Solo GenX Warriors

Game over. Let's start a new game.

Archive for the tag “origin of Generation X”

30) Comfort In Fearful Things

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.  – H. P. Lovecraft

I was born in 1974, the same year that Stephen King’s first book, Carrie was published and less than a year after the The Exorcist was released. It scared the crap out of my 11-year-old brother and perhaps incidentally propelled his spiritual life, transforming him into a God-fearing conservative Christian. The film broke box office records with millions of people standing in long lines. Many audience members passed out, up-chucked, and left the theater because the subject matter and raw graphics was too horrific to watch. I discovered the film on The Movie Channel, long after my brother left for college when I was 10-years-old. My parents never thought to dismantle the cable outlet…

I became my own parental control and watched anything that was dark, scary, or controversial. By the age of 10, I sampled a glut of R-rated horror films before I set eyes on The Exorcist. My earliest recollection was Blood Beach (an exquisitely dumb B film), then A Nightmare on Elm Street, Cujo, Halloween, Jaws, and Friday The Thirteenth (just in time for the coming of age of the 13th generation, AKA Gen-X). Rather than becoming desensitized from watching movies that most parents would never let their children watch today, it opened up my mind and hunger for knowledge.

Blood Beach Movie Poster

Although, I could not articulate it as a child, I was fascinated by anything that was physically unfamiliar, strange, unexplainable, and ultimately, anything that would horrify my mother or enrage my father. It wasn’t that I was rebelling from their attitudes. I was curious of why certain ideas provoked intense emotions within adults. I wanted to understand their reactions. At a very young age, I had a sense that the world was full of hidden truths behind closed doors, the back of dusty closets, underneath crawl spaces, the bottom of my mother’s purse and amongst the coins in my father’s pocket.

At night, I was afraid to run to my parents’ bedroom; it was too far away on the opposite side of the house. My dad built it that way. To get there, I had to run past a long hallway of tall closets, and my old bedroom where Mom reScary Treead her Bible every morning and night, and the bathroom, turn the corner past the fireplace, the entry way, the living room and kitchen, and finally, the dark ominous opening of my parents’ bedroom.

I learned how to be still, and breath, and conquer my fear of being alone. I grew to love the stillness of night, the rhythm of the moon, and things that moved in the darkness. My imagination was more colorful than reality and I learned to keep my eyes and ears open without fear of the vampire underneath my bed with his red glowing cape, or the Bogeyman outside my window that might pop his grizzly head up, or the wind quivering the finger-like branches of the tall twin pine trees against the full moon’s light.

I watched everything that was on television, if it peaked my interest. I grew to understand that basic fear was a human impulse resulting from a lack of knowledge in that, which is feared. Real fear was primal, the kind that connected to your gut. I learned the differences and the middle ground in between.

As a young adult, my experiences were haphazard, sometimes pushing the edge of what was good for me, but knowing when to lay low or get the hell-out-of-dodge. Most of my real fear in these situations was in direct response to mortal human encounters: relationships gone bad, deceptive adults, and unpredictable human behavior. I learned how to trust myself: my senses, my impulses, and my intuition. In this way, I have always felt unique in my experiences, generationally and spiritually.

I am less afraid of Bigfoot, Extraterrestrials, Chupacabra, UFOs, and Demon Possession, and more afraid of men with guns, blatant sexual urges, deranged agendas, entitled egos, reinforced by political alliances.

I am less afraid of ghosts, haunted places, werewolves, and vampires, and more afraid of political instability, nuclear weapons, social chaos, and natural disasters.

Born and raised in San Bernardino, California, cult capital of the nation and one of the most geologically dynamic places on earth, I was less afraid of the devil and creeping things and more afraid of large rickety building structures and mass gatherings of people. My Atheist/Agnostic father and Seventh-Day-Adventist mother provided a rich contrast of dispassionate mechanical thought vs. constrained fundamental belief for my inquisitive young mind to ponder; a perfect environment for analyzing contrasting viewpoints playing out in a post-Nixon world. It is difficult to imagine the 1970s without the horrors of the time as it metastasized into classic American Horror films on cable TV.

