Generation Xers did change the world. We destroyed the mainstream, shattered it to pieces, so much so, that now saying "reject the mainstream" seems kinda of lame and corny. But I remember. I remember when things shocked. When T.V. dinners were still considered nutritional, and artists were seen as "the untouchables." And there was a mainstream - one standard we were told to desire.
The 1950s shaped our parents who pushed the idea of good hair, good skin, and the inability to fail. In fact, they told us that we could do anything if we "willed" it to happen. So the tone deaf child could become a musician, and the blind-as-a-bat student could become that astronaut. They forgot to mention that that formula was really only designed for a small section of society, and that maybe concentrating on what you were good at might be a wiser path to follow. In fact, they set us up to fail. Very few of us would become doctocrs, laywers, or preppy housewifes with 2.5 kids. I mean, even being a minority was considered "marginal" in thoset days. I know plenty of Gen X minorities that felt forced to change their accent, culture, and ways of presenting themselves in order to have a shot at being successful in their field.
The adults in our lifetime produced tv shows that revolved around white families with midly rebellious sons, and adopted black kids who were saved by rich old men. Bill Cosby did come on the scene, and while he opened doors, he was pushing the same societal values: normal "good" families are wealthy and perfect, and don't have to deal with real, insane problems like the rest of us. The irony is that while we were watching these shows, us latchkey kids were home alone waiting for our parents, who were working long hours trying to provide us with the lifestyle they were trying to convince us was "normal" and we were "entitled" to.
Yey!!!!! We Rebelled - but in a Quiet Way
Some of us rebelled not just in clothing and music, but in norms. We started rebelling against the culture of waste and selfishness, screaming about the damage being done to the world. Some of us participated in the WTO protest. Okay, maybe some of had no idea what we were really protesting, but we knew it was a mechanism that was having negative consequences on our society. (Give us a break, some of us were 18 years old). We all read the Celestine Prophecy and started working on our collective consciousness, and most importantly we laid the foundation for the real transformation of values. How? we built the internet.
Yeah, I know, [insert Al Gore jokes here], but we did. The early years of the web had a large proportionate number of Gen Xers, compared to the other generations of the time. We shaped web culture, and infused it with our priorities, principles, and ideals. What you see now is a product of our tears, sweat, and blood. I know, I know, I'm being a bit dramatic......but its totaly true.
So yes, Dead Mau5, we did reject the mainstream.....we did focus on where we were going and not where we came from...and we didn't fail....I think :)