Gen-X, Blank Generation, Children of the 80’s – whatever you choose to categorize our generation, we are now middle-aged.
Gah! I never thought I’d make it this far, let alone say things like: “back in the day…”, “kids have no respect today!” or “I’m too old for this shit!” I find it quite amusing at times.
Sure, some of us have it all figured out and are living comfortably in our 3 bedroom, 2 bath homes in the suburbs, making around $50k+/year with 3.5 children and driving mini-vans or SUV’s to kids soccer games and play dates.
I’m not one of those Gen-X’ers.
I didn’t figure my life out until recently, and I’m okay with that.
I used to get frustrated, especially coming to this coffeehouse in downtown Oberlin to write every Saturday. Surrounded by late teens to twenty-something college students who have their lives figured out already, sometimes I’m jealous of them.
Back when I was a young teenage punk rocker, I wanted to live by the live fast, die young credo. My home life was completely dysfunctional and I was deeply depressed. I kept it well hidden from my friends – always the wild and crazy outspoken “punker” at parties and gatherings – but inside I was slowly dying.
Sure my life has been a constant uphill battle for survival, but I’ve learned to ride with the ebbs and flows of my life and not fight them anymore. The struggles I’ve encountered have made me appreciate everything I have in my life so much more. If you’re a fighter and survivor, I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from.
Change is inevitable – it is the only way we grow and learn.
I honestly think our elders in the past underestimated us. We are now middle-aged and a force to be reckoned with.
I find myself wrestling with decisions, issues, and politics I never thought I’d care about when I was a young punk rock girl. Anarchy was my anthem, but I now know the only anarchy I can successfully carry out is anarchy in my words as a writer and my work as an artist.
Caring about the upcoming presidential election is something I try not to think about – I do not support any of the candidates.
Trump and Sanders scare me – one wants to grow the corrupt government and the other wants to give everything away at the cost of hard-working Americans. They are both blowhards – of course I just described all politicians.
Recently, while speaking with a friend of mine about the candidates, she said something that made me think: “Do these supporters think this is some reality TV show? They’d probably vote for a Kardashian if one of them ran!” Sadly, I think she nailed it.
I believe this country needs a (strong) third party.
I was a member of the Green Party back in the 1990’s and supported Ralph Nader as a presidential candidate. Looking back, I guess that was pretty punk rock of me.
Jello Biafra, the outspoken original lead singer of the Dead Kennedys, was and still is a supporter and political activist for the Green Party.
Unfortunately in present-day America, it is going to take a massive revolution to get any third party to surface and stand strong.
If anyone understands revolution and change more, it is us, the Gen-X punk rockers – after all, we survived the Reagan years!
That being said, I’d definitely vote for a ticket with Henry Rollins and Jello Biafra for president. Rollins is an outspoken international celebrity and has even been to North Korea – how many of our present presidential candidates can boast that? Rollins is a respected and well-versed orator who always shoots from the hip. I don’t think he has a dishonest bone in his body. Combined with Biafra’s political activism and professional prowess, I believe that they would take their old school punk energy and turn this country back around.
But I digress… that is but a dream world.
I guess my message today is one of action. If you are a Gen-X’er and don’t take an interest or get involved in the state of the nation, if you don’t vote, if you are content to passively sit around and let this country be run into the ground by greed and corruption, then you are part of the problem. Read, study, and learn all you can about the world around you. Ignorance is not bliss.
I am a proud and involved Gen-X’er, a former punk who used to rebel against the system, now fighting to help bring the USA back to its glory days of being the best country to live in. Fight against those trying to take away our basic rights and bankrupt our county! Stand tall and strong and make your generation proud.
This is our time to take the power back and rise above!
- Blank Generation – Richard Hell and The Voidoids
- Live Fast Die Young – Circle Jerks
- Die Young Stay Pretty – Blondie
- Private Hell – Iggy Pop
- Rebel Rebel – David Bowie
- Rise (12″ version) – Public Image Ltd.
- I’m An Adult Now – The Pursuit of Happiness
- Birth, School, Work, Death – The Godfathers
- Blaze of Glory – The Alarm
- Story of My Life – Social Distortion
- Once in a Lifetime – Talking Heads
- Don’t Change – INXS
- Illumination – Rollins Band
- Question Authority – Circle Jerks
- My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg) – The Ramones
- USA – Reagan Youth
- You Are The Government – Bad Religion
- Democracy – Adolescents
- Anarchy in the UK – Sex Pistols
- Corruption – Rancid
- Holiday in Cambodia – Dead Kennedys
- Wake Up – Rage Against the Machine
- God Save the USA – Pennywise