When I first saw The Exorcist, I had absorbed large amounts of data through television, reading National Geographic magazines and my mother’s SDA literature and the KJV Bible (I think I was halfway through reading the begets of Chronicles, because my mother insisted we read the Word of God from cover to cover – enough to make one want to barf up green soup). Even though the movie was scary, I couldn’t help but feel a hidden hand moving over the whole thing to increase Church membership and tithe. I began to doubt my mother’s religious ideas early, before I was a teenager. I wanted to believe what she did because I dearly loved her and saw that she desperately wanted to transcend all that was bad, but she couldn’t provide answers that were concrete enough for me to accept them.

The Exorcist proved how powerful religion is over the minds of those too afraid to question things they do not understand. I have no doubt that there are evil ‘things’ in this world. But those ‘things’ tend to be human generated through calculated motivations. True knowledge saturates perceived fear. It provides a clear path for humanity to evolve beyond its own planned obsolescence. I take comfort in fearful things and seeking knowledge to understand them.

SUPPLEMENTS:

The American Nightmare: A Documentary
Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown Documentary
Fascinating Facts About The Exorcist
The Movie Channel Commercials – 1980s

 


Copyright © 2015 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer
Advertisements

27) April Fools

April 1, 1992

I was at home. The pregnancy test was positive and all I could think about was my father. He told me he’d disown me if I ever got pregnant, as if somehow he knew about my nightly excursions. The boy I was with; we played in the garden of earthly delights, forbidden fruit we consumed, each ravaging the other – exploring all that can be done between two people of the opposite sex.

Parrish-Ecstasy_2

“Ecstasy” by Maxfield Parrish

We sailed oceans of great feeling and played like children in our secret garden, where adults only dream: in closets and backrooms, at the airport in my car, in the clear waters of a swimming pool, the tennis courts at midnight and swing sets in playgrounds with blushing stars. Our torrential sex flooded into haunted lands and forbidden spaces; and only when the sun came up, did we really see the sobering reality, a thing we hated because the fantasy was over.

Was it love? My young mind couldn’t describe it; how does one know what love is with all the feelings that conflict and collide?

April fools…

Ours lives were a vast chasm, a generation of desire and hopelessness born of previous generations. We embodied the 13th generation in our reckless lovemaking. A trepid anger of the ages crept into our cells and frenzied us into heat – he, high on meth and I, high on sex. I couldn’t be apart from him. I held onto the feeling like a ghost in fall when the leaves trickle down to the damp forest floor, and the bounty of sacred, fertile things take over memory… and I in my youth, sexually erect and potent and empty. I cried out and raked my nails into his skin like a rabid animal.

The world around us was terrifying, rotten and void: void of beauty, void of life… and in this existence, we held on to one another in rapture, a kind of appalling sustained ecstasy. Nothing else mattered…

He snuck me into his house at midnight and no one was around. They were asleep. His sisters, four of them under 14 and he laid me down on the floor in the family room, my head by the couch. Caribbean Blue was playing in the tape deck. We dripped hot wax on our bodies to burn the pain away, our naked forms created heat on the carpet. He took me into his room and we stayed inside for hours until I had no water in me.

We slept until his sisters went to school and his parents left for work and then, he handcuffed me to his closet and penetrated me from behind and I moaned and we persisted until our bodies relented.

We let hot water pour over us in his parent’s shower. His body, wet and soapy and mine, the same, we washed each other and time disappeared down the drain. And then I drove him to work and I was alone.

Those days are a blur of highways and signals and strange thoughts that soar like floating clouds that disappear into the sun. Speeding cars, sex at midnight, blurs of life and endless dreams of escape.

April 1 – April Fools – God, I wish… I was pregnant and Mom had cancer and Los Angeles was about to burn. Mom told me to forget, to forget her, that I didn’t have a mother anymore, that she was dead.

I was late. I was supposed to start a week ago. I bought a pregnancy test. The test was positive. I knew what I had to do. There was no way I could have a child in my time. There is no future.

