[Blue Plate Special]
Your world was made up of things sweet and good
My world could never fit in wish it could
Two hearts lie in shambles and though how we’d cried
That’s what happens when two worlds collide…
–Roger Miller, 1961
|Generation X vs. Generation Y | by Lore Vigil-Escalera|
Japan’s Gen X: Fukashima-ed Up Beyond All Recognition
This week, numerous media outlets including MSNBC, CBS News and USA Today have reported on a University of Michigan report that found Generation X was lukewarm on global warming. I really appreciate the school’s ongoing Longitudinal Study of American Youth. Dr. Jon Miller has been leading it for decades, and it has provided a lot of interesting information over the years about Gen Xers.
|Fukushima by Kisstiger via Etsy|
But, unfortunately, the stories were a little off-putting. Wide coverage does not always correlate with news value, and ultimately, the study got ink because 1) the media is completely obsessed with reporting on studies, and 2) the U of M knows how to write and pitch news releases.
You see, there is some serious speculation going on right now about the industrial, political and generational fallout of Fukushima. The mainstream media’s lack coverage on this measured against all these reports about Gen Xers lack of interest in or understanding about climate change is disconcerting. I’m also a little tired of the perpetuation of the collective persona of Gen X as the disengaged, non-activist generation. Consider these two slackerrific headlines:
As the author, ToB, of the blog Histories of Things To Come explained to me in a recent email, “Gen Xers may just be retreating into their private worlds.”
Actually, we’ve been retreating for as long as we could pour a bowl of Lucky Charms and adjust the rabbit ears by ourselves, but that’s another post entirely.
|Fukushima Art by Alfonso Paredes via Pinterest|
This post is about Fukushima’s disastrous impact on Japan’s economy, and a proposal for Japan’s 30 and 40-somethings that is one of the grimmest things I’ve read about generations in five years. The Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has proposed lowering the retirement age in Japan from 60 to 40 in an effort to release more job opportunities for younger generations. It’s called the Frontier Plan, a term that reminds me of other dark, euphemistic language governments have historically used to disguise their goals and agendas. Here’s an excerpt from a commentary on Histories of Things To Come:
“Not only does this weaken the generation of people currently most capable of mounting a substantial critique and effort to deal with Fukushima’s real and political fallout. It also curries favour with a younger Gen Y Japanese – those angry, alienated, anti-nuclear protesting students who are under the age of 35. In short, it will buy them off with full time jobs and social privileges stolen from their middle-aged predecessors. Given Japan’s poor birth rate, is this proposal simply pushing Japan’s resources toward those capable of future child-bearing? One blogger fears that Noda has seen the estimates on post-Fukushima life expectancy, and he is merely moving policy to align with a future Japan whose citizens will die at a much younger age. In other words, Gen Y will see itself supported, but not understand the horrific underlying expectation behind that unfair support: that they are not expected to live past middle age. See another report on this nasty idea here.”
I remember when my mantra for practically everything was the Springsteen lyric, No retreat, baby, no surrender. Not so much anymore.
Gen X Pixels
Recently, I had the privilege of connecting with another blogger, Chloe, a mother and second-wave Xer who writes about Generation X. She recently completed a 52-week blog project, Fireflies at Dusk, which I’ve enjoyed working my way through. It’s a sweet blend of memories, motherhood and making peace with the past. It’s been strangely validating reading her posts. Check out Light From A Pixel: A Blog on the Spiritual and Philosophical Issues of the Gen X Experience.
Here is an excerpt from Week 19:
“Any generation who grows up during a tumultuous time either in their home life or in the world in general finds themselves especially needing tradition and familiarity. Too much of the lives of Gen Xers has been filled with stress and has gone speeding by. Too many seasons of my life have passed when I was consumed entirely by work or school or others’ expectations of me. Now it is time to live more intentionally in the moment – and in the season. Walking through the cool air on the soft earth, we went back to the car in our muddy rain boots. Pumpkins rolled around in the back seat as we turned the corner to get on the road to take us home. This was the best thing we could have done with this day that was given to us”
|From This Isn’t Happiness|
Gen X Daddy
Speaking of Gen X Bloggers, I continue to love, love, love the hilarious voice of Gen X Daddy. Yesterday, he wrote, “While standing in the backyard one afternoon, I noticed that I had a metal shed…” Generations of dads will love the cathartic experience this blog offers.
I’ve been meaning to mention the digital magazine, Urblife: The Voice of the Gen X Style. It’s a great looking site that features topics of interest to a generation of people immersed in pop and hip hop culture. Can I just say how much I love the fact African Americans have never shied away from the Generation X label? I’m fascinated by this.
Photos & Generations, a companion site to this blog, is now live. It’s not fully stocked yet, but eventually it will feature cards and prints of some of my best images. Check it out, and if you haven’t done so, please (pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top) subscribe to my monthly newsletter? I gave away a copy of Dear Photograph to one subscriber last month, and will do the same in August. I will also be giving away prints and print collections, to subscribers. Thanks!
Finally, I thought we should all celebrate the opening of the new Batman movie with a fun infographic. Created by StreetRant.com, this first made the rounds several months ago. It features various generations of Batman costumes. Which one do you like the best?
Now on the street tonight the lights grow dim
The walls of my room are closing in
There’s a war outside still raging
You say it ain’t ours anymore to win
I want to sleep beneath
Peaceful skies in my lover’s bed
With a wide open country in my eyes
And these romantic dreams in my head
Once we made a promise we swore we’d always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender…