Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Stats from back in the day

Through the 1970s, the number of "latchkey" children under age 14 left alone after school roughly doubled. A 1987 survey indicated that 12 percent of elementary, 30 percent of middle school, and 38 percent of high school students were left to care for themselves after school "almost every day."

Sources: Lynette and Thomas Long, The Handbook for Latchkey Children and Their Parents (book); U.S. Bureau of Census; via 13th Gen (book)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gen X / Gen Y Voting Trends

From the Baltimore Sun:

"The current generation of young voters, who came of age during the George W. Bush years, is leading the way in giving the Democrats a wide advantage in party identification, just as the previous generation of young people who grew up in the Reagan years -- Generation X -- fueled the Republican surge of the mid-1990's,'' the Pew Research Center reports.''

It doesn't surprise me that Gen X trended towards voting Republican. They were the party that preached (I'm not saying practiced) independence from government and many of us Xers grew up, well, independently.

Off Topic Tuesday

I love speed (moving rapidly that is, not amphetamines). Particularly in the 2 wheel liter bike variety. It isn't often I give "the cagers" their props, but I do have a guilty admission of liking the Toyota Supra. Especially ones that can stay with a Kawasaki Ninja.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


From the LA Times:

Raised amid a long stretch of financial bounty and weaned on video games, cellphones, iPods and weekends at the mall, many Generation X and Y members have barely seen a time when they couldn't spend freely on the latest styles and gadgets.

Listen up Mr. LA Times Staff Writer,

The older Xers entered the workforce during the 1980's era of "downsizing". The mid to late born Xers got smoked during the dot com beatdown. Conveniently you didn't acknowledge either. I was nearly 30 when cellphones and iPods became wildly popular, so it's quite a stretch to use the word "weaned" when referring to Gen X and the before mentioned technologies.

Next time I encourage you to look through the Times' financial news archives before making bullshit claims. Now go snort some coke like a good babyboomer.



Friday, April 25, 2008

Honoring an athletic achievement (while we still can)

Congratulations to the Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones (age 36) for leading the major leagues in batting average 4 weeks into the 2008 season. The third baseman's .433 batting average would still be considered high in a beer drinking softball league.

Of course a baby boomer would say "yeah, but he's no Mike Schmidt".

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Not all of us are trust fund brats

Generation X Finance is a kick ass site that's dedicated to "helping a unique generation achieve financial independence". What's most appreciated by a fool, like myself, is the blog's contributor does a great job of holding your hand through the terms that would normally make me appear like Homer Simpson.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Random Rememberence

After Gen X's brief triumph over mainstream music it quickly dissolved into crap that told us "Hey now, you're an all-star" and English (spice) girls making a mockery of feminism. Practically the only music still active that had any guts was the Riot Grrrls that addressed true "girl power", horrific realities like rape, and sexuality in general. Bands like Bikini Kill, L7 and Sleater Kinney encapsulated more Punk at a single show than Johnny Rotten could muster in his overrated career. The coolest thing many of the bands did before a show was to take a marker and write terms like "bitch" or "slut" on their bodies to diffuse the word when some meathead in attendance would inevitably hurl it them.

Kurt, once said "The future of rock belongs to women". I hope he was speaking of life after Britney.

We're being retro'd

I’ve been thinking about what it’s like to be someone in my generation — that would be X —and how we embrace the newest technology, but we also have memories of a much simpler time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Interview with Jeff Gordinier

Yeah, I'm pimping this book I haven't read yet, but I swear I don't know this guy at all or owe him any favors for doing this. I'm just pleased that someone is finally alerting the world that people were born between the onset of Beatlemania and the rise of Paris Hilton.

This is actually a great interview. Much of what he says captures what I try to type here except he doesn't become unglued as I do and he makes more sense.

Oh yeah, buy his book here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Xers a world away

Ut-oh, the continent that gave us AC/DC seem to be going through the same early middle age experiences as those in the U.S.

SEVENTY per cent of Generation X employees in Australia are unhappy with their work conditions, a report has revealed.

The study, by organisational culture firm Human Synergistics, found Generation X felt less valued than their younger Generation Y and baby boomer counterparts.

It showed people in their 30s who were moving up to middle-management positions no longer felt challenged and appreciated by their employers.

Australia has contributed much to the world, and quite a lot to my own society, but sadly I often associate their country with this:

For the record: this song didn't suck.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why do they act so surprised?

