June 26th, 2009


Defining A Generation

There's LOTS of blogging going on today and yesterday about the death of MJ. To a lesser extent there was a buzz around the death of Farrah Fawcett. Ed McMahon also got a few mentions. It also looks like Walter Cronkite is on his death bed. It got me thinking about who are the people and events that "define a generation."

At what point in our lives do we become aware of people and places and make them a part of our collective psyche. Is it grade school? High school? College? A combination of all of them in some sort of running average?

I look at someone like Farrah Fawcett and think that perhaps she was just a little "before my time." Of course I watched "Charlie's Angels," but it wasn't that big of a deal. Most teenage boys had that famous poster of her hanging in their rooms (which they probably fapped to quite often-remember: you could see NIPPLE!). Not me.

MJ, on the other paw, was in my face all through college. I remember watching the premier of the 20-minute "Thriller" video on MTV in my dorm room. It was an event! OK. I was furry at the time and loved the transformation scene. The truth be told, however, was that I was SICK of MJ. Every song from Thriller would be played and played and played. I couldn't stand it! I was discovering my alt-rock side at about this time so I wanted to see bands like R.E.M., New Order, Depeche Mode, Elvis Costello, etc. Pop was just drivel. I guess I am more nostalgic for the big-hair bands.

I'm sure the generation before me would treat Walter Cronkite's declaration of the Vietnam War being un-winnable after the Tet Offensive to be one of the generation's defining moments. Or was it? Did they care back then? Nixon flying off in his helicopter after his resignation? Once again, before my time, but I did see his resignation letter at the National Archives. I know that meant a lot to my dad. What were my defining moments? Reagan's assassination attempt, Three-Mile Island, the Challenger explosion, Chernobyl, The Berlin Wall coming down.

How about the rest of you? You youngins out there! What defines your generation? The computer? The Internet? Video games (and not the cool ones where you had to go to an arcade. That's MY generation *lol*)?