So, I’ve started a blog. This much you know.
There’s been a few things recently that I’ve wanted to share with the excellent Twitter folk, that 140 characters simply wouldn’t allow, so this is my solution. I hope it’s okay and that you like it.
The thing that made me want to start it today is that over the weekend I was quoted in an IoS article about Generation X’s mid-life crisis.
I have no issue at all with the article or the journalist concerned. It’s super. However, when I was asked on Friday afternoon whether I might be able to rustle something up, what I emailed her was a little longer.
So here is the unexpurgated text of my reply:
GenX’s are now middle-aged, so if ever they were going to have a mid-life crisis, it’s now. Wikipedia, suggests a mid-life crisis is a period of dramatic self-doubt caused by the passing of youth and the imminence of old age. So the question then is what did our generation promise ourselves that we haven’t achieved?
To my mind, British GenX’s are defined by Thatcher. If you were born in 61, your first vote would have been in 79 – the year she took power. I was born in ’79 and knew only Tory rule until ’97 when the political land slid. The Britain I understand was forged in the fires of Conservatism, of greed being good. That notion undid society, or at least the vision our forebears had of being of a community. Instead, those following the mantra believed accruing personal wealth was Gods own work. Mammon’s, possibly.
The election of 97 was GenX’s great revolt. They told us, “Things can only get better” and we believed them. Better, to me isn’t ignoring the largest political demonstration in British history or eroding civil liberties on a scale not seen post-Watt Tyler. Better is not bailing out banks, then being too scared to ask for the money back. The point, I think for GenX’s is that we hoped things really would get better – maybe we were too young, too naive, to understand why it would mostly remain the same. We were all so disappointed that our attitude now is born of hopelessness. The “They’re-all-the-same”‘s of the last election isn’t borne out of manifesto analysis, but from the sense that it doesn’t matter what’s said, once the keys to Number Ten are within reach, any pre-vote platitudes/promises give way to opportunism and self-benefit.
GenX’s are, I think, unsurprised that we’re unable to do anything about the environment or social mobility. We know that whilst the good guys take their time trying to fix the messes, the bad guys are making more money than Croesus – and using that money to stop the changes that harm their bottom lines. It’s not about them being good, or right. It’s about them being rich. Remember that Greed is Good.
So, in a nutshell, I don’t know that GenX is having a mid-life crisis as much as we’ve had it proven to us by sell-out rock stars, sell-out politicians and sell-out heroes, that deep-down, everyone’s an arsehole. We know that if we were in charge, we’d be just as bad, possibly (probably?) even worse. We have no hope for our betters, or ourselves.
Rather than fighting for the change we don’t believe in, we buy another DVD – “God, Hotel Rwanda, so powerful. Something should really have been done. More Chablis?” – go to another football match – where dispossessed millionaires owned by foreign billionaires kick a ball to squeeze £50 a head from factory hands and office workers – , buy homes in other countries – where our inability to fully converse helps shield us from the mutual despair -, take the cheering drugs – both the state sanctioned-and-taxed sort and the sort supplied to us by a chain of violence and slavery- and hope nobody realises that we are no longer citizens, merely consumers.
In short, we kill time until it’s our turn to fuck off.