Thursday, October 13, 2011

Scared to Skip & Step in Case You Trip & Fall

And is that any way to live, my fellow Generation X'ers?

I understand that in America, many people in their 30s still tend to strive for status quo trappings -- office gig, wedding, house, offspring, sense of superiority/justification to look down nose at all others, divorce, rinse?, repeat -- to prove they are real adults and all, despite current economic and political realities. "If it's broken, force it, don't fix it" could be this societal subset's motto. I find the striving to be more pronounced, more desperate in my generational peers because, let's face it, we're getting a little long in the tooth.

So, judging by what I hear and see more and more of as that clock god ticks, those of us who have not done so should hurry to close ourselves off already, to grab our family values before it's too late, to denounce the unemployed, the single, the poor, the married people who still care about issues larger than themselves, to close the door on the wider world still experienced by some of us as a vast, beautiful, chaotic, complicated universe, leaving all that noise to the skeleton crew of idealists that remains: those, married or single, who have either not succeeded in securing these trappings or are too screwed up to know they've missed the boat, the apparent weirdos whose primary interests do not include parading around in virgin gowns, boasting about how happy they are on Facebook or popping 'em out sans political engagement in a country with an abysmal education and healthcare system. Oops:

There I go again!

Where was I? Lost, I suppose. Because listening to my chronological counterparts' reactions to the Occupy Wall Street movement, offered largely via social media, has felt pretty alienating and their reactions have also been standing out as ah, unique against those of other age groups.

For the most part regarding this movement, and it is a movement, no matter how often sideline whining and police beat downs go down, I've observed Generation X either:

A. Remain dead silent

B. Complain like Archie Bunker about people breaking the rules in exercising their democratic right to protest -- seeming to have forgotten that human beings matter more than dictates handed down by often illegally elected daddies, let alone about the civil disobedience they themselves have benefited from -- or

C. Take their talking points from comparatively wealthy transcribers and television talkers, snarling that the problems being protested by just about everyone but them are "not clear enough."

A commenter on a New York Times article about one of the protests, with coverage offered only weeks after they began and exuding that creeping disdainful tone, observed that many of the people making these critiques seemed to be taking the attitude that these actions are to be judged the way one would judge a material object, prompting a like/dislike response and little else. I watch this manifest as a one-way circuit, where one can be just like his or her favorite monarch: bring nothing to the table except the desire turned demand to be served, to be satisfied based on personal preference by people whose job it is to uh, do stuff, remaining seated and immobile at all times. Case in point re: bringing nothing to the table was the chick in her 30s who barged through the middle of the October 5 protest march on Wall Street, angrily knocking aside the woman in her 50s from Long Island I had been talking to: a me-only imperative. This anger seems rooted in disgust that anyone still even cares at all and, worse yet, that anyone believes they can change anything at all. Meanwhile, these people, these dern radicals, have the nerve to be out on a public street in a large group during one's commute home to one's couch, one's almighty television. This online grousing did seem to reflect an actual reality: Mirroring my dating life these past few years, there were few 30somethings of note to be found at the New York protest I attended. What was heartening was how many other people of every other age group attended, making this Generation X segment's absence all the more striking.

You know, Kurt Cobain was not being literal with his "Here we are now, entertain us" call; he was commenting on apathy. Did that need to be spelled out? Does everything? Is the rampant social injustice, economic inequity and subsequent deterioration not plain by now? Does it really need to be proven -- to people desperate to maintain their illusive status quo lives, who will not believe it anyway, who will squeal and throw food at you for even bothering to try at all?

I don't think so.

An Addition
Visual Aid for the 30s A.B. Phenomenon: Whoa, this is just like me, an apparent Modern-Day Meat-Head, with the last guy I dated, a self-labeled "progressive" who announced one night, after many insinuations of such, that my "views" were "wrong" (blog strikes again), including the ones I hold about Lord Toad, his dishonorable Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Then the snarling started and so I opted to rock a doob, like Mikey's admitted to but never been imprisoned for unlike countless young black and brown men, & some Tom Petty solo, which felt right, not wrong.

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