Lately, I have been doing quite a bit of reading about generations. Specifically, I have read Strauss and Howe’s The 4th Turning, 13th Gen, and Gordinier’s X Saves the World. Also, there is a fine website that gives an overview of the content regarding the Turning Concept (from Strauss and Howe). Not only have I poured over these books, but I also viewed many different youtube videos that cover these topics, both from these authors and others.
Now, I am hardly an expert on the whole process, and do not feel competent to cover them here, but one aspect of their generational concept is something with which I am quite intimately involved, and have been my entire life – Generation X. Yes, that is correct. I am a member of Gen X (as are the other writers, editors, and admins of Men of the West).
If you read the material on the various turnings, and the repetition of generations, then you know that one particular generation always enters middle age during a time of crisis, which we are now in. Strauss and Howe call this repeating generation the Nomads. In our day and time, as we enter the crisis portion of their cycle, Gen X is that Nomad generation. In fact, through history, it is the very nature of this group that ends up saving the day, despite their natural tendency to avoid being heroic.
Here is the standard definition of this group, per Strauss and Howe:
Nomad generations are born during a spiritual awakening, a time of social ideals and spiritual agendas when youth-fired attacks break out against the established institutional order. Nomads grow up as underprotected children during this awakening, come of age as alienated young adults in a post-awakening world, mellow into pragmatic midlife leaders during a historical crisis, and age into tough post-crisis elders. By virtue of this location in history, such generations tend to be remembered for their rising-adult years of hell-raising and for their midlife years of hands-on, get-it-done leadership. Their principle endowments are often in the domain of liberty, survival, and honor.
So here is my contribution to this concept.
I propose that the films of Keanu Reeves encapsulate the transition that typical Gen X members go through. These movies show how Gen X grows up, transitions into young adulthood, and then accomplishes the societal tasks put before them. Now, this is not an exhaustive look at his movies, and the whole premise could be developed in more detail, but this sampling gives a good overview. Consider the following:
The Bill and Ted era.
Playing Ted Theodore Logan, Reeves is a happy go lucky goofball. He is a disappointment to his father, a loyal friend, and all around slacker. In danger of failing his history course, which will keep him from graduating from high school, Ted joins his buddy Bill S. Preston, Esq., and together they take a journey through history, in a phone booth.
How does this film encapsulate Gen X? It shows the tension between Ted (representing Gen X) and the earlier generations, in this case, his father and teacher. Ted finds little value in the things these authority figures hold dear, and simply wants to do things on his own, in his own way.
Interestingly, though Bill and Ted simply want to form a band, Wyld Stallyns, and play music, the future depends on them accomplishing this goal. In fact, the whole impetus behind their journey is the fact that their music will “change the world.” That is not Bill and Ted’s intention, but it is what happens. This is fine foreshadowing.
The Parenthood era.
In this film, in which Reeves plays a supporting role, his character marries a young woman, and she soon gets pregnant. In a conversation with her uncle, played by Steve Martin, Reeves’ character states: “you know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they’ll let any butt-reaming a**hole be a father.” Here, we see a young man, forced to grow up too early, learning to make do with little parental supervision, since the older generation is so caught up in their own lives. In relation to our topic here, we see that this is a generation that learns to make do with whatever comes their way, and they take life much more seriously than those who have come before them.
The Speed, Point Break era.
For several years, Reeves starred in various action and drama movies, usually playing the hero. Now, he was not a super-human hero, but just a regular guy doing his job. He was placed in nearly impossible circumstances, but did what had to be done, regardless of the personal cost. This is an example of Gen X coming of age. No longer adhering to the “slacker” identity often associated with his generation, his characters step up when needed. He uses creative methods to solve problems. Unlike the self-absorbed Boomers or Millennials, his Gen X heroes are selfless problem solvers.
The Matrix era.
The first of the trilogy was released in 1999, when Reeves was 35 years old. As Neo, he learns that the world in which he lived was actually a fictional existence. Reality was not what he had always been told it was. This film produced the now universally quoted example of making a choice: do you take the red pill or the blue pill? Boomers represent the blue pill, preferring to live in their delusions, but as a Gen X hero, Neo must take the red pill and escape the lies that hold him back.
The following two films in the series further show Neo’s willingness to sacrifice himself to save everyone else. It does not happen in an expected way, but that is normal for a Gen Xer. We are used to coming up with unique and “out of the box” solutions. These movies serve as a cultural turning point for most Gen Xers.
