Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'm on Fire

Nestled comfortably between the Baby Boomers and the Millenials/Generation Y is Generation X. As part of this heroin-induced flannel party, I'm old enough to have settled down by getting married, having children, and gambling a large portion of wealth building in homeownership. I'm also young enough to not quite adhere to all the rules that result in career advancement but that's probably a good thing. Gen-X loves Clerks, knows the soundtrack for Singles but never saw the movie, and still loves Alice in Chains.

The hardest part about being Generation X is understanding the new world. I like to think that 100 years ago flappers had the same problem. The industrial revolution was in bloom and full of promise but most folks from 1912 presumably looked back fondly of their time growing up on the farm. In 2012, I'm living the Office Space dream looking fondly back on growing up in a blue collar city where manufacturing was, and still is, the primary economic engine.

Being stuck between two colossal populations is not necessarily a bad thing. Well, except that the Baby Boomers refuse to retire so Gen-X is a decade away from moving into the "good life" that is middle management. Most of us are relegated to a couple of steps above entry level waiting for opportunity to knock. Of course, opportunity will never knock because when the Boomers retire (or die) Gen-X will compete for slots with Millenials who are more eager, less hardened by life, and more accepting of the new world (not to mention their generation is not defined by slackers). Generation X is probably the last great rebellion but the bulk of us are resolved to nothing more than setting up our children to ensure they kick Millenials in the ass.

Technology is perhaps the best illustration of this dynamic. Baby boomers hate technology. (Everybody knows one Boomer who spends too much time on Facebook but this is simply the exception that proves the rule.) Most Boomers have the expendable income for the latest iPad but use it as little more than a glorified web browser. Millenials are the opposite. Technology is for them what the automobile was to young WWII veterans returning home to southern California. Those of us stuck in the middle understand technology's power and power is not necessarily a good thing. Gen-X is a generation of skeptics so we're still waiting for technology to be as great as Verizon Wireless commercials advertise. At the same time we have access to more wonders than ever previously imagined. This is to say nothing of privacy; which is dead.

My kids are already more advanced than both of their parents. At 2.5 years of age they easily find their way through a smart phone to find their favorite Muppets videos. In an effort to encourage the early adoption of technology that will lead to the eventual ass kicking we purchased the Kindle Fire. I was not surprised they liked it. I'm surprised that I like it. The Fire traveled with me on a recent work trip and made quite a companion. Reading books on the Fire is quite nice (except for take off and landing) and videos are wonderful. Note: if you purchase the Fire sign yourself up with Amazon Prime.

Why Beer Matters by Evan Rail is a great first read for the Fire. It's a bit of an easy read and too predictably gets into the beer v. wine debate. Mr. Rail makes a compelling statement that beer is democratic and few other beverages are connected to time in the way beer is.  The e-book also has nuggets of beer information that would encourage any beer drinker to more research - like Starkbierzeit, which is now on my bucket list, or attempts to review Grodziskie; a Polish smoked-wheat beer that went out of existence in the early 1990s and has been nearly impossible to recreate. Mr. Rail brilliantly ends it with "what matters most about beer is the drinking of it."

So this entire, rambling post can be summarized with: 1) you should buy the Kindle Fire; 2) make Why Beer Matters your first read; and 3) enjoy a nice craft beer or homebrew.

1 comment:

rob said...

When is the first Dumbartons tasting evening?