Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gen X book out: The Ask

Not sure what this talk is of a Gen X midlife crisis? I thought we got it out of the way by having a early life crisis in the 90's?
The Gen X what? I wish I could inflect those paired pop-sociological clich├ęs with the requisite irony, but my air-quote fingers are afflicted with incipient arthritis. The ridiculousness of the phrase is telling, though, since it registers the sense of absurdity, the innate nonseriousness, that has been this generation’s burden ever since the Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland christened us in his 1991 novel, “Generation X,” the title of which was inspired by the second-rate punk band that gave the world Billy Idol.

I see you rolling your eyes. That’s right, you: the one in the fake-vintage rock ’n’ roll
T-shirt and thick-framed glasses reading this on an iPhone at the sidelines of your daughter’s soccer game. But you know exactly what I’m talking about, pal. (And by the way: stop trying to be a hip alterna-sports dad. Just cheer, for God’s sake.)

We grew up in the shadow of the baby boomers, who still manage, in their dotage, to commandeer disproportionate attention. Every time they hit a life cycle milestone it’s worth 10 magazine covers. When they retire, the Social Security system will go under! When they die, narcissism will be so much lonelier.

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