The John Wick era.
Here, we see Reeves, now entering his 50s, playing a serious, focused, and hard-boiled character. No longer do we see the jovial Ted. Now Reeves’ character is a hitman who cannot be stopped. The first of these movies introduces the retired hitman, John Wick, who simply wants to be left alone. Unfortunately, a group of young thugs are not willing to do that. Symbolically, we have a group of Millennials, tutored by a group of Boomers, who simply will not allow Wick to live in peace. Ultimately, Wick turns his attention to these people and reigns down hell fire, destroying anything that gets in his way.
He does not seek this destruction. He simply wants to be live his life, but when circumstances force him into action, he does what must be done, with no remorse, hesitation, or mercy.
So we see the lifespan of the Gen X generation in these films. Most of us who grew up in the 1970s and 80s found ourselves without lots of hands-on parenting. We were latchkey kids. We stayed home alone, figured out how to navigate life on our own terms, and made do. Older generations did not understand us, did not approve of our choices, and complained about darn near everything we did. We did not care. We just went about our business, making as few waves as possible. We made mistakes, but we learned from them. We grew up with an edge.
As we aged into young adulthood, we fought for jobs. We tried our hands at lots of things, with most of us changing jobs several times. Along the way, we used the skills we had developed in our youth to become good problem solvers. We did the jobs that had to be done. We did not consider ourselves to be special (unlike most Boomers or Millennials). We had little time for nonsense, just fixing the problems we encountered in the best ways we could.
Somewhere along the line, we figured out that the world that was passed down to us was built upon an illusion. Unlike our parents and grandparents, we did not believe the government was here to help us. We knew better. We realized that the world was not improving, regardless of what our elders said. The path we were on as a society was headed to a bad destination, and we took the red pill. We stopped playing that game, and started playing it by our own rules. No doubt, this caused even more tension with older generations, and their younger followers. Again, we did not care (and still don’t). We took the institutions given to us and transformed them, and are still doing so.
Finally, though our real goal was just to be left alone, we found ourselves backed into a corner. Really, this is where we are now. Gen X has never set out to save the world. We really did not even start out to change the world in any way. Boomers and Millennials have the market on those desires. Unfortunately, neither of them is really suited to actually do it, despite their ideological predilections that lead them to want to “change the world.”
So while we have never had the desire to effect world-changing results, we have been forced into it. Honestly, we just wanted to find a good job, hopefully working for ourselves (we do like entrepreneurship). We want to do the job in the most efficient manner and then go about our own lives. We were content to let Boomers and Millennials do their thing, as long as they left us alone. But they did not. Along the way, the Boomers wrecked the things that worked. Of course, these two generations are not at fault for everything that has happened in the last 50 years, but they have, especially the Boomers, been the catalyst for most of what is now wrong with the world.
So yeah, we are in the John Wick phase now. We have been provoked, and we will do what we must do, just as we have always done. We are the ones equipped to think on our feet, adapt to change, and use pragmatic solutions to the problems put before us.
My suggestion to everyone else? Shut up and get out of the way. We are going to do what we have to do. We are going to fix things. You may not like how we do it, but you really do not have a choice. You are living in a Gen X world now. Learn to enjoy it.
Gen X grew up isolated. latch key kids attached to their friends rather than their family. That is to say… their friends became their family.
The generational disconnect between the boomers and gen x starts far earlier than people realize.
yes. I am planning on more content in this regard.
Very good article, but a bit short. I am one of the “Older Generation” and know quite well that the P.O.S. they/others are. Not being too perfect myself, I learned that the programed Marxism by any other name really kicked off in the 1960’s and despised what was going on.
It is correct that the same cultural attack is ongoing and needs to be dealt with. The Boomer Trotsky-ites, I mean neo-cons are in dire need to be faced with a multitude of Stalins who knew how to deal with them. And also applies to the special snow-flakes.
Ha. Thanks. I was worried about going too long when I wrote it. We also try not to paint with too broad of a brush. There are lousy X-ers, and great Boomers. Each individual is only able to take care of themselves in that regard, but in general, the generational aspect seems to work pretty well.
I think you are right that the current problems we face really picked up steam in the 1960s. We might quibble when it all began (I would during the Wilson Administration, and really beefed up during FDR’s time), but it did not really grab hold on the culture until the Boomers were coming of age.
