Trust Generation X to finally find its voice when no one's listening.
While the coronavirus cacophony consumes the planet, a dank, bong-water-stained corner of the internet is beginning to blip with signs of life like a reanimated corpse in a flanny and ripped jeans (sorry, Kurt, we do miss you so).
My perennially forgotten cohort has ditched its daily existential tussle with the ironic and has gone all literal; loudly and proudly seeking global approbation for its remarkable ability to sit around and do nothing.
We used to be slackers, now we're self-isolators.
We've thought about it (we think about ourselves a lot ... seriously, a lot ... usually with a shake of the head and a bewildered grin) and realised we should in fact be held up as international beacons on how to stave off COVID-19 because, unlike our touchy-feely, oxygen-stealing generational bookends who panic at the thought of being separated from the herd, we love our own company and it's not just because pretty much everyone else finds us insufferable.
Turns out we were being trained for the pandemic all along, we just didn't know it.
We're sort of socially engineered super-shut-ins whose powers extend to watching, reading and listening to stuff and padding around the house in our dressing gowns a la The Dude.
We have the stamina to keep this up this for months and, indeed, might have spread the virus ourselves just to binge on Twin Peaks again (properly this time).
While Gen-Y and the Boomers have been battling it out over ... what is it again?Avocados? Peaches? ... we've been stealthily preparing a non-hostile takeover, so non-hostile we didn't even realise it was happening until a couple of days ago.
Social media is awash with Atari memes and Winona Ryder and proclamations that "it's our time to shine" because, apparently, we were the very first latchkey kids who, back in the day, were able to amuse ourselves with little else than a tape deck and a BMX.
No doubt, it was a simpler time; less judgmental and easier to navigate.
The skies were clear of helicopter parents and mobile phone signals. There were precious few TV and radio channels and even fewer stackhats. Foreign cuisine was sweet and sour pork and there was always a roll of Devon in the fridge (panic buyers, do yourselves a favour).
Most gloriously of all, there was no internet, in fact, until Commodore 64s began popping up in the homes of early adopters at a time when early adopters referred to people visiting orphanages before 9am, we didn't trust computers, they were flat-out evil, everyone said so.
From 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) to Demon Seed (1977), from Tron to Superman III (both 1983) it was being drummed into us that microchips would end civilisation as we knew it. We certainly agreed and would mull such weighty issues over as we rode to our friends' place on the other side of town because they could hook Frogger up to their telly.
Generation X has reached the age where reminiscing is acceptable (about time too, we've been trying it on since the turn of the century).
We were all Goonies, all E.T. Elliots, that kid holed up in the book shop from The Neverending Story (talk about a shut-in).
Life was one long choose-your-own-adventure and we grabbed our freedom with both hands and used it to watch hours upon hours of Monkey before dad got home and told us to get outside and pick up the dog shit.
I'll admit, it is thrilling to see ourselves trending again (if, indeed, we ever did) and I'm only aware of the phenomenon because an old school friend sent me a message to check it out, knowing full-well I've practised social(media)-distancing ever since the scourge came into being (I'm proud of myself for that, and you should be proud of me too, that's the way we think).
We're enjoying our fleeting moment because we know once the Millennials find out about it they're going to ... well, ignore us ... but also because we truly believe we've not only been as tormented and tested as Job, we've absorbed our cosmic punishment with the same quiet dignity and stoicism.
This is nonsense, of course, easily proven just by asking any one of us why we think we've had it so bad and we'll blow your hair back with a rapid-fire catalogue of developmentally arresting misfortune fit for a god-awful Billy Joel song (Cold War, AIDS, recession, twin towers, Robbie Williams, house prices) and then, when you think we're done, we'll tie it all up with a plaintive whinge about climate change, even though we've all been on Earth long enough to do something about it.
We've taken great umbrage at the "Karen" tag (an entitled, perpetually complaining Gen-X mum) mostly because she's staring back at us in the bathroom mirror every morning before we head out into a world inexplicably quite different to the one we were promised. There was some sort of arrangement, wasn't there? Between us and the great forces? Richard Morecroft said so, didn't he? (Remember the days when you could read the news with a virus-free bat in your pocket?)
We take our Gypsy curse very seriously and are constantly picking the scab from the strange wound of unrealised expectations.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (may she rest in peace) wrestled with it in her book, Prozac Nation, and Ada Calhoun is still doing it 26 years later in Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis.
Obviously, at the heart of all this is nostalgia. Perhaps an even greater scourge than social media and coronavirus combined.
Generation X has reached the age where reminiscing is acceptable (about time too, we've been trying it on since the turn of the century) and this latest bout of misty water-coloured memories is just a form of understandable escapism in the face of so much uncertainty.
We're the latest in a long line of piners and considering what our kids are already living through, it's hard to believe they too will one day be looking back fondly upon the good old days (let's just hope they're around long enough to get the chance to become grumpy old men and women).
Milan Kundera called nostalgia "the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return".
In Paris, Texas, Ry Cooder and Harry Dean Stanton gave us their version of Cancion Mixteca ... "How far I am from the land where I was born ... Intense nostalgia invades my mind ... I want to cry, I want to die, I feel so much for my home".
Poor old Gen-X is homesick but we know we can never go home, so we're cushioning ourselves with the pop culture appurtenances of our former lives to ride out the storm and help us find a soft place to land.
We'll be sure to tell you how we went, you'd love to know.
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