I’ve always been intrigued by generational studies, those sweeping academic panoramas of characteristics attributed to those born within arbitrarily defined time periods; how these supposed shared traits, both in their generalities and complexity, define those cohorts.
(Most likely, these studies are templates of exploitation for our Advertising, Cultural, Educational and Political Institutions.)
(Also, these type of academic generalizations, for all their intrigue, are also another social engineering tactic of collectivism, of stripping people of their own individuality and reducing it to the herd, or the horde.)
As a young GenX’er, there is a sense of discombobulation, The World, comprised of the social, cultural and political, is unrecognizable.
Some of us grew-up in the last, hazy vestiges of the Hippies utopian decadence—Sex, Drugs & Rock’N Roll Will Lead To Political And Social Enlightenment, Man—which immediately segued into the age of Cocaine Capitalism and finally those Nihilists In Tattered Flannel.
We knew the Cultural, Political and Social was, well, institutionally screwed up…
We experienced the economic implosions of Stagflation, Trickle Down and finally, Dot Com Bust 1.0…
We had to navigate the ruins.
We had no choice, because most of us, raised ourselves.
Yet, we had our Friends.
Black, Hispanic, Latino, Gay, Male, Female…whatever.
We knew, that in a world so institutionally rotted, with our trusted friends, we could make it.
Now, we inhabit a world of fear and resistance…
A world in which our Cultural and Moral arbiters insist we only trust the Institutions.
Because, like, you know, they don’t have friends to trust…
As Pew Research stated, GenX is the forgotten middle child.
We’re squashed culturally, politically and socially between the Utopian Greed Of The Boomers and Their Anointed Saviors Of All Things Cultural, Political and Social: The Delusional Millennials.
Once despised and distrusted, GenX has been surpassed.
When I stare into the kaleidoscopic chaos of this world, feeling adrift and yes, discombobulated, I remember the wisdom of my deceased Grandfathers.
They were from the Silent Generation.
A forgotten demographic crunched between The Greatest Generation and The Boomers.
My Grandfathers, loathed both.
After the Korean War—or, for those of Revisionist Academia, The Korean Conflict—my Grandfathers were disillusioned, skeptical of not only the Institution of War, but of all the scared Institutions.
To them, The Greatest Generation were starry-eyed conformists.
The Boomers were hypocrites.
My Grandfathers agreed, The World was not for them.
So, they forged their own careers and identities outside the ideals of Corporate Obedience and the hedonistic, self-destruction of the counter-culture.
From those paths of self-reliance, trails that led to independence, but little riches, they also had to endure Stagflation, Trickle Down and Dot Com Bubble 1.0…
For my Grandfathers, striving to survive in this surrealistic world, is what defined them. Not the politics or the culture.
If you conform to its politics and culture, The World will reward you.
But, it takes you.
And, you, is all that you really have.
In our Millennialist Age of suffocating conformity and ideological collectivism, The World appears too engrossed with its own arrogant demise.
Maybe, for GenX, we just have to find those old friends that didn’t sell out and create our own path away from The World.
Let The Millennials and Boomers sacrifice themselves for supremacy…
That would be the advice of my Grandfathers.
I Will Be Exploring These Themes In Greater Detail And Depth In A Future Episode Of The Weekly Cynic Podcast…
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