Wednesday, November 14, 2007


As I near 50 I notice that TV commercials are now geared at the Gen X & Y Demographic. Ads for my cohorts are for Hemorrhoids, Viagra, and Sensodyne toothpaste.

When did this paradigm shift occur? How did we get from the WE Generation to the ME Generation to the MEH Generation so quickly?

A generation or cohort, is a hypothetical clump of individuals, or demographic group, that represents all the people born at about the same time, who presumably share a common experience of the same events.

The notion of a group of people bound together by sharing the experience of common historical events due to their birth was first introduced by
Karl Mannheim in the early 1920’s.

Here is the current cohort list that I found on Wiki.
starting with...

The WE Generation

Born from 1912 -’22 the Depression cohort experienced The Great Depression, high levels of unemployment, poverty, lack of creature comforts, financial uncertainty.

Key characteristics: strive for financial security, risk averse, waste-not-want-not attitude, strive for comfort

FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-1918 DEPRESSION 1920-1921

’22 -’27 Pre World War Two cohort
Memorable events: men leaving to go to war and many not returning, the personal experience of the war, women working in factories, focus on defeating a common enemy.

Key characteristics: the nobility of sacrifice for the common good, patriotism, team player.

RECESSIONS 1923-24/26-27

’28 -’45 World War Two cohort
Memorable events: sustained economic growth, social tranquility, Cold War, McCarthyism.

Key characteristics: conformity, Conservatism, traditional family values. The Depression and WW2 cohorts are known collectively as the Greatest Generation.

WORLD WAR TWO 1939-1945 DEPRESSIONS 1929-33/37-38.

The ME Generation

’46 -’54 Baby Boomers cohort #1 also known as the "Sandwich” Generation because they now must care for both elderly parents and children at the same time.
Memorable events:Assassinations of JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King Jr., political unrest, walk on the moon, Vietnam War, anti-war protests, social experimentation, sexual freedom, Civil Rights Movement, Environmental movement, Women's movement, protests and riots, experimentation with various intoxicating recreational substances.

Key characteristics: experimental, individualism, free spirited, social cause oriented.

KOREAN WAR 1950-53 RECESSION 1948-49

The MEH Generation

’55 -‘64 Baby Boomer cohort #2 (Me) also known as Generation Jones. I’m in this group.The Baby Boom peaked the year I was born (57) at 4.3 Million Births in the US:
Memorable events: Watergate, the Cold War, the oil embargo, raging inflation, gasoline shortages.

Key characteristics: less optimistic, distrust of government, general cynicism.

’65 -’79 Generation X/Gen X cohort
Memorable events: Challenger explosion,Iran-Contra, social malaise, Reagonomics, AIDS, safe sex, fall of the Berlin Wall, single parent families.

Key characteristics: quest for emotional security, independent, informality, entrepreneurial


’80 -’95 Generation Y/Gen Y cohort also called N Generation
Memorable events: Internet/Digital Age, 9/11, cultural diversity, 2 wars in Iraq.
Key characteristics: heightened fears, acceptance of change, technically savvy, environmental issues.

GULF WAR 1990-91 IRAQ 2003-? RECESSION 1981-82

So basically our lives are profoundly influenced by Armed Conflicts and Economics…which are always intertwined.

What I have noticed is that Armed Conflicts (WAR) and Economics (MONEY) still have an amazing stranglehold on our species. These factors greatly influence the mindset of each generation. We also like to blame the Generation before us for the current state of affairs.

Each Generation vows that they won’t make the same mistakes! What troubles me, is that what the MEH Generation appears to be doing, is taking the Hubrisian Indivdualism of the Boomers and extending that sense of entitlement to the next level.

Since the Second World War it would appear that each successive Generation has become less tolerant of the status quo and most of the bullsh*t conventions of the previous chort…which is good…sort of. We are reconstructing the notion of what it is to be a modern Human Being.

However people around the globe are reaching their stride at different speeds…some are tragically trapped in the past.
We are still fighting prejudice and dogmatism that should have ended long ago and it is totally exasperating. Having watched the idealistic Hippy morph into the materialistic Yuppy was so depressing. They abandoned the Generation Gap in order to shop at the Gap. Blech!

So where does that leave us. Well I believe that the younger generation is certainly astute to be re-examining the status quo. They are more colour-blind, more realistic, more flexible, and less tolerant of becoming that which they feared most, like the Boomers did. They seem sold on not selling out….and they have the numbers to get actually get something done.

