Our 20-Part GenX Visionary Series
by Heidi Legg
Meet Generation X — the anti-hero, the irreverent class, the quiet makers and doers overshadowed by the sheer volume of Boomers and their elephant footprint in real-estate, politics, the stock market, cultural domination, and the use of our environment. And now their equally voluminous offspring, long named the Millennials, are demanding center stage. But what of that smaller generation with its mighty grit, creativity, and ability to harmonize between the beasts?
Author Douglas Coupland coined the term Generation X (whom demographers identify as those born between the early 1960s and early 1980s) as fantastical creators and heartfelt storytellers in his sleeper novel, Generation X: Tales for An Accelerated Culture. Of course, he wrote it from the Mojave Desert to the Coachella Valley, sorting it all out even though he was Canadian who first published the article that spawned the book for Vancouver Magazine.
St. Martin’s published the novel in 1991, when I was in my second year of university. The novel popularized the term GenX and the irreverence doubled down with films like Say Anything, Trainspotting, and Reality Bites and the emergence of grunge music. This in the early dawn of email, the Internet, blogging, self-driving cars, and Google — tools that became defining ideas of our generation.
That, I would say, is one thick mess of creativity.
Sandwiched between Baby Boomers and their Millennial children, GenerationX is a group I think we tend to miss. As we watch these offspring sign more book/tv/brand heavy deals, and obtain national security clearance, it’s hard to ignore that there is a whole generation of Sebastian Thruns, Neri Oxmans, and This is Forty’s Judd Apatow types (an almost independent film given our demographic size) more qualified for leadership. I understand… the numbers are not in their favor to drive marketing campaigns for the latest gadget or iTunes sales, but maybe what they value may be worth replicating? Interesting to note that many of GenX are the children of the Last Great Generation.
Using what magical powers we have as heart-felt storytellers and fantastical creators, TheEditorial.com will pursue these anti-heroes in a 20-part series of GenerationXers.
I love them because they ‘Say Anything.’ They have nothing to lose, lost and ignored.
This new series will bring you deep dive interviews around emerging ideas from the early adopters of email with AOL and Yahoo, who moved onto Gmail addresses… those without aberrations or numbered surnames. They were the same youth who flocked to SF during the Internet boom or headed to emerging markets, during Russia’s oligarch rise, in pursuit of fledgling democracy and free markets. I have this hunch our society may just need a few of these brooding, irreverent, idealistic minds right about now. For these are the children of The Breakfast Club’s suburban North America, who grew up in Halcyon days, blemished only in ways that SeaBreeze could solve. This idealism — grounded in reality — may actually save us.