April Fools…


Copyright © 2015 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

 

24) School Violence in the 1990’s

I was in 7th grade in 1987. As a middle-class white kid living in the San Bernardino Mountains, our school was mostly safe. One afternoon, I recall two girls fighting in front of my locker, pulling hair and scratching each other. I had to get my books for my next class, so I told them to knock it off and yelled for a teacher. There was never a thought in my mind that one of them might pull out a gun.

Bullying was a problem in 8th grade. A girl in my English class threatened to kick my butt over a boy I would talk to in class. She told all of her friends and before I knew it, I had kids telling me that she was coming after me and I should prepare myself. I was terrified. I told my mother that I was afraid to go to school. I dropped out and enrolled in a home school program.

We moved to the city when I was 15 and I enrolled at a three-year high school. Socially, I adjusted well to my new school, larger and more diverse than in my mountain hometown. Violence was always at the edges of my world, but our campus was open and we didn’t have armed security guards at entrances with metal detectors.

It was the late 1980s and pop culture gave us punchy, satirical references to school violence and teen suicide. Julie Brown’s music video, “The Homecoming Queen’s Gotta Gun” made the MTV rounds in 1987 in classic 80s fashion.

 

Heathers

Newspapers.com

Films of that era, Three O’clock High, Tuff Turf and the teen cult film, Heathers explored the violent tendencies as school violence became more frequent, particularly in white suburban neighborhoods.

Released in 1989, Heathers was a psychotic fantasy crossing over into a grim reality. Dubbed by the media as, “the ‘Carrie’ of the 80s,” Heathers probed the dark interior of teen angst and the many layers of contemporary suburban high school life.

Veronica, played by Winona Ryder, tries to resolve herself between the sinister world of the three Heathers, the most popular girls in school, and Veronica’s anarchist lover, J.D. (Christian Slater).

Slater’s character takes on an eerie foreshadowing to Eric Harris, one of the two boys responsible for the Columbine tragedy. Veronica’s character is desperate to seek justice in a world gone wrong, but feels the pressure to perform with the popular girls.

Courtesy of IMDb

Courtesy of IMDb

In 1991, the controversial film, Boyz N The Hood, was released. John Singleton, the film’s 23-year-old director, responded to accusations that his film prompted violence in several theaters around the country, “I didn’t create the conditions under which people shoot each other… This happens because there’s a whole generation of people who are disenfranchised.”

It was one of the first movies to show the plight of African-American kids growing up in the South Central Los Angeles, experiencing violence in school and on the street, every day. Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character, Tre Styles, reminded me of Veronica – both trapped in a cultural prison trying to find higher ground, to overcome the reality of powerful cliques, raging bullets, broken families and indifferent or absent parents.

Where Heathers was a morbid satire; Boyz N The Hood was stone cold reality. Veronica and Tre face an existential conflict, desperate to separate from the status quo, both revolting against a sociopathic, senseless existence.

14 June 1989 • Newspapers.com

14 June 1989 • Newspapers.com

From Boyz N The Hood, I learned that America’s black youth are completely neglected and left to fend for themselves. From Heathers, the message was clear: dethrone ineffective, exploitive leadership and stand up for those who are left behind.


Copyright © 2015 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

21) When The Wall Fell: 25th Anniversary

I was 14-years-old watching the incredible events unfold on television. The military guards put down their guns and thousands of people cheering, crying, holding hands; soldiers handing roses down to the people on the west side of the Berlin Wall. The world hadn’t seen anything quite like it before. I cried with them, knowing this was a big moment. A small crack of sunlight crept through the thick disillusionment of my young mind. If an imposing, concrete wall running through the middle of an entire nation could be brought down, then maybe there is hope that the world can change, that people collectively can do the right thing.

The beginning of the Cold War and installation of the Berlin Wall in 1961 marked the birth year of many who identify with Generation X.  As young adults, Gen-X entering the workforce and in high school, witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago on November 9, 1989. This is the story.

