You will only understand this post if you are a member of Generation X.

Baby boomers and Millennials, I know you’re not used to hearing it, but this is not about you.

Everything else is. One of you is hoarding all the investment properties. The other is being “shamed” for still living at home.

Everyone has their knickers in a knot about you guys – the two Squeaky Wheel generations.

Not us. We are Generation X, and we do not get our knickers in knots.

Sandwiched, as we are, between the generation who invented the Internet and the generation who grew up in it, we are used to hearing we are the overlooked middle child. The Jan Brady of the generation wars.

What nonsense. Generation X is not the dorky middle child. Generation X is – and always has been – the moody kid from round the corner who just came over to smoke out of Marcia’s bedroom window and question the premise of the whole show.

She would certainly be wearing a biker jacket and faded baggy jeans with rips at the knees, over fishnets. And a bodysuit. And Docs.

Holly Wainwright

So, basically what that 17-year-old next to you is wearing right now.

Generation X has now reached that stage where its icons have come back around. We're watching sylph-like celebrity models (we had those too, you know, and they were called Super) in silky slip dresses dating all the rock stars and going, yup, that looks familiar.

We're hearing music on the radio that sounds exactly like the music on the radio before our crows' feet settled in, but being told we don't understand it. We're seeing rave culture and gap-year skiving being claimed as entirely new pursuits by a fresh crop of bright-eyed 20-somethings. And we're always hearing how the Young People are so smart and cynical these days, as if Generation X didn't invent smart and cynical.


Gen Xers, all of this can mean only one thing. We are getting old. You can tell because police officers and school teachers look so very, very young.

And while we settle into 24-7 Spanx use and the endless Botox debate, let's not forget that it's our cultural touch points, Generation X, our TV shows and movies and music and movie stars that everyone's trying to reboot. It's our moment to experience the level of cool that comes from being retro, but not yet old-fashioned.

So while it, let's us remember:

1. Kate Moss and Johnny Depp


The power couple of cool wouldn't have posed for an 'at-home-with' magazine spread if would have guaranteed them a life-time supply of Camels.

2. No Logo by Naomi Klein

Consumerism and globalisation are 'problematic'? No shit. Naomi Klein was a young woman singing from that hymn sheet in 1999.

3. Reality Bites, Heathers and everything else with Winona Rider in it.

We had an It Girl actress who was tiny and brunette and questioned everything. While being allowed to wear clothes.


4. Nirvana.

Some of us actually saw them play. In the flesh. At the Coogee Bay Hotel.

5. ER

George Clooney in ER...dreamy

Every other hospital drama since wishes it had a young Clooney. They don't have a young Clooney.

6. BMXs 

They will be right behind Fixies in the bike revival. Believe it.

7. The Breakfast Club.

Image via Getty.

Troubled teens. Adult themes. One of the soundtracks of all time. You can keep XXXX.


8. Raves

And acid house. Before smiley faces were emojis, they were on T-shirts - and other things - at raves. Not so innocent, then.

9. Gap Years

Save me your pearl-clutching about the millennials not committing. Remember The Beach, by Alex Garland? The Gen Xers got "McJobs" at went travelling. We just didn't call it that. Often because a year was only the half of it...

10. Public Enemy

Millions of white, suburban kids discovered rap through Fear Of A Black Planet. Electric, political and

11. Rage.

All night music TV. You’ll go to bed after ONE MORE SONG. The serendipity of the guest programmer. The incredible rareness of it all before there were 13 channels doing the same thing.

12. River Phoenix

The most beautiful boy we had ever seen.

13. Twin Peaks

The first time around. Tartan skirts and Audrey Horne.

Listen to Holly Wainwright and Laura Brodnik talk all things Twin Peaks on The Binge.

14. Courtney Love and Princess Diana

Polar opposites, 90s female icons. Both tragic. Only one of still with us. Back in the early 90s, no-one would have guessed it would be Courtney.

15. Seinfeld

Watch it again. The writing. Oh, the writing.

16. Neighbours

We wagged school for that. For Scott and Charlene and backyard pools and perms. Looking back, it's unclear why.

17. High Fidelity

Because we’d all dated a boy-man who gave great mix-tapes.

18. Thelma and Louise

Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise.

A feminist revenge fantasy dressed up as a buddy movie with a hot Brad Pitt. Is still the best.


19. Prince

Entirely original, epically talented, deeply strange.

20. The Lost Boys

Vampires were sexy before Edward Cullen.

21. Slackers

That’s what we used to call people who were drifting and wouldn’t commit. Now we call them Millennials.

22. Friends

The hair and the clothes, mostly. And it was the first time we'd all really thought about hanging out in coffee shops, rather than the pub.

23. Pulp Fiction

Is there a Generation X male who can't recite some of Samuel L Jackson's 'I'm about to shoot you' monologue?

24. Before Sunrise

Anyone who ever went backpacking wanted this kind of a night. Strangers began looking at each other entirely differently. Every train trip became a game of sliding eye contact.

25. Michael Hutchence

Come on. In leather pants. With The Hair.

26. When Harry Met Sally

Just the most perfect romantic-comedy ever made. Written by the incomparable Norah Ephron. It's important to note that Generation X women were allowed to wear lots of clothes in movies, and still be considered sexually attractive. Practically Amish.

27. Jeff Buckley

Play Last Goodbye to any woman who came of age in the 90s and watch her go into some rapture about the one that got away. Sob.

I could go on. And on. But I won't.

What have I missed? 

You can follow Gen X-er Holly Wainwright on Facebook, here.