De-GenerationAndrew Leite, Thursday July 5th, 2007
Good evening, Friends. As I was perusing a well-known, beloved online
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encyclopedia tonight, expanding my Gray Matter, I happened to come
across an interesting tidbit of information. Have you, reader, ever
heard of "Generation X"? I would place bets that you have.
Gen-X, for all of those who don't know, compromises any and all people
born within the sixties and seventies. This particular epoch, of
course, is well-known for revolutionizing society into a shadow of the
self-perpetuating monster that it is today. The MTV Generation, the
Boomerang Generation (labeled so to acknowledge the large number of
young adults who would move back home after a brief stint on their own),
the Consciousness Revolution...all of these titles came to fruition
through Gen-X; the true Badass of all known eras.
Generation X is well-renowned for it's influence on modern-day pop
culture. The folks of Gen-X ushered in new guidelines for the fashion,
music and movie communities, among many others. They brought us the
need to Dress to Kill and to disobey Authority. They introduced us to
Fast Food and Wal Mart. The first ever documented study of the era in
question, back in 1964, described Gen-X as a "generation of teenagers
who sleep together before they are married, don't believe in God,
dislike the Queen, and don't respect parents." They were mean, they were
lean, they were Mischief-Making Machines.
Of course, none of this has to do with my interesting find. No, what I
was shocked and amazed to see tonight was that my generation, which I
had always perceived to be labeled Generation Y (otherwise known, for
obvious reasons, as the Internet Generation), has been taken over.
Invaded by a new, curvier letter. According to lore, those born
anywhere between 1980 and our present day are now being categorized as
Generation C. What gives? Did we suddenly forget which letter follows
Y? Or perhaps we've just decided to recycle our alphabet to accommodate
future generations. After a bit of research, I discovered that nobody
has yet confirmed exactly what the "C" represents. I, myself, am a bit
leery to even acknowledge this new title (which I also discovered has
been documented since 2004), let alone speculate as to what it could
mean. Many have come up with theories as to its meaning, from Caring to
Celebrity to Creativity. If I were to guess, however, I would have to
deem us one of two things: Generation Corrupt or Generation Coward.
Take your pick.
My topic tonight, friends, was not meant to be a Lesson in modern
history. No, this jargon about Generations is all leading up to
something, and the conclusion is meant to make you think, and think
hard. I would like you to stop reading for one moment and return to the
past. Take a Trip down Memory Lane, if you will. For those of you old
enough to recall, it wasn't long ago when society was able to function
as a whole. As a team. Back when Generation X was running the planet
and Generation Y was but a child...back when Generation C was
inconceivable...the World was, more or less, a peaceful place to be.
People parked their cars outside and did not need to lock their doors.
Strangers in the street were not afraid to greet each other in passing.
Communities existed, neighbors mingled with each other while their
children played in fields and forests. It seemed as though everybody
was HAPPY. Content, at the very least.
Fast-forward twenty years. Nowadays, people park their cars within
armored garages, arming immobilizers and car alarms before attaching
giant, red bars to their steering wheels. Upon passing a stranger on a
sidewalk, people are quick to wonder whether or not he or she is
brandishing a concealed weapon before even considering a "hello" or "how
are you?". Neighbors live in Fear of one another, peering through
cracks in their fences just to get an idea of what is going on behind
the closed doors of the house next to them. The World is scared of
itself, and even more scared to do anything about it.
I often wonder what happened to the days of Low Security. Did Evil
finally prevail? Were we too susceptible to Pain and Intimidation that
we were finally taken advantage of? Generation X was footloose and
carefree. They loved the world and the people in it, no matter how much
they hated responsibility. They loved each other. Today's generation,
however you would like to label it, has been frightened into such a deep
state of Paranoia that it is afraid of it's own shadow. Today's
generation is like a dog that has been beaten, over and over again. It
cowers, it whimpers, and it trusts nobody. Between Terrorist Attacks
and the War-Mongering that follows, any random body on the street could
be the next violent assailant. Your neighbors could be harboring
fugitive psychopaths, secret grow-ops or an enormous weapons cache
within their basements. Nobody is Safe.
Have I scared you, reader? If so, I have just proven my point. If not,
perhaps there is a bit of Hope left in the world. Perhaps the Future
isn't as grim as it makes itself out to be. I mean, let's be serious.
Society has survived a Great Depression. It has survived countless Wars
and Attacks. Could this just be another hiccup in the road? Could Gen-C
really stand for Generation Confidence? Generation Conquer? Generation
I would like to think so. Then again, I may just be another hopeful
face of Generation Credulous.