Some call us 13th Gen. Some Generation X. Some “baby busters.” Whatever (to use our very most favoritest word), we’re those people born roughly from 1960-1980, apparently, but I only really care to address those in the ’64-’70 group. You know who you are. We starred in “slacker” movies, the Maynard G. Krebs’ of the 90s. I have something to say to you all, so pull up an Ikea footstool and heed my words.
We’ve lived in the world of the Baby Boomers’ making while they were the ones in charge of movies and music and culture in general. They wrecked our childhoods. You’re grown-ups now. This is your chance to do it better than those accursed Baby Boomers. You have a model of What Not to Do. Do not flood the airwaves with 80s music stations. Classic rock was bad enough, please do not try to convince people that The Bangles were the next Beatles. Because even if it was true (hint: it isn’t), no one cares. They haven’t recorded in decades. And don’t email me to tell me they have because it doesn’t matter. No one bought it. Do not support things like The Police reunion tour. There are honest-to-goodness great bands out there. You don’t even have to learn to like something new. Franz Ferdinand will remind you of XTC. The Arctic Monkeys have kind of a Clash thing going on. It’ll be okay, it isn’t scary. And if you are happy with your REM and your Adam Ant, that’s fine. Just don’t try to force it on every one else. Remember how much it sucked to have to listen to Creedence Clearwater Revival every time you went to a bar? That’s how kids feel now when you plop your quarter in for “1999.”
Corollary: When you listen to these great bands, don’t try to be 24. Don’t get me wrong, 24 was GREAT. You were young and had few responsibilities and everyone appreciated irony and you looked good in black and it was AWESOME. But now you’re 40. It’s time to be 40. Buying clothes from J.Crew for all those years never did result in a life full of lawn tennis and cabins in the woods, so you may as well stop shopping there. It’s fun to shop at Ikea because things are cheap and have funny names. But admit that you’d really like a grown up couch because watching 2 hours of Lost on Klippan makes your back hurt. Hey, I don’t have real furniture, but I know I should. Remember your friend’s creepy mom that kept trying to be a hippie? Yeah, don’t be her.
When the Baby Boomers were relevant, we had to listen to their music and admire their cultural icons and generally put up with their navel gazing. We can be better than that. Don’t make any more Broadway musicals about our crappy touchstone movies! No one needs to see Broadway Ferris lip synch Hippie Shake. And Matthew Broderick, if they offer? Please, please say no. Be a bigger man than Harrison Ford, if only figuratively. Dig if you will the picture: wealthy 50 something lawyer with a receding hairline and a pony tail. He thinks the hair makes it look like he won’t let The Man keep him down. But he IS the man, and it just makes it look like his hair is sliding off the back of his head. Other gifts of the baby boomers? Cadillac SUVs, Dick Clark’s corpse paraded before us every New Year’s Eve, no Social Security for us.
We gave the world irony. It’s ours. No one does it like us. Oh sure, those kids THINK they have it going on with their Juno and their Michael Sera (I want to put him in my pocket); but they learned from us. So give yourself a pat on the back of your Threadless Tee. They WISH they could be as cool as we are, but we’ll keep that under our hats and we’ll be nice to the new kids and hope they don’t fire us. Because we need our jobs, because we have no Social Security. Stupid Baby Boomers.
So, you’re 40ish and you’re facing the fact that you’re never going to be a dancer or a bareback rider in the circus or be discovered by Hollywood. A tip? Botox or a body wax won’t change that, so just go ahead and age. Sweet early 60s fashions are coming back, so we can even dress like real grownups. Ironically, of course. And because it makes you look really good. Me? I plan to follow the Anne Bancroft model. So Michael Sera had better watch out.