Someone asked Twitter, ‘What's the most Gen X thing you ever did?’ and the responses were awesome.

As generational stereotypes go, I nominate Gen X to be, without a doubt, known as "The Coolest Generation."

[Editor’s note: this piece is written by a card-carrying member of Gen X, born in 1977]

Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) started off on the right track with the hippie movement in the ‘60s, but soon became the folks that brought us the “Me Decade,” yuppies, and President Trump.


According to author Bruce Gibney, Baby Boomers are guilty of generational plunder. “The boomers inherited a rich, dynamic country and have gradually bankrupted it," he writes.

Millennials (1980 to 2000) are definitely the most socially responsible generation Americans have ever seen, but they also created vapid selfie culture and they're easily the most boring generation we’ve ever had to endure.

That have very little sex, they drink less, and compared to Gen X and the Baby Boomers, their music sucks. No one will be listening to the Chainsmokers or The Weekend in ten years.

Why Gen X is the coolest generation.

Gen X (1965 to 1979) created a unique brand of cool based on do-it-yourself (DIY) aesthetics. We gave the middle finger to the mall and shopped at used clothing stores. Listened to stripped down indie rock, punk, and hip-hop created with two turntables and a microphone.

Detached, cynical and with a love of irony, Gen X embraced rebels, slackers and misfits.

C’mon, is there a Millennial icon that’s half as cool as Tupac Shakur, Kurt Cobain, Quentin Tarantino, Beastie Boys, or Winona Ryder in "Heathers" or "Reality Bites"?

Generation X is the last generation to bridge the divide between analog and digital worlds.

“Generation X, the last Americans schooled in the old manner, the last Americans that know how to fold a newspaper, take a joke, and listen to a dirty story without losing their minds,” Rich Cohen wrote in Vanity Fair. “We are the last Americans to have the old-time childhood. It was coherent, hands-on, dirty, and fun.”

Rex Sorgatz asked Twitter “What's the most Gen X thing you ever did?” and, if you’re not part of Gen X, the responses will help you grasp what this smaller generation was all about. And, if you’re from Gen X, you will nod your head in agreement.

Here are three from my life to get things started:

via Tod Perry / YouTube

  • I dyed my hair blue using a pack of Kool-Aid to go to a punk show.
  • I was knocked out at Lollapalooza ‘94 after being round housed by a woman in a mosh pit during A Tribe Called Quest’s set. (People moshed to everything back then, even laid-back jazzy hip-hop.)
  • A girl I went to raves with in the '90s married MTV VJ Jesse Camp.
  • In middle school I bought a pair of ZCavaricci pants with wings. (This was a few years before the grunge revolution and it was still Hammertime all the time.)

It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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