April 25, 2018
In honor of 4/20, we have an episode about marijuana and other drugs! We start off with a short discussion about the potential pitfalls of being too PC and the place of humor in society, then launch into our main topic. Our friend Jim joins the smoky shenanigans as a guest host, which is appropriate since he's had a self-described love affair with weed for about 30 years (so he's our resident expert).
We trace the history of marijuana from the days of our youth through today, as the long dream of legalized weed has started to come true. Then we delve into the harder stuff, especially heroin, which has taken the lives of so many grunge-era musicians. Dan shares his own experiences with heroin use and the road to recovery.
We also talk about the seeming futility of the war on drugs, the possible roots of drug use (as self medication to deal with depression and disenfranchisement), alcohol, and the merits of moderation when it comes to all things in life.
As usual, we use adult language. Take a hit of something if you need to calm your nerves.
September 27, 2017
Does Hollywood have an unholy obsession with remaking old movies these days?
Are movie studios strip-mining the films Generation X watched in our youth in order to make a quick buck?
Are remakes a sign that film companies are unwilling to take risks on new material, a lack of creativity, or both?
Is pure nostalgia the sole reason we think some films should not be remade, or should some movies be considered universally sacred and untouchable?
The Gen X Men talk about reboots (soft and otherwise), sequels, and prequels. They debate the potential upsides and downsides of remakes: are they more often inferior to their source material? How often are remakes better than the original?
Listen and get in on the debate about Hollywood's movie remake madness!
August 4, 2017
For our lucky 13th episode, we had our first guest host: Scott! One of our loyal fans, Scott challenged us and insisted that we avoid slavishly following the broad stereotypes of Generation X, because depending on when you were born, you might have different likes and dislikes, influences, personality traits, and beliefs.
That brought us to the topic of microgenerations, smaller segments within larger generations with aspects of the generations that come before or after. So, we insisted that Scott get on the mic and declare his thoughts face-to-face.
Coincidentally, there was a HuffPost article that came out before this recording that proposed the existence of Xennials, who combine Gen X and Millennial traits. For our part, we've dubbed people like Scott, who were born closer to the Boomer years, "Xoomers" (trademark pending).
In the end, generational labels don't really matter, and can't encompass a complex, individual human being. However, the time in which we are born does give us a context for our development, and leaves a distinct mark on us.
This episode also marks the first time we were drinking heavily before and during production. All rambling, mispronunciations, interrupting, and ranting can be blamed on the alcohol...this time.
Note: because we're all adults here (and we're drinking), there are curse words aplenty in this episode.
May 26, 2017
The passing of Chris Cornell has hit the Gen X Men crew pretty hard, as evidenced by the fact this entire episode covers the topic of death. Chris was an artist that defined the music of our generation. He had a voice that was distinctive and had a wide range, not only in terms of octaves but also moods, from soulful tones to scorching screams.
The guys ponder how grunge musicians, as older members of Generation X, often produced work tinged with pessimistic sounds and lyrics. By that logic, is it any wonder many of them struggle with depression and drug abuse? And how did those songs potentially color the outlook of younger Gen Xers regarding the world and life?
We also explore how our generation is, hopefully, the last to suffer under the yolk of self-repression and self-isolation. Are the Millennials doing better than us psychologically, shrugging off the toxic rugged individualism that just might be the impetus behind many suicides?
We also discuss the death of Bond actor Roger Moore, the suicide bombing of the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, and the latest idiocy of the Trump administration.
It’s Not Just Chris Cornell: Suicide Rates Highest Among Middle-Aged Men
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
All My Favorite Grunge Musicians Are Dead
The Deadliest Musical Genre
April 27, 2017
Anthony, Derek, and Dan lay claim to an entire subgenre of science fiction: cyberpunk! Cyberpunk and Gen X seem to share the same timeline, since our generation came of age just as the genre was hitting its peak in the 80's and 90's.
In this episode, the guys talk about both the pop culture and real-world manifestations of cyberpunk. They also break down the two halves of the word: technology as the "cyber" and rebellion and dystopia for the "punk." Our generation saw technologies like cybernetics in cyberpunk books and movies, and now live in a time when artificial limbs can be connected to the human nervous system. And of course, cyberpunk showed us the rise of the Information Age before the Internet was born.
The punk side of the coin speaks to depictions of chaotic and oppressive futures, where social structures break down and capitalism-gone-rampant has created powerful corporations that are almost nations unto themselves. In many ways, the current state of our world echos those themes.
Go here for a good primer on cyberpunk.
And true to the dystopian present, there's explicit language. Deal with it.
December 28, 2016
Anthony, Dan, and Derek take a look back over the year-that-was. In their recap of 2016, they discuss the many celebrity deaths that occurred (note: this was recorded before the passing of George Michael and Carrie Fisher; so just know they weren’t omitted on purpose, and may they rest in peace).
Ultimately, the Gen X Men ask (and attempt to answer) the question on everybody’s mind: was 2016 the worst year ever? Perhaps more importantly, what can Generation X do about the state of our country and the world now, and in the future?
Then the guys get into the nuance of political correctness versus just being nice to other human beings (and the connected 2016 issues pertaining to gender and where people poop). Derek waxes poetic about genitalia, Anthony (who is cisnerd) uses an Iron Man analogy to describe the state of the terrorized world, and as usual Dan cuts through his cohosts’ rantings with his typical humor.
The trio also stray into societal issues once again, contemplating the overpowering fear infecting Western Civilization and the 2016 fallout of that fact (the election of Trump and the global resurgence of populism).
And stay tuned ‘til the end of the show to hear predictions for 2017 (you can judge their profundity, or lack thereof). Happy New Year to all!
December 23, 2016
Go on a Gen X pop culture nostalgia trip in the Way Back Machine with Derek, Dan, and Anthony! The dynamic trio has another calm, rational discussion, this time about the wonders and highlights of the TV, movies, games, and other things that helped define the youth of our generation.
They start off with a potentially controversial theory: Gen X suffered to make geek culture mainstream. You're welcome, kids of today, because we made nerdiness cool so you wouldn't have to get beaten up for it!
Then, the guys launch into an insightful retrospective that encompasses grunge, the shaming of males who watched Friends, the disturbing conspiracy behind the Smurfs, and much more!
By the way, we still haven't overcome our dependencey on uncouth vocabulary. So don't let Santa know you're listening.
December 2, 2016
How's your faith these days, folks? The Gen X Men dive into totally non-controversial topics like religion in this episode. Join us as we explore the depths of atheism, spirituality, organized religion, morality (or the lack thereof) and what it all means for our generation. Then we dive into a bit of Satanism (and Santaism, with Christmas looming) as well as music, what bothers us about Western culture (including the bullshit of rugged individualism and 'Murican fear-mongering), and other issues facing us here in the United States of "Trumpistan."
Here's the Al Jazeera article about Donald Trump's America we talk about in the episode.
And if you're curious about the horrible, demonically possessed "lost" recording we reference during the show, download it here.
As usual, there's some potty mouth language, so we're getting coal in our stockings this year.