Salon has an interesting take on the movie The Rocker with Rainn Wilson.
Can Generation X grow old gracefully? Now that nearly half the generation that gave us grunge has turned 40, the question of whether slackerdom can mix with maturity looms. Adulthood implies many of the things this aging bunch has tried to reject, or at least question: marriage, parenthood, responsibility, authority. … Fishman, aka “Fish,” typifies Gen X’s Peter Pan-ish unwillingness to play by the established rules of growing up. In 2006, he’s a 40-ish loser doing telemarketing for a Cleveland insurance company. He is unmarried, unkempt and unemployed. He loses his apartment and has to move in with his sister.
This touches on precisely what I address in the latter half of my book, Slackonomics. Sandeep Kaushik, whose personal story is in Chapter 12, calls it “Delayed Onset Adulthood Syndrome.” Here is one quote from his story:
I thought me and my friends, we were really special. We were touched by the gods. We were so clever and talented. In this effortless way, we were going to live the life without having to lift a finger. We were going to hang out on the porch, drink beer, and be incredibly successful. I was sure of it. It was a given. There was no thought about how to map this out. I just assumed, being who we were, having whatever skills or talents we had would take us there. I didn’t realize smart people are actually a dime a dozen. A lot of people have talents. But do you know how to develop a career? Do you know how to make your way in the world?
While Fishman goes into a 20 year tailspin, Sandeep’s struggle lasted about 10 years, which he pulls himself out of in a more typical if less dramatic way than becoming a rock star: Sandeep embraces a profession he enjoys even if it doesn’t lead to a lot of fame and fortune, and as a result, grows up a bit and finds it’s not so bad being married, having kids and owning a house in Seattle:
I always thought of myself as having one foot in adulthood and one foot in adolescence. I never thought I would end up so conventional, but I like what I do. I completely love Seattle. I go out drinking too much, but that’s just because there’s always someone to get a drink with. I’ve always been a restless sort, but I’m probably going to be here for the rest of my life and it doesn’t seem that bad.
A Gen X Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy? [Salon]