Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Every generation needs a new story, a new narrative, a new sense of history. That's what gives the new guys the confidence to go out into the world and challenge the old bulls. I've witnessed several new stories in my lifetime and all of them are nothing less than fascinating. I thought it might be fun to tell some of them here. I'll start with the story my Dad's generation, i.e. the 40s - 50s generation, made for themselves.
My Dad's generation developed the story that my Granddad's generation were nice people but they were also stupid and uneducated farmers who were intellectually unfit for the modern world. If you saw the movie "The Caine Mutiny" you got a taste of that. 50s man believed he was suave and sophisticated and adaptable in a way that no previous generation was.
My generation was replaced by the Punks who thought that we hippies lacked manliness and were pampered and worthless. Their story cast them as refreshingly authentic and righteously angry that they were stuck in lower class Hell. A typical Punk dinner might be hot dogs with a side order of Cheese Puffs washed down with diet soda or bourbon.
Coinciding with the punks were the Yuppies who re-invented the mainstream. They had disdain for the excesses of the Hippies and Punks though they secretly envied their purity. Yuppies had a story that cast them as futuristic warriors like Luke Skywalker. They would end poverty and bring about universal peace by being Fabian Socialists working within the system and yes, making a buck or two.
The Punks and Yuppies were replaced with a grunge movement that tried to unite the two warring camps but failed. They morphed into the Emos and Hipsters, which is sort of what's around now, but is slowly winding down. Emos combine Anime, Punk, and gay culture influences. Their story is that they're the most aesthetic generation ever, and the most imaginative. I doubt that, but who am I to question?
Geeks believe that Gen X'ers never understood the mystery, the power, the cult of the computer. The Geeks story is that they are first true human beings. They are the old- world destroying infant that appears at the end of the movie, "2001." They're mad because the rest of us are still are still drawing breath. They believe that new computer programs should be as hard to use as possible because that will cull out the inferiors from the true humans.
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 12:59 AM