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Interesting piece.
I do find it interesting that your experience as Gen-X sounds more ‘empowered’ than mine.

I remember the cynicism that came with knowing, as a child, that we were always seconds away from disappearing in a ball of nuclear fire. The powerless of knowing there was no place to escape.

I remember when sex was taken away from us by an unstoppable disease (AIDS.)

I also grew up in Seattle, ground zero for grunge, and the frustration and apathy, the sense that life was pointless.

The world is certainly different now. Our greatest fears involve terrorism, resulting in a few hundred deaths a year in a country of 300 million. We fear a few million people from south of the border who come up here and do agricultural jobs that we’re not willing to do. We fear shaming blog posts by a few transgender people.

Views on analog vs digital are definitely different where I live. Gen-X wasn’t the last analog generation. Gen-X build the digital world. The dot-boom of the 90s was fueled by the 20-somethings. Young, full of energy, seeing the full potential of the technology. A regional difference, I suppose.

PC Culture…I do suspect the rebellion against political correctness will die with us. We were told to be happy with what we were given, to never complain, that there are “starving people in Africa” who’d love to eat the lima beans laying on our plate. We were raised to ‘do what we were told.’ We were raised with the idea that complaining is a moral failure.

We still hold those values, and it grates when minorities dare to raise their voice and ask for seat at the table. We invent terms like “identity politics” to silence, to disregard those complaints. We build digital armies to hunt down and silence those that dare to raise their voice and say “it’s not fair, we deserve this too.”

That will die with us, as strangely enough, we chose to ignore those drives when it came to our own children. We give them everything they want. We’re terrified that they may feel the world is unfair.

Our children already listen when minorities expose the unfairness of the world. They already support and grow the PC culture. It’ll be interesting to see what they build.

I definitely agree with your take on Gen-Xs need for ‘authenticity.’ We prefer ‘authentic’ food from other parts of the world. ‘Authenticity’ was the genesis of the current hipster trend for ‘artisan ice cubes’ and other ridiculous creations. Makes me roll my eyes, it does.

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