From 1989 to ’93 the birthrate hit 4.3 Million for the first time since the 60’s. So the MEH Generation has the ‘chops’ to make a difference at the polls.
The biggest hurdle will be finding a way to avoid the trap that their Boomer parents fell into..totally selling out to the Man.

This Generation is hooked on Brands and Technology. They are savvy enough to understand the Psychology behind the Ads and they are changing the marketplace of goods, services and ideals. They are all going to be deaf from their mp3 players and blind from squinting at tiny screens. I wish them Luck.
PS please learn how to spell.

My Depression Era Grandparents and WW2 era Parents were the WE Generation. My children’s cohorts are the MEH Generation. The people who were a few grades ahead of me were the real Boomers, the ME Generation, and I’m being pulled in half by them and the Gen Xers. My children’s cohorts are the MEH Generation.

Is this Dumbographics

or is this a valid way to label us?


  1. I fit in with the ME generation, but most of my contemporaries don't. Just as politically conservative and bound by dumb traditions as their parents. They may have more sexual freedom, but that appears all that they have taken from the sixties.
    I sometimes think that my abuse of my body with psychedelics was all to no avail.
    Please inform me when the revolution starts.

  2. Anonymous10:01 a.m.

    Hi! My name is Project 71. Weird name I know, but my masters are weird too. My masters apologize for such an out-of-context comment and they know how painful such spamlike comments are. But, say masters, how else are we to present something good to the world. By that they mean me :D. Kindly see what I am about. Won't take you more than 22s to read... Enjoyy!

  3. Dumbographics -- that's good. I think it categorizes the unthinking, unsavvy masses nicely (like my parents) but it's harder to apply to those of us who examine our lives (because an unexamined one is, apparently, not worth living...). According to my generation (late baby boom) I should be a toys-grabber but also a technological bozo (like an old friend who occasionally reads my blog and thinks that all the links I post are also 'done by me'...:), however I dumped the materialism elemeent and embraced the communications technology part -- but only after I discovered the internet! This part: less optimistic, distrust of government, general cynicism. Well, I must admit that I fall neatly into that category.

    Nicely and a little weirdly (I mean that in a positive way!)analyzed as usual, HE.

  4. Tell me that this TV commercial hasn’t convinced you to order a walk-in bathtub?

    There’s a no-quibble guarantee!

  5. im born in 79, so does that make me a Gen X or because I grew up in the 80's --> does that make me a Gen Y?

    You are very true, our histories are marked by war. My Gen is marked by the stupidest reasons on why people must go to war. We are deeply scared, be it we care or not, the trauma is causing this generation to be fast, ruthless and dumb. We pick up things because of the success of commercialism alone, we buy stuff made in sweat shops, our lives are guided by the satellite's. It may be true that this generation has the will to change thins, but how could they change things when they Dont know what to change?

    All hail humans, we will end what we started, us. But maybe we will spare ourselves, stop and think. Meh!

  6. So much to say, so little space.

    Why do you taunt me so, H.E.?

  7. ’80 -’95 Generation Y/Gen Y cohort also called N Generation
    Memorable events: Internet/Digital Age, 9/11, cultural diversity, 2 wars in Iraq. Key characteristics: heightened fears, acceptance of change, technically savvy, environmental issues.

    That's me. Do you know what the heightened fears bit is about? I would debate that point. I would go so far as to say in fact it's the opposite, that my generation is so saturated by the media that expressions like "terrorism" and "murder" and all those scary things have lost all real meaning. They are just words now. Perhaps it is true to say that the generation before us (the people who run news programs) WANT us to be afraid, but they tried too hard and now we're just bored.

  8. I recently read another interesting post about demographics. This one was about demographics and economics/finances. If you're interested, it's here:

  9. Interesting post HE!

    **Key characteristics: heightened fears, acceptance of change, technically savvy, environmental issues

    Im not sure abt the 'acceptance of change' bit...cos I think Generation Y is the most stubborn generation


  10. Grumblinguist11:14 p.m.

    Demography has precise, squared
    -away sound to it, but each new generation still has to figure out how to order stuff that's not on the menu.
    Ours has surmounted the issue,
    by suggesting that strolling around
    blind (and stiff as a plank for 36 hours at a whack) is the new modus vivendi. We'll need a common language, simply to pass along this wisdom. Full sentences,
    like "Meh...", and, "Whatever..." are only the the beginnings of such a bridge.
    Hoy! Dove' il Bar, HE?

