The Xer Meme: Have we sold out?

Imagine the scene:  Lindy and I are in Phoenix, speaking at a conference, and afterwards we’re sitting in a grungy little Mexican bar called Dos Gringos which is bejeweled with Christmas lights (all year round, apparently). It’s full of quirky misspelled handwritten signs and we’re near a life-size Jenga tower drinking a pitcher of margaritas and 2 dollar Pacificos with our great friend Jeff Hurt (I am sure he will concur with that description though we’ve only met in person for the first time that very day), and his two co-workers, Joe and Jerry. They are like the Three Musketeers – really sharp, really funny, really Gen-X sarcastic  despite Jeff being a Boomer and Joe being a Millennial – both have a definite Xer irreverence about them.

Total digression from my story, but here’s a bit more about them: Jerry tells the story of taking his two kids on a hunting trip with his father, something he hasn’t done himself since high school. He shoots a short video of his father explaining to the kids how to skin the deer, interjected with alternating exclamations from the kids of “gross!!” and “cool!” He posts the video  on YouTube and it now has had almost 18,000 views.  Joe is a real foodie who takes (and posts) photos of most of the meals he eats and has two salads from his local Austin neighborhood joints named after him. His latest plan is to set up a blog called “Joe Blogs For Food”, the goal of which is to get his meals paid for every day for a month. Jeff, of course, is the mustachioed blogger whose acerbic wit strikes fear in the hearts of many – and yet, in person, is SO not scary at all, the friendliest, funniest person you’ll ever meet. These are the kinds of people you need in your life.

Anyway. Back to my story. We’re all chowing down and having a great discussion about work and social media and the speaker circuit and dying associations and blogging, when at one point Jeff turns to me and says, “You know Maddie, I think you’ve lost your edge. You started your business and you’ve sold out. You’ve gone mainstream.” (I’m paraphrasing but you get the gist.) Now I know Jeff is trying to get a rise out of me, that’s what he does, and I laugh, but I’m thinking about it. Have I? As you know, being called “mainstream” is pretty much the worst possible thing to a Gen-Xer like me. So bad that I literally can’t think of anything worse – except maybe “ordinary”. I literally feel dirty. I tell him that, of course.

I go on to say, I think it’s definitely true that once you have a client-consultant relationship with an organization, you can no longer in good faith tell them how full of shit they are in public – though rest assured we don’t hold anything back behind closed doors.  But I think back at some of my early posts… and it’s probably true that I don’t have the same fire under my feet that I used to. For me personally, it’s hard to hear that rebel yell when I’ve declared my work to be about”sharing the love” and “teaching a man an organization to fish”.  Oh jeez.  I sound almost like… an ex-hippie boomer.  Wow.  Cringe.

As I’m thinking about all this, I just so happen to also be in the process of reading X Saves The World by Jeff Gordinier, which just so happens to be full of Gen X nostalgia about when we used to be anti-establishment, subversive slackers.  About when all our heroes were anti-heroes.  I think he’s asking the question too – have we sold out?  Have we been assimilated by the Borg? And this is not a “life stage” thing. We all have to pay the bills. Whatever.  This is a MENTAL thing.

I look around at my blogger friends and I wonder if we’re not all looking over the same cliff.  Jeff (De Cagna) and Jamie used to be changing the structure of governance.  Jeff is still Jeff, namely 5 years ahead of the rest of us; Jamie’s now busy dealing with the minutiae of association management in the ‘burbs.  Matt got himself an Executive Director position at age 30-something and is, well… bored.  Maggie’s stuck in a labyrinth with no doors.  We’ve lost Ben, the original devil’s advocate of the association world (“making a loud noise and leaving the room since 2004″) to MRIS and Zillow and the real estate world…

Now I’m just poking you guys with the Jeff Hurt stick, of course.  I don’t think any of us have gone mainstream. I think we’re all working the system from the inside.  I KNOW we are.   I’m still handing out my red pills. We’re jacked in and leaping tall buildings.  We know Kung Fu.