From the 'always Gen X luvin' pages of Time. The biggest problem with this article is the "oh, how quaint" attitude it exudes.
Who would have thought the kids would start taking over so soon? Or that they would even want to? They were supposed to be slackers, cynics, drifters. But don't be fooled by their famous pose of repose. Lately, more and more of them are prowling tirelessly for the better deal, hunting down opportunities that will free them from the career imprisonment that confined their parents. They are flocking to technology start-ups, founding small businesses and even taking up causes--all in their own way. They are making waves on the Web, making movies in and out of Hollywood, making money, spending money. Slapped with the label Generation X, they've turned the tag into a badge of honor. They are X-citing, X-igent, X-pansive. They're the next big thing. Boomers, beware! It's payback time.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Random Incoherent Rant

Can we puh-leaze make Pink Floyd go away? They've sucked since Syd Barrett went over the deep end and Roger Waters took control of song writing. It's impossible to listen to a 'classic rock' station for an afternoon without hearing a cut from The Dark Side of the Moon. And blah-blah-blah, I know that if you watch the Wizard of Oz and play that album it seems to be the oh-so-perfect soundtrack. I loved when my favorite band of junkies, Ministry, came out with The Dark Side of the Spoon.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I miss girls with big hair

1986 Video Year in Review

more Douglas Coupland definitions

UNDERDOGGING: The tendency to almost invariably side with the underdog in a given situation. The consumer expression of this trait is the purchasing of less successful, "sad," or failing products: "I know these Vienna franks are heart failure on a stick, but they were so sad looking up against all the other yuppie food items that I just had to buy them."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Charles Schwab Unveils Gen X Web Site

I've always just adhered to the "buy low, sell high" theory, so I suppose I can actually do a little more learnin' about how to manage my $.

Members of Generation X face a wide spectrum of financial challenges and life events, from paying off student loans and worrying about the future of Social Security, to saving for their children’s education.Charles Schwab today announced the launch of a Web site designed to talk to and address the unique financial needs of Gen Xers. The web site provides easy to understand personal finance resources, ranging from an innovative peer comparison tool and calculators to guidance to investment basics by life stage. The Web site is available today at

Life before Britney

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It must be because we're so much lazier than the boomers

Gen X glum on retirement prospects: survey

Whatever the case, Scottrade and BetterInvesting found that Generation X doesn't appear to be counting on the money.

"It's a black hole to them," said Moloney.

I have an idea- to fund our retirement lets write, print and publish a coffee table book saying how virtuous the baby boomers are and put a price tag of $999.99 on it. Always a sucker for their own nostalgia, boomers will buy up 70 million copies. We'll take that loot, invest it over the next 3 decades and give it out to those born after 1960.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I knew we were perfect

If you’re in the mood for a sympathetic ear, choose the baby boomer. If you’re in a hurry and want a quick fix with a couple of keystrokes, head for the millennial. If you need a little of each, pick a Generation X employee because that age group tends to incorporate the positive traits of its older and younger co-workers.

Goldilocks says the Gen X porridge is "just right".
ALSO: This is my 100th post on Latchkey Man. It's a nice break to not receive harassing E-mails as I do as a contributor at Operation Yellow Elephant (My favorite blog in the sphere. I'm still thrilled to have been asked to be a contributor for them). I'm having fun with this so I'll press on. Thanks to my few readers. I appreciate the comments and support!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Generational Bickering

Despising baby boomers has been a sport Gen Xers have engaged in with few accompanying players from other generations. Although this bellow (hat tip: LT Nixon) from Silent Generation* member, Burt Prelustsky, contains more anti-boomer sentiment than an entire group of 1991 coffee shop patrons may have uttered in 6 months.

The baby-boomers born in the years after World War II were members of the most coddled generation America had ever seen. From birth, theyhad been treated like royalty, privileged and spoiled not for any special qualities or accomplishments, but simply because they existed and were their parents’ little darlings.

Nobody should have been too surprised that, as they came of age, they were a religion unto themselves. Their not so holy trinity consisted of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. I never really got a handle on how that made them so special. But gods do not have to explain themselves.

I wasn't born 'til 1972, so thankfully I wasn't around to witness Mr. Prelutsky's remembrances. What I was privy to was what the boomers became after their 'lost decade' had concluded, and it was a horrific stirred up bowl of hypocritical urine and vomit. The boomers brought us yuppies, explicit language ratings on albums, "greed is good", and goddamn disco. In fact, now that I think about it, disco appears to be the boomer's greatest contribution to music. None of the enormous names in 1960's music were born during the baby boom: Jimi Hendrix (1942), Janis Joplin (1943), all members of the Rolling Stones (1895), John Lennon (1940), et cetera. So next time you see a boomer be sure to thank him/her for The Village People.