Fourth Turning is baloney. Gen X will be somebodies slaves
It is very true!! Big difference between how I grew up and how my kids grew up! And I tried to give them that independent spirit but it def wasn’t the same. Now we know we were sent here to save the world!! Gen X rocks!! Haha
Gen X here. Also in my John Wick phase. This analysis nails it.
Well, honestly, it just struck me after watching John Wick: Chapter 2 this past weekend. Seems to fit, though.
Younger side of Gen X here (about to turn 38), but I definitely feel the various stages of Gen X. I recall being left alone for hours a day during the summer to watch my younger sisters while both my parents worked. Out the door at 17, but with no hard feelings to my parents (now divorced). I hope we don’t screw it up for our kids.
Historically, Nomads are the ones who push through the crisis to remake society.
Gen X here. Point Break was pretty influential. Have not yet seen John Wick, but it sounds good.
Gen X have always seemed to me like the only adults in the room.
Both John Wick movies are absolutely fantastic. Well, if you like shooting, killing, and beat downs in a movie.
I seem to be one of those caught between the boomers and the Xers (born in ’63), so I’m either the tail end of the boom or the very early start of X. I look forward to your future articles on Gen X. I wonder if between each generation there might lie a small distinct transitional group that truly belongs to neither generation. How fast is the transition from one generation to the next?
If you check out the info in the link I give in the article, they go into more detail on the timing of generations. They make the range for Gen X to be 1961-1981. Really, Strauss and Howe argue that there are pretty marked and quick changes between the generations. However, they do occasionally differentiate between early wave and late wave in each generation. In other words, from 1961-1971 would be early wave (the also refer to them as the “Atari Xers,” while 1971-1981 would be late wave (or Nintendo Xers).
I am enjoying this research quite a bit. Some of it is mostly just to know it, but some it is pretty useful, even if they are off on some details.
I always thought of the early wave as the Dukes of Hazzard Generation. It kind of overlaps the youngest Boomers.
Another thing I’ve noticed, when I was in school the kids just a couple years younger seemed like a different generation. I was born in ’74. At the time I just chalked it up to the schools stepping up the brainwashing. Fast forward to adulthood an there’s a lot of people ten years my junior who would be considered Gen-X.
Depending on the source, the years assigned to each generation can differ by anywhere from 5-8 years or so. I tend to think Strauss and Howe are pretty close in their year assignments.
I have seen Howe, on video, say that his normal way to differentiate between Boomers and Xers is whether or not they can personally remember Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
To separate the Xers from Millennials, whether they can remember Reagan’s presidency, especially the scandals at the end of it.
Yeah, I remember all too. I was in junior high and high school and Oliver North was a member of our church.
Ha, with Col. North at your church…yeah, that would be easy to remember.
BTW, I also think that Strauss and Howe time the transition from X to Mill in 1981, with the “Turning” beginning in 1984, which was a financially bad year.
It changes as you age. I was born in ’74. I served in the Navy from 92-98. When I got out of the Navy, we had people reporting onboard the ship who were born in 1980. At the time, we thought of them as children, as in “how the hell are they old enough to go through what we did”? I guess by now, we hardly think of a 6 year difference in age.
I suppose individual relationships can be quite different that comprehensive generational ones. The main issue separating the generations is the different approaches to life. For example, the millennials tend to group together. They work in consensus. What others think about them really matters. Again, that is a generalization, but pretty accurate. Boomers tend to be very egotistical, considering themselves to be ‘special’ in some way. They have grand plans for everything.
Xers? We work well alone, but can also be pretty handy in a group, if we want. We are flexible. We do not find our worth in consensus, but in actually getting things done. For example, in my job, I get to spend lots of time in meetings. Many of those are run by Boomers, who are at the age to be in positions of power. Those meetings take for freakin’ ever. They ramble, and allow everyone the opportunity to get off track. A 20 min meeting might end up lasting for 3 hours. Occasionally, due to my position, I run meetings. We almost always end early. I know what the meeting is about, and if someone starts to stray, I shut it down, and get us back on point. My goal is to get the job done, and do so efficiently. I do not usually have any grand plan, besides accomplishing the purpose.
Yes yes I’m with you it’s a first for me to see something for someone like myself who grew up in 70s & 80s I’m in my John Wick stage.
