“I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?”Hello, hello, hello, how low?
The term Generation X was popularized by Canadian author Douglas Coupland’s 1991 novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, concerning young adults during the late 1980s and their lifestyles. While Coupland’s book helped to popularize the phrase “Generation X,” in a 1989 magazine article he erroneously attributed the term to English musician Billy Idol. In fact, Idol had been a member of the punk band Generation X from 1976–1981, which was named after Deverson and Hamblett’s 1965 sociology book—a copy of which was owned by Idol’s mother.In the US Generation X was originally referred to as the “baby bust” generation because of the drop in the birth rate following the baby boom.
While the term Generation X can be used to describe a wide group of people, it has come to be popularly accepted that members of this generation, wrought in the shadow of the Baby Boomers, felt alienated and disenfranchised by the cultural icons of the time. “X” described the lack of identity that members of Generation X felt — they didn’t know where they belonged, but knew for sure that they weren’t a part of the overbearing generation of Baby Boomers. The media played its part in promoting the Generation X stereotype by portraying them as grunge-listening, Starbucks-drinking, flannel-donning slackers who were quietly revolting against their overachieving, conservative Baby Boomer parents or older siblings. While the term Generation X has been used by a more punk faction of the generation, it has also labeled a group of musicians and actors represented by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Janeane Garafolo of the movie Reality Bites. While Gen-Xers probably feel passionate about some things, in general they have been portrayed as apathetic, disaffected twentysomethings with no course in life.Since most Gen-Xers have grown up and may now have “McJobs” of their own, the disaffected attitude that pervaded the 1980s and 90s has for the most part gone the way of grunge and flannel shirts, though it is likely that there are a few still living the stereotype.Read less