Episode 18: Wanna Hear a Toke? Gen X and Drugs

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.


Episode 17: Growing Up Gen X

March 4, 2018

The Gen X Men make a triumphant return with a super-sized episode! Dan, Derek, and Anthony were joined by their old friends Jay and Jim to reminisce about their youth, and ruminate in general about what it was like growing up Generation X. The guys are in fine, animated form as they talk about their experiences coming of age in the “good old days” of the late 80’s and early/mid 90’s.

They also delve into their usual questioning of the merits and flaws of Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. Topics include wondering if Gen X was disproportionately impacted by divorce, getting old and worrying about health (especially since Kevin Smith, one of our icons, had a heart attack), and what kind of parents we have become ourselves.

This was a fun episode, with laughter, bluster, musing, nonsense, epiphanies, rambling, and beer. The usual disclaimer still applies, even more so for this one: we use profanity. Don’t listen if you’re easily triggered by bad words.


Episode 16: So Long 2017, Watch Out 2018!

December 27, 2017

The Gen X Men are back and they're all fired up! In this episode, the guys are fed up with 2017 and the status quo, conspiracy theorists, and especially scapegoaters in their creepy little echo chambers. The show might not have high professional polish, but Derek, Anthony, and Dan make up for that with pure passion for change! 

Generation X stands at a critical point in history: do we continue to sit back and just take care of ourselves, or do we become true philanthropists and give of our time, energy, and money in order to become leaders of positive change? Can we overcome our aloofness, cynicism, and bitterness of the Latch Key Kid Generation and lead the world into a better, more just future?

Watch out, 2018. The open-minded among Generation X are coming for you.

Note: We drank a few holiday libations during the recording of this episode. Apologies (sorrynotsorry) for all the raving, ranting, eardrum-busting shouting (watch for volume spikes!), and as usual the profanity! 



Episode 15: Extra! Extra! Getcha Fake News Here!

November 10, 2017

Is truth dead? Have the 24-hours news cycle and the Internet warped our perceptions so much we can no longer trust, or agree upon, objective facts? There's a war on for reality, with the winner controlling what we are fed through the media, social and otherwise!

The Gen X Men tackle the question of fake news and how everyone We discuss the phenomena of echo chambers, confirmation bias, and gang/mob mentality. 

And, as usual, we ask what Generation X can do about the situation! Is our generation a part of the problem, or is our famous/infamous skepticism just the right tool to sniff out the fakeness? Will we take the initiative to cross the divides of ideology and try to reinvigorate civil discourse?


Episode 13: Xennials and Xoomers and Gen X, Oh My!

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.


Episode 12: The Economics of Generation X

July 14, 2017

Dan, Derek, and Anthony delve into the relationship of Generation X with wealth, monetary and otherwise. Gen X is in what could be considered a difficult position when it comes to traditional financial thinking: we were sucker punched by the Great Recession during our prime earning/saving years, we have more debt than other generations, and we're even filing for bankruptcy more. What portion of these seemingly dire financial issues is beyond our control, and how much of it is self-inflicted?

The guys also discuss how weath and abundance is more than just dollar signs. What are the other measures of success and security beyond what's in our bank accounts?

Finally, can Generation X dig deep and get creative in order to secure more financial and spiritual wealth? It's up to all of us to find out!

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Episode 11: Our First Deathisode

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.

Related Links: 

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


Episode 10: Cyberpunk and Gen X: From Fiction to Reality

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.


Episode 9: Gen X vs. Mid-Life Crisis

March 31, 2017

Generation X is approaching (or has reached) a "certain age." Is an inevitable mid-life crisis also approaching?

The guys take on the concept of the mid-life crisis, considering its very veracity/existence and how it may or may not have affected the Boomers, and now Gen X. They question whether a skateboard is the Gen X equivalent of buying a sports car when you hit your middle years.

What lures people into the latter-year trap of "negative nostalgia" for the glory days of youth? Can we overcome the desire to pine for "the good old days" and not obsess over the past? If so, what are the ways we can avoid regret? Perhaps it's enough to use nostalgia as a light flavoring for the present, and work to maintain your hope for the future. 

Ultimately, can Gen X transform the mid-life crisis into a "fourth decade re-evaluation"?

And yes, there's some adult language involved in this episode. Because we're all adults here...aging adults.


Episode 8: Generation X…in Spaaaaace!

March 21, 2017

Join our intrepid hosts as they journey into the outer reaches...of absurdity! The Gen X Gentlemen explore the topics of space and the future. 

They pay homage to the celebrities who have passed on into the real final frontier so far in 2017. Then, after some requisite rambling they launch into hyperspace! Dan, Derek, and Anthony discuss the progress of technology, the achievements of humanity, and the potential barriers and risks that may face us in the coming years. They also, of course, spend some time on space-based pop culture (Star Wars, Star Trek, Robotech, sci fi literature, etc).

Ultimately, they ask the question: should we focus our technology on leaving the Earth, or fixing it? Will we allow our limitations to keep us from coming together in a bright Star Trek-like future? Can we even agree long enough to accomplish either of those goals? 

And, as usual, what role does Gen X have to play in the grand scheme of things?

Note: the guys succumb to the Dark Side again during this episode. Hear some bad language, you will!