Generation D (X)

Jonathon Green slang at CRAYFORD.DEMON.CO.UK
Fri Mar 30 21:21:28 UTC 2001

In 1964, aged 16, I bought  'Generation X' by Charles Hamblett and Jane
Deverson. I dragged my tattered copy from my shelves today. Alas, their
brief introduction gives no suggestion as to why they chose this particular
title; nor does the cover blurb. And nor, making a quick check of the text,
does the phrase ever seem to appear in the mouths of the teenagers
interviewed. As far as I can recall the book appeared at the height of the
Mods and Rockers (contemporary youth cults) battles that took over UK south
coast seaside towns at regular intervals for a couple of years and
overexcited the nation's more foolish moralists. Certainly members of both
groups are heavily featured in the book. Thus I imagine the image was that
of the 'X' film - then the most restrictive category of censorship in the
country. The idea was youth equalled horror, excess, and degeneracy. There
was no sense of a 'lost' or in any way deprived generation: the young
interviewees are much more interested in parading their newfound economic
and social freedoms. The book was reasonably successful but I don't think
the term took off other than for the brief period of its publicity.

Jonathon Green

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