“No one has any intention of building a wall.”
— Walter Ulbright, German Democratic Republic Head of the State

Walter Ulbright’s statement on June 15, 1961 was in response to the rumors that had been circulating in Germany over increasing geopolitical instability. A month later the construction began of what would eventually become a massive wall that would separate Germany in two. The Eastern government intended to prevent Eastern Berliners from escaping the Soviet sector of Berlin, cleverly deceiving the German people by reporting that its intentions were to prevent the West from invading the East. Approximately 138 persons and children died attempting to escape beyond the Wall.

“Between 1945 and 1961, well over four million East Germans left their homeland for the West, the greatest voluntary mass migration in recorded European history.” – Peter Wydon

The erection of the “Anti-Fascist Protection Wall” or Rampart marked the beginning of the Cold War. In just a few years, the arm of Communism incased Eastern Germany in a brooding gray barrier that stretched 111.9 kilometers from the north border to the south border. The citizens of Germany were unwillingly torn from their families, thrown out of their homes and stripped of their freedom for 28 long and painful years. Helpless citizens took out their aggressions by painting visual images that echoed their cries for freedom on the face of their intrusive enemy – the Wall.

In 1998, I had the opportunity to spend two weeks in Berlin. Several pieces of the Berlin wall were salvaged for public display. I visit the museum at Check-Point Charlie. I could never fully comprehend the significance of the Wall coming down in 1989. Visiting Berlin nine years after the event, I felt the deep impact the Wall had on those who lived on either side of it. There was a deep feeling about the place, a kind of residue. It was present on every street corner, every shop, every alley; I could feel it at the Saturday market in front of Humboldt University and the silence of Babelplatz, the place where Hitler burned the books. Despite it all, industry was booming in the East and one could see thousands of cranes for miles into the horizon.

A piece of the Berlin Wall • September 1998 • photo by Latchkey Lisa

A piece of the Berlin Wall • September 1998 • photo by Latchkey Lisa

Layers upon layers of paint covered the Berlin Wall. Author, Terry Tillman photographed the endless murals before its destruction in a book entitled, The Writings on the Wall: Peace at the Berlin Wall. Tillman was a motivational speaker who had traveled to Berlin on several occasions and was profoundly influenced by the emotional turmoil of Berlin’s divided people.

The artist of the mural (below) is unknown. A cracked gaping hole in the wall forms a skull exposing walls behind walls in a labyrinth of dark gray and black. Two tall buildings in the distance appear as hollowed out eyes. In between stands the T.V. Tower, a powerful symbol of Germany. The German flag ripples in the wind at the top of its point against a dismal sky.

Image Source: The Writings on the Wall: Peace at the Berlin Wall by Terry Tillman - 1990

The Writings on the Wall: Peace at the Berlin Wall by Terry Tillman • 1990

The cracks and jagged edges form abstractions and materialize as other parts of the skull – a nasal cavity, a deformed jawbone with the mouth slightly agape as if shrieking in horror. Piles of bloody human skulls and bones lay crumpled at the base. Written protests can be seen in various places along the shattered walls of the mural. “If you think the system is working ask someone who isn’t,” cries one. Others say, “What you think and do comes back to you,” and “Kilroy was just another brick in the wall.”

Today, 25 years later, marks the anniversary of when the Wall came down, not only as a significant moment in history, but an important one in the development of the Generation X psyche. It was one of a small number of victorious moments that proved that things could change to a generation that harbored no hope for the future. Regardless of how some feel about the politics of Ronald Reagan, we were all inspired on June 12, 1987 to hear him speak the words, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

 

SOURCES:

Stuttgart, Baedeker. Allianz Travel Guide: Berlin The Complete Illustrated City Guide. Trans. Jarrold Andsons Ltd. New York, NY: Macmillan Travel, 1988. page 100-101.

Tillman, Terry. The Writings on the Wall: Peace at the Berlin Wall. Santa Monica, California: 22/7 Publishing Company, 1990.

Wyden, Peter. Wall the Inside Story of Divided Berlin. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1989. Page 46.