As Lector stated above, most Xers were left alone, parents had better things to do, so the kids developed an alternative relationship network.
Honestly, for those of you who we do not know personally, the vast majority of the people behind this site know each other IRL. I mean we ALL know ALL of the others. There are a couple that have not met all the others, but even they have met some of us. We did not enter the creation of this site on a whim. It has been 15 or more years in the making, even before we knew it.
For various reasons, though most of us have good relationships with our families, we still found a way to make our network happen. That is what Xers do. We live all over the country (and some are actually outside the U.S.), but we still get together.
Trust me. Though Xers can often feel like they are the only one that can see the world for what it is…so do the other Xers, even if you don’t know them.
While this site was not designed to be an Xer haven, and we certainly address lots of things that are relevant to everyone, it is run and controlled by Xers. You are not alone.
I kinda disagree.
I was born at the transition time from Gen X to Millenials.
As far as I’m concerned, Gen X failed to rise to the challenges facing the west and as a result contributed to the dysfunctional world that Millenials had to grow up in.
When you talk about heroes of Babyboomers and Millenials being unrealistic super beings you forget that by the time of Millenials the understanding of media had become so cynical that no one really saw them as heroes but just action stars. The characters were unrelateable mindless things.
Its easy to point at Millenials and all the insanity we see come about now and blame them as some kind of failure but that is dishonest. As many millenials are caught up in the streams of decadence that flow nowadays there are as many who have rejected this false narrative of how life should be. Unlike Gen X that just wanted to pose for the role of rebel but not actually do anything about it there are real people in the milenial generation who are out there spreading their message and facing violence from the insane leftists.
If Gen X actually ponied up to the challenge of being relevant we probably wouldn’t have half the problems we face, but they didn’t. They wanted to be self absorbed in their own little world and pretend they were being edgy when really they were they were the soft undertow of the Babyboomers. Just like the Babyboomers they neglected their duties to later generations so they could play their little games while the situation deteriorated. Now as the rot of the culture is so severe it can’t be ignored a small handful finally decide to raise a tiny voice that maybe we shouldn’t be running the car off the cliff. I’m sorry but its a day late and a dollar short.
You may scoff at the actions of millenials who are awake to the situation, but face a situation far more oppressive than anything faced by Gen X and with a stronger narrative to try to blind them.
Gen X is the formless void that allowed the Babyboomers to drive us further into the deep end. They love to see themselves as some kind of radicals that “get it” but in reality they are like peacocks that love to preen their feathers but don’t have any real substance.
My only partially red pilled millenials friends that risk their jobs simply to insert some tangible right wing thoughts into office discourse show more courage than the entirety of Gen X who lived in a world where it was still okay to assume men and women were born that way and that a nation meant something. Gen X if not actively helping at least allowed the building of the bars that now imprison millenials both in society and in their souls.
This is a fundamental lack of understanding Strauss and Howe. No one says Millennials are totally lost. They are ill equipped to handle the current crisis in society. Xers did not “allow” Boomers to do anything. They were in seats of power long before Xers were old enough to do anything about it. The Boomers refuse to move out of the way, as earlier generations did.
Xers are just reaching those positions of power in society. They are really just now in a position to enact change that reaches the larger society.
We removed ourselves from the Boomer dominated society. Now we are bring ourselves back. Not necessarily because we want to do so, but because it is needed.
Millenials are not lost, they bare the full brunt of the degeneracy pushed by Boomers and accepted by Gen X. If anyone rises to the challenge of turning things around it will be from the Millenials and not Gen X. In essence, Gen X is just a prolonged transition and will not be remembered for anything great. They cared not for the society and its history and therefore history will not care for them. Its a shame since it may be too far gone by the time people of actual action can rise up from the discontent of the Millenials. They will have to fight a battle far worse due to the absence of Gen X.
again, I am working from the Strauss and Howe model, which says you are wrong. History seems to back their theory up pretty well.
You’re a millennial. Shut up. You literally don’t count and can’t find your own ass using both hands. Go squat on a pavement somewhere to protest meat-eating or whatever. Just stay out of the way when the SHTF, cause we ain’t in a jokey mood.
Alright pops. But I don’t see a lot of Gen Xer’s actually out there in real life meeting actual people face to face. It’s one thing to type on a relatively anonymous internet blog, its another to put yourself in harms way and organize with real people. I’m afraid your internet buddies aren’t going to be much help when SHTF but as for me and my own, we know one man isn’t an army and you need to trust the people your with. Something I’ve never seen Gen X learn.
