Posted by: nastypen | August 18, 2007

Today Is Brought To You By The Letter….


God, save me, I’m swimming in vitriol. Now, that’s one word some of my students were sent into fits of giggles, “Vitriolic.”

V is for Veins (on my eyes from stress). V is for vacuous (the look I give every time I wake up). V is for Verdant (precious naivete in a reality mired in cynicism). There should be a Generation V and I could be the poster bitch. Instead, I almost fell out of my seat last night at a party when I found out that I DO NOT BELONG to Generation X.

According to a report, I belong to Generation Y….the Age of Barney….High School Musical…. Bratz…. Lord, Save Me…NOW!

I always thought I belonged to Generation X. I absolutely LOVE Douglas Coupland‘s novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture filled with characters walking wounded but indifferent to mainstream society. I could relate to that. I thought I am a card-carrying member to that demographic wrought with angst, indifference and nihilism.

But no.

According to How Magazine’s August 2007 Issues, the Generation Y are those born from 1978 (that’s me) to 2000. So, if this thread is to be true, then I am part of my current students’ generation. Ah yes, the generation for the multi-tasker, the go-getter, the internet citizen.

I don’t know. It seemed to make my skin crawl to be a part of a generation that heralded someone like Zac Efron as hot or High School Musical as cool. Leave me be in the dinosaur age of New Wave music, the anger of punk-rock and the introspection of Grunge. Please don’t let Avril Lavigne into my consciousness.

I grew up with cool substantial music videos created for art. Now, you have Rhianna selling umbrellas! I go for angst more than emo, thank you very much. The former is a state of mind, the latter is a fad. The former is actual fear of being subject to the soul-sapping “real” world, the latter is whine-ridden self-pity parade.

Clubbing, before called it that, was a chance for us to release pent-up emotion and just dance. Now, everything seems so gilded. Clubs right now are places to be seen. It’s not a venue for crazy-ass dances but a truncated catwalk and an extension of society pages. You go to a club to pose. Which is sad. Last night, I was invited to go clubbing. I really don’t like it. I was chided that I am old. Better that than being actually old and contrive youth into me by showing up in places where the old guy is the bouncer…to which I am older than he.

I just sat there staring at the article, thinking of the implication of this publication arbitrarily changing my identity. I just thought how funny it is to announce to my students “Hey, I’m part of YOUR generation.” No, that would be more creepy than funny. hahahaha.

Well, of course, these generation labels are not really sociologically significant but primarily a marketing tool. That article just dissected a bit on the spenidng habits of these generations. Or how these generations interact with marketing machineries.

What more, the Gen X and Gen Y labels were primarily constructed for North American youth. Last time I checked, growing up in Cebu from the 80s to 90s is not similar to those who are in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Of course, if you must find a label for my generation in the context of the Philippines, I belong to the Martial Law babies. I always call my generation, the transitioned ones. We have memories of sending and receiving snail mails. The concept of the internet was stuff from science fiction we grew up reading. We called it “telephone” and not “land line.” Hell, we had partylines, a concept hard to explain in to anyone 22 and below. That’s Entertainment was entertainment. We watched films in movie houses and not in cinemas found in malls.

Of course, we witnessed so many changes. That’s why we are the transitioned ones. We were analog children and are now digital adults.

This is not really an indictment of the younger people. I mean they have their own avenues for self-discovery and character-enhancement. They have their own woes and joys. As do we, the people who are in their extremely late 20s to 3os. We have stuff to float our boats that the younger people find….undesirable.

It’s a generational thing. But, must we conform to a label brought about by marketing forces? How does it feel to have your own identity pegged as these multi-million dollar companies use that information to churn out marketing plans for collaterals to further propagate consumerism?  Not really emancipation, yes?

All I know is that I can happily zip through generations….I have Duke Ellington in my playlist. God, I’m into online social networking (Multiply and MySpace, only, no friendster). I have thick-rimmed glasses that will make Ninoy Aquino proud. I am looking for the complete seasons of Jem and the Holograms in DVD. I can read Hunter S. Thompson and laugh at Dave Eggers. I am forever a Nirvana kid. I am addicted to America’s Next Top Model. My favorite films are in black and white.

To confine myself (to a label) is death.

Today is brought to you by the letter “V.” V as in “Versatility.”



  1. I concur. I was also born on 1978, and like you, I am APALLED to be categorized within the Generation Y demographic. Such a bunch of whiney brats.

  2. That’s the thing too… I dunno if it’s just me or… why is that I don’t like Zac while the “kids” drool over him?

    I think it’s the age… I’m O-L-D.

  3. i’m bookmarking this post. insteresting stuff, chong!

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