GenX: before the Millenials
Before hipsters could even be the hipsters, before they were stealing their older sister’s/brother’s/cousin’s mixed tapes/cds/records to say they liked it before it was cool again (you know the ones they got from thrift shops, bought new off the shelf or stole from their parents or borrowed and copied from a friend), before they even had some skin in the game as a emo when we listened to punk before there was screamo. When we heard Joni Mitchell and Simon and Garfunkel and still thought it was kinda cool but we wouldn’t admit it and well before the Mumford and Sons had a beard much less hit puberty.
Just saying we, GenX people, we molded many of you, we knew why Cheech and Chong were funny, why Saturday Night Live just wasn’t the freaking same when John died, who the Bosom Buddies were and that Eddie’s Father was the freaking Hulk, we watched Fantasy Island and Love Boat, who the Bionic Woman was and we never cared how dopey the story was. We knew when “Just Say No” started and most of us knew Vietnam Vets in our families were kinda touchy fellas, and why the mention of Jane Fonda could be touchy to even mention. We watched spaceships blow the fuck up! With people inside! We saw a wall come down because people tore that fucker down! We saw people make quilts to honor people who died of AIDS and some of us still joked and didn’t even know what the hell that was.
We ARE the generation that had to have Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, GNR, The Cure, Joy Division, we ARE the generation that smoked candy cigarettes (and the real ones) and still bought them (the real ones) as kids for our parents at the corner store. We ARE the generation that waded through American culture in clothes and hair (mullets/perms) that today we would never be caught dead in again but for some craptastic reason Millenials are insistent on bringing back (screw acid wash that shit sucked!) We are the ones who listened to Nirvana before they were big because someone said “Hey I have some Mudhoney and L7 but I also have this I got on my recorder from last night, check it out.”
We are the generation that had a story to tell, we injected it into every endeavor, to be heard, we invested in our friends, we got in fistfights, had sex, did drugs, got drunk and most of it while listening to music. Some of us had kids too young, some of us went to college, but for most of us we became the working class watching our boomer parents struggle, fucking struggle hard and are watching some of them looking at retirement being the lower middle class working people who didn’t have awesome investments in property or a 401K. No we are the generation watching our parents becoming sick and tired and popping OTC pain meds worried that retirement is scarier than not working, they fucked up yeah, they fell asleep at the political wheel and they take the beatings all day long at 65 but shit some of them can still work hard and longer than anyone younger than them. But the truth is that some of us GenX people didn’t do our best in everything either, some of us really got it wrong, we lived with angst and didn’t know what to fucking do with it sometimes (so many of us stopped voting despite MTV’S rigorous Rock The Vote campaign). So we paid the fucking bills, we got in our Honda Civics and Geo metros (if we were lucky) and old pickup trucks that our parents kicked our way or co-signed onto. Most of us drove 30 year old clunkers straight out of high school and had to know how to drive a clutch and an automatic. We got in our cars, like I said some of us went to schools, some of us didn’t. But one of the things most of us did have? A sense of self, a sense of knowing that we didn’t have to take anyone’s shit! We had a sense that if the gloves came off it was do or die, right fucking now and never later — make a goddamn decision or get out of the way. We were not necessarily driven but mostly that we didn’t want the bullshit, well at least not until quittin’ time arrived.
I am not saying we are a better generation, but we are the one who came before Millenials and we taught you words like “cool” “radical” “awesome” “boner” “brown noser” etc., We taught you how to toughen the fuck up sometimes. You watched our punk/rock bands, rappers, even fucking Weird Al comin’ at you in all the corners of the states, we gave you some things to keep looking up to even if we were fucking wrong, but hopefully there was something right.
So yeah there are some things that the Millenials who came on the heels of us GenX people taught us and some of it is good and some of it not so good, it is a two way street still. And the generation after you will have learned from you too. Just don’t get it in your heads that we, GenX, won’t still kick your ass if we have to. Just sayin’ it is in our DNA.
Peace Out and See you at the voting booths!
Hashtagging in 3,2,1 — #GenXersLoveBernieSanders