I’m (allegedly) Gen X and reading this article makes me feel like I must be an alien. I can’t find a single idea in this article that resonates with me. The only valid conclusion I can reach is that I must not be Gen X.
The author said:
There’s no way for any Gen X person (those born between 1960 and 1980) to tell their story of the 80s and the 90s without using pop culture as a set of coordinates.
I was born in 1975 and I could do this. In fact, it would be a chore for me to weave pop culture into any sort of narrative about my life in the 80s and 90s. I must not be human.
Mine was the generation that fat-shamed, slut-shamed, objectified and mocked Monica Lewinsky, and then had the gall to call itself feminist afterwards.
I did none of this, yet I am in some way responsible for the behavior of people who did? Why?
To be Gen X is to be complicit in the ascendancy of nostalgia politics.
How? This reminds me of the concept of Original Sin, and not in a good way.
We may be the most nostalgic generation of all, precisely because we are the last of the analogues. We are desperately uploading our memories of the pre-digital world to the internet before it’s gone forever.
I think you are engaging in a frightening amount of projection. But I’m a cisgender, heterosexual white male (aka privileged). Therefore, I must be wrong.
To have indulged in fantasies only to learn how bigoted they are has the potential to craft new and better fantasies that don’t try to justify bigotry with magic. To realise just how unwittingly racist we have been has the potential to teach us how dangerous it is to live unwittingly.
I don’t understand how someone can make it out of their teenage and early adult years without engaging in this sort of introspection. That could be why your article makes me feel like an alien. You are far more “normal” than me.