Generation X


Douglas Coupland Book Neo-logisms

101-ism: (page 85)

The tendency to pick apart, often in minute detail, all aspects of life using half-understood pop psychology as a tool.

2 + 2 = 5-ism: (page 139)

Caving in to a target marketing strategy aimed at oneself after holding out for a long period of time. "Oh, all right, I'll buy your stupid cola. Now just leave me alone."

Air Family: (page 111)

Describes the false sense of community experienced among coworkers in an office environment.

Anti-Sabbatical: (page 35)

A job take with the sole intention of staying only for a limited period of time (often one year). The intention is usually to raise enough funds to partake in another, more personally meaningful activity such as watercolor sketching in Crete o r designing computer knit sweaters in Hong Kong. Employers are rarely informed of intention.

Anti-Victim Device (AVD): (page 114)

A small fashion accessory worn on an otherwise conservative outfit which announces to the world that one still has a spark of individuality burning inside: 1940s retro ties and earrings (on men), feminist buttons, noserings (women), and th e now almost completely extinct teeny weeny "rattail" haircut (both sexes).

Architectural Indigestion: (page 75)

The almost obsessive need to live in a 'cool' architectural environment. Frequent related objects of fetish include framed black-and-white art photography (Diane Arbus is a favorite); simplistic pine furniture; matte black high-tech items such as TVs, stereos, and telephones; low-wattage ambient lighting; a lamp, chair, or table that alludes to the 1950s; cut flowers with complex name.

Armanism: (page 82)

After Giorgio Armani: an obsession with mimicking the seamless and (more importantly) controlled ethos of Italian culture. Like Japanese Minimalism, Armanism reflects a profound inner need for control.

Bambification: (page 48)

The mental conversion of flesh and blood living creatures into cartoon creatures possessing bourgeois Judeo-Christian attitudes and morals.

Black Dens: (page 135)

Where Black Holes live; often unheated warehouses with Day-Glo spray paint, mutilated mannequins, Elvis references, dozens of overflowing ashtrays, broken mirror sculptures, and Velvet Underground music playing in background.

Black Holes: (page 135)

An X generation subgroup best known for their possession of almost entirely black wardrobes.

Bleeding Ponytail: (page 21)

An elderly sold-out baby boomer who for hippie or pre-sellout days.

Boomer Envy: (page 21)

Envy of material wealth and long-range material security accrued by older members of the baby boom generation by virtue of fortunate births.

Bradyism: (page 134)

A multisibling sensibility derived from having grown up in large families. A rarity n those born after approximately 1965, symptoms of Bradyism include a facility for mind games, emotional withdrawal in situations of overcrowding, and a deeply felt need for well-defined personal space.

Brazilification: (page 11)

The widening gulf between the rich and the poor and the accompanying disappearance of the middle classes.

Bread and Circuits: (page 80)

The electronic era tendency to view party politics as corny -- no longer relevant or meaningful or useful to modern societal issues, and in may cases dangerous.

Café Minimalism: (page 107)

To espouse a philosophy of minimalism without actually putting into practice any of its tenets.

Celebrity Schadenfreude: (page 70)

Lurid thrills derived from talking about celebrity deaths.

Chryptotechnophobia: (page 172)

The secret belief that technology is more of a menace than a boon.

Clique Management: (page 21)

The need of one generation to see the generation following it as deficient so as to bolster its own collective ego: "Kids today do nothing. They're so apathetic. We used to go out and protest. All they do is shop and complain."

Consensus Terrorism: (page 21)

The process that decides in-office attitudes and behavior.

Conspicuous Minimalism: (page 107)

A life-style tactic similar to Status Substitution. The nonownership of goods flaunted as a token of moral and intellectual superiority.

Conversational slumming: (page 113)

The self conscious enjoyment of a given conversation precisely for its lack of intellectual rigor. A major spin-off activity of Recreational Slumming.

Cult of Aloneness: (page 69)

The need for autonomy at all costs, usually at the expense of long-term relationships. Often brought about by overly high expectations of others.

Decade Blending: (page 15)

In clothing: the indiscriminate combination of two or more items from various decades to create a personal mood: Sheila = Mary Quant earrings (1960s) + cork wedgie platform shoes (1970s) + black leather jacket (1950s and 1980s).

Derision Preemption: (page 150)

A life-style tactic; the refusal to go out on any sort of emotional limb so as to avoid mockery from peers. Derision Preemption is the main goal of Knee-Jerk Irony.

Diseases for Kisses (Hyperkarma): (page 48)

A deeply rooted belief that punishment will somehow always be far greater than the crime: ozone holes for littering.

Divorce Assumption: (page 34)

A form of Safety Net-ism, the belief that if marriage doesn't work out, then there is no problem because partners can simply seek a divorce.

Dorian Graying: (page 164)

The unwillingness to gracefully allow one's body to show the signs of aging.

Down-Nesting: (page 144)

The tendency of parent to move to smaller, guest-room-free houses after their children have moved away so as to avoid children aged 20 to 30 who have boomeranged home.

Dumpster Clocking: (page 162)

The tendency when looking at objects to guesstimate the amount of time they will take to eventually decompose: "Ski boots are the worst. Solid plastic. They'll be around till the sun goes supernova."

Earth Tones: (page 26)

A youthful subgroup interested in vegetarianism, tie-dyed outfits, mild recreational drugs, and good stereo equipment. Earnest, frequently lacking in humor.

Emallgration: (page 173)

Migration toward lower-tech, lower-information environments containing lessened emphasis on consumerism.

Emotional Ketchup Burst: (page 21)

The Bottling up opinions and emotions inside oneself so that they explosively burst forth all at once, shocking and confusing employers and friends -- most of whom thought things were fine.

The Emperor's New Mall: (page 71)

The popular notion that shopping malls exist on the insides only and have no exterior. The suspension of visual belief engendered by this notion allows shoppers to pretend that the large, cement blocks thrust into their environment do not, in fact, exist.

Ethnomagnetism: (page 26)

The tendency of young people to live in emotionally demonstrative, more unrestrained ethnic neighborhoods: "You wouldn't understand it there, mother -- they hug where I live now."

Expatriate Solipsism: (page 172)

When arriving in a foreign travel destination one had hoped was undiscovered, only to find many people just like oneself; the peeved refusal to talk to said people because they had ruined one's elitist travel fantasy.

Fame-Induced Apathy: (page 150)

The attitude that no activity is worth pursuing unless one can become very famous pursuing it. Fame-Induced Apathy mimics laziness, but its roots are much deeper.

Green Division: (page 150)

To know the difference between envy and jealousy.

Historical Overdosing: (page 8)

To live in a period of time when too much seems to happen. Major symptoms include addiction to newspapers, magazines and TV news broadcasts.

Historical Slumming: (page 11)

The act of visiting locations such as diners, smokestack industrial sites, rural villages -- locations where time has been frozen many years back -- so as to experience relief when one returns back to "the present."

More X Generation Book Definitions



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