SUPPLEMENTS:

The Abandoned Buildings of the Eastern Bloc


Copyright © 2014 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

20) Letter to Baby Boomers From Gen-X

Dear Baby Boomer,

We are Generation X or whatever you want to call us. We are the youth of the nation… or were. We don’t give a R.I.P. Our destiny is written on the wall, starting with civilization. We are nihilistic by nature because no one wanted us to be here…

Never mind. We seek Nirvana, a place in the world to shelve our Trapper Keepers, our tear-stained journals of rage, our misunderstood expression of anger toward a world with no future lodged in the throat of Sid Vicious, a casualty to the Boomer drug experimentation legacy. Thanks for the bump.

Oh, the 1970s… a putrefied pustule on the zit of history, like a Halloween pumpkin rotting in late December.

The 1970s

The 1970s

We don’t blame you, Boomers. You were just another generation among many, going way back. We can see far down the pike of human existence and we are uniformly disgusted with all human beings, including ourselves. So, don’t take it personally. You just happened to give us a lot of stupid, frivolous, narcissistic doo-doo that doesn’t matter a hill-of-beans to any human dead or alive… but we aren’t taking names or numbers, just sharpening our secondhand pencils for another round of philosophical debate.

Don’t worry. We have your best interest in mind, along with your children even though they were loved more than us. We slam danced in the backseat of our parent’s VW bugs, smacking our heads up against the windows and flying headfirst into the dashboard when our father hit the brakes. Honestly, we have no deep-seated anger that our own parents didn’t flash that cute little “Baby On Board” sign when they drove us around without seatbelts or car seats. We just laughed it off and stuck our stuffed Garfield plush dolls in the trunk with the butt sticking out to show we have a healthy sense of humor.

Okay, let me explain the whole “punk” thing. It’s not about talent, you silly Boomer. It’s about revolution. I know you know what that is. You don’t understand our music because it’s too painful to listen to and reflects the existential dark matter of human misery that we feel every day. Yes, that’s right. Our music feels bad and sounds bad to you because we feel worse than you could ever imagine. To us, your music sounds like the Intro to Loony Tunes.

We were left alone, watching MTV videos in the middle of the night sucking on Nerds candy, waiting for our parental units to come home, too tired to fix us dinner and so we make ourselves another crappy box of Mac & Cheese. We are born into a world of sustained horror, greed, AIDS, useless politics, and recessions that fall like dominoes every time we try to move up in the world from a cardboard box. We have never felt that anyone owes us anything and only want a better world for everyone. So, we deserve a break today.

Be nice. Give us a hug. That’s all we ask.

With love and adoration,

Generation X


Copyright © 2014 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

19) Jealous of My Mother’s Nostalgia

I was at the drug store to buy anti-depressants and maxi pads. While I waited for my pick-up, I scanned the newsstand to find anything worth reading when “Suddenly Last Summer” by The Motels drifted over the speaker – a song from my youth, a song from a happier time? I felt the emotional flood that happens in your middle years, that sweet trickle of familiarity, a memory of a moment in time. I thought back to my seven-year-old self, sitting on olive green shag carpet in my bedroom watching MTV videos at midnight.

Somehow, the song felt like one big menstrual cramp. My mother’s music was different. She grew up in the 1950s listening to Johnny Mathis, The Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly. She would get teary-eyed and sappy as if she wanted to go back. I felt like Molly Ringwald’s character, Andie Walsh in Pretty In Pink rolling her eyes as Iona daydreams about her prom night, slow-dancing to “Cherish” by The Association.

To my eyes, the pop culture of the 1950s resembled a bubblegum mask to shield children from the realities of the Atomic Bomb. Perhaps it was necessary for society to simplify and coat the culture with icing, a kind of euphoric bubble – the inside protected from a looming terrestrial supernova. It’s not surprising that Disneyland opened in 1955.

So, what’s wrong with my generation? I’m not dreamy about my generation’s nostalgia, growing up in the wake of the Vietnam War, the 1974 gas shortage and the Three Mile Island accident. Nothing was hidden. Music took on a futuristic, synthetic sound only after the nihilistic Punk years, a kind of Dadaistic movement and the end of disco. In the 1980s, behind the angular shoulder pads, Aqua Net hairdos and androgynous makeup, there was a hint of something approaching, like a dead end sign where the asphalt stops. We can’t back up the ‘57 Chevy and turn around.

