I'm sure many A-Z bloggers have been dreading this day because we're on the letter X, but I'm not one of them, since it's my birthday. (Humm, perhaps I should start dreading it.) My birthday actually ties in with the letter X, since I'm a Gen Xer. That's why I read X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft But Can Still Keep Everything From Sucking last year.
I'm going from memory for this post. The author, Jeff Gordinier, spends much of the book discussing the baby boomer and millennial generations as well as Generation X. Unfortunately, all three generations are reduced to stereotypes. I don't consider myself a typical Generation Xer; I'm far more interested in the Beatles than Nirvana. In fact, I'm more familiar with Weird Al's "Smells Like Nirvana" than I am with "Smells Like Teen Spirit," so Gordinier's peans to Nirvana and Kurt Cobain don't resonate with me. (I hope I don't get expelled from my generation for admitting that!) However, this book did introduce me to the "Cooler King" moment from The Great Escape, an unorthodox way of seeking one's freedom.
Toward the end of the book, Gordinier discusses how Generation X can save the world, or at least parts of it. To quote,
On the surface, yeah, I suppose a proposition like “X saves the world” is preposterous. I like it because it’s preposterous. I think it makes a bizarre kind of sense—only a small and quiet and marginalized demographic has the will to preserve things that are small and quiet and marginalized in the world.
His proposal, as I understand it, boils down to individuals making their local environments better through various means and independents standing up to monoculture. I don't think this idea is unique to Generation X; however, what Generation X has done is taken the Internet and used it in ways to give the average individual opportunities he/she might not have otherwise. For example, Gen Xers came up with YouTube, a website that lets everyone make their own videos. Sure, some of them are very amateurish, but others are entertaining and/or informative, and sometimes a viral video makes an ordinary person an instant celebrity. Perhaps indie publishing is part of the Gen X spirit, then. If I do decide to go this route, I just hope my Cooler King moment doesn't end with a crash.