I found this great new website called http://www.examiner.com/ - and on it a Boomer blogger with an interesting perspective and great analysis. He wrote a piece about Barack Obama's reluctance to call himself a Baby boomer.
So there was one comment on the post by this guy named Stuart. Stuart is a mean old goat. When I posted my opinion on the topic, he hammered on all of Generation X. So I replyed. And then he hammered on Generation X again.
Wow--I'm not sure what to say about that. I think it brings up the point that generational things can be interesting but my goodness its not a reason to hammer on each other.
I'm the Mike from the post you reference at the beginning of this one. I posted a lengthy, and I think constructive, response to your original post but never heard a reply back. I've been reading your stuff since and remain open to a discussion. I understand from reading your stuff that you don't believe -- and by extension do not see Gen X believing -- too strongly in the ability of well-reasoned arguments to change someone's mind. I believe in it, however, and actually think our original exchange is an example of it -- you helped change my mind. So I have to admit to some puzzlement that you didn't reply originally and now again are referencing the exchange. And I agree absolutely with Jenny. Generational differences are interesting, but we shouldn't get carried away.
I think I will eventually get around to writing another post about Generation X and its feelings about being able to change someone's mind. But as a mini-response:
It's not so much that Generation X doesn't think that it can affect someone's opinion, it's that we tend to be more accepting of conflicting opinions than Boomers. Karen Richie writes in Marketing to Generation X that Boomers think that a well-crafted argument will be always do the trick. That's even when the opinion is polar opposite to the original. Xers will engage in discussion, but when it becomes clear we don't agree we are more likely to "agree not to agree."
So if you look at it in those terms, both my exchange with you and with Stuart (which, but the way, I DON'T think you are a mean old goat like Stuart) makes more sense. I tried to make my point a couple times on the original blog, didn't feel like I was really affecting opinion (more so with Stuart than you), so I just made my peace on my own venue.
That's kind of how Gen Xers roll. I think we coined the eyeroll "whatever" combination.
Yeah, my response to the comments exchange is pretty much an eyeroll/whatever combination. My view is that Stuart has an ax to grind and he's going to do that no matter what you say.
There are plenty of flaws in his arguments. For example, how does the fact that you cited Amazon and Google as examples of Gen X achievement translate into his view that there is a lack of Gen Xers continuing the struggle to make our country a fairer, more open, and just society? Apples and oranges. And if he seemed open to different viewpoints I'm sure you could give him examples of X-driven charities and social change groups. Ooh, I just thought of one. The woman who founded Teach for America. She's Gen X.
But really what's the point in engaging with him? Interesting stuff to read before I get down to doing my work for the day but not worth more than a few min. So fine, whatever - he can think what he wants.
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