it ain’t easy: thank you robert capa


It’s true; we’re genetically inclined to respond to 80s bull@#$%#.

(oliver miller

i dunno about this.  as i read this i feel myself getting defensive.  who is this guy? why is he dissing my need for nostalgia?  i see the whole project bursting in to flames and then…

i am magically whisked away to a website called i’m remembering.  and it’s fantastic.  and i’m ready to put back those snuggly-fitting hammer pants and go out there and kick some butt.   hilary buckholtz, a fellow 1979er is taking us for  a gnarly and amazing stroll down memory lane with her picture of plastic halloween costumes (i was snoopy at age four)

courtesy of


(would love to see any vintage halloween costume pics you have!  who can name all of these costumes in the above picture?

and yes, i do understand that what mr. miller might be doing is protecting his generation from the over-popularization of his (our) memories by coming-of-age hipsters born after 1988 (please don’t be offended.  we love you.  just statin facts). he’s confused by the need for revivals of everything:  movies, toys, music.  and it is getting old probably because it might not be us gen x/yers but the tweens that are generating the marketing frenzy, the need to rejuvenate our, not their nostalgia.  keep your hands off my memories, yo!

which brings me back to one of the first questions raised:  how could we name this generation?

a while back someone called it the “jaded generation” and then someone contested that saying that because of our “democratization of the web… people have power over those who govern because of what we built”.  i still don’t know what to call us.  but doree shafrir, editor of the rolling stone and x/yer stirred up some interest when she asked the questions. i guess that’s what this project is doing as well.   she also commented on how our nostalgia (as opposed the forward-thinking of millenials)  “creates a sense of shared history”.  i also learned from doree that our name comes from the photographer robert capa who used it to describe post wwII kids.  she sent out a tweet to find a name for us (copy cat and  i’m kidding) and these were some of her responses:

I was thinking the same thing today. I vote Generation Jem.” “Generation I Watched Saved By The Bell during its first run.” “I’m born 77, I claim the Xers, just because it’s better than the alternative.”

but the best, and one that i identify with was “generation catalano” coined by an editor of teen vogue in reference to “my so-called life”.

“People are always saying you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster. Like you know what it is even”-angela chase

and for me, i definitely agree with the fact that that show, albeit its’ short-run on abc, really depicted my high school self.  i think a lot of us trying to keep it kind of real in the 90’s really identify with the struggles of the non-texting, note-folding, sans-facebook characters on the show.

ned hepburn ( really touched on an experience i lived many times over between middle school and high school.

dancing and boyzIImen.

I remember holding Erin Simmons like a foot apart, rocking side to side and around in a small circle, listening to Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love To You”, wondering what ‘making love’ would ever feel like, and trying to kiss Erin before the song ended. This was all while wearing ill-fitting formal wear.

(trying to attempt the famous prom pose)

who doesn’t have some version of this archived away in their memory of coming-of-age wearing silk shirts?

this post about generations xers really goes along with the best rant (the same author’s) about generation xers:

Generation X is used to being ignored, stuffed between two much larger, much more vocal, demographics. But whatever! Generation X is self-sufficient. It was a latchkey child. Its parents were too busy fulfilling their own personal ambitions to notice any of its trophies-which were admittedly few and far between because they were only awarded for victories, not participation.

republished from matt hornan’s tumblr

so, the question is:  are we generation xers?  do we want to be?  are we generation catalanoers?  i can’t seem to cling to generation x and i know i’m not a millenial.  who are you?  who do you want to be?

i’ll leave you with this to help you ponder.




4 Responses to “it ain’t easy: thank you robert capa”
  1. k.c says:

    I totally agree w/the last quote about us being a “latchkey generation”. And I don’t think we’re quite Xers, but certainly not Yers/Millenials, either. We bridge the gap between the two, the generation to be born without cable tv (well maybe some of us had cable as babies, but we sure didn’t!) and to come of age in cyberspace.

    And those halloween costumes are killing me. Why were we so enthralled with plastic suits and masks? LOL. That’s gotta be from 1983 or so, since Prince Adam of Eternia is making such a presence.

  2. project1979 says:

    can i just say, i love your comments?
    i was a latchkey kid, or so i was called during the time that both of my parents worked. doritos snack packs and mtv made a delightful impact on my eight-year-old psyche! i think that might of been the first time we had cable.
    i don’t know why we wore plastic outfits? my snoopy costume ripped after one parade at school so my mom whipped up a witch or cowgirl outfit for trick-o-treating.
    prince adam of eternia 4eva! 🙂

    • k.c says:

      Aww shucks, thanks! Yes, we didn’t have cable until I was in 3rd grade. It was AMAZING having more than 3 or 4 channels, LOL. I loved Nickelodeon and USA, and I was a young MTVer as well. The summer of 88 had awesome tunes… Pour Some Sugar on Me and Sweet Child o’Mine were on ALL the time. Those plastic suits kill me b/c they are so generic, yet every child was like “It says I’m Barbie, so I AM Barbie, dammit!!” and there was no doubt from within that kid’s mind that they looked EXACTLY like the character they were supposed to be.

  3. Sarah Morris says:

    I’m pretty sure I was my sister’s hand-me-down strawberry shortcake for 3 years in a row. Oh, and I was styling in my ALF costume circa ’89. Please don’t forget all the great shows we witnessed over the years. Starting with Facts of Life, Night Court, Rescue 911, Muppet Babies, and PeeWee’s Playhouse.

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