Generation ? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The generation gap is a living, breathing product of our time. It expands and contracts at will, but is held permanently together by a number of men and women who transcend their time. However, in this decade the youngsters of America and their parents show such a strong resemblance that the generation gap has shrunk. Today teenagers search desperately for a cause to give relevance to their lives. Sixties rock and the contemporary music that emulates it champion this decade of little identity.

Being the children of parents who fought in and against the Vietnam War, who saw the birth of rock, and the psychedelic era, today's teens now attempt to replicate a time they have little real connection with. They dress in army jackets and bell bottoms, listen to Bob Dylan and the Doors, and follow Phish like they were the Grateful Dead. Marijuana and LSD have reemerged as the drugs of choice, and movies like Dazed and Confused, and Slacker, which show obvious connections to classics like Alice's Restaurant and The Graduate have become favorites among the self-labeled "alternative" crowd of today.

I guess if the nineties generation were going to have a soundtrack, it would have to span three decades of teenage angst. As Steve Malkmus of Pavement sings, contemporary teens are intent on going "back to the Gold Soundz" of the sixties and seventies and even the name Pavement alludes to the "Subterranean Homesick Blues" of Bob Dylan. During their time, musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young probably were only interested in attracting a base audience of angry youngsters, but today their popular longevity not only inhibits the growth of contemporary music, but spans from fifty-year-old adults to twelve-year-old children, showing signs that their fame is far from over.

Still there are a number of obvious differences between the nineties and late sixties: the eighties' influence. Musicians today seem more concerned with themselves than with their peer group. They write songs depicting their personal struggles, and find it threatening, angering to be understood. The trippy, metamorphic happiness in songs like Jimi Hendrix's "Castles Made of Sand" have been replaced by the cold bluntness of songs like Pearl Jam's "Indifference."

We can copy our parents' appearance, habits, and language, but we can never recapture the binding togetherness of their youth. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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