Somehow I missed this, but a Boston Globe blog Brainiac had an item about Slackonomics last month. Joshua Glenn, who writes the blog, is a generational connoisseur and has a whole new scheme. Apparently I’m not Generation X but a PCer. He rightly points out that the original gen xers (or OGX) were older than the demographic that is now considered Generation X. What is a PCer?
We PCers were in our teens and 20s in the Eighties (1984-93; not to be confused with the ’80s); and in our 20s and 30s in the Nineties (1994-2003; not to be confused with the ’90s). Our immediate elders — the OGX — managed to squeak through the Seventies without being noticed by lifestyle journalists, management consultants, marketers, and pop demographers — because, according to the statistics, they were the tail end of the baby boom. This made OGXers feel neglected, and they preferred it that way; in fact, they built a negatively-charged generational identity around their non-Boomerness.
But PCers weren’t so lucky. Not only were we pigeonholed by the above-mentioned types at an impressionable age, we have been repeatedly lumped into a single, fabricated generation along with older and younger non-PCers.
He goes on to dissect a 1990 Time magazine essay that fails to distinguish between OGX and PCers:
Myth: PCers are “passive,” “apathetic,” and “indecisive,” according to Time. Fact: In the same essay, we read that 1990′s twentysomethings “feel the opposing tugs of making money and doing good works, but they refuse to get caught up in the passion of either one. They reject 70-hour workweeks as yuppie lunacy, just as they shirk from starting another social revolution.” Correct! I’ve said it before: Ambivalence — being pulled in two directions simultaneously — is not the same thing as apathy or even indecisiveness. The slacker is apathetic, the idler ambivalent. The slacker can’t be bothered to claw his way up the ladder of success, or overthrow the established order; the idler redefines success, and eschews lifestyle revolution for style-of-life revolution — which tends to happen off the radar.