I am not Generation X

First we had the World War II Generation, rightly called the greatest generation. Then we had the baby boomers, who may have been the worst generation. Then we had a group of people that were given the worst label on the planet.

We were called “Generation X.”

I hate that label. It is a disgusting label. The X represents some lost generation wandering around disaffected and disillusioned.

The following generation was referred to as Generation Y, then as Generation D for digital, and now are referred to as the Millennial Generation.

Yet my generation gets shafted. We are described as stoners and slackers, despite the fact that it was the baby boomers that engaged in all the ills that have wrecked this country to the point where my generation has to rescue it as my grandparents did.

We have been called generation exlax and generation excrement.

Even worse, we were called Gen-Xers. I hate bad labels, but I hate acronyms even more. Acronyms on bad labels are the worst.

All I know is that to be a member of this mythical worthless generation requires certain criteria, none of which fit me.

I am not Generation X.

I never drank, or did drugs.

I never listened to Nirvana or Pearl Jam. Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder did not speak for me.

I am not disaffected. I vote. I vote Republican.

I do not wear ripped jeans. Looking homeless is not a lifestyle choice. It is an unfortunate situation for people that would own clean shirts and unripped jeans if they could. Homeless people can’t help it. Middle class white grungers in Seattle that can spend $5 on Lattes can afford better pants.

I work. I work hard.

I am happy. Sure, I have bad days. Overall, I am blessed.

I am not hanging out with beat poets waxing about the horrors of the world.

So what is my generation?

I was 29 when it happened. It was the defining moment of my life. There was Pearl Harbor, JFK, RFK, and MLK being killed. There was the man on the moon. There was Ronald Reagan being shot and the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Then there was 9/11.

I am not represented by some singer who wrote a song about an 11 year old kid killing himself in school. I am not represented by another singer that took his life because he was miserable.

I am not represented by suicide. I am represented by people that stopped suicide bombers. The words “Let’s Roll” define my generation.

I am a member of the 9/11 Generation.

We are up to the challenge.

We are resolute. We care deeply.

We want a better world for the Millennials.

We are not Generation X. We never were.

I would sooner be called a baby boomer than that worthless X label.

No more Generation X.

We are the 9/11 Generation.


12 Responses to “I am not Generation X”

  1. prying1 says:

    Good posting Eric – Keep on doing what you are doing.

  2. parrothead says:

    For the record the generation Y label is stupider than t he Generation X label. Generation X cam from the fact that it was the tenth generation since the founding of the nation (X=10) Y was named since Y comes after X (which was actually representing a number not a letter. ) I don’t think the 9/11 generation would be appropriate for those born when you were since it came when you were adults and not when you were growing up. More appropriate would be the space generation/ Man walking on the moon and all the technology that sprang out that effort fundamentally changed the lives of the people who grew up at that time.

    I think the fundamental fallacy is the whole concept of trying to categorize a group of people by when they were born. This type if stereotyping is as wrong and injurious as stereotyping people by their ethnicity or gender. People of a generation don’t all think alike or behave the same, but this need to categorize people by a shared trait is damaging to society. People need to be treated as individuals

  3. tkinsey says:

    Great article Eric. Years ago I read that our generation was quite conservative and not the dregs of humanity that they try to make us out to be. It’s been years so I cannot remember where I read this but the author made the case that we grew up with stoners for parents and rebelled against that and became a conservative generation which makes sense that we are villified.

    Keep up the good work my firend. I need to give you a call in the next week or two so we can talk about your trip to Texas.

    See you soon,


  4. Micky 2 says:

    I agree parrot.
    With the exception of my 15 year old sons generation will definately be the “got screwed generation”.
    I have a better word for “Screwed” but I know Eric wouldnt like that.

  5. I just don’t see how 9/11 really defined us in any new way. For those of us born to baby boomers (well, one of my parents is pre-boomer by quite a ways, but that’s besides the point), we were already adults when 9/11 happened, but not so old that we had any real power over our response to 9/11. We were all around 30 or so, give or take about 7 1/2 years. Very few of us actually served in the subsequent reactionary wars or had anything to do with them. Really, for the vast majority of Americans, there was no tangible engagement in those wars, let alone any connection to the actual event of 9/11 itself. No war bonds, no draft, no massive build-up, no war taxes, no rationing, no sacrifice… nothing. It’s really just been something the vast majority of us look at on the tube, until something else comes along, like a new season of American Idol, or some celebrity trial.

