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.)

Pexels.com
True

June 26, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter. Think of the Charter as the U.N.'s wedding vows, in which the institution solemnly promises to love and protect not one person, but the world. It's a union most of us can get behind, especially in light of recent history. We're less than seven months into 2020, and already it's established itself as a year of reckoning. The events of this year—ecological disaster, economic collapse, political division, racial injustice, and a pandemic—the complex ways those events feed into and amplify each other—have distressed and disoriented most of us, altering our very experience of time. Every passing month creaks under the weight of a decade's worth of history. Every quarantined day seems to bleed into the next.

But the U.N. was founded on the principles of peace, dignity, and equality (the exact opposite of the chaos, degradation, and inequality that seem to have become this year's ringing theme). Perhaps that's why, in its 75th year, the institution feels all the more precious and indispensable. When the U.N. proposed a "global conversation" in January 2020 (feels like thousands of years ago), many leapt to participate—200,000 within three months. The responses to surveys and polls, in addition to research mapping and media analysis, helped the U.N. pierce through the clamor—the roar of bushfire, the thunder of armed conflict, the ceaseless babble of talking heads—to actually hear what matters: our collective human voice.

Keep Reading Show less

Here we are, six months into the coronavirus pandemic, and people are tired. We're tired of social distancing, wearing masks, the economic uncertainty, the constant debates and denials, all of it.

But no one is more tired than the healthcare workers on the frontline. Those whom we celebrated and hailed as heroes months ago have largely been forgotten as news cycles shift and increased illness and death become "normal." But they're still there. They're still risking themselves to save others. And they've been at it for a long time.

Mary Katherine Backstrom shared her experience as the wife of an ER doctor in Florida, explaining the impact this pandemic is having on the people treating its victims and reminding us that healthcare workers are still showing up, despite all of the obstacles that make their jobs harder.

Keep Reading Show less
Mozilla
True
Firefox

When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

Keep Reading Show less

Kids say the darnedest things and, if you're a parent, you know that can make for some embarrassing situations. Every parent has had a moment when their child has said something unintentionally inappropriate to a stranger and they prayed they wouldn't take it the wrong way.

Cassie, the mother of 4-year-old Camryn, had one of the those moments when her child yelled, "Black lives matter" to a Black woman at a Colorado Home Depot.

But the awkward interaction quickly turned sweet when the Black woman, Sherri Gonzales, appreciated the comment and thanked the young girl.

Keep Reading Show less