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Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Fellow Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand (Part One)

They're the closest thing I have to a "group identity," but I can still only count six great Generation-X-ers...

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

May 28, 2013 - 7:00 am
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whatisthis
When my (millennial) editor suggested I write about my favorite (fellow) Generation X-ers, it took me four days to think of one name.

Then the rest of the week to come up with the rest.

For someone who is as cohort-sensitive as I am, who rages constantly about “kids these days,” and who feels most comfortable socializing almost exclusively with other X-ers, I found this assignment surprisingly daunting.

I used a HighLowBrow post about Gen-Xers to try to kickstart my brain.

That site calls us “Recons” and counts those born between 1964-1973 as members of that generation.

The article features a labor-of-love list of famous Recons/X-ers that was invaluable in helping me put together this column.

Predictably, I take issue with their chosen start date, however.

It’s a weird definition of “Generation X” that excludes the guy who popularized the phrase (Douglas Coupland, 1961) or the fellow who wrote our “national anthem” (Gordon Gano, 1963):

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All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
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I have never thought of myself or my siblings (born between 61 and 66) as "Boomers" at all.

After 1955 the Postwar baby boom was over for the most part. Culturally, people born from 55 to 65 were more likely to be the neglected children of teenaged hippies (the actual baby boomers) who were busy finding themselves, exploring "free love", playing around with the psychedelic drug culture, and attending "happenings" like Woodstock and Altamont … debauchery which could last for days at a time.

All the while the toddler children of those teen moms and dads (us) were cast off to grandparents, aunts and uncles.

This unnamed decade of kids (pre-X- ers?) rejected Rock and Disco for the most part by the time they reached high school age and, starting in the early 70s, adopted Punk rock, Metal, New Wave, Grunge and eventually Industrial dance music. Music stylings which no other generation admits to liking, but music that somehow appears in nearly every modern movie soundtrack.

It is this (my) unnamed generation that remembers the “Disco Demolition” at Comiskey Park with such great fondness. Interestingly the Disco Demolition kids were then was criticized and marginalized using similar terms to those used to criticize the Tea Party today.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry you had a troubled childhood, but the oldest 'Boomers, (b. 1946) were 9 in ''55 and 19 in '65, so there might have been a few births to teenagers in there, but not many. In those days, it was REALLY hard to get a girl under 18 to have sex with you because you and she were terrified of pregnancy and it was very hard for her to get pills until she was over 18 and out of the house.

I know how much everyone seems to like the myth but of the 75 or 80 million people born between '46 and '64, only a couple hundred thousand went to "happenings" like Woodstock or Altamont.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The music died in 1972!

I don't know what my bio-daughter (b. 1971) and her husband listen to. He's a real movie and comic fan so he's pretty far into modern popular culture but I don't think she is very much. They live a pretty affluent lifestyle in Seattle so they're a little groovy for my tastes; probably voted for Comrade Obama, but she's been away from my good influences for twenty-odd years and his parents are Democrats.

All that said, while they're products of 'Boomers (b. 1949 and 1951 in the case of my daughter's parents) and in my and her mother's case pretty adventurous 'Boomers, they're both right out of Ozzie and Harriet and The Donna Reid Show; they're almost painfully straight! The only other couple I know well about my age and who have kids about the same age, a little younger but not much, have had the same experience. They, like Wife v1.0 and I, were pretty "adventurous" in the '60s and early '70s but straightened up enough to become pretty successful by the '80s and by the time the kids were in their teens and young adulthood in the late '80s and the '90s were absolute straight arrows, pretty successful, and quite affluent. The kids all turned out to be like we were in the '50s and early '60s before the World went wild in the late '60s and early '70s.

My own observation of X-er popular culture is that they tried very, very hard to be as bad and edgy as their '60s forebears but the bar was just too high. I actually can't think of much of the popular culture from the late '80s, '90s, or even early '00s I want to see, hear, or do again. Welll, there were some women from those times ...
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
CK is such a sucker that this piece is redeemed, but I am unhappy with the Courtney Love inclusion. You know one commie sympathy is going to send you to hell, right?

People in their thirties and forties who are wonderful here is such a weird abbreviated list. Comics like Chapelle, Key and Peele and that caucasian sensation Doug Stanhope.

Prince Harry. Army guys. Too unsung even in this highly enlightened age *cough cough cough*

I'm stretching to think of a musician or author. My dixie Godfather says name-dropping leads to homophilia though. But they know whom they are.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Key and Peele are comic geniuses.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Clicked on the article just to see if I'd ever heard of any of these people...

Courtney Love. Isn't she a vocalist of some sort?

Adam Carolla. Right... the Man Show.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pete Townsend? You mean the one who downloads photos of naked little boys on his PC?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's abnormal about a guy setting himself up as a one-man kiddie porn detective agency only he and his credit card company knows about?

I myself recently set up an organization called the National Geographic Society, dedicated to the amateur sleuthing of the world's natural wonders. Tomorrow I'm climbing into a tree in my back yard to explore the multi-layered world of the canopy culture, or whatever it's called.

I'm planning on bringing back samples of bark, caterpillars and spiders and putting them in my fridge. Then I might call someone.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
No! He downloaded kiddie porn and pled quilty to it.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've a bridge to offer you.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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