In Generation X, one of the protagonists, Andy, reflects that “we live small lives on the periphery; we are marginalized and there’s a great deal in which we choose not to participate.” It’s no coincidence that Gen X’s greatest artistic legacy is probably grunge, which is all about glorifying marginalization and alienation. Millennials, though, have been forced to live lives on the periphery, when they had always expected that they would be at the center. As Malone points out, the Fleet Foxes, led by 25-year-old Robin Pecknold, sing about thinking that they were “special snowflakes” but finding that they are in fact “cogs in some great machinery.” In contrast, the most famous musician from Generation Catalano is probably 34-year-old Kanye West, who actually is something of a special snowflake—and at the same time that he has released some of the best music of the last few years (and gotten very rich off of it), he’s also been engaged a very public battle with himself. Like West, Generation Catalano is never fully comfortable with its place in the world; we wander away from the periphery and back again.

Generation Catalano: The generation stuck between Gen X and the Millennials.

Doree wrote a great piece for Slate about this weird generational no man’s land. It’s nice to read this, cos I totally identify with this angst! I think I mostly prefer Millennials, but if I’m in a bad mood, it’s Gen X all the way.

(via perpetua)

I agree, I liked this piece a lot as well. There’s just one thing missing in detail - I do think that some of the displacement between generations could be chalked up to the evolution of social networking in the past ten years. The difference between friendster, myspace, and facebook, you know? When you’re communicating in a certain way - by phone call, let’s say - and then five years later it’s subsumed by texting. I think that when you’re navigating those sea changes when you’re a “fully formed” adult versus navigating them in high school when they don’t matter as much, it leads to a greater gap between the years. And we’re the generation that’s dealing with that gap. It’s not like the kids born in 1971 are all that different in experience from the kids born in 1974, but there’s a sea change of experience between 81 and 84. I feel bad for the shy girls younger than me who never had a chance to have formative experiences crushing on record store clerks, you know?

PS. Bryan from Newbury Comics, I will love you for-evah!