The Truth about the Non-Generation 11/13/98

Dear Mr. Steele

I know why you feel didn't feel any angst when turning 30. Those of us who are members of Generation X are apathetic and repressed. We never feel anything. The constant stream of media images designed to illicit extreme emotional responces has left us desensitized to everything. Any emotions you thought you had before were just an illusion. Stop kidding yourself and get on with your dull life. And have a nice day.



Okay. Guilty. It's true, I am completly desensitized. I know this for certain now, because when I first read Twistedlyn's letter I drove a nail into my forehead in anger. Nothing. No pain, no blood. Just apathy. Turns out she was right. She's right about it all.

However, this so sparked my curiousity that I decided to try a little experiment. Is this just a Generation X thing? My father happened to be sleeping in the other room, so I found another nail and Whammo! right in the forehead while he slept. Nothing. Didn't miss a snore. So my question is, what desensitized him? A constant stream of media images designed to illicit extreme emotional responses? I tried to wake him up to ask him but I don't think he could feel my nudging him. Too numb from watching that monk set himself on fire, I suppose.

Dad's what's commonly referred to as a Baby Boomer . . . so I decided that I should also try my experiment on someone a little older. Fortunately, Walt next door is about seventy or so. By this time of night he's sound asleep. No alarm. No dog. Nothing. Just walk right into the back door with my hammer and nail and conduct my sociology experiment. Whack! His wife rolled over in bed and asked him to turn the TV down, but aside from that no one was impressed.

Which begs the question: is the fact that we are a nation of Living Dead a generational thing? Don't we all watch TV? Didn't we all watch Hawkeye call that awful Asian-man an SOB -- the first time those words were spoken during prime time? Haven't we all seen Sipowitz's buttocks? Is it possible then that Generation X is only playing the Apathy Card in a desperate attempt to define themselves?

I think it's time to face facts: the only things we have in common as a generation are OJ and Schoolhouse Rock. Oh, and the fact that we somehow escaped the bell-bottom thing. By the time we were choosing our clothing it was already widely recognized as a Bad Idea, and the fact that it was a Bad Idea wasn't forgotten until we were all Old Enough To Know Better. That's it -- that's where our bonds end.

It's time to admit that as generations go, we're fairly lame. We are the non-generation. The fact that we sought out a name for ourselves proves this more clearly than any argument I could cite. In the 50s, did the Baby Boomers sit around and say 'Gosh, what should we call ourselves?'

I sure hope not.

The Truth for the Day: It's okay to not belong to a group. No, really. And unless we drop this Generation X-thing right-quick, we're going to be known as the group who wasn't and won't our children be proud?

Let's hope something just terrible happens in the next ten years so that the kids of the future can have something in common. 'Where were you when the meteors destroyed most of the planet?'

Ooo . . . sounds fun. But at least they'll be cooler than we are.