you have reached the winter of our discontent


Writer Rebecca Schuman over at longreads wrote about Reality Bites which came out…wait for it…twenty-five years ago. Together with Singles and Slacker the film embodies GenX cynicism and disinterest. It was one of my favourite films at the time. I can’t say anymore because I haven’t watched it for a long time. Millennials who were born the year the film came out weren’t impressed. One comment:

I do not appreciate the attitude of acting like you are above it all and you know something the rest of us don’t

But that’s how it was. That’s how we were.

Our generation is probably the last one without the trappings of 24/7 newscycle and being always ‘on’ in terms of connectivity and technology. Coming after the drug-infested yuppies and self-centredness of the Boomers, this is a typical GenXer:

If you were lucky enough to like something before it got big, then you found yourself flush with the only currency Gen X accepted.

Apple when everyone was on Windows. Music before they got mainstream. The generation that was, and still is, hard to define and target ads at. Because at the core of things, we don’t care that much. In the intervening 25 years, we got on the career ladder, acquired mortgages, and some now have kids or even grandkids. But at our heart, we’re still slackers. I got the career and mortgage, but I just realised I did the ultimate GenX slacker thing, I did my PhD because I didn’t want to become a worker. I hate work, from the first day I started at ANRU to my last day at NE.

I dunno, may be I should find the film somewhere and watch it again. May be I’ll cringe because I no longer find the Ethan Hawke character cool. May be I’ll sing along to My Sharona.