Born in 1977, I barely make the cut to qualify as a member of Generation X (most set Xer’s dates somewhere between 1963 and 1977), but after reading Jeff Gordinier’s X Saves the World, I stand-by Douglas Coupland’s statement that X is more of a sensibility than a generation, anyway. Although I wore my share of flannel shirts in the early ‘90s, it was Gordinier’s articulation of Xer’s distain for the mainstream that most resonated. I am still thrown off by people’s carefree admittance to liking American Idol and the latest teen pop star. It’s horrifying to me that Paris Hilton has a sincere fan base; I could get behind an ironic mocking, but not a genuine celebration of someone who so obviously doesn’t get it (getting it was very important once, whatever it was). I keep waiting for someone to be embarrassed about carrying a pink phone with rhinestones and knowing the intimate details of every celebrity rehab visit. It always felt so good to be superior to all of that, and I’ve had a hard time adjusting to the “everything is great” mentality of the Millennial generation, even if they are only a year or two behind me.
Here’s a clip of Details magazine editor at large Jeff Gordinier reading a passage from How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking: X Saves the World about the first time he saw Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit music video.
- Cristy Meiners