Sunday, July 20, 2008

Generation X: Tales For an Accelerated Culture

I literally JUST finished reading Douglas Coupland's first (and probably most famous) novel, Generation X. At the time it was written (1991), this book was geared towards the generation born in the 1960s that were in their 20's and early 30's. Surprisingly enough, the issues Coupland writes about are still relevant to the same age group today... which is probably why I liked it so much. The greatest part of the novel is probably the witty and shockingly hilarious definitions in the side panels of the pages. Here's are some of my favorites:

Emotional Ketchup Burst: The bottling up of opinions and emotions inside oneself so that they explosively burst forth at once, shocking and confusing employers and friends - most of whom thought things were fine.

Successophobia: The fear that if one is successful, then one's personal needs will be forgotten and one will no longer have one's childish needs catered to.

Lessness: A philosophy whereby one reconciles oneself with diminishing expectation of material wealth: "I've given up wanting to make a killing or be a bigshot. I just want to find happiness and maybe open up a little roadside cafe in Idaho."

Anti-Victim Device (AVD): A small fashion accessory worn on an otherwise conservative outfit which announces to the world that one still has a spark of individuality burning inside.

If you've ever been through a mid-20s life crisis where you start questioning your entire past and future, you're bound to find something to relate to in Generation X. I'll leave you with another hilarious quote:

"When someone tells you that they've just bought a house, they might as well tell you they no longer have a personality. You can immediately assume so many things: that they're locked into jobs they hate; that they're broke; that they spend every night watching videos; that they're fifteen pounds overweight; that they no longer listen to new ideas. It's profoundly depressing."


KimmyP said...

Nice one Zak! Speaking from the genx'er side of it, yes, it was an amazing book then glad to hear it makes sense I hope you've read Microserfs, and Jpod...if you haven't I'll bring them in. I am a huge Doug Coupland fan.
Signed. your boring friend with a mortgage ;)

Zakir Hemraj said...

Thanks Kim :P
I've read JPod, and Microserfs is in my queue!

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand the last two paragraphes, can anybody help?


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