  11. I am who I am and i don't give a rats toss bag where I fit in. Or more to the point I don't want to fit it.

    50 ain't so bad mate...won't be long before i join ya and we can wheel each other round the Chrissy tree.
    Sneeze and save dressing the damn thing.
    "Wheel me round the other side HE, I'm gonna sneeze again."

  12. I was born at the very beginning of Gen X -- but Water Gate and the Vietnam War were very big parts of my life...perhaps becasue I was the youngest in a large family and so these issues were being slugged out at the dinner table each night.I must admit I am pretty cranky about the generation label bit. I also get crankier and crankier seeing homage paid to the Baby Boomers who have made such a mess of so many systems in this country. Make a mess -- but then don't make me oooo and ahhhh about how cool you were. This is of course about media -- but it also has to do with viewers and what they want.

    I had a wake up call to the aging thing the other day when a some very bright women in their 20's did not know who Jerry Lewis was.


  13. i just want to sit here and rest.

  14. I don't think
    I fit anywhere.
    That makes me a misfit
    and I don't care.

    Like mistipurple
    I am too tired
    to be fully comment
    I need to be wired

    squinted has started
    my reflexes are slow
    I must say goodbye
    Before I finally go!

  15. can I be in Gen X please?

  16. Do these generational divides apply to the entirety of people born in those eras? Or is it specific to Western Europe and North Americas?

  17. Hi my sweet friend,

    Freshly back from Scotland and here is where I landed.

    You have included my birth year in the Generation X. Although, I do not feel connected to that generation at all. Instead, I feel like I belong in the WE generation. It is where my heart is.

    Beyond that, I think these are labels that create ways to keep us in order. To classify us in a way so that the "man" as you call him, can understand his own mistakes by each generation. Of course we must all take in our own self-destruction on a personal level, but we do not have the power we once did. We have been cut-off at the neck and our brains reconfigured to see what they want us to see.

    Each generation had a fight and with each fight came a new vision, except that vision was colored and left us blinded. We have less tolerance because we think that it gives us power, but it doesn't. We have yet to see the real picture and so we are simply stepping into the same shoes of our fathers without knowing it.

    Do you want change? Do we all want change? If we do, it must first come from within. We must find a personal strength that makes us stand up and fight for all those things that made life worth waking for. We have given over the reigns to money and blood hungry fools and we gravel at their feet because of fear. Fear of making a new mistake, fear of rocking the boat ... Now take a look at what that fear has gotten us. War after war, hate beyond hate, and a greed for money and power. Our country is falling into a pit because we gave it to the snakes without seeing the real picture, the truth. We are lost mice ... where are the leaders? All we have now are followers.

    Sorry for my rant love. I have missed you.


  18. I think my generation just missed out on the good times and security enjoyed by our parents.And might I add this VERY important point? The 80's clothes. Say no more.Somebody should have shot us.

  19. ps-I can't believe that they wouldn't take your $50 at Wanky's (previous post). And yet Maccas accepted it.Maccas money hungry -who'd of thought? ;).

  20. Anonymous9:03 a.m.

    I'm very much enjoying this meh epidemic. Also, I just noticed that you have Hannah Montana on your label list, which made me wet myself laughing...

    Us MEH-ers are cynical, savvy bastards mildly obsessed with compensation schemes and bi-weekly technological upgrades. Most of us have more money than we really know what to do with, neglecting to save and lumping instead for spending it all on things with the letter 'i' in front of it, and of course useless university degrees.

    Yes we have the numbers to make a difference, but the apathetic attitude to make things even worse. Too cynical for our own good, you see. We are also all too obese to fit into the poll-booths.

  21. Good question. I really don't know. Is it that prevailing social conditions mold individual members of generations into sharing some identifiable personal characteristics, or is it more like people are just people and the perceived shared characteristics are just how people react under those kinds of conditions?

    I guess I kind of suspect the latter.

  22. Anonymous1:18 p.m.

    GASP! What's happened around here? It's so different and shiny.

  23. sorry gang,
    I don't know what Blogger did with my comments..((sigh))..try again..

    The myriad of key character traits that make you so unique are the direct result of your voluntary disruption of 'normal' brainwave patterns. Far Out Man!

    project 71?
    Écoute la! If you are responsible for the spam on my last post you have a lot of explaining to do?

