But then, ConnectingTheDots (whoever that is) makes a comment on Jamie's recent Bookends versus books post, that says by ignoring Generation Jones, The Hourglass Blog was missing an important part of the equation. CTD says Generation Jones (born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and Generation X) has "gotten a ton of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press' annual Trend Report forecast the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009." CTD even provide a link to a webpage that recaps all this media interest. Much of this media interest seems to be driven by a marketing and political consultant named Jonathan Pontell, who, given the theme and links on his website, seems very much to be in the business of talking about Generation Jones.
So now I'm curious. What does Jamie's favorite generation experts William Strauss and Neil Howe have to say about the Jonesers, and where they fit in their cyclical theory of dominant and recessive generations? Having not (yet) read any of the Strauss and Howe books, I turn first to the Strauss & Howe entry on Wikipedia and Neil Howe's new blog—and I can't find any mention of Generation Jones on either. But Google helps me find this December 2008 Op-Ed in the Washington Post, in which Neil Howe calls Generation Jones "the dumbest generation" and nothing more than the first wave of Xers.
This is when I realize I'm in way over my head. When it comes to generational theory, I'm no more than an enthusiastic amateur, and I've found myself in the middle of a turf war between professionals, with the two sides battling for control of the narrative and the way the rest of us think about the generation we belong to. I decide to give up and go back to watching from the sidelines.
But I can't help but wonder. Pontell and the Jonesers say they're real because a lot of people born between 1954 and 1965 say they don't feel like Boomers and they don't feel like Xers. And when you think of all the bad press those generations have gotten, why would you want to be part of them if you didn't have to be? I mean, given the choice between narcissistic flower child and cynical loner, wouldn't you prefer to choose "none of the above." I was born in 1968. Can I be a Joneser, too?