PariahInside, it’s great that you’re fighting the good fight. We don’t want to discredit the good work youre doing.
“As far as I’m concerned, Gen X failed to rise to the challenges facing the west and as a result contributed to the dysfunctional world that Millenials had to grow up in.”
The damn Boomers have been a giant albatross around the neck. We’re just now sawing off the bindings cords.
Do you know anything about GamerGate? Guess who were major players in that? Gen Xers.
The meme war has been a fruitful mix of Gen Xers and Millennials deploying rhetorical bombs and deploying rare Pepe’s.
The militia groups the Feds are always moaning about? Gen Xers applying the Silent Generation’s teachings. The best ones you know nothing about.
Preppers? Gen Xers.
Son, we’re just getting warmed up. You are more than welcome to join us, but don’t think for a second we’re not at least three moves ahead of you.
This is a great post. Man I made a comment regarding the essence of contained in the above piece today. It seems like there is much to it, many can identify with.
Here’s what I wrote:
“Look at it from another perspective.
Us dirt people, we just want to be left alone, and simply get along with others, make a decent paycheck, and have a plain nice life. We are not asking’ for nuthin’ but what we earned for ourselves. There are none like us.
But here’s the thing, everyone hates us for one thing or another.
I don’t get up every morning and decide to invade a foreign country, I don’t try to tax anybody, I don’t drop bombs on someone, I don’t print mountains of monopoly fiat money, I don’t publish lies presented as truth, I don’t fund musloids, I don’t give illegal aliens welfare, I don’t campaign on promises then drop my draws and tell those who voted for me to kiss my ass, I’m not flying 200-300 mid east islamists in the dead of night every night on return cargo planes, I don’t overthrow sovereign countries, yet, I don’t devalue a dollar, if anything I value it, yet everyone hates me, even my government. Because I got a gun? Because I have it to feed and defend my own? Because I get up each day and produce and create something tangible? Because I have a God that teaches humility and grace and charity? Because I’m White? Because all that it MAKES ME privileged!?
I get that, the hate. Trump is dead nuts right. The world runs on hate. It baths itself in hate. It is replacing everything, hate, it’s making the world spin off it’s axis, hate. Yet, I don’t hate anyone. Some things I don’t like, some things are unacceptable. Some things I refuse to put up with. Some things are worth changing, but who am I to say really. And some things, well that’s the way it is. Accept it, move on.
But what I see, it is going to come down to us dirt people having to set things right. Who else is there? Who else? There isn’t anybody else. Us dirt people, through the entire history of mankind, that everyone hates, we are the only people who ever effect positive change in this world.
It isn’t hate I feel, it is anger, cold hard quiet anger. Not because I think this crazy fucked up world and it’s remedies will fall in the laps of us dirt people. That’s just what will happen, and I can choose to be a part of it, or not. I can’t change any of that, only the ground around my feet, my castle, my land, it’s all I can do anything to change.
It isn’t anger in a way, it is a mix of disgust, fed upness, disgust at the waste of it all, fed up with this fucking drama, fed up with having to pay for all this fucking stupidity, it’s a fucking circus world of immature spoiled shit stirring selfish seriously fucked up brats.
And when everyone who hates me because I’m a dirt person starts fucking with me personally like they all have been threatening and hinting at, I think I’m going to be one of the dirt people who decide fuck this, fuck that, fuck being the worlds whipping goat, fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you, because fuck you thats why, and I’m not going to give a fuck about anything or anybody but my fellow dirt people, I’m going to tear it down, I’m going to burn it all to the fuckin’ ground, I’m gonna have no mercy, no compassion, my give it shit won’t exist. I won’t be alone. I know. I can see the same cold rage kept under lock and key in others. A resolve like no other. It’s just a thing there under the mask. There’s no words needed. It is what it is. When us dirt people let this thing loose, it will be terrible like nothing anyone knows about.
For you fucking peeping perverts and agent provocateurs, you fucking trolls, you shit stirrers, best run to your boss’s, tell em’ you best be asking yourselves if you want this thing let loose. Your fucking with something you have no idea how bad it is. You all better think on this real careful like, I’m telling you all, you don’t want the dirt monster out. It’s ruthless, it doesn’t care, it has no feelings, it is fearless, it is destruction of everything in its path. It won’t stop till it decides it’s ready to stop because the dirt monster is all that can stop the dirt monster.
