Mia spoke to The Project on Channel 10 yesterday as part of a ‘battle of the generations’ series. She’s calling it for Generation X. Are you convinced?
Q: Mia, what defines Generation X?
MIA: Our awesomeness? Well we’re quiet achievers – Boomers and Gen Ys make such a fuss, we just get on with it. Gen Xers are independent, resourceful, laid-back and self-sufficient. We had to be. We grew up in such uncertain times – we saw our parents lose jobs in the recession and we had to deal with AIDS and the ozone layer and the cold war… things were tough.
Q: Do you identify as an Xer, and if so, how?
M: Yeah, I totally do. So much of it is about pop culture touch points: Haysi Fantayzee, Chances, Helen & Mikey on Triple J, Desperately Seeking Susan, Kramer Vs Kramer, Breakfast Club, Reality Bites, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Melrose Place…
M: Well, the Baby Boomers did take all the oxygen – and they still do! They had free love and The Beatles and The Rolling Stones… they got the pill and we got condoms! Us Xers came of age during a really depressing and scary time – AIDS, the cold war, environmental disasters, the recession, skin cancer…
Q: What was life like growing up in the 1970’s 1980’s?
M: Well, the Puberty Blues years were awesome in many ways – there was a lot of freedom. Our boomer parents were all in the workforce – the first generation of women to do so en masse – and we were pretty much left to our own devices. I was a latchkey kid – everyone was!
But the time after that was a major downer. We have pretty potent memories of all these new public awareness campaigns – safe sex, Slip Slop Slap, Life: Be In It – suddenly everything was going to kill us – sex, smoking, the sun, eating too much… Things were very serious in the 80s at the same time as Wall St was booming and there was this massive wave of greed and consumerism.
Q: Gen X were also known as the MTV generation, so why did your music suck so much?
M: Suck? Our music didn’t suck! We had Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Midnight Oil, U2, Kylie… Wham!
Q: The Boomers protested wars, civil rights, gender equality and seemed to have a lot of fun doing all of that…what have you lot done for the world?
M: Three words, buddy: Google, Amazon, Youtube.
Q: The Boomers and Gen Y say you’re a miserable bunch of complainers. Is everything okay?
M: I think Gen X are a bit like the middle child. We’re sandwiched by Gen Y and the Boomers who suck up all the oxygen. We’re under-appreciated, dammit!
Q: Gen X was known as the generation that refused to grow up. How are you handling middle age?
M: The great thing about following the Boomers is that they keep moving the goalposts. Right now they’re saying that 60 is the new 40, so that must mean 40 is the new 20.