Seminal moment: learning that Kurt Cobain had died, then spending most of the next couple of hours on the phone with my friend Tracy who was completely inconsolable. I was 26 and merely stunned. She has just turned 22, if memory serves.
Seminal moment from the past hour: listening to the Sirius satellite with my soon-to-be 9-year-old as Big Country starts to play. Stuart Adamson’s been gone for seven years now. How do you explain to a kid that someone killed themselves?
Switched stations to hear Quiet Riot. Kevin Dubow just passed a few weeks ago. A heart attack’s a little easier to explain.
I remember my mother’s shock when she heard Elvis died. To me he was the fat guy on the Aloha from Hawaii 8-track that my parents played now and again. He didn’t have any real meaning to me. I was nine. It may have been different for someone who was just a few years older.
And that’s where recent discussions come in. Generation Y this. Generation X that.
Once upon a time I was damn proud to be a member of Generation X. Give me grunge, give me Singles, give me the Lemonheads. Give me Yellow Ledbetter, which is playing on my computer as I write this. (Still can’t tell you more than six words, though.)
But to assume you or anyone knows who I am based on the year of my birth, that’s just not going to work very well. I am an individual and I expect those attempting to sell me something or provide me some service to recognize that first and foremost. I tend to think that feeling crosses generations.
I am on semi-active on Twitter not because I’m expecting a ton of business but because I enjoy the conversation. The other day I had the surreal experience of watching one of my ex-girlfriends (the first, actually) twit about her breakup with her boyfriend. Since she was the one who left me long ago I withhold comment on my viewpoint. Surreal will suffice.
I tried Facebook. Haven’t logged into it in months. Guess I just didn’t see where having a sheep thrown at me had any practical purpose. I’m willing to admit I’m missing something.
Not so on MySpace, where these seems to be an endless supply of would-be porn stars who keep asking to be my friend. And not much else that I can discern.
But here’s the thing. Even if I am missing something, I’ll ask the question or research it if I decide to make a change. Is it generational? After reading Mariana’s post, possibly.
Don’t tell me that I’m clueless if I don’t do this or do that. Don’t tell me that there’s a way this entire social networking/blogging/web 2.0 thing has to be done. Don’t tell me that a company that spends more time spinning than selling is the model. Because I’m going to tune you out faster than my parents’ 8-track tapes.
There are common threads among any generation and common threads that cut across generations just as easily. I’d like to think that Bob Marley’s music is one of those things that transcends generations.
He’s gone too, come to think of it. These lyrics I do know …
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? ooh!
Some say its just a part of it:
Weve got to fulfil de book.
Wont you help to sing
These songs of freedom? –
cause all I ever have: