Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lets Eat Grandpa

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
The Transitive Vampire
Let’s Eat Grandpa
            OMG! WTF? Ask me if there’s anything scarier than two lovers having a tiff and eventually breaking up with no other contact but their text messaging apparatus? Go ahead, ask me: “Gt thF ot o my lfe u LSR! Cm gt yr fggn ct 2!!” Yeah, scary scenes; what with VooDoo Festival and Halloween coming in fast and the English language being reduced to bones picked over like the carrion of the X Generation.
            “f u cn rd ths you cn gt a gd jb w hi pa!” was an advertisement on the back of comic books when I was a kid that I thought was stupid. Little did I think that it would become cmnplce (commonplace).  Mark my words, Halloween will see a lot of kids disguised as lapsed vowels, guys masquerading as QWERTYs, gals hussied up as MILFs and some big bruiser with a shirt that proclaims MFIC! Maybe a NAB telling you to MYOB and KYMS!  LOL. LMAO. A sci-fi Scrabbled world awaits us on our way to the quarter century. That’s not all that awaits us.
So, I bet you weren’t wondering who those not so young adults are, sporting tattoos, wearing Betty Page era outfits, wheat bellys and going to 80’s night at One Eyed Jack’s--and about to become (if they’re not already) in charge of the planet’s policies and politics.  Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.  For your edification, they’re called Generation Xers sometimes called Generation 13; age 30-50. Born between 1961 and 1981after the Baby Boomers and before the Echo Boomers (Generation Yers). A generation raised facing an ill defined, uncertain (and perhaps hostile) environment; a generation cynical and ego-autonomously resentful of Baby Boomers for taking all the wealth and leaving only environmental and economic destruction for them. SOL.
But, they’re ready to flex their muscles!  And, if U ask me-- with attitude-- the product of Boomer parents. Xers are those latchkey kid pioneers; children who spent formative years with video games instead of guardians and experienced peer identity crises and social unrest marked by senseless violence and destruction; drinking Slurpees, eating frozen pizzas and pills from the medicine cabinet. Like to put a face on the collateral damage? Seriously? Want to know exactly who the Baby Boomers f**kd up?
Neil Howe and Bill Strauss in their book “13th Gen” (1993 Vintage Press) described their plight: “Every day 2,500 American children witness divorce or separation of parents; 90 a day are taken and committed to foster homes. Every day 13 of the 15-24 year old group commit suicide, 16 are murdered, 3,610 are assaulted, 630 are raped. Every day the typical 14 year old watches 3 hours of television and does 1 hour of homework. 2,200 drop out of school. Each day, 500 adolescents begin using drugs, 1,000 begin drinking alcohol. Each day 100,000 High School students bring guns to school. Each day 1,000 unwed teenage girls become mothers.”  The mark of Cain; the scarlet letter; the red badge of courage; MIA; DOA.
The Xers were a generation that was the product of disintegrated families, working mothers, failed schools, a no growth economy, minimum wage jobs and little to no chance of buying houses or achieving financial security; it’s a wonder any survived at all. This is The Breakfast Club of yesterday and the bipartisan politicians of today that place a lot of value on their ‘because/now that-- I’ve got mine’ theory of life. Who didn’t care to learn more than sandbox mentalities and strategies for living. That makes their words distrustful. It used to be that we didn’t trust anyone over thirty; now it seems that we can’t trust anyone under fifty, or so prevailing feelings go. They’re not bad people; except-- I truly believe that --with any luck at all-- when you’re paying a little more attention to your life— at some point-- a thought is going to struggle to the crest of your brainwave and whisper: “there’s more to life… there’s more to living”. And this-- doesn’t seem to be happening.
Gen Xers are not model parents and nor are the ‘Baby on Board’ generation (oh yes, them) who had everything given to them. The Baby on Board-Gen Yers are just getting settled into the workforce (and calling their Moms regularly) with a ‘fewer hours, flexible schedule and a better work/life balance’ attitude; they’re also called the Echo Boomers (also Millennial Gen) and live in a techno world created by Xers. They have high expectations of their employers, seek out new challenges, not afraid to question authority and are team players; they’ll be the next hope we have before Gen Z takes over; you know, the ones who like Hannah Montana.
Watch them on Halloween,  GensX, Y and Z; the grandma who once dressed as Cinderella giving slave harvested chocolate to a kid dressed as a CEO (with a briefcase) that would rather have cash. Or the reveler Xers and Y’s at the VD Fest (LOL) with a pint of JD in their back pocket, a Zapp’s on their shoulder and their trash on the lawn.
The main reason I’m pursuing this thread is because it occurs to me that these are the generations that are taking charge of our futures and our country; I watch our leaders not only to suss their individual attributes but also to question what penchant the influences of their generations has had on their thought processes. I think every generation revolts against their parent’s attitudes and values until they make up some of their own (GR8); however, most of any one generation will pull back from that uncertain abyss and become their parents. From their parents’ frightful dreams to their children’s worst nightmare; Boo.

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