Select Page

Generation X Men in Midlife Crisis and Generational Inadequacies

Generation X Men in Midlife Crisis

Today, Jonathon Yip responds to A.O. Scott’s New York Times essay about Generation X men in midlife crisis. (I wrote about Scott’s essay last week.) Yip’s essay appears in the Harvard Political Review.

Here is an excerpt:

…But we are at war everywhere at all times. The frontline is in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also Times Square and Heathrow. It is less striking, less brutal, less sweeping, but more complicated and more nuanced. There are no islands to invade, but our enemies are everywhere. Gen X can have a crisis of confidence, but we should never let that feeling creep up. Our generation has its own heroes and its own fight…The miniseries of our generation won’t lend itself to great television, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an epic to be told.

Yip uses the phrases “pang of generational adequacy” and “poverty of generational accomplishment” in his essay. I think both  men make valid points with their essay.

If you read Yip’s piece I’d love to hear what you think. Are Generation X men in midlife crisis?

Here are a few more recent links about Generation X in midlife crisis.
Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

Thank you for subscribing. Posts are delivered ONCE A WEEK on Sundays at 6 p.m. You can unsubscribe anytime with one click. Also, we will not share your email address with anyone.


  1. jen

    @JUNKDRAWER – I was utterly confused. I thought he was an Xer. I liked his piece, but had to ignore the Noonan quotes b/c they didn’t make any sense to the context of the story – Generation X. Maybe Yip hadn’t had his coffee.

  2. junkdrawer67

    Though a thought provoking piece, I’m a bit confused. Is Jonathan Yip a GenXer or a Millenial? I think he is the latter but sometimes it sounds as if he’s writing from the GenX perspective. I don’t know. Maybe my coffee just hasn’t kicked in or I need new glasses. Something.

    Anyhoo… One bit that particularly stood out to me was this:

    “Yes, this is their crisis of inadequacy: coming of age at the end of the Soviet Union and taking full advantage of the Clintonian “end of history” and Pax Americana. But we millenials—Generation Y, whatever—didn’t have that luxury.”

    I’m wondering what “luxury” Yip is referring to precisely because it is not entirely clear to me. Can someone set me straight?

    Millenials are/have come of age in a very difficult time, what with 9/11 and the Iraq and Aghan wars raging, and no doubt it will have a lasting effect on them as a generation, unfortunately. And not minimize that in anyway, but there seems to be the suggestion in this and A.O. Scott’s piece that GenX had no war.

    But I’ve always maintained that we did. It was the Cold War. And sure, you can say now that a shot was never fired, but hindsight is 20/20. At the time, no one knew for sure that the Soviets and the US wouldn’t end up dooking it out in a nuclear brawl. It seemed like a possibility to me anyway.

    And that did have an effect (or is affect?). It was the nuclear annihilation equivalent of the school bully telling you he’s going to kick your butt, you just won’t know when or where. And if you think that isn’t frightening than you were probably lucky enough to never have been picked on as a kid.


Share Your Thoughts

Pin It on Pinterest