Reality Bites?

“Reality Bites”- the saga of our generation- Generation X. A generation unprepared for the real world, unable to fend for itself. I say enough of this crap.

Firstly, Generation X is supposed to span those born from 1964-1974. That means that my girlfriend, who was born in 1975, is from a different generation than I am. This amuses me. Whenever we argue, instead of doing what I used to do and just admit I was wrong and promise not to make fun of the Digable Planets anymore, I just say “You can’t understand where I’m coming from – you’re from a different generation.”

Secondly, evidently most of us are on the tail-end of Generation X. Does this mean that we are “mostly” Generation X? That we are mostly unable to fend for ourselves? For example, maybe we can find jobs but are unable to cook and clean or something like that, whereas people born when the generation was in full swing are totally incompetent, and those born at the beginning were the first to show mild signs of incompetence. I have to ask: is my younger brother guaranteed a future because he made the cut and was born in 1977?

Or will the next generation (“Generation Y,” I can only suppose, after all it is another perfectly accepted mathematical variable) be complete dotards, incapable even of simple bodily functions and filling out college applications?

In any event, if the movie is supposed to represent us, let’s look at the characters.

Winona Ryder’s character puzzles me. A college valedictorian who can’t find a job. The one valedictorian I know will be making $90,000 a year by 1996 with a JD from Yale Law. While he’s an exceptionally bright man and that might have something to do with it, where did Leilana get her education? Sally Struther’s correspondence school?

She cannot get a job at a burger place, and we are supposed to marvel at her insightful films. She does not strike me as intellectual or intelligent, and I can only think that if it was correspondence school she went to, then she studied gun repair there.

Then there’s this guy who’s gay and that’s all we know about him. Barring additional facts, this seems plausible: there are in fact gays in Generation X.

Troy, whom I have learned women find sexy, is a loser. He claims to be a philosopher. I am a philosophy major. I know philosophers, and he is no philosopher. He says things like “all we need to be happy is cigarettes and coffee” and this is supposed to be insightful. Not only did Plato disprove that centuries ago, but I can’t help thinking that maybe we also need a job and our own place to live. It’s easy to be happy with cigarettes, coffee and cheap talk when there’s federal assistance to back you up. Maybe women like him because he’s low-maintenance. He should also try shaving.

Maybe the problem is that I walked into the movie somewhere in its middle – right when all of them were dancing at the checkout counter in a convenience store. I couldn’t understand what would possess any group of people to do that, and I just didn’t get it from then on.

Perhaps that’s my problem: I was introduced to Generation X by some pop-sociologists in cahoots with MTV, and what I saw was the equivalent of a bunch of listless people dancing in a convenience store, so I left. I just don’t buy it. While some will fall by the wayside, I am confident the people I know with drive and ambition – and there are several of them – will go on to success. I am a Generation X outsider.

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