Truth, Understanding, Insight

This Generation 1967 - 2007

12th June 2007, seh, mgh


5) Generation X

Susan Martin was involved in the protest movement and for an exhibition of posters writes.

“Like hundreds of thousands of my generation, the war in Viet Nam was a seminal event in our psychic and social development. The forces for change that came together to create the antiwar movement were part of a zeitgeist that brought down the carefully constructed myths of a powerful and duplicitous government, and also unleashed an unprecedented revolution in social mores and a tidal wave of cultural production.”

The year 1967 however, ushered in a new era in movement protest. For Small, the October 21st rally in Washington in 1967 was,

“the moment that the fever broke in the whole anti-war movement” (Small 1988:110).

Small continues to explain the era of rage and protest.

The movement continued to grow through 1967 into 1968. School demonstrations were becoming increasingly prevalent, especially at Berkeley. In the 1968-1969 school year alone, Berkeley experienced 2,000 arrests, 22 days of fighting accompanied by 22 day of the National Guard’s presence, and 150 suspensions or expulsions (Small 2002:87)

Mary Gordon in 1998 examining 100 years of the New York Times says this of 1967,

The years 1966 and 1967 were particularly schizophrenic, marked on the one hand by despair and rage over Vietnam and the poor, and on the other by a sense of carnival brought about by the conjunction of drugs, sex and rock-and-roll. It was a year marked by the assassinations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, and by the violent demonstrations that tore apart one of New York's most venerable institutions, Columbia University.

Gordon continues and explains the legacy of 1967

The world of the late 60's is still recognizable -- we are still trying to sort out the issues we were fighting over then. But 1958 seems like a distant dream,.. and the 4 years that followed seem wrapped in a cloud of unknowing, a fog violently burned away by the actions of a later violent time. ...We are still, whether we know it or not, fighting the battles whose lines were drawn in those tumultuous years.

Others agree that the impact of the late 1960's was significant and shaped the generation that followed.

WKAR-TV (Mitchigin USA) Looks Back at the Sixties "It was the age of selfishness. It was the age of self-indulgence. It was the age of anti-authority. It was an age in which people did all kinds of wrong things."– Ed Meese III, U.S. Attorney General, ReaganAdministration.It was a time when a generation rebelled and lost its innocence. From the Vietnam War to the struggle for racial equality to the birth of a counter-culture, the 1960s was a decade of change. and the powerful impact forced on an entire generation. ...there has never been a time quite like it. The Sixties: The Years that Shaped a Generation... that continues to have a profound impact on our society today - from American foreign policy to the birth of the environmental and gay rights and women's liberation movements..
The decade had begun on a high note. Initially, Americans accepted the Vietnam War as a larger struggle against communism. Optimism grew as Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act in the mid-60s. ...But frustrations over the class divide were communities in other cities were exploding in rage. In 1967, Detroit was engulfed in chaos and destruction... when it was over, 43 were dead, 33 of them black. The images from Vietnam, the first televised war, were inescapable. By 1967 ...Dissatisfaction with the war culminated in Stop the Draft Week, a massive demonstration against the Pentagon.
1968 is often described as "the year that changed the world." The Vietnam War had taken more than 15,000 American lives. .. , rage and violence were now spreading to college campuses across the country and around the world. Student protests at Columbia University raised the scale of these conflicts. In France, workers joined with students in a general strike that nearly brought the government down. In Mexico City, students who challenged the authoritarian government were slaughtered in the worst single disaster of 1968.
The devastating assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. dealt a tremendous blow to the civil rights movement. Riots broke out in more than 100 cities around the country. ...The assassination of Robert Kennedy a few months later dealt a further blow that would further damage what little idealism remained.
Student activism continued through the end of the 60s — this time with the fight centered on identity. At San Francisco State University, students held a 134-day strike...The counter-culture reached its high point with Woodstock..
With the end of Nixon's first year in office, the American death toll in Vietnam continued to mount. Protests took place in every city around the country, calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Vietnam. With over two million present, this became the largest one-day demonstration ever in a Western democracy. ...
Barry Melton, guitarist, says at the end of The Sixties, "It's important for the youth of a generation to feel that they can change the world because they really can… that was a time of tremendous change, where youth were tremendously motivated..."

The western world has used the term “generation” for the first time since the late 1960's. The first “generation” is Generation X.

“Generation X is a term used to describe generations in many countries around the world. The exact demographic boundaries of Generation X are not well defined, .. Typically, people born between 1963 and 1978 are generally considered "Generation X," while others use the term to describe anyone who was in their 20s some time during the 1990s. Generation X is generally marked by its lack of optimism for the future, nihilism, cynicism, skepticism, alienation and mistrust in traditional values. The term was first used in a 1964 study of British youth by Jane Deverson. ..The study revealed a generation of teenagers who "sleep together before they are married, don't believe in God, dislike the Queen, and don't respect parents," was a new phenomenon. Statistics Canada identifies Genration X from 1967 with “Back end baby boomers” or Cuspers from 1960-1966.

Tulgan, Bruce ("Managing Generation X: How to Bring Out the Best in Young Talent" Capstone Ltd, 2003, ISBN 1900961091). Interviewing thousands of people, his definition is of Generation X is those born from 1965-1977 with those born 1946-1953 referred to as "older boomers", 1954-1964 as "younger boomers".

In this definition, Generation X begins 1965. This is the first time that popular culture started to define itself by “generations”. The first defined generation refers to those born from 1946.

University of Maryland defines Generation X as

People born before 1938 are considered ``senior citizens''. People born from 1938 to 1967 are considered ``baby boomers'', and people born 1968 or after are considered ``generation X''.

What are the most noticeable trends of the Generation X?

The change in social values as described by the writers who defined the nature of Generation X give a graphic view of the moral standards that contrast with that of previous eras.

The Bible also enumerates the features of society before the return of the Messiah, which correspond to those of modern sociologists. Yahshua with amazing accuracy speaks of a time of pleasure, but also that it would be a time of greater cares.

Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with partying, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come when you are unaware. For as a snare shall it come on all those that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Luke 21:34-35

According to Matthew, Yahshua illustrated his point about this generation with an analogy.

As the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship, and they didn’t know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:37-39)

Despite changes in morals and high levels of divorce, marriage is still a celebration generating tabloid attention.

This changing morals of this generation are accurately described by the apostle Paul who says they are a sign of the coming of Messiah. Paul refers to the era of the time of the “coming of the Son of Man”, calling it “the last days” and he says,

But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. For men will belovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. (2 Timothy 3: 1-5)

Generation X is also called the 'Me' Generation, where self comes first and self esteem is seen as critical. This generation places a great value on money, possessions and pleasure. All of the characteristics of Generation X were predicted in the prophecies of this era, the era after the end of the Gentile control of Jerusalem – in 1967.

Now 40 years later those born as Generation X are now succeeded by a new generation, they call Generation Y.