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Another Day in the Country

Speaking of generations

Last week, I was talking to you about watching the generations go by as we all spent another day in the country just living our lives. Speaking of generations drew my eye to a particular page of my sister’s Vanity Fair magazine.

This periodical, brimming with high fashion and tweaking trends of ladies clothing, is also home to some rather well-written, thought provoking literature. The article that caught my eye was about the generation gaps beginning 70-plus years ago with World War II.

In the ensuing years, these generational groups have all been given names. It happened so gradually that I hardly gave it any notice; but I love the idea that my generation — the oldies 70 and over — have been given the title of the “greatest generation.” Thank you very much. I believe that shows great insight on the part of the namers.

The youngest group, most recently born, have already been given a name of their own. Originating in 2000 and the 15 years that have followed, their name is iGEN, it seems — the I-Generation.

Following them with their birth date ranging from 1980 to 2000 are the infamous Millennials the media is constantly talking about. The Millennials, whose feeling of entitlement has given the media a lot of comedic material, were preceded by Generation X, who were in turn preceded by the very popular, outspoken game changers — the Baby Boomers. There you have it — most of us living and accounted for, classified, cubby-holed and given a nickname. And, now the fun begins as this witty writer, Bruce Fierstein, compared and contrasted the generations.

According to Fierstein’s calculations all of the generations suffered a life-altering event. For the Greatest Generation that event was the first time they laid eyes on a ’55 Ford Thunderbird. For the Baby Boomers, he suggested it was the first time they tried pot. For Generation X it was 9/11 (which made me wonder why Bruce hadn’t listed WWII as my generations life-altering event because I certainly do remember it and it WAS life-altering for many whose fathers either didn’t come back or were changed dramatically by war).

For the Millennials, the author suggested that free Wi-Fi was their life-altering event while the release of iPhone 6 was the big moment for the iGENs.

I was amused by how our social networks have changed through the years. For the iGEN it is Instagram, the Millennials favor Tinder, Gen-X uses LinkedIn, the Baby Boomers use Match.com, and the Greatest Generation favors The Rotary Club.

It seems the different generations all have a ‘get-rich-quick-scheme’ with iGENs hoping to create a video game, Millennials inventing an app, Gen X selling something to Yahoo, Baby Boomers flipping houses, and the Greatest Generation, Fracking!

There’s a trend for every generation which includes their current living situation. The iGENs are living down the hall from Mom and Dad while the Millennials are sharing an apartment in Brooklyn. GEN X was priced out of Brooklyn so they are considering moving to Los Angeles and the Baby Boomers seem to be moving back into the city while the Greatest Generation is using a reverse mortgage to provide shelter for feckless offspring.

The author of this article which provided us with so many chuckles, attempted to list the deepest fear that crops up generation after generation — all very different. For those youngsters who are teenagers it seems to be low batteries. For the Millennials, they are wondering, “Doesn’t everybody get a trophy?” Gen-X is worried about paying off their loans from grad school, while the Baby Boomers fear they may no longer be the center of the universe.

Meanwhile, on another day in the country, the Greatest Generation’s deepest fear is worry about America in the year 2015!

Last modified Nov. 9, 2015

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