Apropos this, which GorT will love as he’s a generation-theory lover:
The Boomers hate Gen X because we’re the kids who looked at them with the cold, wide eyes of children, saw who they were and didn’t fall down in the worship they’d come to expect from their elders and peers, declaring that they were the Best Ever. The Real Greatest Generation, not those grotty old squares who fought in WWII, but the hip dudes who fought the Battle of Berkeley, the Siege of Cornell, and all the real victories of Rousseauvian wisdom against the stifling, stultifying, evil, plastic artifices of sclerotic, senile civilization.
We saw their smug faces, their drug-addled idiocy, listened to their overpraised, orgiastic dinosaur rock, watched their flipping off our grandparents who’d given them the world, and waded through all the rinds, roaches, and excrement they’d left in their wake.
We were never impressed. Least of all in their infinite capacity for Belief. In themselves, in whatever stupid bhagwan or guru was in town that week, in socialism, in yuppie fortunes, in utopia, in life eternal through the sacraments of botox and Cialis, and all the rest of the self-aggrandizing bullshit piled on the indestructible foundation of their own self-regard. They were not merely Great, they were Good. And we never gave them their due.
So, like Queen Elizabeth’s attempt to save the monarchy by never abdicating in favor of her flaky, loose-cannon (Boomer) son, the Boomers have picked Gen Y as the inheritors of their legacy, and have done everything they can to cocoon them in Boomer mythology…CNN, college curricula, movies, TV, fashion.
“Wasn’t it awesome to live through ’70s when everything was so cool and free?” they ask—clad head-to-toe in bell-bottoms, knit hats, and the whole recycled spectrum of puke-greens, burnt-oranges, and shit-browns which stained the Sears catalogs of our youth—imagining a world unfettered by the bike helmets, car seats, speech codes, and political correctness which the Boomers have used to keep them “safe” all their lives.
And we, we whose vice is the opposite of the Boomers’ capacious and indiscriminate credence—unbelief, cynicism, nihilism (our Lennon was Cobain, alas)—can only roll our eyes, knead our aching temples, and shake our heads. They’re believers, the kids. Secure, happy, and trusting of authority in a way we couldn’t imagine, growing up as the whole country went berserk around us, while divorce disintegrated our parents’ marriages and we had to learn firsthand what scars “children of divorce” bear. Maybe, one day, perhaps via a tincture of age or disillusion, the Gen Y kids will save us all. But first, they’re going to be the starry-eyed shock troops in this decade’s neo-Progressive Great Awakening.
Of course the Boomers hate Gen X. They’ll tell you why: they’re garbed in glory, bedizened with hipness, and crowned with righteousness, and we’re some snot-nosed kid on the sidewalk asking why they’re stoned, naked, and syphilitic.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.