Yes…that is a more earthy way to put it.
I think the cat is out of the bag now, and really, as a part of cyclical history, there was never a doubt that our generation would step up and be the ones to set things aright.
It’s not exactly stoic. Because Shitlords thats why.
That is an excellent piece you wrote if you don’t care me telling you. This is a great blog too.
Thank you for such a great effort of work.
Much appreciated. You may have noticed that I posted another one today that gives more overview of the Strauss-Howe theory. Another is coming out tomorrow about getting active and doing something.
Yes, I have to bone up on SH Theory. Been a few mentions of it lately around the ManoSphere.
I have found their material useful. They also wrote a book on the Xers, called “13th Gen” which probes the typical Xer view of life. The only issue with it is that they wrote it in the early 90s, so it doesn’t go past the young adult phase, since that is where we were then. I would like to see Howe do a follow up on it, but for the past decade, he has focused on Millennials in his books.
Another one that has some good material is Devil’s Advocate. Son of Satan? I mean, really….
We are about to release the Kraken.
I usually to put it thus: ” When savages go tribal, cities burn. When Whites go tribal, continents burn. Sure you wanna go there?”
Sometimes, it is appropriate to burn it all down.
Two things relating to this discussion, the first is that my father and I have greatly enjoyed generationaldynamics.com. He’s been doing generational analysis for a long time, and his predictions have repeatedly been right, well worth the daily visit to read his blog IMO.
Secondly, I really don’t understand the blanket statements on either side of the Xer vs Millennial fight earlier in the comment thread. It’s pretty obvious that if a millennial is on this site, he’s probably on your side, why in the world do you feel the need to denigrate him? And the reverse is true, if you see these Xers working to save the West, why trash them?
If we look at how the generations landed in WWII. We find that the previous two generations led the Greatest Generation as they fought in WWII. Millennials need that leadership and wisdom now, much the same as the Xers and Boomers need the youth and passion of the Millennials. We can’t save the West unless we work together.
I would say that we tend to agree with you. When discussing generations as a whole, there is not doubt that a broad brush is used, and there will be exceptions from each group. The main issue is when a Boomer or Millennial comes in and starts acting “boomery” or “millenially”, and honestly, we are way past the “can’t we all just get along” mentality. That is not our approach. Want to join in, then great. Welcome. Want to whine about it? Sit down and be quiet. That would be our response, although perhaps a bit more pointed.
Thanks for the link. I will check it out.
You didn’t mention Constantine, a personal favorite of mine. (It’s kind of silly, doesn’t always make sense, and might be a bit blasphemous, but is awesome.) I’d say it also has a very Gen-X feel to it. Without spoiling anything: Reeves’s character is a sort of freelance exorcist who is able to see angels and demons at work in this world. Because of his special knowledge, he knows he’s doomed, but he keeps fighting evil anyway. He doesn’t expect to save the world (or have much hope that it can be saved), but he does what he can for individuals. He tells himself his purpose is selfish because he doesn’t consider himself a hero, but he’s really just doing what has to be done. More than once he says things like, “I didn’t ask for this,” but he rises to the challenge anyway.
Yes, that is another great example. Thanks for pointing it out.
What a story of redemption and providence. I found it wonderfully inspiring and a classic on the virtues of peserverence and courage.
I think when Reeve’s asks Satan to call him provincial was the finest moment.
There are actually several great Keanu movies that I left out, either for space or because one of the other mentioned films covered the same ideas. We could have another section on Johnny Mnemonic alone.
I mentioned Devil’s Advocate above, but what about The Replacements? Typical Xer fare. Not the 1st String, but better in the end anyway.
Their earlier book Generations predicted 9/11. I like it more than Turning.
I have seen the book, but not yet read it. I most likely will before long.
Never thought about it that way, but I think you’re right.
Don’t forget, Gen George Patton was also a member of the “Lost Generation”, the previous group of nomads. We could find worse company to belong to.
Indeed. That generation gave us two presidents: Truman and Eisenhower. Both were pragmatic, no nonsense sorts of fellows.
