epithet "Generation X" stuck like unshakable toilet tissue
to the shoe of every young person in America....
Along with the insulting moniker--their "X" is this century's
scarlet letter--went the awful image, hardening fast on
them like lacquer. They were shiftless, indifferent, and,
if their attention span lasted long enough for them to
start something they could give up on, quitters. They
only watched mindless TV or MTV, which was separated out
as a kind of refined degree of mindlessness, listened
to nihilistic and unharmonious rock and rap music, disavowed
solid American values and conventions (like marriage,
religion, and, you know, employment)....
January 1993, I wrote an Op-Ed for the
saying that the personification of Generation X was a
deliberate propaganda campaign intended to make young
people seem less desirable to employers, thus preserving
jobs and career options for the Boomers, and slowing the
next generation's succession to power. I implored young
readers not to be distracted by the attempt to categorize
them, and not to fall into the easy and understandable
trap of becoming cynical.
Bob Guccione, Jr., Editor and Publisher of
Reprinted with permission from the foreword
to Marketing to Generation X by Karen Ritchie,
The Free Press, 1995.
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