    Do you mean to tell me that you don't do all of the links? I have been doing all of mine and it nearly killed me!

    It's more fun to embrace the good points of each group...we're not cookie cutter kids...who wants to be a clone out in cyberspace? What would be the point of that?

    I have no idea how those walkin bathtubs work? Why don't they leak? I can't have a bath in a regular tub without flooding the bathroom!

    As the global village is being developed old countries are imploding and shrinking back into their original clannish/tribal is such a paradox?
    Good Luck.

    I think that your generation is so nonchalant because you have been inundated by 24/7 information throughout your entire life. When Lincoln was assassinated it took over a week for the news to reach we see events unfold in real time and there is so much turmoil that it is overwhelmiong and the alternative is to protect your sanity or go crazy.

    I went over and read it, very timely. Hopefully he 'gets' me and doesn't think that I should be seeking professional help.

    Stubborn...perhaps self directed would be a more PC term. I think that having witnessed all of the hypocrisy of the previous generations that your cohorts have a realistic intolerance for BS.

    Once again I am humbled by your perceptive abilities. Hey kids don't do what we did or you too will end up redirecting all of the blood from your brain to your naughty bits. I do not for one second have any hope that inglush will look the same in 20 years.

    Oh what fun we would have together in the old folks home..they would have to put us in different wings or the system would collapse.
    Good Morning Mr Snake did you take your salt peter tablets like a good boy?
    Gad Zooks! She obviously was not from Frahnsss, or Frants, where Monsieur Lewis is considered a comic genius!!
    Labels schmabels..I too am sick of the Boomer this and about taking some responsibility for giving up in 68?

    HAHAHAHAHA! What a blowhard I am..I am more essays...I will try to curb my enthusiasm..Ok? misti..misssssti?
    Oops she fell asleep.

    et tu gautami?
    Come On...You are still a spring chicken. Ok it was too long.
    Actually the Baby Boom is a North American and Australian phenomenon...I don't know how much information your Government has collected on India's demographics? Your baby boom has always been described as more of an explosion that will surpass China within a few decades.

    Be my guest, you can be as XXX as you like?

    rimshot through the heart,
    In answer to both of your queries..
    I like to rattle the bars on your cage becauyse you always have fantastic rebutals..even if they are way out..AND
    the boom was in the US, Canada and Australia...mainly because the victors write history don't they?
    Oh well look who has been borrowing money from the vanquished for the last 30 years?
    Didn't see that one coming.

    welcom back Tara,
    The rest of the world cannot even begin to understand why the Almighty Dollar is the be-all and end-all in the US of A and to a lesser degree here in Canuckistan.
    Everybody knows that the system is broke and yet we put on this show..look what we have..look at how we waste...we are all about entertainment and the pursuit of happiness.

    yada yada PR firm in the world could justify spending TRILLIONS on weaponry instead of educating and taking care of our children. The day of reckoning is at hand. I forsee a fortress America/ Monroe doctrine coming that will shut off North America from the rest of the world to enjoy an early retirement of the Empire.

    You know how trends are recycled every twenty ot thirty years, those 80s fashions will come back so I hope that you saved all of your Madonna outfits..I still have my Mr T stuff.

    For whatever reason I love Hannah Montana and my daughters (who are in their twenties) think that this is a sure sign of dementia. I hope that she makes it and doesn't end up like the last batch.

    Your gen will need to make a few adjustments before the rest of world invades by force and hopefull the commanders of the military will not still be living in their parent's basement when World War 3 starts.

    It is probably a self fulfilling prophecy thingamabob. The media packages world events in a nice and neat package so that they can deliver it in a 10 second sound bite.

    It doesn't matter if you understand the consequences of these events because some handsome announcer will explain it to you in another ten second sound bite tomorrow at the same time.

    It's my old sweater..I put it back on because I felt a draft.

  24. Oh dear, I'm in with the 1912 lot. I guess my grandparents' influence and a rural upbringing does that to you - thrift, make-do-and-mend and even willing to cook fresh roadkill. The gas board sent a survey and claimed to send personalised results to help me save money. What "turn the thermostat down" advice can you give to someone whose attitude to the cold is "put on a sweater and an extra pair of socks"?

  25. thats gonna take some mulling over dude...
    though i like that i am officially "gen x"


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