Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gen X's Revenge

We're the middle children of history.... no purpose or place.  We have no Great War, no Great Depression.  Our great war is a spiritual war.  Our great depression is our lives.  ~From the movie Fight Club
In the midst of the endless cycling of Flock of Seagulls and Culture Club videos, featuring she-men fluttering in front of the camera in outlandish costumes, with whimsical hairdos, wistfully abusing synthesizers on MTV in the late eighties and early nineties, a pressure was building.  My generation was coming of age and chomping at the bit to burst on the scene like a volcanic explosion.  And then it happened.
The gate blew open, and flew off the hinges, when a three-piece band, from Seattle,  grabbed the baby boomers, and the greatest generation by the ears and screamed, "WE'RE HERE FUCKERS!  Time to quit sucking."
The Greatest Generation had given us nightmares populated with mushroom clouds on the horizon.  The Baby Boomers gave us hippy-dippy, pie in the sky, unworkable ideations of peace and love, disco and then the unbounded greed of the free market and cheesy commercialism.  We gave them Nirvana, and put them on notice that the rules were about to change, because theirs didn't work.
Gen X was to be the generation of the authentic.  Postmodern, multi-perspectival, pluralistic deconstructionism was the cleansing agent we offered to scrub all the bullshit away from America's eyes so that the territory ahead could be better seen.
One day, Kurt Cobain crawled into a bath tub with a shotgun and blew his head off.  We graduated from college in the middle of a Republican, trickle-down fueled recession.  The mosh pit lost its steam.  Oh well, whatever, never mind.   
We are turning 40 now.  Some of us have had kids.  Some have gone to rehab.  Some have done both.  But if you have made it this far, Gen X, you know now that our strengths and talents are not in standing out front and leading the charge.  There simply are not enough of us to make the loud, out-in-the-open demands and changes that the Boomers have made and Gen Y is poised to make.
Besides slipping in and out of each day, marinating in a cocktail of absurdity, what's a Gen X'er to do?  Boomers have a lock on the market they are constantly wrecking and, irony of ironies, making it impossible for themselves to retire.  Gen Y, raised on positive vibes and psychotropic drugs to cure their various insanities that didn't exist when us Gen X'ers were kids, will take the reins from the Boomers.  
Face it X.  This world, outwardly at least, will always be about them, not us.  We had our time, and it ended in a splatter of blood and brains on a bathroom wall in Seattle.  Our place will always be behind the scenes, tinkering and tweaking, to do our best to keep it real, and to keep the world from completely sucking ass.  
Most significantly, our place and purpose is to undertake what really is the only solution to all that ails us:  to find our own personal paths to salvation, and let everything else roll out of its own, unfolding accord.  Ours is an inner conquest and exploration, and that's where we shine.  
In the final analysis, there is no way up and out without going inward, and that's what's real.  And that's where we don't slack. 

No comments:

Post a Comment