Generation Ex. – An eXample of a Degeneration? by Wendy Clark
The connotations of the rarely used 24th letter of our English alphabet termed “X,” are often of a sinister and negative suggestive implication, and even vulgar in some circumstances (i.e., “XXX”); this “X” generally tends not to represent any substance of a positive nature.
I am equally as responsible as the rest of you all for these philosophical bones and skeletons I harbor – as our experience relates to the time period in which we were harvested; a generation of infants which some miserable joker/generational researcher coined “Generation X.” Generation Xers (an individual is referred to as an Xer if he or she was were born roughly between 1959 and 1978) are now getting to fully realize their full potential.
Back in the early 90’s, my Xer college friends and I pondered these societal labels and concluded that these categorizations were for the generations who preceded us. We decided that we were not going to follow in those old-fashioned, grotesque and worn-out foot steps. Our plan of attack? Our stance? We took a stand by doing nothing. Yet as the old proverbial ball bounces down the avenue of apathy, we fell for anything. We were very aware of our affectionate apathy. We were dreamers – and not the only ones, as the late comedian Bill Hicks told us. We were just like everyone else, except we were eleven years old when we were informed that we would not have social security when we retired. Our gratitude cannot be contained. Neither can our sarcasm.
Apathy. At one time, this was something we could actually stand for; across those ambiguous Elysian fields we stumbled and shouted to the Baby Boomers, Baby Busters, and whoever would lend us an ear, “We stand for APATHY!” Of course, the laziness we exuded while we were still in the cradle. But now we are grownups and we can blame Generation Y for not coming to our rescue – although we could blame Douglas Coupland (author of “Generation X”, if we could get through that shockingly dull portrait of our fellow scene members…
So, my fellow generation Xers, now that you have looked up the meaning of your life according to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_X, I would like to share with you why you let yourselves get out of touch with your third eye. This is an eXample of therapeutic eXistential eXit. And after all we haven’t been through, maybe it’s time we took some responsibility.
Remember our 80’s punk band, X? Remember the synthetic drug X? We thought it was cool to be an Xer back in our respective universities, but so did the other 50% or more of our good friends who were kicked out or lost their scholarships as a result our BIG philosophic musing, the one that our professors shrugged at: the question we posed – why some mean-ass expert would suggest that we were lazy-X-asses in the first place, and without bothering to make eye contact, he or she would semi-answer, “So prove them wrong, then.” Hm. We didn’t, did we? How didn’t we? Well, to begin with, we sure as hell didn’t “Rock the Vote” because, mostly, MTV stopped broadcasting music videos during the day so we were pissed, of course, as you can see, we got out there and did something about THAT, too. Yes, we sure as hell took care of that last couple of presidential elections so that we would maintain some some rights and not have to envision a country where you can’t even smoke in a goddamn bar, we saw to it that our generation would see marijuana legalized nationwide – at LEAST for medical purposes (remember all those rallies you hollered and swore that you would make a difference, and you educated your parents and friends about the economic benefits of hemp), you also depended on the fact that you would have a job like your parents because you have a Bachelor or Master’s degree, plus creative integrity and abstract reasoning skills – mainly because the Arts were once taught at every public school in our little nation, and we thought that racism and sexism were ridiculous concepts of our parents generation, and we didn’t touch our parents guns, we smoked and drank by the lake and had bonfires and talked about religion and philosophy, and we read and created stuff like Google and now we are bankrupt, our foreclosure rate is almost impressive, we forgot to vote and let our forefathers dictate a Constitution and Bill of Rights which are non-applicable as technology was not yet invented…
We are discouraged and discouraging. I don’t have a job. What’s an X to do?
Is there a mathematical equation like x=y+”bother”?
The drive home from anyplace you go is going to be an unnerving string of fragmented images, sounds, smells, etcetera, but all you can do is drive, you have to get to your next destination; we all have to get somewhere, eh?
The object of the game is to outwit everyone else, or maybe to out-think them, surpass them in the good looks or “I know how to dress” or something or other, after all, you HAVE to be good at something, don’t you? Or will you fall through the cracks?
The more you stay, the farther you go away any love looks you in the eyes and you don’t wait for the words you want to hear so much these days; you’re friends find misery and become a bore, of course, you ponder if this boredom is really just a manifestation of your own loneliness.
Ah, looking back, we had dreams, big huge quivering coolness in our attitudes; smarter, luckier, more destined for greatness than all those random bodies rolling over the earth, heads down, miserable because they were blending in with the entire puzzle, those pieces of people.
“Deal me in,” I say before I think about the consequences.