Gen X Lexicon

Generation X are a grungey group of never grown up kidults reared on early MTV while our parents were drink driving, dealing and divorcing; we remember the day Kurt Cobain died not the day JFK was shot. As a fully fledged Gen Xer, I started this list originally on a scrap of paper on Campbelltown train station when I spotted a 14-year-old girl wearing a Katherine Hamnett T-shirt last seen in a Wham video in 1983. She told me it was ‘vintage.’ Her remark made me realise that pop culture has gotten out of hand, so here is my translation service for the new millennium.

Elle Macpherson and Kylie Minogue’s strangulated speaking voices. Pretentious? Moi?

Something we never thought we’d hear ourselves say

B is also for BO-HO
Stuff your mum wore in 1972

C is for COVER
Original version of the song sounds better

D is for DABBLING in every job that came along

Glorified Receptionist

F is for FAUX
Overpriced copies made in China

Meatheads who get paid to work out, AKA I can’t fathom the cult of the personal trainer

Glorified waiter in the sky

G is for GRUNGE
You wore a flanny and a pair of ripped jeans because that was all you could afford. Apparently now it is an ironic fashion statement

H is for HEAVY Metal Music
We Gen X’ers lived through the glory days of Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax and Poison (not)

I is for IRONY, the defining characteristic of our generation

Every generation has at least one heart throb. JB is this year’s Davy Jones, Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or Mark Wahlberg

K is for KNEES UP
The Beastie Boys trained us to fight for our right to party

L is for LOVE
We loved Space Invaders, Doc Martens, Siouxsie, Ackadacka, 80s faaaashion and dancing ironically

M is for MOVING out of home as soon as you could. We were the last generation in the western world to do this

N is for NIRVANA, one of the defining bands of our generation

O is for ORIGINAL music, which last happened in the 1980s before talent shows took over the world

P is for PISSED off we didn’t buy a house when prices were cheap in major capital cities

Q is for QUALITY TIME, a phrase that helps us get away with not spending much time with our kids

R is for RETRO
Stuff your dad wore when he was 18

Designer knock offs of 80s originals copied in Bangladesh

T is for TWITTER
Twats are people who send tweets about their every fart. I try not to worry my hypocritical little head about trying to make sense of the narcissism of social media

U is for USED
E.g. Cheap stuff bought on Gumtree then sold for ten times the price on Etsy

Overpriced second-hand stuff bought at Vinnies or the garage sale of a recently deceased old lady, resold to you by an opportunist on eBay at inflated prices. Opening your parcel you exclaim,
“Why didn’t I keep that polyester shirt and tie I wore with my winklepickers in 1983?”

W is for Wardrobe Malfunctions, think Janet Jackson, Al Grassby, Duran Duran videos circa 1982 and Sigue Sigue Sputnik

X is for XRAY vision AKA If I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have worried about a thing

Y is for Y is the generation after us such a bunch of entitled brats?

A word we used a lot before we dropped out of our third university course

Love Missile F1-11

In the late 80s I was a naive teenager from Sydney on my first solo trip to London. One weekend I was invited to a party in the English countryside at the plush home of Rod Stewart’s manager Billy Gaff, who had just bought London’s famous Marquee Club. Billy Gaff’s neighbours including Michael Caine were meant to be attending the party. My friends who worked for TV guru Molly Meldrum at the time had bagged us the invitation. When we arrived we were driven from the main gate in a Range Rover up to the party, which was held in a marquee decorated with Marquee signs on the lawn next to the house. Molly was there with an entourage and various English TV celebrities. After the drive from London I was busting for a pee so I walked through a side door into the house. As I waited to get into a bathroom, I spotted a tin of Campbell’s Soup signed by Andy Warhol in a glass cabinet beside pit passes from Formula One races. I noticed there were more Warhols on the walls as I walked outside to grab a drink. Then I joined my friends to people watch on the lawn. Five minutes later as the Range Rover arrived with a new batch of guests, the members of Sigue Sigue Sputnik climbed out of the car wearing fishnet gloves, towering heels and skin tight vinyl outfits. Even with my big 80s hair, ripped jeans and teenage fuck you attitude I remember thinking how ridiculous they looked as the band posed for a moment by the car, then proceeded to walk over the grass to the party. One by one their spiked stiletto heels stuck in the lawn and they began falling over. One of the funniest pieces of slapstick I’ve ever seen was watching these men with mesh covered faces try to pull their feet out of the newly laid lawn. I can’t remember meeting any uber-famous film stars at the Marquee party but the drive from London was worth it watch a few 80s fashion victims fall on their arses. Does anyone remember any of their songs?