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Hey. Wait. I got a real Complaint.

Generation X is the most self-sufficient and financially destitute generation that the world has ever seen. Thanks dad.

I came around at the end of Generation X. I came of age in the 1990s. The first & last generation of largely decent people & I really do mean that. It is a generation that largely rejected institutions, & for good reason. Our God killed himself. He killed himself because he couldn’t handle being God. He couldn’t handle being the father of his generation, because he didn’t have one to set the example for him. He killed himself & left us with Eddie Fucking Vedder, as a symbol of a generation & a shell, a shadowy reminder of the absolute greatness that could have been.

I will admit it, I’m obsessed with my generation. I certainly hold the point of view that we are better than the previous generation. Like every other previous generation has & does. But I take it a step further as well. It was a childish assumption when I was a teen, now that I’m an adult I’m fairly certain that Generation X is honestly, literally, better than the Baby Boomers that spawned us. I mean, they sold us out, right? If you stop & think about it, it’s a logical conclusion, it really is. But they also sold themselves out too, just like The Greatest Generation sold them out. Now they are in the same world of shit that we are. It was human nature for a long time.

Nature is a whore.

I think that stopped with Generation X. I think my generation, we’re the people that are pragmatically attempting to actually fix things. We’re well placed to do it, after all, we really aren’t too ideological, at least not in the way the Me Generation was.

The Millennial Generation, the generation that directly followed my generation, Generation X. For the Millennial Generation the biggest mental disorder is narcissism. For my generation it is depression. It’s not a shocker there.

Like so many other people from my generation, I was a latchkey kid. My parent’s weren’t my parents, they were just older friends. They didn’t raise me, I raised myself. Mom & dad, they were at work. When you are raised like that, you never really come to look at mom & dad as being parents, they are just older friends.

A heck of a lot of Generation X kids raised themselves and their younger siblings. I still remember having to figure out how to use the washing machine so that I’d have clean clothes to wear to school the next day. Mom & Dad were at work. Generation X also has a lot of eating disorders. That’s no shock either. Mom & dad were at work. I still skip breakfast, mom & dad were at work, so I never really ate it. Generation X taught itself to eat & because of that, meals aren’t really big deals. Generation X taught itself to do homework. Mom & dad were at work. We taught ourselves to raise our younger siblings. Mom & Dad were at work.

Generation X is self-sufficient. We really don’t need supervision at work. We taught ourselves how to do just about everything when mom & dad were at work. If I was an employer, I’d hire a Gen-Xer in a heart beat. As a boss you really don’t need to put too much effort into one of us. Give us the work we crave & if we don’t know how to do it, we’ll that’s really not a big deal, we’ll teach ourselves how. We are really good at teaching ourselves how to do shit on our own. We had to get good at it at a very young age, mom & dad were at work. We’re also really good with technology, we evolved with it, & it’s not daunting at all to us, we already know how to learn new shit on our own.

If we didn’t teach ourselves how to do things, we wouldn’t have made it through school, we would have starved, alone, in the living room, the latchkey squeezed tight in our cold, dead, hand.

And you know we made it through school just fine. Generation X has the highest college graduate rate of any generation before or after us. We also have the highest civic volunteer rate out of any generation before or after us. Generation X is more likely to lend a had in a time of natural disaster than the generations before or after. We are more concerned about the environment than the generations before or after. People from Generation X, they are really good people.

My parents generation, the Baby Boomers, the Me Generation, the world was handed to them on a silver fucking platter. They took it all. They ate it all. They had the help to guide them into a bright future. They were so focused on that they forgot to leave a few scraps behind for their children & grandchildren.

I have an uncle that I occasionally help with his tech shit that he needs for work. He shuts down when he’s faced with new information, he shuts down when there is new shit that he has to figure out on his own, so he calls me to help. He was from the Me Generation, someone was always there to hold his hand & guide him through life. Someone was always home to welcome him. His mother was around to make him dinner & do his laundry & his father was there to help him with his homework. As a result, when he encounters something new as an adult, he needs guidance to figure it out & without it, he shuts down, there’s a mental block that doesn’t allow him to figure out things on his own. Generation X doesn’t have that mental block, we grew up having to figure out new shit on our own.

