Tuesday, February 23, 2010

YOUR SURE SIGN OF AGING OF THE DAY: In a music notes sort of way. Unlike Jim I have too much invested in my Gen-X identity (implying generational hatred of the Boomers, with The Beatles being the easiest symbol of their doofiness--seriously, a bunch of dudes with bad haircuts and silly accents and you people went apeshit?) with side order of American chauvinism (you want we to worship a foreign band when The Beach Boys are right there?) to ever embrace Beatlemania, phony or otherwise. But lately when the radio on scan mode hits a Fleetwood Mac song--I have to stop the scan. I just do! I am transitioning into some kind of older demographic. Plus Fleetwood Mac doesn't seem to carry a lot of generational baggage with them--they're for old people of all ages! I want to be with you everywhere...

The true trigger for my newfound Mac fandom, by the way, is listening to the wonderful little mashup album The Fleetwood Mix. You wouldn't necessarily think FM as being a great backup band for Snoop and Kanye and Q-Tip--and yet it makes perfect sense in retrospect.


hetyd4580 said...

Interesting blog, but it’s missing an important part of the equation: Generation Jones (between the Boomers and Generation X). Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten lots of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press' annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009. Here's a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones: http://generationjones.com/2009latest.html

It is important to distinguish between the post-WWII demographic boom in births vs. the cultural generations born during that era. Generations are a function of the common formative experiences of its members, not the fertility rates of its parents. And most analysts now see generations as getting shorter (usually 10-15 years now), partly because of the acceleration of culture. Many experts now believe it breaks down more or less this way:

DEMOGRAPHIC boom in babies: 1946-1964
Baby Boom GENERATION: 1942-1953
Generation Jones: 1954-1965
Generation X: 1966-1978
Generation Y: 1979-1993

Justin said...

I'm not sure how the existence or non-existence of Generation Jones effects the status of the Boomers as the archenemies of the Xers.

Jim said...

I believe in the concept of Generation Jones - I'm in it - but I reject the name. I've got nothing against that particular Counting Crows song, but it doesn't remotely count as both iconic and connected to "my generation, baby" in any essential way.

I just refer to us as Cuspers. If I thought about it, I'd be annoyed that Generation X was OUR FUCKING BAND. And indeed, Billy Idol is himself a Cusper.

hetyd4580 said...

Are you joking about wanting to call GenJonesers "cuspers"? I HATE that name for us. Why would we want to identify ourselves as in-between/not important...simply a transition between real generations? I have no doubt in my mind that GenJones is a full bona fide generation...the data is unequivocal that our consumer and political behavior clearly warrents our distinctness as a generation. And moreover, the term cusper is usually used these days to describe those in-between GenX and GenY, although it also used to describe any group in-between generations, and cusper is also commonly used to describe those in-between astrological signs. For all of us who care about our long-lost, long-ignored generation finally having a seat at the table, cusper is obviously not a name which would ever get us that seat.

I happen to love the name Generation Jones; I think we got lucky with it, considering how many stupid generation names there are. There are quite a few connotations to GenJones that work, having nothing to do with the Counting Crows' "Mr. Jones". the best explanantion for the name I've seen is from the guy who coined it: http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20090127/column27_st.art.htm

Anyway, whether you or I happen to like the Jones moniker, it's the only time a name for our lost generation has ever caught on with the public, so it seems obvious that those of us who care about this should get behind it and help spread it.