The Generation Game, again

Today’s AFR (subscription required) has a piece on Gen X and so on by Deirdre Macken. It’s a bit more sceptical than usual, partly because Macken is no fool, and partly because it links to the discussion at Catallaxy of Ryan Heath’s Please Just F* Off: It’s Our Turn Now. also discussed here. As I mentioned, I doubt that we’ll ever see a better title for a generation game book than this one.

Generational and other forms of categorization (whether or not it’s of any value) is essential to marketers trying to pitch their services to those with goods and services to sell. And the “Angry Young Man” genre stretches back to the dawn of writing (angry young women seem mostly cast their arguments in terms of feminism, or anti-feminism, rather than explicitly generational politics). So I don’t suppose it’s going to go away, no matter how many times the silliness of it all is pointed out.

30 thoughts on “The Generation Game, again

  1. Hi all

    A very belated entry into this discussion. Firstly I have an even more belated apology for Mr. Quiggin for being so goddamn rude to him three months back in the original generations discussion.

    Otherwise my comments are refined to the two Helen’s and Paul Watson.

    I really liked Paul’s contribution – more than his Catallaxy one on the topic.

    The Helen’s are rather more negative and, indeed, wrong.

    To Helen #1 who thinks the book is all about my ALP career: um, what career? I am not even a member and i live in the UK. And under Kim Beazley? You only have to read the book to know that will never happen.

    To Helen #2 who thinks I only care about privileged brats (allegedly like myself): I do care about class Helen, and for the record I had a very working class upbringing myself. Where generations intersect with class is on property. Asset-based wealth is the biggest determinant of class, houses are most people’s biggest assets and Boomers are the people who disproportionately own the houses …. see the link.

    And, also, I have many other interests that don’t invovle generations, and have been writing about them for a good seven years now, as a Google search will throw up for anyone interested.


  2. Hi Ryan,

    Apology accepted – a fairly vigorous tone is expected in this kind of discussion.

    Your comment reminds me that someone (me?) ought to do a proper analysis of the distributional impact of the housing boom.

  3. So Ryan, you are not the Ryan on this page from the ALP Abroad gang: Nominations are formally made to our returning officer Ryan Heath (16 Feb 2006)

    That was thrown up in a google search. As was this one:

    ABROAD: Heady cocktails x 3 byRyan Heath in the Labor eHerald:

    and this:

    ‘A new gay and lesbian lobby group was unveiled at last weekend’s state ALP conference. Co-convenor Ryan Heath told the Star that they had received an overwhelmingly positive response.’

    This other Ryan has caused some confusion. Would the real Ryan Heath please stand up.


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