When I was a kid, they were still calling us “The Slacker Generation.” That term doesn’t fit, but it was easily applied by the previous generation, the Me Generation. The generation that ignored us & left us to fend for ourselves while they were at work. It must have been really easy to label us as slackers & good for nothing while you were ignoring us. Now that we’re older, & our parents have time for us, & they are starting to realize how much we did on our own while they were at work, the whole “slacker” thing has been dropped. Now we are Generation X. The generation with the coolest fucking title on earth.

It’s an odd feeling being around my parents now. They have time for their children now. The Me Generation, in their retirement years finally has time for Generation X, the generation they ignored. But it’s an odd juxtapose now, the Me Generation, mom & dad, they are singing Cats in the Cradle, as they finally look at us as their children & here we are singing Come as You Are while we still look at them as older friends & roommates that were never home. We love you guys, but after all these years, we still can’t help but feel like we are our own parents. You’re just older friends. Sorry, we love you, but you can’t be parents now that you have the time. That ship sailed when you gave us the latchkey, so Come as You Are, as you where. But don’t come to us & tell us that you’re our parents.

I sound bitter & resentful, I know. But the malls, they were built for the Me Generation, just like everything else. By the time we got old enough to appreciate the shopping malls & the bull shit consumerism that were built to cater to our parents, they were already second hand. They were the clothes that were a little too big that had been handed down to us by our older siblings. Everything was built new for the Me Generation. Everything catered to them. We were left alone, at home, to fend for ourselves while mom & dad worked to make money to indulge in consumerism.

So we shopped at thrift stores, second hand clothes were just as good. Why not? Everything in our world was second hand. The fashion we wore, the fashion I still cling to, mainly because I have no real fashion sense, it evolved to match our second hand world. No one was bending over backwards to attract the generation that raised itself. Our music had no pyrotechnics and flair to drag us in, that wasn’t necessary, our music was just music, the flashy costumes & showmanship were saved for the Me Generation, the generation that wanted their shit flashy, we shopped at thrift stores, we saw Pearl Jam for the music, not the stage show & gadgets.

We grew up, Generation X grew up with the lay-offs of the 1980s. We saw our parents, who were never home, our parents who left us to raise ourselves while they worked, we saw them get laid off by the companies that they ignored their children for. That has a profound effect on youth. Mom & dad ignored us so that they could devote their lives to work & their corporations fired them without a second thought. If you think about it, that situation, as far as generations go, was a father firing their son for a higher profit margin.

It’s odd, I know, because when the Me Generation came to power & took over corporations, they laid off even more people than their parents did. Brother fired brother & son.

Nature is a whore.

I had a college professor, a Baby Boomer, once tell me that; “thirty is the new twenty.” What she was really telling me was that, thanks to her generation, I was fucked out of starting a career in my twenties. But even when I was a kid I was being told that my generation would never make as much as my parents, that too was the older generation letting me know that they fucked me.

Forever in debt to your priceless advice.

It’s no wonder, when you look at corporations training pages, that Generation X is red flagged as having no corporate loyalty &, as one corporate management page pointed out: “Generation X is not at all impressed by titles or authority.” We saw our grandparents lay off our parents, we saw brother lay off brother, all for an extra dime in the pocket. But wait, there is more. We also saw Watergate as children, we saw Iran-Contra, we saw Whitewater, we saw Blow Job Gate, we saw institutions fall, we saw Reagan for what he was, we saw Bush, we saw massive layoffs, we saw 9-11, we saw Bush the sequel, we saw the start of environmental collapse, we saw corporate greed, we saw massive unemployment, we saw second hand malls, & we saw all of this while our parents were at work.

Those Generations before me, those generations that I watched do all of that, those were the generations based on high ideals. When you really look at Generation X, it shouldn’t surprise you that our biggest mental problem is depression. And institutional loyalty & reverence for authority & titles? Yeah, right. At a young age we were already well aware what those institutions, titles, & authority figures do. We knew better than to show them loyalty because they already proved to us that we would have none in return. We were left to go it alone at a young age & now, as adults, its easy to see how we think it’s better that way.

