November 27, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 50  

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Talkin' bout my generation: A look at '80s babies

What defines a generation and assigns it a particular identity? That is the question this week’s Campus Life attempts to examine. Some might say it’s political shifts, societal values or popular trends — we say it’s a mix of all of the above and more.

In the section, we’ve tried to narrow it down to the universal things most people will be able to agree have defined us “’80s babies”; namely, online culture, self-medicating with various drugs, popular trends in music and fashion, “reality” television and, of course, The Simpsons.

One could argue some of these topics are frivolous and irrelevant in the “big picture” of our generation, but we think otherwise. While planning this section a few weeks ago, we conducted an informal poll, asking various people what they thought were the main things to have affected people of our age group the most. The answers were practically the same time and again, with the Internet and The Simpsons as the top responses.

It becomes increasingly difficult to define a generation in terms of originality — arguably, it’s all been done before. The venue for original modes of thought and expression become, in many ways, infinitely more narrow, making it difficult to attribute “new” generational identities. Without a doubt, defining a generation is much easier in retrospect, when time and distance has allowed for outside perspectives, but we have attempted to compile some of the things we feel define “our generation.”

—Kelly Marcella
& Maggie Wrobel

Fix your fears & pop the pills

Drugs have long been a part of the lives of many youth in 20th century society, but it seems that more and more people are turning to drugs as quick fixes for all of life’s problems.

This TV is not reality

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that our generation’s morality can be entirely summed up by reality television? The answer, as usual, is... I dunno. The Simpsons, as usual, presents the best view on the subject of Gen-X apathy.

Generation Next... or is it Past?

Each generation has its definitive moments and like it or not, these often arise in the realm of popular culture. Think of Woodstock, or The Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show — both are major milestones that people still reminisce about today.

'E-Communists' stalk in their spare time?

I am a stalker/voyeur/exhibitionist. Wait, hear me out... er, read me out — at least that’s what many of my friends have been doing more and more in the past few years, and in return I’ve been reading them out too.

All jokes are Simpsons jokes

Many students would undoubtedly claim The Simpsons has changed their lives — maybe just in the way they carry conversations, the jokes they make or their attitude towards certain elements of pop culture. Nonetheless, the influence is there.



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