When Generation X was first marketed to twenty-somethings back in the early 90's, no one I knew identified with the term. Just out of college myself, I resented the implication that all of us could be lumped into one tidy category. We're not a group. We're individuals.
We decided that Generation X was a marketing scheme to get us to buy something. Buy the clothes, the lifestyle or the ideas. After all, corporatism moved the world. Fuck that.
I now know that Generation X never identifies itself as Generation X, and the fact that I refused to be lumped into that corporate culture term means that I'm uber-Generation X.
My generation refuses to identify itself as a generation. We don't wear pants that splay the word "juicy" across our asses. That kind of tackiness is best left to the Millenials. We've also left them alone with their lip-syncing singers and blond chick narcissists.
We don't need to have our self-esteem propped up by receiving a trophy for participating. We believe trophies are meaningless if given to everyone.
It's safe to tell you that Jeff Gordinier thinks the same thing. His book, "X Saves the World" dives straight into the issues of being sandwiched between the Baby Boomers and the magnificient Millenials. One generation drones on and on about how they changed the world. The other believes they are just too fabulous for the rest of us.
"In spite of what we've been trained to think, Generation X has done a lot already. The more the boomers talk about bringing the world together, the less they succeed at it, but a thousand Woodstocks couldn't touch what Generation X has already accomplished through the shrewd and inspired use of media and technology."
It's true! We're not just a bunch of slackers. Chad Hurley and Steve Chen - both Xers - founded YouTube so Xers can catalogue our favorite videos. College juniors Tim Keck and Christopher Johnson founded The Onion in 1988, making Xers laugh with it's unique brand of irony. Google was also founded by us.
Gordinier wants us to know that we've accomplished quite a bit in our old age. Though we'll never get trophies from the media, Xers need to be reminded that we have a reason for being here. Gordinier encourages us to find ways to change our own corner of the world. The ripples will spread outward.