Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I misheard it through the grape vine

Walking to lunch today, some co-workers and I ran into another of our co-worker's mothers. I should have phrased that "the mother of one of our co-workers, seeing as how she only has one mother. It's too much effort to retype the sentence, though, so I'll just type two more sentences explaining this instead.

Anyway, we ran into her mother. I had heard that the place she was working at was pretty tense leading up to the election, as the owner was a big McCain supporter. The closer November 4th came, the more outrageous he became, dropping "nigger" into every other sentence, berating his employees and arguing with customers. So when we saw her, I asked, "Has Obama-mania swept into your office yet?" She replied, "Oh, it's terrible. It's absolutely terrible."

As that exchange happened, a guy walked by, and I felt an overwhelming urge to clarify what was going on. Taken out of context:

"Has Obama-mania swept into your office yet?"
"Oh, it's terrible. It's absolutely terrible."

Not so good. We sounded like a bunch of racists in slacks, heels and/or ties. While I would never hire an Irishman to work for me, I'm certainly not racist against blacks. Or at least Obama. I would also be friends with Denzel Washington and that black chick that was on Doctor Who. I'm practically Malcolm X.

Here are some other strange things overheard on the public streets:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What's in a generation?

A comment in my previous post led me to think, once again, about generations. Generations have traditionally been about 30 years in length, which for me is far too long. Why would someone born in 1925 have the same values and experiences as someone born in 1942?

According to Wikipedia's chart, if you were born in 1977, you could be in Generation X (1964-1979) or Generation Y (1976-1990). Generation X overlaps with Generation Jones (1954-1969), and Generation Jones overlaps with Baby Boomers (1946-1964). In fact, Jones is the bridge.

Generation Y has a few sub-generations, including Cold Y Generation. Defining Cold Y is difficult. At Wikipedia, I find the dates range from 1981-1985, 1981-1982, and 1977-1985. Cold Y is essentially supposed to be the first wave of Generation Y that still remembers the cold war and life before the popularity of computers. The definition of Cold Y all depends on when you begin your definition of Generation Y. There is also an MTV Generation (1975-1985), but I find that term somewhat offensive, or actually stupid. I think it is weak to associate sociological terms to products and corporations.

My own opinion, for whatever that's worth, is that you're always going to have that overlap, and it's good. People born in 1980 can find much in common with those born in '75 and '85, but people born in '85 will find they have large amounts in common with those born in '90. That's why, as goofy as it may appear, I think you need those subgenerational groups. It's good to divide Generation Y into Cold Y and Post-Echo. It's good to bridge the young Boomers and old Gen Xers into Generation Jones, which is where Obama falls. Just keep the businesses out of it.