Middle Ages

Selling Out? Please Sign Me Up

No, I’m not going to post and comment on every Elizabeth Wurtzel remembrance (I didn’t even read Prozac Nation!), but this essay, “Elizabeth Wurtzel and the Illusion of Gen-X Success,” had a lot of insightful moments about the so-called creative class.

What seemed striking was the disparity between her self-perception as an outlier — someone who had proudly refused to build a middle-aged life around the bourgeois goal posts of home-ownership, Viking appliances and managed investment accounts — and the reality of how elusive that kind of stability had become to a whole generation of her gifted, imaginative peers.

Gen X put a lot of value on not selling out–a meaningless concept to younger generations–but even if they wanted to sell out in middle-age, it would be impossible.