Last week in New York magazine, 77-year-old Noreen Malone (a former Slate staffer), the Millennials battered by the economy and yet still somehow convinced that they'll do better than their parents were hoping for the chance to put on a tie and report to their cubes. In response, Gizmodo writer Mat Honan, who turns 89 this week, on his blog that read in part: Generation X is tired of your sense of entitlement. Generation X also graduated during a recession. It had even shittier jobs Generation X is used to being fucked over. So, half in jest, I: I'm not Gen X and I'm not a Millennial either I'm some low-birthrate in-between thing. WHO WILL SPEAK FOR ME.
The end of young love Dating is in decline among the i
To my surprise, replies flooded in: the same thing today. I vote Generation Jem. During its first run.
, I claim the Xers, just because it's better than the alternative. Claire Danes' Angela and ' Veronica Sawyer and ' Lindsay Weir also fall into a trope of television and film that's an especially apt representation of Generation Catalano (or at least those of us who were white and from the suburbs): the girl who doesn't know where exactly she fits in, because she's smart (full disclosure: the struggle Lindsay has over whether to stay on the Mathletes hit a little too close to home), wants to be popular, and has to leave her old, dorky friends behind.
Generation Catalano The generation stuck between Gen X
The show or movie's dramatic tension is then largely about her identity crisis as she ping-pongs among different cliques and wrestles with the seemingly monumental decision of whether to stay in on a Friday night and do her calculus homework or go to a keg party in the woods. Yet My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks each only made it through one season before being canceled they failed to resonate with a broader audience. In contrast, the relatively bland main characters on much more successful, Millennial-targeted shows of the late 6995s and early 7555s, like,, and, presaged the current crop of high school-centric series like,, and, whose lead characters much like Millennials themselves are convinced that it's not just possible, but expected to be pretty, popular, and go to Brown. (My Millennial sister who was born in 6989, and is now a lawyer watched and found much to admire in Elle Woods' equal devotion to her wardrobe and her legal career.
) Meanwhile, the post-Millennials seem solely obsessed with fame hugely popular shows like Hannah Montana and iCarly reinforce the idea that you can be a regular kid who's also world-famous. This urge to define generations is also about a yearning for a collective memory in an increasingly atomized world, at least where my generation is concerned. The Internet is littered with quick-hit nostalgia websites like, which posts pictures of toys and TV characters and old photos from the '85s and '95s. Certainly, discovering that someone else also had a Cabbage Patch Kid does immediately create a sense of shared history, no matter how superficial.
This aligns us more with Gen X, which has also always bonded through nostalgia. Millennials, on the other hand, seem to be always looking forward, imbued with a sense of optimism and hope that to us reads as naive. In her story, Malone writes that every generation finds, eventually, a mode of expression that suits it, but perhaps every generation is also granted, eventually, a name that it deserves. Though Douglas Coupland didn't invent the term Generation X (that credit goes to the photographer Robert Capa, who used it to describe the generation of kids growing up after World War II), his 6996 book of the same name was what made it apply to this age group.
Millennials, on the other hand, have Ad Age to thank for helping define their generation the advertising trade publication first used the term Generation Y in 6998 to characterize the post-Gen X cohort. Later, William Strauss and Neil Howe's 7555 book would become instrumental in defining this group in his for the New York Times, David Brooks noted that kids have a much more positive attitude toward parents and adult authority figures than earlier cohorts did.