A Generation X Guide to Staying at Home (if you’re lucky enough to do so)

The demographic known as Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) has been referred to as a bunch of feral, lazy slackers. Feral because we came home alone and were called latchkey kids. Lazy because when we came home we ate and either vegged out in front of the tv, played video games, sat in our rooms listening to music and reading books, or were just alone with our thoughts. And you know what? We survived and also knew if you put your headphones on and cranked the music up loud enough, you didn’t have to hear your parents raging arguments.

Earlier in the year when the first lockdowns happened, well-intentioned morons talked about learning new hobbies or finally getting things done around the house. Hardcore Gen X’ers on the other hand were like, “Yeah, that’s not going to happen.” Or at least we knew it wouldn’t happen without people bitching and whining about being bored and having their precious freedom taken from them.

It’s not freedom that was taken from you, assholes. It was an attempt to save lives. And for those of us who would have LOVED to have been in lockdown, your whiny shit makes us want to beat the living crap out of you. I mean, if I had the financial means to do a complete lockdown and work from home, I’d have done it in a heartbeat.

How hard is it to amuse yourself? One thing everyone else has that us Gen X’er’s didn’t have back in our day was the Internet. And everyone else is a freaking idiot for not realizing the internet may be the greatest tool for amusing yourself ever invented. I think of the potential of the internet if I was in lockdown like this:

Unlimited music: If you don’t have the original recording you can just stream it to your heart’s content. All those old albums you had to sell in order to eat… they’re at your fingertips now.

Unlimited movies and tv shows: If you were lucky Gen X’er you had cable but even that meant you had to watch what was on or find something else to do. And sadly because programmers back then were morons, we watched a lot of the same stuff over and over. People have choices as to what to binge like we didn’t so if you bitch about too many choices… find something else to do.

Books and stuff to read: A lot of Gen X’er’s are hardcore readers. We love libraries and we miss book stores like we miss record stores and enclosed malls. So imagine an ability these days to read on Kindles or tablets. To us, that’s like Star Trek come to life and we’re totally down with that.

Now, Generation X weren’t totally stuck in the house. Occasionally we decided to see if the sun was still shining and if the sky wasn’t on fire (we lived with a lot of fear of nuclear war and sci-fi dystopia). And if it wasn’t a raging nuclear war outside, we walked around or rode our bikes, or sat outside with our boomboxes listening to the radio or cassettes, or played Frisbee in the street with someone always keeping watch out for cars. Trying doing that today without someone seriously thinking about calling the cops on you or something.

And if you were really lucky and you had a car, you went for a ride. You put on the music and cranked it up with your friends. You grabbed some fast-food and maybe hung out somewhere or took it back home.

So when a hardcore Generation X person hears another generation young or old bitching about a lockdown to save lives, we’re just shrugging our shoulders and muttering under our masks. Because a lot of us haven’t had that luxury of being able to work from home and lock down because of the grinding jobs we have that suck. We are experts on the grind and we know it sucks.

So here’s how to stay at home Generation X-Style (legwarmers not included):

1) Just fix yourself something to eat and not give a damn about what anyone else might think of your food choices. Generation X lived on stuff invented in a lab and we’re still not glowing in the dark or hollowed-out brain-eating zombies.

2) Find something to watch, read, listen to, or play and stick with it. If you don’t want to start something new, then don’t. You won’t turn your brain to mush by watching, listening to, reading, or playing something over and over. Instead, you’ll have an amazing ability to quote huge chunks of dialogue and song lyrics.

3) We’ve seen all the post-apocalyptic disaster movies so we know how this will end if you don’t start wearing your masks, washing your hands, and staying the fuck at home when you can. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well even if you survive like Sarah Connor or Mad Max.

Finally, do NOT play Global Thermonuclear War with an AI computer: you won’t win. And also remember Google was invented by two Gen X’er’s.

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