September 1, 2022

“The squeezed ones are Gen X, born between 1965 and 1980. They are sometimes known as the “baby bust” generation because the birth rate went down as my generation of US Boomer women decided to delay childbirth or to have no children at all.

On one side of them are Generation Jones, born from 1954-64. They were children during Watergate, the oil crisis and stagflation. The name comes from “keeping up with the Joneses”, but if they have a “jones” or craving to become president they’ve barely shown it yet. Only Obama, born in 1961, has made it to the White House, although Kamala Harris (born 1964) still might.

On the other side of the generation couch are the millennials, born between 1981 and 1996 and Generation Z, born from the mid-1990s to about the early 2010s. In terms of age, Gen X and millennials should be completely running the electoral show now. But they aren’t, by and large.

In the US, a great deal of wealth is held by an older demographic in property, businesses and investments. Older campaigners have bigger war chests for campaigning because older people just tend to have more money.

Another reason that Gen X and Gen Jones are not dominating the electoral field is that while the US median age might be 38.6, the median age for US voters at the local level is almost 60 years of age. We Boomers tend to head to the ballot box to express ourselves politically. Younger people: not so much.”

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October 7, 2020

“The VP candidate grew up in a cultural moment that demanded a foot in different worlds. Is that a strength or a weakness now?… Kamala Harris is a Prince fan, and while you may think you already know a lot about her, her adoration of the Purple One is truly all you need to understand her in the context of 2020’s political craziness. She grew up in a subgeneration of integration babies, sandwiched between Boomers and Gen Xers, post civil rights, witnesses to hip-hop’s earliest days…At age 55, the child of intellectuals in Northern California, she’s part of a cohort often ignored by demographers, Generation Jones, those of us who came of age during the Reagan years. We missed out on the Black Power Movement, the sexual revolution and women’s lib, Vietnam and Woodstock. All this shapes Harris the politician, for good and for not-so-good.

As a Generation Joneser, she’s the Jan Brady of American politics, the perpetual middle child, wondering why we can’t all get along. And tonight, on the debate stage, facing off against Vice President Mike Pence, another (older) Joneser, she’ll be trying to thread a needle that’s getting harder to thread every year… Like Harris, I’m a middle-class Generation Joneser, a Black preppie who also swore allegiance to his Purple Majesty…Compromise and consensus are a key personality trait of Generation Jonesers, particularly among Jonesers of color, said Jonathan Pontell, a social generation expert, who coined the phrase. But that compromising nature, in this era of political extremes, can seem out of step, something for which both Harris and Obama have faced criticism…Jonesers, he said, were weaned on idealism as kids in the ’70s, only to be confronted as young adults with the money-hungry cynicism of the ’80s. We were the guinea pigs living through the real changes effected by the turmoil of the ’60s, turmoil we were too young to understand. As integration babies, Black Jonesers were raised with high expectations, expected to excel, to bust ceilings…Prince knew all this, tapping into the angst of a subgeneration. He always looked askance at the poor hand we’d been dealt, but he hid from the world, choosing to shroud himself in mystery.”

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September 28, 2022

“Obama, ‘Generation Jones’…One important thing we are going to dispense with: Obama doesn’t really count as a Gen Xer. We know this is subject to intense debate. And yes, his personal background has some common characteristics with Generation X, like being the mixed-race son of divorced parents who embraced technology to win the presidency. He was also born in 1961, the same year as Douglas Coupland, the author of the book responsible for coining the phrase “Generation X.” But have we all seen the future president in those dad jeans?

The social commentator Jonathan Pontell said Obama told him back in 2007 that he identified with what’s known as “Generation Jones,” a micro-generation consisting of people born between 1954 and 1965 who don’t quite fit as the archetypal boomer or Gen Xer. Think of them as the godparents of the “Xennials” — those born in the late 1970s or early 1980s who aren’t fully Gen X or millennial. “I remember reading his original autobiography, ‘Dreams from My Father,’ and thinking this guy is Generation Jones through and through,” Pontell, who invented the term, told me in recounting his brief conversation with Obama during a Los Angeles fundraiser emceed by Cedric the Entertainer.”

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February 17, 2023

“Happy 88th birthday to my Uncle Hal… My uncle’s longevity gives me hope because I estimate my life expectancy between the ages of 70 to 75 because I’m pretty healthy aside, and I’ve taken control of my diabetes. Much like Uncle Hal, I don’t smoke… The fact I drink much less than he did is likely a generational thing; he of the silent generation and I born in the last year of the baby boom/Generation Jones cusp. I think this will buy me a few years among those in the maternal side of my family who expired among the younger extremum.”

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January 13, 2021

“The Chuck Taylors seemed like a clue. Kamala D. Harris declared the Converse sneakers her go-to kicks. So when the Biden-Harris ticket emerged victorious, millions of former Benetton shoppers could rejoice at the underlying achievement: A member of Generation X had reached the White House for the first time. Then came the deniers. Harris was born in 1964, they noted, which is universally accepted as the last year of the baby boomer generation — and well, kids, rules are rules. Some people insist Harris belongs to a group that straddles the boomers and the Gen Xers, called Generation Jones… Harris declined to answer these questions when The Washington Post asked, and wouldn’t say which generation she identifies with.”

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July 28, 2022

“The cars—all between model years 1969 and 1972—represent a solid cross-section of the autumn years of the first-generation Mustang, and they give us an interesting look into the mind and circumstances of their seller, Stephen Yousey…At age 60, Yousey is the typical Generation Jones baby boomer—old enough to remember these cars when they were new, but too young to have participated in the muscle car revolution (a cohort your author also falls into).”

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July 13, 2023

“The films’ subjects and interviewees belong to the first wave of baby boomers, and the filmmakers belong to the younger cohort of that group, aka Generation Jones — the kids who missed hippiedom by a few years but still absorbed the countercultural idealism. The kids who bought the albums… Is it any wonder that punks would arise to pounce on the “dinosaurs” of the music business? Or that Generation Jones, caught between the boomer vanguard and Gen X’s ironic detachment, might unapologetically enjoy both the megastars and the punks?”

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November 13, 2022

“After Prince’s accidental fentanyl overdose in 2016, his inscrutability has posthumously transformed him into a purple Rorschach blot for the late boomer/early Gen X cohort sometimes known as Generation Jones. These were people who came into their young adulthood in the mid-1980s, a time when prancing around in lingerie and a brocade bolero jacket with your hair teased up into an oversize pompadour was all the rage. Prince, one of the few people who could carry off this look, preached an orgiastic abandon in opposition to the staid “family values” of the Reagan-era establishment.”

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December 15, 2021

“I just turned 61 years old, and people my age know what that means at Christmas.

No, it’s not about remembering to double up on our statins before chugging the eggnog. Very funny. Ha ha.

I mean, of course, that my age makes me a member of Generation Jones, a child of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Unlike the earlier Boomers raised on insipid 1950s television that provided no real Christmas specials, I grew up with a torrent of holiday programming that included Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown, and many others. These Christmas specials are now beloved by multiple generations and they have ruled cable and network television for a half century or more.”

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