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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