|1.||the act of disclaiming; the renouncing, repudiating, or denying of a claim; disavowal.|
|2.||a person who disclaims.|
|3.||a statement, document, or assertion that disclaims responsibility, affiliation, etc.; disavowal; denial.|
It only makes sense that a book about Generation X written by a Gen Xer should begin with a disclaimer. Of course, a lot of books have disclaimers but it’s just so Gen X. Don’t you think? Well, I do. I don’t want to speak for anyone else, because we Gen Xers tend to cringe at the idea of any kind of group spokesperson. That’s just way too Boomer-ish for us to stomach. And as for the Millennials, well, to hear Jeff Gordinier tell it they only speak in one voice anyway, that of the media, sort of like the Borg from Strak Trek: Next Generation. But I for one spend a fair amount of my time almost every day disclaiming, i.e. renouncing, repudiating, or denying. Sometimes I can’t help feeling that I’ve been doing this from the day I was born. According to my mom I was a colicky baby, crying a lot, and hard, my little face turning red, crinkling with discontent. At some point I got into the habit, whenever my mom told this story, of responding by saying something to the effect of : “Yeah. That’s because I was pissed off at being born. And I’m still none too happy about it.” Hey, it usually got me laugh, which was what I was going for, and yet there seemed to be some semblance of truth to it as well. I was kind of pissed off, in a general unnameable sort of way it seemed at the time, but now I can’t help wondering if perhaps I had some instinctual sense of what was in store for me and my generation. Hell, even before I was born I threatened to miscarry. Though it may seem ridiculous to some, I can’t help but wonder if it is possible that I perhaps suspected that I might be better off just not entering the world in the first place? Just go back and not even bother, because I’d only be disappointed in the end anyway. My mother had three miscarriages before me. Maybe those unborn siblings knew something that I didn’t. Or maybe that’s just a bunch of bullshit, an excuse for my cynicism, my self-doubt, my inability to do what I most wish to do with my life. Write. Be a writer, an author.
Anyhoo… not to get too steeped Xer angst here.
Jeff Gordinier, author of the book X Saves the World, (http://www.jeffgordinier.com/) addresses the obvious flaw of his thesis, which is that he’s speaking in generalizations and by their very nature they can’t possibly hold true for everyone in any given generation. Of course, he knows this, he does not deny it. How could he? But he also rightly asserts that there is value in generalizations, and that “the reader will notice that these generalizations do ring true on many surprising levels.”
No doubt those that disagree with Mr. Gordinier will still attack his book on this point. They already have, when this book was an article for Details magazine.
In the disclaimer Jeff alludes to but does not name “the gentleman from the Washington Post — a boomer, of course — who, in the spring of 2006, suggested that such generational generalizations are ‘baloney.'” But why not name the guy? Was he not allowed to? Was he threatened somehow? Or did he simply not want to give this Boomer prick any kind of name recognition? Perhaps Jeff knew that for his audience, Generation X, he didn’t need to directly name the dude. We would, given the information provided, i.e. the publication, the approximate date and the use of the word “baloney,” easily be able to locate the journalist and the article via a simple google search. Anyway, that’s what I did, and I am not nearly as computer or media saavy as many other Gen Xers that I know.
The Boomer jerk alluded to is Peter Carlson. Here’s the link to the specific article.
But could it be that Jeff is sending us, his fellow Gen Xers, a signal? Is he speaking to us in code? Should we perhaps keep an eye out for other such clues as we read his book? I did not until now suspect this possibility. But now, I am ever vigilant for any signs of secret messages. Who knows, this book, X Saves the World, could be the source book for the revolution to “change the world” that Jeff goes to pains to say that we, Generation X, would never try to mount in the first place, because we believe it is impossible and therefore pointless. Very sly, Jeff. Using misdirection like that. Very sly indeed. Well, I’m hip to it, dude. I hear you talking. And I’m in. I am a loyal soldier in the fight, the cause, the fucking revolution, maaaaan! Simply send me my order. Yavolt!
You got to admit, it might make a good movie. Right? Right?