LT Nixon goes on in his post to indict Generation Y (aka Millenials):

What the hell are we doing?!? Gen Y has nothing to show as far as cultural or intellectual achievements because of this self-absorbed paradigm that will certainly beget the downfall of civilization.

Although I watch with a very skeptical cyclops eye, I actually do stray a bit from the LT's thoughts on the current young adults. I believe Gen Y is more in tune with the world than Xers were at a similar age. Y certainly voted in a higher percentage than X. Fuck, I only voted in Presidential election years until 1998, and this in itself is a disgusting display of apathy.

I work at a company that employs thousands, and each year we have to depend on an influx of new college grads to fill the ranks. I certainly will not claim to be an expert on Millenials (or anything else) but I will offer my thoughts on them in the most generic terms from my personal experience: they play nice together and are hard workers just as long as there is a nice $ payoff at the end. They are very impatient, but I think this will one day be a benefit. What I mean by this is I cannot stand when a 22 year old cannot figure out why they're not getting promoted after being in a position for just 6 months, but man, Gen X never had that type of confidence. If the Millenials channel that exuberance they have to move ahead, they, like the boomers, have tremendous strength in #'s to make a difference in Our Country. And because the boomers have fucked things up so royally, the Millenials will be forced to have to change policy for the better.

There are still many years that need to pass for both Gen X and Gen Y to be judged in a fair historical context. The bottom line is we've seen the worst (the boomers) and both X and Y seem determined to fix Our Country's current messes that will be passed to us and hopefully unselfish enough to not pass it onto our screaming kiddies in the back of our minivans.

*For the life of me, I'll never know how those born from 1928-1945 were dubbed "The Silent Generation". Luminaries like M.L. King, Bob Dylan, James Dean, Elvis, Malcolm X, and Hunter S. Thompson weren't exactly known for shutting the fuck up.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturdays are for eating cereal and watching cartoons

If you tried this you'd be dead

WARNING: completely off topic

This is the sickest bastard to have ever been issued a drivers license. If he doesn't have 6 feet of dirt piled on top of him yet I'll pay for his next eleven speeding tickets.

This was done on a 600 cc bike (Yamaha R6). Had he been on a liter bike I would have had to watch looking through my fingers. Mad skillz. Particularly around the 2:30 mark going around/between traffic.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Is he still feelin' fine? I hope so.

When this song came out it was evident the kid in the vid was approximately my age. During it's play on MTV I was always curiously envious of him seemingly living alone with his pooch in an open doored shack.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wonder when this asshole finally sold out?

"We as a group were more educated and intellectual than they are."

-Former (Grateful) Deadhead, Dean Crean, criticizing the "copycat" late-80's Deadheads in their twenties

Another positive review of 'X Saves the World'

From the Portland Mercury:
X Saves the World is motivational literature for an audience that scorns motivational literature. Gordinier picks apart Baby Boomer bullshit and makes us feel good about ourselves when that isn't a feeling that comes easily. Our generation, he reminds us, brought forth Apple, Google, and Yahoo. Our musicians changed the face of rock, and our writers and filmmakers changed narrative storytelling. Our activists don't hold hands and sing songs, they're actually in the trenches working for change.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My last post sucked

...but the music we grew up on didn't.

Financially savvy? Or cheap motherfuckers?

Column: Finances with Generation X

Less eager to spend. The children of boomers reported greater reluctance to part with their money than the older generations involved in the study.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Greatest team to lace em up. End of discussion.

Of all my biased posts, the blatant favoritism I'll display here could only have been surpassed by a baby boomer telling us how their little soccer playing bastard will be the next Einstein/Pele/Dirk Diggler/Robert Redford.

Today is the anniversary of the greatest team in college basketball history cutting down the nets- The 1996 Kentucky Wildcats. Never had more talent been assembled on one team (9 players would go on to make NBA rosters). Never had a team outscored their opponents more in the tournament (they won by an average of 21 points). Never had a college team scored more points in a single half of basketball (86 points). Some teams played perfect games (UGA) against UK and still lost. In short, the Cats were so FKN good our 2nd team players could have created another top 10 ranked team.

Who could have possibly beat them? UCLA with Walton? Nope. 'Dirty Hippie' Walton may have been the only player from the Bruins that would have earned a varsity letter. How 'bout the undefeated '76 Hoosiers? They had a great starting five but their tread would have worn out with 8 minutes to go? UNLV in the early '90's? This would have been a closer match up, but the Cats defense would not have allowed the Rebels get their usual 50 dunks a game.

Best of all: this team was comprised of Gen Xers. Worst of all: I had graduated and missed the celebration in Lexington. How I partially redeemed myself: I'd moved back to Lexington before UK's 1998 National Championship and was part of this....

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Exhuming Old Studies

Since the late 1960's, the proportion of all freshman women who won a varsity letter in high school sports rose from 13 to 42 percent, while the proportion who used sedatives fell from 15 to 2 percent.

Source:"The American Freshmen: Twenty-Five Year Trends" (UCLA, 1991-1992) sited in the book 13th Gen

Don't get fresh with her

A guilty pleasure I wouldn't admit to in 1989 was listening to Neneh Cherry's song Buffalo Stance. Neneh is sharp, has attitude, very beautiful and thankfully didn't throw all that 'Material Girl' nonsense towards a broke dude like me.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Someone give the baby (boomers) a bottle

I'd sooner have sympathy for Timothy McVeigh before this 'Skip and Muffy Yuppie' couple:
Ellen Minter and her husband, Jeff Bartman, spent 30 years in demanding, mid-six-figure jobs in the tech industry, most recently at SAP AG, the German software company. Both in their mid 50s, they began laying the groundwork for early retirement last year. They moved from near San Francisco to Healdsburg, in wine country. They devoured books about retirement. They calculated future cash-flow needs with great precision — even considering how often they would want to eat out.

With several millions set aside, they assumed they'd need a minimum annual return on their assets of 3 percent annually to retire a few years early. "I have spread sheets up the yin yang," says Ms. Minter. "We ran every kind of number through every kind of model. I figured, 'OK, we've got it all together.'"

Ms. Minter retired from SAP in October. She sold her workaday Chanel suits on eBay, traded her Lexus convertible for a freewheeling Volkswagen Beetle and started painting watercolors. On Jan. 1, Mr. Bartman, 57, also retired from the company. That night, they opened a bottle of 1996 Cabernet they'd bought in France years back and toasted their future.

After their stocks began heading south, the glow dimmed fast — especially for her husband. "Every morning over coffee, he'd just sit there and say, 'Do you know how much the market has fallen? Do you know how much the market has fallen?'" Ms. Minter says.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I shoulda known this was coming

A buddy of mine (we'll call him 'Friend A') sent me an E-mail today busting my nuts for posting on the New Kids on the Block yesterday, telling me I should throw away my guitar and stop lifting weights. Yeah, I probably deserved it, but if I'm going to honestly document past/present Gen X culture I cannot conveniently leave out our 'less proud moments'. I told Friend A that he should "go ahead and post a comment" to publicly attempt to embarrass me. But evidently he fears NKOTB retribution (having his face scratched, possibly a gerbil thrown on him) and he declined.

Don't worry Friend A, I prepared a 'Testosterone Cocktail' for you made with 2 parts Makers Mark, 1 part Dianabol, 1 part Viagra, 2 parts PCP and a spray of mace:

Gen X madman, Bob Probert in maybe hockey's greatest fight

Can I keep my guitar now?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

No Kids on the Block

I was thinking Faith No More but I never imagined this- a New Kids on the Block reunion. I wouldn't go to this concert at gunpoint.

For your viewing/listening torture:

Random Reflection

For the most part, I think the parents of Gen X got a bad rap as being terrible uncaring elders that pushed their kids into the streets since they had little use for them. Personally, I didn't find this to be the case. For many families during the 70's/80's it became a necessity for both parents to work to be able to pay the mortgage and keep Frankenberry cereal in the cupboard. Unfortunately, there wasn't an infrastructure in place for kids to be able to go to a "safe" after school facility with adult supervision. So basically we were given a key and told "you betta do ya homework before I get home".

From the time school let out to 6:00 PM it was pretty much a free-for-all, barely more organized than Lord of the Flies. It seemed normal then to be raised by your friends as much as you were by your folks. I almost felt bad for my parents - - having been my own boss since I was ten made me less apt to listen to their advice on life (once they relinquish a bit of independence parents never recapture it).

Yeah, I definitely saw my share of trouble before high school- riot like vandalism, sex (although this was a positive), fist fights, egging cars, booze, relatively minor acts of arson, drugs (believe it or not, I said "no"), home alone during an attempted robbery (you'd be surprised how serious a thief takes a 12 year old with a revolver in his hand), slashing tires for no reason, viewing hard core pornos, et cetera...............but I loved my youth and those 'lil bastards I hung with 20 + years ago are continuously in my brain.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Final 4

Warning: This post is way off topic.

The University of Memphis will be meeting UCLA this Saturday in the Final 4 of college basketball. Upon learning this the 1st thing to come to mind was Andy Kaufman doing his "I'm from Hollywood, I have the brains" routine when he joined the Memphis Pro Wrestling circuit during the 80's.