason that we also have huge numbers on our side.

Who are our famous representatives?

  • Robert Downey, Jr.
  • Dr. Dre
  • JK Rowling
  • Shania Twain
  • Andre Agassi
  • Tiger Woods
  • Uma Thurman
  • Alanis Morissette

While this is a short list, you can see that we don’t have too much to hang our heads about. We’ve got some all-time greats in this lineup, so why are we still so disrespected as a group? I liken it to the team that will win Super Bowl LI, because it’s not Super Bowl 50, or to an Olympic silver medalist, because gold is the standard, or even to the 1990s when the ’80s are so revered. We’re still dynamic, and we’re still worthy, but our achievements are too close to those of our predecessors.

Maybe that’s why Millennials are seen more in social media, why they’re touted as the real “NOW” instead of us. We’re has-beens before we ever were, playing second fiddle to the Boomers for so long, and now to our own progeny. And I guess that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I mean, does anyone remember what the generation before the Boomers was called? They were fittingly called the Silent Generation.

But we grew up in the ’80s. We matured under the watchful eye of Ronald Reagan and trickle-down economics. We pioneered MTV, and the rise of the Internet. We held up our end of the bargain when we were nicknamed Generation X, and yet we still don’t get the respect I strongly believe we deserve for our efforts.

Ah well. At least we have the X-Files.

Sam

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Have you noticed how things come around again, and again, and again? There really is nothing new under the sun, and yet we treat the next “new” trend like it’s god appearing for the very first time on this earth. We are humbled, we revere it, and we willingly give our money and time to give it its proper glory and place. You know, until the next “new” thing comes around to take its place.

My daughter is into Strawberry Shortcake. No, not the one from the early 80s, or even the one from five years ago. There is this new one that almost looks CG, the characters are so human and lifelike. And it makes me think that maybe putting a twist on a classic like that is the only way to “create” something new.

She is also into Super Mario Bros., the classic game from Nintendo, the Gumby movie, funky headbands, and chunky headphones. Is she a throwback or is she just embracing the new trend of bringing back the old, recycling it for yet another new generation?

While I was at work today somebody’s cell phone started ringing, but at first I had no clue that it was a ringtone because it sounded exactly like the classic old-school telephone ring that I used to hear growing up when someone else in my household would get a call. Apparently it is one of the most popular ringtones for people young and old, so much so that it is being preloaded as the obligatory ringtone for a lot of new phones now. To think that your ringtone could be literally anything in the known world, and so many are choosing the one we couldn’t help having as children.

Is it a matter of simple nostalgia or is there more to it? We flocked to see The Expendables because it brought back memories of when action movies were about physical action and not about special effects. We watch and re-watch old TV shows to relive our childhoods. We listen to 80s playlists and scream along to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (both parts) to feel young again. Maybe that’s the true fountain of youth. As long as the sense of youth is there we will always be young.

So what is it with our kids, then? They don’t remember a time before personal home computers, and in my case, before iPads. When Mario was first made into a game cartridge to be played on the original NES they were -20 years old. And yet they also drive sales of these items, they watch old reruns of “Saved by the Bell” religiously. And they rock out to “Paradise City” as hard as anyone. Maybe they feed off of us and our enthusiasm, or perhaps they do it so they can seem cool and “retro” around their friends. Regardless of why, it keeps driving the return of these nostalgic shows, movies, celebrities, and music.

And maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all. But my ringtone is U2 from 2008.

Sam

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