Wednesday, July 30, 2014

is this you?

I am a member of Generation X, which became well-known largely because of Douglas Coupland's book--which I will compare in class with Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales--and the ongoing desire of our culture's marketing department to brand us all.  (You should be aware that some of the things people assume to be "reality" are actually just clever descriptions of things that may or may not exist.  For example, the concept of "red and blue" states is only fourteen years old.)

I bring this up because my fellow Gen X'ers and I used to ridicule the way older adults described us in the media.  Sure, some members of every generation are flannel-wearing, pot-smoking slackers with McJobs, but my friends and I were generally hard-charging athletes and intellectuals who competed for the Yuppified American Dream.  I earned a Ph.D. and started a consulting firm by the time I was 27.  My classmates became doctors, lawyers, political commentators, economists--one even became a champion on Jeopardy.  One of the reasons you don't hear any more complaining about Generation X in the media is that we're the ones running the media.  So, the generational story has become the Millenials' problem-- after all, they're narcissistic slackers with crappy music and no goals (or they're not, and unfairly maligned in the same way we were). 

But wait a second: What is this?  Generation Z is not being saddled with the same old stereotypes adults usually ascribe to "teenagers" (the term itself is a modern invention).  In fact, this article suggests that your generation is going to save us all.

I'm always curious how the subjects of media reports evaluate their accuracy, so please comment to this post with your thoughts.  Now that the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, and even Generation X have screwed the world up beyond belief, are you the people who can set things right?

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