Hey. Wait. I got a real complaint.

Fuck all that. Seriously. Fuck all that. Looking at Generation X & how we were raised & the world we were raised in, the environment we were raised in, we saw what ideologies do. All apologize, but fuck it. We were forced into two things, pragmatism & stoicism. The world wasn’t ours, it was our parents & they fucked us & left us to fix it. Generation X has a new old way of looking at the world around them, we were raised by ourselves, our approach is a pragmatic way to fix things void of all the ideology that came before us & fucked everything up.

And now for the next generation, the Millennial Generation:

Hello, hello, hello, hel-lo, hello, hello, hello hel-lo.

I wish I was like you, easily amused.

Here I am complaining about coming of age in a second hand world.

All Apologize. What else could I say?

Here I am complaining about a second hand world that was made for my parents when you guys came into a world in ruin. How the fuck can you come of age in a world of ruins & still be narcissistic?

I’ll take all the blame.

We did raise you. And I seriously will take all the blame.

Do you want to know the real reason why the Millennial Generation is facing an epidemic of narcissism? It’s because Generation X raised them. We were left at home, when our parents were at work, & as a result we came to think of our parents as just older friends. When it came time to actually raise our kids, that’s all we knew, so we looked at them as simply younger friends, sure, we are statistically more family orientated than our parent’s generation, but when you grow up without parents that act like parents the result is that you raise your child as a peer.

We knew our parents as peers, not parents. We were forced to see them that way because we were forced to raise ourselves. So when it was our turn to raise children, we didn’t have a good model for parenting, we treated our children like we treated our parents, as peers. The difference is, we are there for our children far more than our parents ever were there for us. In that respect, Generation X made sure not to repeat the mistakes of their fathers. We ended up making our own mistakes. As a result, the Millennial Generation grew up seeing their parents as equals, but they did it without the self-reliance that comes with raising yourself.

We gave them the parental attention that we never had.

Hows it feel?!

Our children still grew up without parental figures. They grew up with peers that were trying to act like parents but didn’t know how. They were raised to think that they were equal to mom & dad because we were forced to act like we were equal to mom & dad. We gave them attention, yes, we gave our children a lot of attention, far more than we ever got, we gave them the parental attention that we never had, but attention that came with far too much egalitarianism at far too young an age. That created an epidemic of narcissism in our children.

The generation before me might have destroyed the world for you, but my generation destroyed your culture before you even had a chance to create any. My Generation, after all, we did sort of invent internet piracy. That fucked your culture something awful.

I’m completely against internet piracy. Sure, when I was broke & in college it seemed like a good idea. But that was a very long time ago. Now there is no way in hell I would ever pirate any culture off the internet. I am taking a stand against internet piracy right here & now. OK, I took that stand against internet piracy, specifically the piracy of culture a long time ago, but now I’m screaming about it. I’m begging Generation X to take that stand with me.

Even though there is no way in hell that I’d ever buy any new culture in the stores. Partially because I am, well, financially destitute, but mainly because the piracy of culture killed the Millennials opportunity to create any real culture of their own. Internet piracy killed the music & film industry. What is left of it is a shell of its former existence. Because of internet piracy, & I will readily admit that it was Generation X that created that concept, the only thing the Millennial Generation has left is music and movies that cater to the LCD–to use a math term. The LCD & the shit that the generations before them created.

Not that I’m calling Nirvana & Pearl Jam & Pulp Fiction shit. I love them. I’m still grunge at heart, I really am & I will be grunge until I die. But I want to hear & watch the shit that the Millennial Generation could create if we gave them a chance. I don’t want culture to die & Generation X killed it In Utero through internet piracy. Our parents fucked up the world, they stole the environment, peace, & a stable economy from us, but we stole culture from the generation that followed us.

WE STOLE CULTURE FROM THE GENERATION THAT FOLLOWED US!!!!!!!

Here we are now, entertain us.

Of all the things we could have killed, we killed the opportunity for the Millennial Generation to make its own culture. Shame on us Generation X. Shame on us. And to the Millennials:

What else can I say? All Apologize.