I personally find most of this ‘generational’ talk about as worthwhile as horoscope readings. It is mainly about having an in-group and out-group to attack. No, Gen-X isn’t going to save the day, it will be individuals rising to the challenges. But Boomers aren’t to blame for the state of the world. It feels silly to me to blame my parents for the hippy movement instead of the hippies. You were not endowed with special analyzing powers because of the year of your birth. We should be focusing on how we can come together as brothers to fight for our culture of Christianity instead of finding dividing lines, like the year of your birth.
Thank you for your astute observations, though they seem to fly in the face of any analytical study of history.
Members of my Boomer generation went off to fight in Viet Nam when asked. They did it because they were patriotic Americans,and believed that the members of Greatest Generation – who were still running the government – were the same honorable people that fought in WWII.
Conclusion:(1) Bad, lying “greatest generation” were perpetrators of catastrophic Viet Nam war (2) Honorable, self-sacrificing, patriotic “boomer generation” were victims and pawns in Viet Nam war.
Kinda hard to catagorize entire generations. That’s like categorizing people by skin color.
I’m sure there’s “serious literature” supporting that, too.
What? Like the fact that Black Males commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes in the USA? Or that different races have different average IQs? Those are just facts. That does not mean that every single black male is a criminal or is stupid. It simply speaks to the averages.
Same with our comments on Boomers. Are there some good ones? Sure. Just like there are some lousy Xers. But if we take folks as a group, then we can get some legitimate broad brush characteristics.
Any generation can lay claim to the “we are more special than previous generations” declaration. Hell, my Boomer klan said the same thing. We found fault with our parents’ generation, and they said the same of their parents.
While I find the relationship to a specific actor interesting, any of the mentioned life points can be possessed by any generation to some degree.
I think the key to this whole discussion is based in the context of the generational descriptions, per Strauss and Howe. There are some proclivities that fit each generational character, and I think they are on to something, even if they miss some of the details.
My God, you are either my twin brother or you’ve been reading my mind. For years, close friends of mine have discussed these very same generational differences and we’ve also recently said the time is now for a flexing of muscle. Yes, we would rather be left alone, and in many ways, we are happy to watch parts of the world burn, but we have a responsibility to leave something for our children.
Ha, well, this whole thing popped in my head (regarding Keanu) the night my wife and I watched John Wick 2. We went out to eat afterwards, and starting talking about his movies, and I realized that there was a sort of progression, etc., leading to this article.
There are a couple of other “Generation” articles that I made about the same time. They do not discuss these movies, but more on the Strauss/Howe theory of generations.
You are dead on right with your observation.
I read 13th Gen in early 1994… it was a sort of early red pill for me. It definitely changed my outlook on a number of things, and helped explain stuff that I couldn’t make sense of beforehand.
I never felt totally comfortable with Strauss and Howe’s concept of a Gen X person’s values (somewhat pro-choice, etc.), but I clearly fit in far better with them than with Boomers.
It was around the same time that I was getting into the working world and dealing with Boomers on a daily basis. I spent as much time away from them as I could from then on.
You know, I agree with that assessment. Of course, 13th Gen was written when we Xers were really just coming to adulthood in force. We were young and highly influenced by Boomers at that point. We rejected much of what they stood for, but still looked up to them in other ways. As we aged, more and more of us shifted right, I think. So some of those earlier observations are probably off a bit.
I do find it ironic that Strauss and Howe spent lots of time looking at generations in general, but have (or at least Howe has, since Strauss died) since focused primarily on Millennials. They wrote on brief book on Xers, 25 years ago, but have already written several books on Millennials, who are at that same stage as we were back then.
I could be flip and say that the writers took a look at Xers, said their piece, and moved on. Much like the Boomers they described in their book did. But I’m above that sort of thing, so I won’t mention it.
I would like to see them do a sequel, though. Picking up 25 years later is all the rage in the movies nowadays, so they might as well get in on the act.
We rejected much of what they stood for, but still looked up to them in other ways.
I think that book was my first step in NOT looking up to them so much anymore. As I mentioned above, I began interacting with a wide range of Boomers on a daily basis around that time, instead of the small range I had been acquainted with up to then. One thing I noticed as a twentysomething in the mid-90s was that a lot of people in their mid-to-late 30s up to mid-50s seemed to have a certain ….smugness, I guess… about them. I wondered if I was reading them correctly, or if that was a common trait in that age bracket all along and I was just too young to notice before. Maybe something more like confidence or self-assurance that I was misreading as smugness. [Side note: I was quite the outsider growing up, so I was not the best at reading people, and I knew it.] I reasoned that all I could do was keep observing, and wait 10 or 20 years to see if was right.