But I want to hear it from you. I want this to be a meme; The Xer Meme, if only because we haven’t had one in a while. I hope you’ll play.  I’ll tag those I mentioned above and a couple more, but I invite ANY Gen X readers to comment, and I hope the peeps I tagged will tag some more.  I’m letting Lindy off this time, by the way, she’s on the XY cusp and I know from personal daily experience how subversive she really is. :)

So go on, tell me, my fellow Xers – Have YOU sold out?  Have YOU gone mainstream?  Or are we still the guerrilla army, changing the world (only without telling anyone)?

Ben Martin

Jeff De Cagna

Jamie Notter

Maggie McGary

Elizabeth Engel

Shelley Alcorn

Eric Lanke

Jessie Newburn

Jeff Hurt (yes, you. You owe me. You’re in a job way too small for you. Explain yourself!) :)

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{ 53 comments }

sgiarde September 26, 2009 at 2:17 pm

@shellyalcorn You got tagged in this awesome post by @maddiegrant. http://bit.ly/49eMhw

Frank Fortin September 26, 2009 at 10:47 am

I’m a mid-Boomer, so I have only limited credentials to comment on this. Your question, though, is for every age.

This is NOT about externalities, as you point out. It’s about staying true to yourself throughout your life. To charge someone else with “selling out” is street theater at best, and slanderous at worst. With rare exceptions (e.g, spouses, lifelong friends) we just don’t know what’s really in someone else’s heart. That’s why I reject and resent the implicit notion (not yours, Maddie) that Boomers have sold out, as a group. Many, many Boomers live their personal code every day. It may not be the same as my code, or yours, but they do live it, and they don’t necessarily wear it on their sleeve for us to see.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a wise line in a recent episode of the TV series “Mad Men.” when the older agency founder tells the younger one that being an “account man” is about knowing what you really care about, and letting the rest of it slide.

So the real bonus in this discussion is answering the questions, What do I really care about it? And, How do I live my life for that?

jamienotter September 26, 2009 at 3:20 pm

RT @maddiegrant The Xer Meme: Have we sold out? — SocialFish http://bit.ly/Vww6o

JessieX September 26, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Mattie, Interesting topic, I do believe. Interesting, indeed. See, what you’re really addressing/noticing is that GenXers as a gen, are — along with every other gen — moving into their next phase of life. And, as happens in generational dynamics, each gen defines and experiences each phase of life (childhood, young adulthood, midlife, elderhood) differently.

GenXers born 1961-1981 are ascending into midlife. So what was an accurate picture of our gen orientation in young adulthood won’t work in midlife. Midlife is about leadership. Young adulthood, about experience.

For myself, also highly offended once by the word “ordinary” thrown at me by sulking, fringe-y younger, black-wearing GenXers, I’m officially in mid-life at age 46. About a year ago I did two really radical things: I joined a significant community organization on the board of directors, and I got a j-o-b. Now, I did these two things because I knew — in my core/soul/life — that it was time for me to take all the skills/capacities I’d developed in my extreme/fragmented/isolated/cynical young adult GenX years and bring some solid, deeply functional, albeit often harsh and uncomfortable reality-checking perspective and skills into my community and a corporation.

My next frontier, so to speak, is to work from the inside. And, while by no means is it necessary for all GenXers who’ve been freelancing/entrepreunrial/cobbling together an income from multiple sources to get a j-o-b, it is time for GenXers to consciously and specifically move INTO systems and structures.

Yo, GenXers. I know the systems are broken and deeply dysfunctional. I know the structures are more corrupt and ready to crack than any of your Boomer colleagues could even capacitate if you locked them in a room for 24 hours and told them every nasty detail of the mess they’ve allowed to grow under their reign of cultural/political/economic leadership. I know that it stinks. And, that’s the GenX/Nomad archetype role in midlife: to step INTO the Crisis created mostly by other generations, to call a spade a spade, to make extremely difficult/detailed/hard decisions and to save Society from utter collapse. Oh, and to get no credit and even get blamed after the fact when we’re in elderhood and pretty much get kicked to the curb as Millennials/the Hero Gen ascend into midlife, full of hubris and a belief that anything they want to do they can do … and that it’s the *right* thing to do.

But, it’s the cycle. And, it’s our role. And, it’s our personal and quietly understood generational pat on the back to clean up the mess created by others, create new systems upon which new development can occur and essentially Save The World from Utter Collapse.

It also won’t happen if GenXers keep blaming Boomers while sitting on the sidelines. The challenge for GenXers at this era is to let go of the “slacker” role and bring the resilience/capacity/functionality into the systems of today. And now.

Me? Yeah, I got a j-o-b. No, I don’t get paid (at the moment) for the intense restructuring of systems and dynamic culture change I carefully and consciously attend to each day. But *I* know what I’m doing. And I know why.

I invite my GenXer cohorts, known and unknown, to find a new edge in life: the edge of being on the inside … not assimiliated and transformed, but integrated and transformative.

Rock on.
JessieX

JessieX September 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm

RT @maddiegrant The Xer Meme: Have we sold out? — SocialFish http://bit.ly/Vww6o

SocialFishFood September 26, 2009 at 4:54 pm

The Xer Meme: Have we sold out? http://bit.ly/lvrit
#socialfish

maddiegrant September 26, 2009 at 5:12 pm

RT @SocialFishFood The Xer Meme: Have we sold out? http://bit.ly/lvrit
#socialfish

maddiegrant September 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm

RT @SocialFishFood The Xer Meme: Have we sold out? http://bit.ly/lvrit
#socialfish

busse September 26, 2009 at 5:19 pm

I can totally relate RT @maddiegrant: RT @SocialFishFood The Xer Meme: Have we sold out? http://bit.ly/lvrit #socialfish

franswaa September 26, 2009 at 6:33 pm

RT @maddiegrant @SocialFishFood The Xer Meme: Have we sold out? http://bit.ly/lvrit #socialfish http://myloc.me/MS58

Maddie Grant September 26, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Jessie and Frank – thanks for fantastic comments. It’s interesting that both of you, from different angles, are saying the same thing- we need to “know what we’re doing and why” and we need to “know what we really care about and live our lives for that”. Yes!! Thanks so much for a great start to this meme.

tacanderson September 27, 2009 at 1:03 am

RT @maddiegrant The Xer Meme: Have we sold out? http://bit.ly/Vww6o

Tac Anderson September 27, 2009 at 12:07 am

Maddie,
I love this topic. There’s a great HBR case study called The Next 20 Years, I highly recommend it (you can get it as an audio book on iTunes and it’s not very long). In it they talk about the different archetypes (there’s 4) and cycles that each generation follows.

Boomers are selfish (they said it – but yes I agree with it) and Xers are more pragmatic. Boomers sold their collective hippie souls for corporate jobs with fat paycheck doing things they didn’t like. Xers as a whole don’t take jobs just for the money (we do like money though). If we don’t like something we have no problem walking out the door and making our own way, with our own rules.

Despite being half as small as either the Boomers or GenY, we are the single most entrepreneurial generation EVER!

We may not rage against the machine anymore but that’s only because we are finally empowered to fix things and do what we see as right. We don’t have to take “the man’s” shit anymore.

Yes we may take “jobs” and “play nice” but, collectively, we were never anti-capitalism. We just didn’t like being told what to do. Now we don’t have to and, yes, it takes some of the edge off that rage. But just try telling us we can’t do something.

Maddie Grant September 27, 2009 at 10:17 am

@Tac – I love how you said “If we don’t like something we have no problem walking out the door and making our own way, with our own rules.” Hmm. Sounds just like what Lindy and I did! Although I know a lot of GenXers are still stuck in the daily grind despite our entrepreneurial generational cohones ;)

Matt’s posted his response btw! Read his post here: http://blogclump.blogspot.com/2009/09/xer-meme-i-have-been-tagged.html And he’s tagged some more folks. I’ll try and keep track here. Thanks Matt!

maddiegrant September 27, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Lots of great responses already to the Xer Meme! Thanks everyone!! Please RT http://bit.ly/16hRNv

ltwhite September 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Added the Boomer view RT @maddiegrant: Lots of great responses already to the Xer Meme! Thanks everyone!! Please RT http://bit.ly/16hRNv

Leslie White September 27, 2009 at 11:02 am

As a Boomer who has apparently “sold out” according to you “young whippersnappers,” we said the same things about our parents – the World War generation. In my own middle class suburban way I protested the Vietnam War (wearing a black arm band, anti-war buttons and arguing with my father the fascist, my mother was cool and also against the war). I didn’t even know about Woodstock until it hit the news due to massive traffic jams but I had friends that attended.

After college I did get a real job in corporate America – the insurance industry to boot. But I never lost my desire to somehow change the world, make it a little better for the next guy. I also still wait for the sense that I am a grown up, a responsible adult although I fit the stereotype – home, mortgage, retirement plans, health insurance (fortunately), nice cars, etc.

I did my world changing through working with high school kids through my church for many years. I have worked with people with disabilities for over 25 years especially people with developmental disabilities. I currently run an adaptive snowsports program in Pennsylvania. I watch Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow not Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. The Daily Show and the Huffington Post are my main news sources.

This discussion was the same one us Boomer had 25-30 years ago when we started producing you guys. My friends had kids to raise and the commune was working for them and the next generation.

So as only can be said by a Boomer – get over yourselves! This generational argument has been on as long as there have been generations. Every generation has sold out but we keep making contributions in our own way to make the world a better place. So now it is time for you to make yours in what ever way works for you. Good luck us old folks are counting on you!

Maddie Grant September 27, 2009 at 11:18 am

@Leslie – LMAO! Awesome. What do you think guys? Do we need to “get over ourselves?”

shellyalcorn September 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm

RT @maddiegrant Lots of great responses already to the Xer Meme! Thanks everyone!! Please RT http://bit.ly/16hRNv

KiKi L'Italien September 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Hey Mads,

I posted my response after Matt tagged me – http://soupykiki.blogspot.com/2009/09/xer-rated-grade-fresh.html.

Great meme – excellent thoughts!

JessieX September 27, 2009 at 7:47 pm

A message for all my GenX peeps re leadership, changing life roles, generations. If it resonates with you, cool. http://is.gd/3Jicb

Maddie Grant September 27, 2009 at 6:26 pm

More responses! Jamie Notter says it’s not so much about going mainstream, it’s about keeping your edge – http://www.getmejamienotter.com/getmejamienotter/2009/09/keeping-your-edge.html
And here’s Kiki L’Italien’s post, she hasn’t sacrificed her integrity despite a j-o-b and a house in the burbs :)http://soupykiki.blogspot.com/2009/09/xer-rated-grade-fresh.html

Leslie Poston September 27, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Gen X here, refusing to work from the inside. I make my way by making musicians, filmmakers, corporations, and others BREAK that inside mold. In my view the status quo is broken, and that includes the status quo of Gen X “getting no credit” and “fixing” the world. Screw fixing the world. I want to turn it on its head, and I’m working hard to do that with a mix of genders, races and generations. I think the X + Y paradigm is the shift that will change it all, if we embrace it.

jen September 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm

It’s a great question you’ve posted. It illicits a pretty raw response from me – one I’m not sure I’m ready to divulge. More than selling out or not selling out, though, I’m still holding on – to a dream of work/life balance more than anything else. But, the thing is, for the classic disaffected Xer, if they have sold out, it probably has something to do with having kids to provide for.

I heard Michael Moore the other day talking about his new movie. He said there was no democracy in the workplace. I don’t think the Xers I know will ever give up on looking for it or trying to create it – even if the status quo prevails through the eons.

Great and actually, a brave meme. I hope you get many responses.

Maddie Grant September 27, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Thank you Jen and Leslie! I agree having kids changes things – though when mine are old enough to understand, I want to tell them (or to show by example, rather) how important it is to find something meaningful to do with your life. To love what you do. To do things that “turn the world on its head” and not just eat the Soylent Green. Jerry (from my story) asked Lindy and me what our long term goals were for our business – and we said quite honestly that we didn’t think that far ahead. We were rolling with it and we were doing it for the love – the rest would come.

Couple more responses to add to the mix:

Maggie McGary thinks maybe she has sold out in some respects – http://www.mizzinformation.com/2009/09/have-i-sold-out.html

Gen Y Lynn Moffett tells us what she’s learned from Gen X – http://snapblogger.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/what-ive-learned-from-generation-x/ – and tags Lindy! Will she bite? :)

Sandra G. September 27, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Selling Out Before Selling Out was Cool
or, Why I Work Inside the Machine Instead of Raging Against It from the Outside

I love the idea of a rebel!I just never thought of myself as one.

Born in 1971 (I’ll save you the math, I’m 38), I’m squarely Gen X. And, I think squarely is the best way to describe it. I never wanted to rage against the machine. I eschewed the flannel and greasy hair of grunge during the Nirvana/grunge revolution. If I was in the 60′s it would not have been my bra getting burned.

As an only child of two only children, I learned from an early age that the best way to achieve the outcomes I desired was to work inside of the machine. Many a change in the Giarde household rules came from asking “why do we do it this way?†When that failed, I tried to select opportunities where I did my own thing and begged forgiveness if it backfired. Luckily, some of these events worked in my favor.

As a professional, sure I rattled the status quo a few times. But, in hindsight, it was always from within and usually without a grander aim of “changing the world†or “fucking shit up.†I recall when I had a large flaming fire engine red streak taking over my bangs and walking into the office just after getting the new color done. A co-worker asked me if I was trying to be punk rock or a rebel. My reply? “I just got sick of having brown hair and blond does not work for me.â€

No bigger agenda at hand. No intentional rebellion planned. It was just red hair and I was bored.

I work from a seemingly endless viewpoint of “WTF!.†as it relates to making things function easier, faster, better!a perfect Gen X trait. (By the way, the W can be WHY or WHAT. Your choice!)

WTF is with the rule that says we can only wear jeans on Fridays?
WTF is up with our association not using technology?
WTF do we process all conference registrations by hand?
WTF are we functioning as an island when we can collaborate with _____?
WTF do I have to settle for brown hair?

When faced with the verbal “stick poke†of being told I lost my edge or sold out the to man, I just laugh. I’ve been working the inside angle for a long time and, by some folks estimation, I’ve been selling out since before selling out was cool.

So, for those who prefer to rage and push for change from the outside, know you have an ally inside the machine. You push from your place and I’ll do my part from within…where the donuts are.

Oh, and you crazy Gen Yers? Could you hurry your asses up? We’ve been waiting for you. We need reinforcements.

Maddie Grant September 27, 2009 at 11:20 pm

LMAO!! Sandra (“selling out before selling out was cool”, above) has also taken the meme over to Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=148067016959

maddiegrant September 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Have you responded to the Gen X Meme? http://bit.ly/16hRNv

Cynthia D'Amour September 28, 2009 at 9:23 am

Hey Mads! Great food for thought. Lynn Morton tagged me. Here’s my response: http://bit.ly/2IQRws

jberggren September 28, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Reading: The Xer Meme: Have we sold out? http://bit.ly/16hRNv #socialfish

busterratliff September 28, 2009 at 2:39 pm

For all of us Gen-Xers…good post by @maddiegrant…The Xer Meme: Have we sold out? http://bit.ly/Hg5vl

Maddie Grant September 28, 2009 at 11:20 am

O.M.G. Lindy’s response post rocks. If I say so myself :) http://www.socialfish.org/2009/09/xer-meme-lindydreyer.html

Korye Logan September 28, 2009 at 11:23 am

Maddie,

Thank you for the interesting conversation. It was a pleasure meeting you and Lindy in Scottsdale last week. Interestingly enough, this very topic briefly came up with Joe and Jeff just before my presentation at the NADP conference.

Being born in February ’66, I just missed the Boomer train. Yet this conflict does burn within me. In corporate meetings and the blogosphere alike, I am initially passionate but ultimately allow myself to be muted by what is acceptable to the masses. When this becomes unbearable, I leave seeking greener pastures. This is why I’ve spent the majority of my career as an independent consultant or small business owner.

Some areas afford me comfort in being passionate and transparent, such as Facebook which I try to keep much more personal than other social channels in the digital realm. My recent letter to my son’s school principal asking that my son be allowed to watch the president’s speech is one example. Some responded with anger and resentment, but when they read the text of the president’s speech they realized his goodwill.

This event led to a conversation with my 14-year-old son about the importance of speaking out, particularly when one is well informed on a topic. I shared with him how upset I was the first time I read Mencken, because he was such an elitist. And how I realized he was not only an elitist, but quite often right. Do not allow the uniformed masses to be the only voices heard.

Those who shout the loudest are usually not right.

If we allow the masses decide the leaders in our industry, we’ll end up with people like Perry Belcher in charge.

For those in attendance at the social sessions at the NADP, listening IS THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in the social web. The fact some still don’t get it and they’re all “alpha” about it…

we’ll thank God for people like Jeff Hurt. We should all be a bit more like him.

Sincerely,
Korye Logan

P.S. I better be invited to the Mexican Dive next time!

KoryeLogan September 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm

GR8 blog post by @maddiegrant and subsequent conversation going on here: http://bit.ly/4RMPR Thanks @jeffhurt

Maddie Grant September 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm

@Cynthia – nice post!! You are definitely not hiding the world-changing path you’re forging!

@Korye – it was awesome to meet you in AZ, and you would have loved this dinner. Next time…! And thanks for the comment – I think Gen X made it ok (in retrospect) to “not toe the company line”, and Gen Y have the confidence to do that overtly rather than subversively.

Maddie Grant September 28, 2009 at 4:23 pm

UPDATE: Joe of “Joe Blogs For Food” fame weighs in! http://unhatched.posterous.com/in-honor-of-maddiegrant-am-i-a-26-year-old-se

Shelly Alcorn September 28, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Hey Maddie – great challenge – most everyone I would tag has already responded…..

Here’s my take on it – http://bit.ly/4EAX62

Enjoy!

maddiegrant September 29, 2009 at 2:30 am

@garyvee my GenX meme is right up your street, I think… :) http://bit.ly/16hRNv

Maddie Grant September 28, 2009 at 10:34 pm
LeoCynosure September 29, 2009 at 2:44 am

Cringe! Did you just say that we are sold out? – http://bit.ly/2Ch1nD

Maddie Grant September 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm
scott melnick September 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm

I’m one of those people on the cusp between Gen X and the Babyboomers (according to Cam Marston there’s about a five year period beginning in 1960 where the age group doesn’t fit cleanly into either category and actually shares some understanding with Gen Y — check out Cam at marstoncomm.com).

When I started with my current employee 20 years ago, the powers-that-be found me a bit unsettling (as one of the VPs said: “In my day, you would never have made it out of the mailroom.”). Now I have that VP job — so by definition I’m mainstream.

But I haven’t lost my edge. And the same applies to Maddie and Liddy. It’s just that the world is moving towards them — so yes, they’ve become mainstream. And that’s a good thing.

Ben Stone September 30, 2009 at 12:47 am
Scott Briscoe September 30, 2009 at 9:57 am

Whoa is the world!… just saw a snippet of a Pearl Jam song advertising the new CD that you can buy at Target.

Anyway, nice work engaging the clump, I enjoyed reading everybody’s responses!

Jeffrey Cufaude September 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm

The “selling out” charge has a caustic sting to it as it implies we aren’t meeting some universally agreed-upon standard. But for anyone to level that accusation implies we had an agreement, a contract to act and choose a certain way and that I am now violating those terms. I don’t recall ever entering into such an agreement.

So cliche comments get lobbed our way: “You’re not the person you once were.” You’re right. I’m not and neither are you (that’s a universal you, not a Maddie grant you). I’m not the person I was a year ago, nor am I the person I will become a year from now. Our choices, like our identities, are fluid and in a state of fairly regular flux. Different strokes, different sensibilities.

Are less edgy? Who the hell knows? Edgy by whose standards? Mine? Yours? And if someone sees me as edgy, it says as much about how they see themselves and their work as it does about how I see me and my work.

I think people spend too much energy worrying about being edgy, cool, and cutting edge. Do good work that you believe in and that represents as much of your authenticity as you are in touch with at any given moment. How the world talks about it really doesn’t matter all that much.

Maddie Grant September 30, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Thanks guys! @Ben – AWESOME tunes on your post!!! Love and Rockets? Dude. *love*!!

One more from Elizabeth Engel, asking “would your early 20-something self recognize your thirty (mumble mumble) self? More importantly, would she like and respect her?” http://thx4playing.blogspot.com/2009/09/x-er-meme-sell-out-who-me.html

Maddie Grant September 30, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Bonus video for y’all (Shelley this one is for you!!) – TOP TEN ALTERNATIVE ROCK SONGS OF THE 80′S

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUWOsscgivQ

Eric Lanke September 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Hey, Maddie. Sorry I’m so late to the party. Here’s my take. http://thehourglassblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/xer-meme-have-i-sold-out.html

pr_nonprofit October 1, 2009 at 3:19 pm

The Xer Meme: Have we sold out? http://bit.ly/2YomnU #postrank #nonprofit

jen October 1, 2009 at 11:33 am

Maddie,
Your reference to the obscure Soylent Green has made my day. That movie scared the living crap out of me when I was four or five years old. I’ve serioulsy never forgotten, and I swear, it shaped my Gen X world view. You’re brilliant, Maddie!

Ben Stone October 1, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Maddie – I lived for Love and Rockets and was able to catch their show in Chicago back when. The Pixies opened. Insanely good tunes and they mattered so much. I may have “unsold out” my job but I have definitely sold out my music.

www.GenerationXpert.com October 1, 2009 at 6:04 pm

@Leslie White – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoke at conferences about the Gen X/Boomer dynamic and had the Boomers jump in with “we did that,” “we did that, too,” and my favorite – jumping in when the opinions of Xers were asked for. The Xer experience IS different than the Boomer experience. I do appreciate the fact that you called us whipper snappers, considering I’m 38 and smack in the middle of Gen X.

@Maddie – As far as selling out, nah, I don’t think so. Gen Xers have always been goofy & sophisticated at the same time. Look at the dialog from any John Hughes movie. I think we just aren’t as snarky as we used to be. That’s not selling out, it’s growing up.

Dave October 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm

@Maddie. First of all, great post and good discussion. I was just having this conversation with my Gen X wife yesterday about selling out and now I find your post thanks to JenX67.
I don’t think we are selling out, at least I don’t think I am. Sure, some do but they do only because they have lost their imagination or it has been beaten out of them. I believe for those of us who have resisted the beatings we are continually re-inventing ourselves as we drive this Gen X Gremlin know as life on earth.

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