Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Gen X Candidate

It was sobering realization. I was discussing the wins for Barrack Obama at the jabbering place and it occoured to me...Barrack Obama is not only the first 'serious' black candidate for president, he's the first serious Generation X candidate for president.

And there it is.

Granted, it was bound to happen. The likelyhood of the presidency skipping a whole generation was pretty slim. But I don't know that I was in anyway prepared for it. It doesn't seem like that long ago that Baby Boomers were coming to terms with their first president and now here we are.

Maybe I should ask a Boomer what they felt, how they copped with it, but that's never really been Gen X's style. If this was a 'real' blog I could interview Douglas Copeland about how he feels about the generation that bares the name he gave it coming of age. We were defined, partly at least, by stalling adulthood as long as necessary. And yet again one of our Generation's over achievers went and defied that-just like all those head down computer tweakers defied the bleakest predictions about us and created a whole different economy.

I guess I should feel bad, kind of like I felt duped when I was living the life of Richard Linklater's Slacker and they were all living War Games. I was affecting an air of dissatisfaction at coffee shops and they were changing the way the world did business. And I was left behind. Jokes on them, me and my kind get to tell their stories. The Kevin Smiths, the Judd Apatows...we still get to tell stories of developmentally stunted man-childs.

But now one of us is one of the most energizing candidates in our lifetimes. What the hell? I don't know, should I feel proud? "Ha! You got us wrong again!" Should I feel ashamed, I'm still living a life not signifigantly different than I did when I was 20. Hell, I still have my woolly goatee.

I think I have to settle on strange. I feel very very strange.


  1. Is Obama really a Gen X candidate? He's older than I am, and I believe I'm at the tail end of the boomers. I'm not sure the Gen X'ers are officially old enough to run for President yet.

    Of course, these things are malleable, and if I get moved into Gen X, I certainly won't complain.

  2. Gen X started in 1961 when Obama was born. Douglas Copeland, who wrote Generation X was also born in 1961. It's largely considered to be 1961 to 1981, also defined as 'the 13th generation,' in reference to it being the 13th generation of Americans. 1961 does overlap with Baby Boomers, but if you look at Obama's upbringing and life, and his attitude towards institutions (running for office aside) he is truly a Gen Xer. He was moved about, broken home child, his dissenfranchised youth was more akin to ours than to baby boomers and colored his approach to community activism. He's an Xer.