It’s been 20+ years now, and I think it’s safe to say I was right. Now it’s people in their 60s and 70s who are insufferable.
Sorry if that’s a little ramble-y, it’s not easy for me to articulate it in a paragraph or two.
I think you are dead on right.
Gen-X will reign. The smallest generation of the past 7 generations will right the ship. And half of us are gone. Boomers, you will have to eat your words. Millenials, learn from us.
And ironic, since we are the one generation that really doesn’t want to do this. We just know we have to do so.
That Keanu Reeves is a “movie star” has always perplexed me. He cannot act. His facial expressions are the same 99 percent of the time. He is deadpan. The only possible answer to this mystery is that he’s good-looking. Actor? No way, José.
You just don’t know, this is so good. I remember working at blockbuster video hehe and telling my fellow female coworkers I love Ted, he’s totally hot. And they were like, you’re crazy, you’re weird, or just yeah, not hot, and then point break came out and they tried to act like they always thought Keanu was hot. Posers. Keanu was always mine first. Haha. Anyway, wow, you’re a great mind to even think about this and put it all together. Thank you! Great read.
I employ Boomers and one “Silent Generation” member. I also bought 1/2 my company from a Silent Generation member. When I first became a 1/2 owner, the remaining partner was a Boomer. I had to force him out, it was a war for a period of time while the company was on fire.
I have more respect for the Silent generation than the Boomers as a whole based on my anecdotal experience. They are hard workers that don’t toss around bullshit and are very pragmatic. I won’t let my one Silent Generation worker retire. He’s too valuable. I still have lunch every Tuesday with the Silent Gen founder of my company I bought the first half from- he was partners with the Boomer I forced out a few years after I bought his half for 24 years and hasn’t seen him since our falling out. He knows the deal. (he was the one that held the company together, he walked out 1.5 years before I walked in…to a disaster)
I grew up taking care of my brother and sister, living in low income housing outside of Detroit, while my mother/us subsisted on welfare. My loser Boomer father threw us to the wolves in essence when he left the family to get some with a trollop 12 years his junior at the time. I would say he typifies that generation in many ways. He’s self absorbed/selfish with delusions of grandeur.
So I cleaned up his mess in many ways as it took a while for my mother to get herself straightened out and us off of welfare.
Maybe that impacts my views of Boomers in general, but they’ve been reinforced anecdotally in my professional life.
I value all the things it seems the Boomers as a whole casually tossed out the window- family, morality, a respect for cultural tradition, voluntaryism, etc.
I don’t value many of the things they do: The US government, stifling structure for the sake of conformity, undue respect for any perceived “authority”, etc.
I do know how to squeeze them though to make them productive fortunately.
Millennial’s? A sad joke. I’ve to employ a few of them and it’s ended badly every time. They are pathetic as a whole. (again, I’m generalizing/painting with broad strokes)
One in particular I thought had potential was very sharp, but started having emotional and focus problems- which is dangerous in my industry. When I asked him what was going on he told me he was trying to get off his ADHD medication, he was on it since early teen years and was now trying to get off because he was newly married and it caused erectile dysfunction as a side effect.
He wasn’t able to successfully do it by the time I had to let him go….sad. Outside of this one young man though, most of the others I tried were mental pussies enslaved by PC society and their phones, possessing little work ethic.
I pretty much agree with your write up. The few times I’ve “went to war”, like forcing out my Boomer partner, I only did so when I was cornered and then I take no prisoners. Depending on what the future holds for US society with all it’s attendant debt and moral decline, I will go back to war again if necessary to protect my family and those reliant upon me, but it’s nothing I like and when forced to wage it I don’t take prisoners, I’m quite serious on that and I’m not being hyperbolic. These two generations(Boomers and Millennials) as a whole will get exactly what they deserve when the proverbial chickens come home to roost. I’ll shrug when the time is right and take care of my own with no reservations.
Sadly, this is typical. Thanks for your sharing your experiences. In the end, we will win.
hmmm… My above comment got scrambled. So I may as well expand on it. Initially, I wrote one simple word to sum it up, and that was, “Brilliant.”
This article was brilliant.
Thanks. We have quite a few Gen X articles here, and many do not even address Keanu or John Wick.