Now I am certainly not telling you to go out & buy the new shit on CD, to buy the new shit on DVD. Fuck that, it really is shit, if you buy that shit all you are doing is encouraging people to make more of it. But I am telling you to go out & buy the old shit on CD & DVD again. Make a statement with your pocket book & tell the music & movie industries that you are willing to support them if they start producing actual culture again.

Or whatever the new DVD is, Blue-Ray? I haven’t owned a TV since they cancelled Buffy.

The record companies & the movie industries weren’t perfect when we were kids. But they did give Nirvana a chance & the world is a slightly better place because, well, because Nirvana was fucking awesome. There is a Kurt Cobain or two in the Millennial Generation, but because of internet piracy, those virtuosos don’t have a chance.

When you go out & actually buy a CD, don’t think about the clutter that tons of CDs & DVDs create in your home. Think about it this way; when you actually buy culture you are allowing new culture to be created. You are allowing the next movement in music & film to come to the forefront. You are allowing the next generation to make its own culture. All the kids have now is rap & let’s be honest, rap sucks, not because it has no melody, it sucks because it’s a musical movement that doesn’t really evolve. The rap that I hear now, it’s really not that different from the rap that was new & fresh when I was a kid.

What does the Millennial Generation have now? Seriously? Our parents destroyed the world so that they have even fewer opportunities than we did & we killed culture for the next generation. Jesus Fucking Christ.

The local community college is now charging the same amount, per credit hour, as my graduate school did. The job situation hasn’t gotten any better, Generation X is playing the pragmatic game & supporting Obama, we know he’s not the right man for the job, but we support him. We support Obama because the alternative is even more of the same shit that we watched destroy the world. We were fucked but the generation that followed us isn’t entering a world of second hand malls, they are entering a world of ruin & we created piracy so that they wouldn’t even have their own culture.

Its time to rebuild & that task has fallen on Generation X, at least for the moment. It’s our job to do the pragmatic thing, we can’t fix the utter devastation that our parents have created, but we can be pragmatic, we can start the process of repairing the world. And Generation X can do it without institutions. What’s more, we can figure out how to fix things. We can leave the blue print for the Millennial Generation to follow. We’re good at that, we’ve been doing things on our own & without help our entire life. Mom & dad were at work.

And the Millennial Generation, you’re going to have to step the fuck up to the plate. Get used to fucking losing. We raised you the wrong way, we see that now, but we knew no better, we tried to give you the love that parenting that was denied to us but we didn’t know how. It’s our fucking fault that you turned out as fucked up as you did, but know this, you’re not special, you’re not unique, we were simply trying to tell you that we love you, we really do.

We love you. You’re our children & we love you. Generation X loves you, you’re as flawed & fucked up as we are, but know that we love you.

You’re not special, but we love you.

We’re going to do our best to fix the shit that you were born into. We are going to try to fix the sins of our fathers as best we can, but understand, they really seriously fucked the world up. We won’t be able to fix it on our own. We can figure out how to fix it on our own, we are really good at that, we didn’t have the parents that you did, we were forced to figure out how to do everything on our own.

Don’t blame us for the world you entered, we have a hell of a lot of work to do, & we’re trying to fix it, we’re trying to make it better for you, because we love you. But you know what? You’re going to have to step up to the fucking plate & stop fixating on yourself. You’re going to have to give your parents a hand. We’re fighters, we really are, we know how to struggle on our own, but your parents can’t fix the world of shit your grandparents created on our own. We need you to help us out.

We can’t clean up the world for you Millennials. Believe me, we would love to, but our fathers left us in a world of shit to pass on to you & many of us, we’re just struggling to survive in that shit storm. It’s hard to build a better world for your children when your parents left you nothing but shit to build from.

So to the Millennial Generation, stop texting your friends and revolt. Like Narcissus you’re going to waste away if you keep staring at yourself. Show some of the self-reliance we were too frightened to teach you. We grew up as latchkey kids that had to learn how to do things on our own, we weren’t smart enough to teach you that. So, learn it by yourselves & step up to the plate & help us fix things.

Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

One thought on “Generations

  1. Haha …the millenials may have managed to entirely sate their hunger-for-life with themselves! Great rant!

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