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A Few Words About My Generation

It isn’t exactly clear where generation names come from; but every 20 years or so a new moniker is chosen. It could be that some put-away hermit with a Rumpelstiltskin beard and a passion for mind-enhancing incense quills a new appellative every 20-years and presents it to the world. One can only theorize.

I belong to generation X, which I feel was intended more as an insult than a nickname. Sure, there are the baby boomers and they should be justifiably embarrassed by their insidious handle, but no generation nickname implies the emptiness, the lack of hope, and the valuelessness of generation X.

Sometimes I wish I was born between 1900 and 1924 so I could hale from the G.I. generation that would be cool. Why couldn’t the engraving powers that be have granted us a handle like that. They could have even revisited the nickname to make it more applicable; we could have been the G.I. Joe generation. I would have even bought the T-shirt.

Nope, I am stuck with generation X, as if I belong to a listless generation with no positive effect or perhaps no effect at all on the world.

To all Gen-Xers: it’s time to defend yourselves. We have meaning. We have value. We can wear the t-shirt and wave the flag because we are the ones who have dragged this world, kicking and screaming, into the new millennium. What other generation can see the practicality of coats with zip-off sleeves? What other generation can fathom the depth and profoundness in the words of the great orator, Gary Gnu. What other generation has utilized the zipper more effectively as a central accent on leather clothing. Do the kids of today call it breakdancing? Obviously they haven’t seen Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Can any other generation “wang chung tonight?” Can any other generation appreciate the nuances in Mr. T’s haircut? Does any other generation realize that Mr. T had his own breakfast cereal? Does any other generation know who Mr. T is?

We come from a generation where we break up with each other the old fashioned way, sitting across the table, dressed in Chess King whites, an order of Hobo Joes spread between us. “Can’t we just be friends?” we say. That’s right, the operative word is SAY, not TEXT. We come from the only generation that truly understands how to play Dungeons & Dragons and who felt the world’s pain at the loss of the great Gary Gygax. We come from the generation that made Chuck Norris famous, that gave the finger to the Ruskies, that took the sagely advice of Mr. Drummond on Different Strokes. We gen-Xers finally put Menudo out of its misery. It wasn’t until generation Y that the same mistake was revisited with the advent of New Kids on the Block.

To all gen-Xers in the world, I issue a challenge for you to stand up. Raise your fists high and shout our slogan, “We’re not going to take it; no, we ain’t gonna take it; we’re not going to take it anymore.” If there is ever to be peace in the world, harmony in the air, joy in our cities and neighborhoods, you can be assured that gen-Xers will lead the charge. After all, “people are people, so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully.”

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