I wonder if nostalgia works in reverse. Maybe the “Lost Generation” of the Great War looked pensively toward the 1980s future – George Orwell, not so much. Disneyland was brimming with excitement for the future with its Carousel of Progress and Tomorrowland. Today, many people who gravitate toward the Goth subculture – are nostalgic for Steam Punk. I know I was giddy as a gerbil on crack when I first saw The City of Lost Children. It appeals to my desire to bring the “Gilded Age” forward and let it live placidly with The Sex Pistols. Unfortunately, like Goth, Steam Punk has become watered down, glammed up, hair sprayed and fossilized. Looking back on my generation makes me want to pull a urinal out of a gas station, install it in an art gallery and paint a mustache on Bob’s Big Boy.

Marcel Duchamp - src Original picture by Stieglitz

Marcel Duchamp – Original picture by Stieglitz – Courtesy of: Wikipedia


Copyright © 2014 Solo GenX Warriors 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

03) Gen-X: The Birth of a Label

The Gen-X label, as we know it today, is the primary definition for those born roughly between 1961 and 1983. As these odd creatures grew up in a swirling jumble of punk, pollution and porno, the world was becoming anything but child friendly. These kids were already cynical adults by age 7 and left on their own to figure things out for themselves, often taking longer to get a handle on life, family and career. So, where exactly did this mysterious label come from?

If you look at the occurrences of the Gen-X label over the last 61 years, one can easily point to three specific years that stand out in our collective conscious: 1953, 1964 and 1991. After 1991, the label evolved into a core marketing term loathed by frustrated advertisers struggling to get Gen-X consumers to try new products (an attribute I personally admire).

Some descriptions (and birth years) of GenX overlap with what I call Generation Me [AKA Millenials], but it’s clear that the GenX description is incomplete and often misguided. – Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D., author of Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled – and More Miserable Than Ever Before.


 X – Original

We named this unknown generation, The Generation X, and even in our first enthusiasm we realised that we had something far bigger than our talents and pockets could cope with. – Robert Capa, Magnum Photographer

Robert Capa, famous war photographer and founder of the label, Generation X. [Image via Wikipedia]

Most historians agree that the first appearance of the term “Generation X” was verbalized in 1953, by war photographer Robert Capa, almost a decade before the actual folks were born and officially christened as Generation X. Capa’s “Generation X” described young people with a fatalistic view of the future. The label read like an aimless particle in space or an unknown variable in an algebraic expression. If one cannot understand it, X is a placeholder until further study can manifest a clearer definition.

In a Huffington Post article, Christine Henseler dissects the GenX label origins:

Most people think that it was born in 1991 when Canadian writer and visual artist, Douglas Coupland, published the popular book Generation X: Tales of An Accelerated Culture. That’s not the case. In fact, it all began much earlier, in 1953 when, as Dr. John Ulrich eloquently details in GenXegesis, “The Queen’s Generation: Young People in a Changing World” was published in the Picture Post in the United Kingdom. This piece was later published as a three-part series titled “Youth and the World” in the United States’ magazine called Holiday.


X – 2.0

In 1964, the first printing of Generation X by Hamblett and Deverson, was published in an attempt to capture the voices of the nation’s youth at the twilight of Beatlemania. The sentiments taken from the Mod subculture and other rock youth groups in the UK revealed a cross-section of kids with a palpable discontent for their parents, civic and political institutions, and a disillusioned outlook on the future.

Generation X by Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett • Courtesy of Wikipedia

Generation X by Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett • [Image via Wikipedia]

The quotes below were taken from an article posted on February 28, 2014, The Original Generation X, on BBC.com.

