reality-bites

10

My movies: Winona Ryder.

Beetlejuice (1988), Heathers (1988), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Reality Bites (1994), Little Women (1994), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), Alien: Resurrection (1997), Autumn in New York (2000), A Scanner Darkly (2006) & The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009).

2

“I may do mean things, and I may hurt you, and I may run away without your permission, and you may hate me forever, and I know that scares the living shit outta you ‘cause you know I’m the only real thing you got.” Reality Bites, 1994

The Great Ideological Wars of 2017 have pitted gray-hairs against snowflakes, the we-liked-it-the-old-way boomers, more than half of whom cast their ballots for Donald Trump, vs. the idealistic millennials, who would prefer it if Grandpa kept his paws off their rights.

Then there’s the wild card: The 66 million aging hipsters known as Generation X.

Their very name conjures images of underemployed slackers, of flannels and Kurt Cobain and Elizabeth Wurtzel, the medicated and nihilistic symbol of the Prozac Nation. (This is assuming that anyone thinks of Gen X, so clearly America’s neglected middle child, at all.)

After college, Gen X donned flannel and started bands called Soundgarden and the Smashing Pumpkins. When a recession in 1990 and ’91 — no, millennials, yours was not the only recession — drained the nation of hope and career prospects, Gen X got a menial job and aspired to nothing much at all. By the late 1990s, the Atlantic had fretted that this sea of 20- and early-30-somethings had chosen “political apathy as a way of life.”

But as it reaches 50, Gen X no longer looks like an extra from “Reality Bites.”

Gen X looks like Paul Ryan.

Read more here: We thought Gen X was a bunch of slackers. Now they’re the suits.