The Kids Were Alright

4 04 2017

Your Blogmeister’s Desk

It seems like I’m about to meet a day whose background noise is going to be full of hoo-hawing and hem-hawing about the “problems” of Millennials.

That got me to thinking about something.

If you use the 1982-2000 birth year definition for Millennials, this means they are 17-35 years old this year.

Let’s jump in the Blogmeister Hot Tub Time Machine (no skinny dipping), and dial that thing back twenty years, to 1997.  That year, Generation X was 17-32 years old, if you use the 1965-1980 birth years for the identifiable core of the generation.  By 1997, the demographers had already settled in on “Generation X” as our official name, and they did that the same month that Nirvana released “Nevermind” and I started high school, both other important milestones for my generation.  Two years after that, that’s when they decided in advance to call the generation still being born at the time which had the working title “Generation Y” as “Millennials,” because they knew the generation still in the process of hatching would be the first to come of age after the turn of the Millennium.  So, by 1997, we were Gen X, on deck were Millennials, according to the official lexicon.

Back to our trip to 1997 — I do not remember any media paranoia or even any real sustained discussion about us when we were about the same ages that Millennials are now.  To put it another way, I don’t remember being so shitted upon.

Why the difference?

My off-top theory is that it has to do with who the Millennials’ parents are, the Baby Boomers, who are, at ages 57-71 this year, currently at the peak of their power and influence.  For some reason, Boomers worry about their Millennial sprogs more anxiously than Silents worried about their X kids.  We know that Boomer parents have a helicopter parent mentality, and now that they’ve got their hands on the levers of the media, they have full control of the megaphone in order to bitch and fret about their kids.

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4 responses

5 04 2017
Joshua Sinistar

Generation X isn’t a name its a roman numeral. Generations usually run about 20 years, and this was the tenth generation of Americans. Millenials used to be called Gen Y cause nobody seems to see that X is the Roman Numeral for ten. Now that they’re called Millenials, there seems to be confusion since they were called Gen Y before. Actually they’re Gen 11 or XI.
Planet X has the same problem by the way. Everyone thinks its a name but actually it means Planet Ten.

5 04 2017
Alex the Goon

I thought Planet X’s biggest problem was that it only exists in the imaginations of psychic channelers from the Pleiades who call shortwave radio shows at 2am.

5 04 2017
Joshua Sinistar

The Sun’s visible light only goes so far. Past that point there isn’t enough reflection to be seen by telescopes. Our telescopes are not as powerful as one might think. A lot of those brilliant photos from Hubble are digitally enhanced. The accuracy of those shots must be questioned. All those “detailed” photos of planets seems fishy. We cannot see much past the visible light of our Sun, but those shots of far off planets that are mere reflections seems remarkably clear.

6 04 2017
Olorin

I was teaching undergrads at a let’s not name it Ivy League university and department in the late 1980s.

One day several of the smarter and more engaged kids came up after class.

“Hey, Olorin–you’re smart about history. You know and remember a lot of stuff, right?”

Erm, yes. Yes I do. [???]

They all look at each other and nudge the spokesboy, a chubby blonde Jewish fellow who lowers his voice and says, “We’ve been reading some stuff in another class, and we were wondering what you knew and thought about Malcolm the Tenth.”

True story.

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