“Marriage is the only thing that really scares me…”

“Religion is for old people who have given up living…”

“I’d prefer to do something for the good of humanity…”

“You want to hit back at all the old geezers who tell us what to do…”

60s Mod Culture

In 1964 the paperback Generation X hit the bookstands. Its candid interviews with teenagers still make fascinating reading 50 years on, says Alan Dein. • [Image via BBC.com]

Two years before the original book, Generation X was published, Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, echoed some of the explosive opinions expressed by the youth culture.

…my glazzies were stuck together real horrorshow like sleepglue. – Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Movie Still from A Clockwork Orange, 1971

Movie Still from Stanley Kurbrik’s, A Clockwork Orange, 1971 • [Image via wall.alphacoders.com]

In 1976, Billy Idol would name his punk band – Generation X, after Hamblett and Deverson’s book, appropriately fusing the Gen-X label to punk music. In its active years, the band was an underground punk phenomenon until Billy Idol would make a name for himself in the 1980s with Rebel Yell and White Wedding, among other hits. Generation X’s music would later gain popularity, as rabid fans of Billy Idol would unearth his earlier work with Generation X. Like the enigmatic Gen-X generation, the band, Gen-X would disappear into the cracks of culture and re-emerge in screaming fits of unwarranted exposure.

Generation X Band

Billy Idol named his band, Generation X, after Hamblett and Deverson’s Generation X, a book his mother owned. • [Image via thep5.blogspot.com]

Britian's Punks

News-Journal (Mansfield, Ohio), • Friday, April 29, 1977 • [Image via Newspapers.com]


 X 3.0 Reloaded

In 1991, two symbolic events would further define an isolated and exasperated youth culture, the release of Douglas Coupland’s Generation X: Tales Of An Accelerated Culture and Nirvana’s Nevermind album – both creating an enriched sound and philosophy of Gen-X in the wake of Operation Desert Storm and the year’s end collapse of the Soviet Union.

[Image via modernmrsdarcy.com]

I just want to show society what people born after 1960 think about things… We’re sick of stupid labels, we’re sick of being marginalized in lousy jobs, and we’re tired of hearing about ourselves from others. – Doug Coupland, Boston Globe, 1991 (Wikipedia)

This Book Review of Coupland’s Generation X, written by Michael Hutak, describes the early 1990s third wave of despair, hopelessness and insights into the Xers of the struggling to navigate a stagnant economy, not far removed from the discontent of the previous incarnations associated with the Gen-X label.

Coupland's Generation X - 1992 Book Review by Michael Hutak • Courtesy of hutak.org

Generation X by Douglas Coupland – 1992 Book Review by Michael Hutak • [Image via hutak.org]

In 1991, I was in my junior year in high school, ditching classes on a regular basis, frequenting Rocky Horror Picture Show performances at the Balboa Theater and drinking MGD’s (Miller Genuine Draft) with my friends on a trestle in San Timoteo Canyon at midnight waiting for the next train so we could hurl our empty beer bottles into an open railcar. I fantasized that I was an empty bottle in a pile of woodchips and ride the train forever.

[image via 'Rennaissance Girl' photo by Rae • trg-photos.blogspot.com]

[Image via • trg-photos.blogspot.com • photo by Rae]


 Gen-X Today

All generations are defined and re-defined as they collectively adapt, respond and interact with technology; grow older and with self-reflection, become a little wiser.

In his book, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Chuck Klosterman suggests that the movie, The Empire Strikes Back, is “the seminal foundation for what became “Generation X,” and similar to Capa’s first utterance of the “X” label, Klosterman’s view of The Empire Strikes Back “set the social aesthetic for a generation coming in the future,” as if it were a pre-determined outcome.

Chuck Klosterman: A Voice of Generation X

[Image via Wikipedia]

…all the clichés about Gen Xers were true – but the point everyone failed to make was that our whole demographic was comprised of cynical optimists. – Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

Generation X will continue to define itself by action and though, this generation may be comfortable with their imposed namesake, this they will speak for itself in ways that may not be realized until a later date in history. It truly is a generation that doesn’t have time to explain itself, but not inclined to take anyone else’s word for it.


Copyright © 2014 Sologenxwarriors.wordpress.com 
Solo GenX Warriors ™ | Disclaimer

 

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: