Just think of all the things that have come and gone in our lifetimes, all the would-be futures we watched age into obsolescence—CD, DVD, answering machine, Walkman, mixtape, MTV, video store, mall. There were still some rotary phones around in our childhood—now it’s nothing but virtual buttons.
Though much derided, members of our generation turned out to be something like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca—they’ve seen everything and grown tired of history and all the fighting and so have opened our own little joint at the edge of the desert, the last outpost in a world gone mad, the last light in the last saloon on the darkest night of the year. It’s not those who stormed the beaches and won the war, nor the hula-hooped millions who followed, nor what we have coming out of the colleges now—it’s Generation X that will be called the greatest.
Generation X is the last generation to bridge the divide between analog and digital worlds.
“Generation X, the last Americans schooled in the old manner, the last Americans that know how to fold a newspaper, take a joke, and listen to a dirty story without losing their minds,” Rich Cohen wrote in Vanity Fair. “We are the last Americans to have the old-time childhood. It was silly, hands-on, dirty, and fun.”