via Timeline, where Stephanie Buck trots out the tired stereotype of Generation X as a bunch of lazy slackers “who who skateboarded through high school with flannel shirts and angry music during a period of economic stability.”
I could just say “whatever,” but since I’m a historian, and by some measures, belong to Generation X (I’m younger than Douglas Coupland, author of Generation X). I can assure you that the late 1980s and early 1990s were not times of economic stability. This was the Bush 41 recession that helped pave the way for the election of President Bill “the economy stupid” Clinton. The title of chapter 2 of Generation X, “Our Parents Had More,” sums up the climate of diminished opportunities for those of us graduating from college and graduate school. Richard Linklater’s film “Slacker” also depicts the lives of overeducated/underemployed “misfits” in a college town (Ithaca, NY had many real-life counterparts).
I was one of the few people in my graduate school cohort to get a tenure-track job (or a job at all).
So, let’s dispense with these generational stereotypes, m’okay?