    Far more definitive of our generation would be the election of Obama. We are the first American generation to finally be more above race than below it.


  6. Micky 2 says:

    “Yeah, hooray, we got ourselves a black man in office, finally

    Too bad hes an idiot but boy did we show them.”

  7. Jeez, Micky. Was that really called for? He wasn’t my first pick for president either, but the fact that he was elected does show we’ve come a long way, right? I mean, you have to admit that it wass quite the historic moment. No black person has ever been the leader of any western power. It’s pretty cool, when you think about it. And you can argue with his policies until you’re blue in the face, but to say he’s an idiot is idiotic. The man is a huge intellect and I don’t know of anyone who would seriously argue with that. I mean, c’mon! He’s at least twice the intellect of that smirking moron you guys put in office before him!


  8. parrothead says:

    Jersey considering the age of the people of that generation. I think Obama’s election or 9/11 did not define them. They were adults by that point. I think you need to point to something much earlier, be it the space program, Watergate, Cable TV, VCRs, MTV, MIcrowave ovens or something else, those are the things that occurred in their youth that shaped them.

    Personally I am between the “baby Boom Generation” and “generation X.” My older brother and sisters were clearly part of the Baby boom, and my parents were born during the depression (pre-boomer but still kids during WWII). Depending on whose definition you believe (I was born in 1964) I can be classified in either but really belong to neither.

  9. Yeah, I suppose Obama was just more positively telling of Gen-X coming of age than he was definitive of it. I don’t know if it’s a fair measure of a generation to mark them at their youth, but for my generation (let’s just say I’m over 40 and leave it at that), I would say that it was “The Eighties” in general. The excesses, the greed, the partying, the violence, the ambivalence, the ironic combination of trendiness and individualism. It was similar to how “The Sixties” defined the Boomers, but unlike them, my generation was the most criminally insane since the Wild West days. Every crime stat, every measure of social ill, went through the roof until the early ninties, and then suddenly, just like that, began to precipitously decline as soon as we came of age. The one thing we have in common with the Boomers is the greed. Really, for the past thirty years, greed and purile self-indulgence have been the unfortunate hallmarks of our generations. Overall, I think the bad outweighs the good. I can only hope that future generations will be different. Maybe we just need more immigrants to set our culture back on the right course. I think immigrants appreciate America – the promise and idea – more than we “natives” do.


  10. Micky 2 says:

    “Jeez, Micky. Was that really called for? ”

    Yeah, because during the campaign about every third moonbat I debated expressed how great it would be to show the world how tolerant we were by electing a black man into office while his message was about as vague as they come. Turned out half of his messages were lies.

    Sure, hes not a complete idiot like you make Bush out to be.
    He may be well educated and intellectual but when it comes to the realities in this world hes an idiot.

  11. What has he done that’s idiotic?

    What candidate for the presidency has ever not been vague?

    I don’t know anyone who voted for Obama just because he’s black! It’s just very telling of our generation that we were able to elect a black man to the presidency. When you look at the numbers, you see that the younger people were, the more likely they were to vote for him. It’s a telling difference about our generation. That’s all. I mean, that’s what this whole post was about, right? What to call our generation. The “9/11 Generation” is a terrible moniker, depressing. After all, it wasn’t our generation that brought 9/11 on in the first place. That was the Baby Boomers and the “Greatest Generation” (another dopey moniker). It’s not my generation that went out imperially meddling in the Middle East. I say we send all the Baby Boomers and old farts over there to fight it out with the terrorists. They made the mess – they should deal with it.


  12. Micky 2 says:

    What has he done thats idiotic ?

    You’re a boot licker arent you ?
    You really believe he hasnt made any stupid calls in almost a year and a half ?
    Unemployment, growing government, ignoring the will of the people, “transparency”? yeah right.
    I’,m not gonna get into it with you and draw up the list cuz I’m tired of doing it for you. You’ve seen the list and just make up BS excuses with nothing to back them. I’l just say that the country has never been so angry at the government than they are now.
    All polls, Rasmussen, Pew,NYTS/CBS, Heritage, Cato, show that the counytry is not happy with the direction were being taken in.
    You guys are loosing seats and governors all day long.
    The country is not embracing the Obama doctrine.

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