In an earlier post I was asking the question of what generation I belong to. I maintain that I don’t really care. Obviously I still have something of an interest in the topic as a curiosity, however, as otherwise I wouldn’t be writing at least two blog posts about it. It may help at some point in conversation. At the very least, maybe writing a blog post will get the conversation out of the way. We’re always trying to classify ourselves. Even if we take an anti-label stance we’re labeling ourselves as “anti-label.”
One night recently I did a little bit of research on the topic simply out of boredom. I found that the closest thing I could come to as a definite answer is still annoyingly vague. As far as I can tell I’m Generation X or Millennial based on the context of the conversation at hand. I’m both or neither depending on the point of view. Take, for example, somebody conducting a study on the political views of Millennials. They find that in the group they talk to lean predominantly to the left. Then they find that if they go back to people born in 1980 and see that we also follow the same trend, then we get grouped in with the Millennials. That’s fine, I tend to have a lot of views in common with somebody in their mid to late twenties.
But suppose somebody else was conducting a survey on how the Baby Boomers have affected Generation X. The basic premise is that Generation X is the group of people who are the offspring of the Baby Boomers. To that end I fall under that category. They usually go as far as the early eighties in that instance. But what about Baby Boomers who had their kids earlier in their lives, and those children had children? What are they? My parents had me late in their thirties. That isn’t too old to have children but it’s older than average. I have friends my age with parents younger than mine.
Now let’s add my sister to the mix. She’s twelve years older than me. She’s the age of somebody that I would identify as Generation X, even though I don’t really feel like I belong to that group at all. I typically think of somebody at least her age. I remember a conversation years ago in which she mentioned the difference between her generation and mine. It wasn’t about Generation X or anything. I think it had to do with music. But I still had to point out that technically we were of the same generation. So it can all get very confusing.
Honestly, I don’t see a need to keep naming generations. Coining the term “the Baby Boomers” made sense because they were the result of a large baby boom after World War II. But that baby boom is just under twenty years long so already trying to pigeonhole future “generations” is difficult, as that range could include teenage parents. Even so, “Generation X” made sense as well because it was worth studying the effects that the first post-war “generation” had on the country afterwards. But that should be the end of the trickle-down effect. To keep on studying the effect of one generation to the next would really only amount to the idea that parents fuck up their kids, which is a more universal concept than what is implied.
In a way, I’m kind of glad that I belong to yet another fringe group.
I know that the big news today that’s the buzz on the Internet is Robin William’s suicide. I didn’t want to dedicate an entire blog post to it because honestly, I don’t have a lot to say about it. Yes, it was sad news for a lot of people. Yes, the concept of suicide and mental health is a subject worth exploring, although I have already. If I want to include more thoughts on it I would rather not use somebody’s death, which is tragic for a lot of people, to do so. As far as Williams himself is concerned I thought he was a funny guy but I never really followed his career. He has always been just yet another celebrity that I can’t keep up with. He did make an appearance on an episode of the podcast Harmontown at one point. I recommend checking that one out as it’s quite good.