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Recently one of my so-called online "friends," whom I have never met in the flesh but "know" through blogging, pasted another snarky comment on something I wrote. There was something so familiar about the way she ridiculed me though. It reminded me of countless friends both male and female with whom I went to high school. And when I saw her birthdate on her profile page, I noticed that she was just two months older than me. This is a common phenomenon. I can tell a person's age just about the way they interact with others. My so-called online friend is apt to make sarcastic remarks about anything. And so are most of my real friends. She's a pain the ass, they are all a pain the ass, and I am a pain in the ass. Since we are all about the same age, I wonder, are we Generation Pain in the Ass?

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I was born in the last year of the 1970s. Through the years, I have been lumped into many different generations. Originally I was Generation X, then I was Generation Y, then I was Generation X again. I've also been part of the Thirteenth Generation, the Pepsi Generation, the MTV Generation, and now something called Generation C, which stands for "connectedness" - which I guess means that we like to use the Internet like everybody else.

Recently, this generational schizophrenia reached a boiling poist when a so-called Millennial complained about the jobs market, only to receive the smackdown from a card-carrying "member" of Generation X (as if it really was a club, with cards), who wouldn't be outdone when it comes to bitching. This prompted a Slate article about a Generation Catalano, named after a character on a mid 1990s TV show that was canceled after a season, about the length of time anyone in Hollywood thought of catering to our demographic.

Generation Catalano's take on the Gen X-Millennial feud? You're all a bunch of assholes. Anyone who would willingly associate themselves with the term "Millennial" which reminds me of a Robbie Williams song, or "Generation X" which reminds me of Winona Ryder stealing stuff, is an enemy of the human race. But we are enemies of the human race too. That's what makes this microgeneration of children born during the Carter Administration Generation Pain in the Ass. No matter what it is is, if you are for it, then we are for ridiculing it.

How could this be? You ask. How could precious babies birthed during the halcyon reign of a benign, altruistic, mild-mannered peanut farmer turn out to be such a bunchs of jerks? Have we taken after his ne'er-do-well pain in the ass brother, Billy Carter instead? Perhaps. He's dead, so it's easy to lay the blame on him. But, hey, anyone who is a pain in the ass can fall under this generation's umbrella. Like the late great Andy Rooney. Consider him a charter member!

The younger Mark Zuckerberg-led Generation Facebook is different. Better titled Generation F, for Facebook or Future or just Fuckhead, for stealing all of our thunder, they are already running things. If we're lucky, we'll just swap our disdain for the Boomers for the Millennials at some point. We can stop making jokes about hippies and yuppies and start making jokes about Harry Potter. In fact, we can keep making snide remarks and not really doing anything and arguing about the virtues of long-forgotten indie rock bands until we are wearing diapers in the nursing home and can't walk. Then we'll really be a pain in the ass. Wouldn't that be grand?

Honestly, I'll steal an often-stolen line from Groucho Marx here and say, please accept my resignation, Generation Pain in the Ass. I won't belong to any generation that will take people like me as a member. But if I resign, then I know that you all will too. Why?

Because you're a pain in the ass!


People born during the Carter Administration are

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| 63 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  OK, i'll play. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues, Stude Dude, koosah, commonmass

    generalizations are never useful, right?  however, i'd say the confusion and disdain are because you're a cusp person -- born smack halfway between two generational cultural shifts, and nothing but lame attempts at distinction for these halfways, by whomever makes the catchy labels.

    i was born in 1960.  technically i am a boomer, but i find most of them [even the left leaning ones] to be hedonistic, self-centered blowhards who suck the oxygen out of the room.  somewhat sadly, i get them -- i can at least understand what they say; whereas talking to a gen-Xer, everything i know is wrong, all my assumptions not valid, and i have the hardest time figuring out whether or not they are speaking ironically.

    the best thing you could do is become a good listener... coy and mysterious; and find some other way to vent/release tension.  people ten years younger than you are great at that.

    •  Damn! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, commonmass, greenomanic

      I was born in 1960 feel that way about the older Boomers too! And I'm been told that I'm unmellow and antisocial for saying it in real life. And I rarely say it here because it would be trollish.

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 03:40:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  1961 here. (4+ / 0-)

        Pegged.  I find myself resenting my boomer friends because they do seem to just overwhelm anything they are a part of and by the time I get there, it's all used up.

        Remember how tired our teachers all seemed in Elementary school?  Used up by the time we got there.

        I can't wait for my turn at retirement.  What sort of half-assed system will the boomers have left for their youngest siblings?  

        I have always felt sorry for the kids who grew up under Reagan and Bush.  You might have been born under Carter, but your awareness was formed  with them in charge.  (Shudder.)

        Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. MLK Jr.

        by koosah on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 05:26:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm recommending everything (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, janmtairy, commonmass

    just for erudition of the discourse.

    ...and the Groucho Marx quote.

  •  I was born in 1969. (0+ / 0-)

    That definitely makes me an a$$hole, but not nearly as big a one as my parents.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat

    by commonmass on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 08:28:38 AM PST

  •  Born in 1971. (0+ / 0-)

    I would say my attitude is usually, "Hold on, WHAT?"

    But I was raised with some older virtues in public interaction. Which is why I don't  participate much in the pie fights.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 09:30:32 AM PST

  •  Despite what the marketers believe, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexandra Lynch

    generations are more than just a way to sell things. A great deal of research has been done about how different age groups respond to the world. It's a useful thing to study. Born in 1979 would make you a very late Gen X, which is quite a different thing from the early Xers. If you find the idea interesting, check out books by William Strauss and Neal Howe. I suggest "The Fourth Turning", which focuses on the Crisis Period in which we are currently living. If you are willing to put in more time, "Generations" is the entire history of the United States. It's amazing.

    "The Democrats are the lesser evil and that has to count for something. Good and evil aren't binary states. All of us are both good and evil. Being less evil is the trajectory of morality." --SC

    by tb92 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 09:33:39 AM PST

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