Bicycle Diaries: Jonesin'

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stuck between
the Boomers and the Xers

Critical Mass certainly has a youthful image. What could be more "immature" than flouting a city's traffic laws once a month by willfully jamming the streets during the evening commute?

But look around you next time you mass-up. Just how youthful is the mass? Here in Chicago I've been noticing that as the percentage of
Boomers (born between 1946 and '53) has decreased it hasn't been actually replaced by the Xers (born between 1966 and 1984). Instead a majority of the mass seems to be those rollers who were born between 1954 and 1965.

If like me you were born between the Boomers and the Xers, ask yourself this question:
Do I feel like a member of my older or younger sibling's generation? or neither?
Then ask other people born around this time the same question. I've been doing this on the last couple of masses and what I've come with is that most of us don't identify with either generation. That's what makes our generation the Jones.

Johnathan Pontell declared our independence back in 1997. He chose Jones because Jonesin' is the hipster word for craving something or someone. He believes that
Our generation has the jones. As children in the 60s, at the absolute height of America's post-World War II affluence and confidence, Jonesers were promised the moon. Then, in the 70s, as the nation's mood turned from hope to fear, we were abandoned.

While Boomers began with big expectations that were often realized, and Xers were never given much of anything to expect, it was our generation that was filled with the highest hopes and then confronted with the most dramatically different reality. Huge expectations left unfulfilled have deeply entrenched a jonesin' in us.

This jonesin' has made us strikingly driven and persevering, and has given our generation a certain non-comittal, pending flavor as we've continued to hold out for our original dreams.
Barack Obama, born in 1961, has brought increased attention to us Jones. In last week's Boston Globe, Joshua Glenn joyfully warns,
Tremble, baby boomers! A generation weaned on "Joanie Loves Chachi" may soon make it into the White House. After getting your kicks in the '60s and '70s, you helped form this generation's touchstones and view of society by shoving such movies and TV shows down its collective throat. Tremble, I say!
...and I wonder what this means for Critical Mass.

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Blogger cyclingdave said...

i had never before heard the term generation jones. interesting demographic slice.

27/2/07 20:51  
Blogger Da' Square Wheelman, said...

I always considered myself part of the generation spawned by the Silent Generation. My parents were too young to be part of the Greatest Generation and too old to be Boomers. While my older brother, who's 7 years older than me, is a boomer I felt more like Silent Generation 2.0.

So I find the concept of a Generation Jones very compelling. Kinda' like meeting a long lost cousin and realizing that there are people out there who've had similar experiences.

28/2/07 08:06  
Blogger Ed Reif said...

Right n Doggg!

found the secret to staying young----lying about your age. 40 is the new 30, Besides, this is L.A. We're not 40 something, we're 18 with with 22 something years experience. Growing old isn't optional, growing up is!

Your piece is an obituary for the generation gap. It's never to late to have a good childhgood. We 40-year-old men and women who act and react, talk the talk and walk the walk and dress like 20 years old kids! This is not a fashion statement but a trend that looks to be permanent. And our own personal soundtrack plays on our ipod, I do.DO you?

28/2/07 13:42  
Blogger Da' Square Wheelman, said...

It could also be an obit for plain courtesy...

Usually folks who use someone else's material, such as web links and jpegs discovered for a specific post, give credit for it in their own posts.

That you didn't makes me think I DON'T want to part of the genJones if that's a typical trait.

28/2/07 22:43  

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