Gen-Xers React to Own Paul Ryan: Eh, This Bites

First Gen-Xer on presidential ticket inspires, well, angst
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2012 9:35 AM CDT
Gen-Xers React to Own Paul Ryan: Eh, This Bites
Paul?Ryan speaking at a campaign event in Powell, Ohio, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

At 42-years-old—and a fan of grunge music, Coen brothers movies, and microbrews—Paul Ryan is the first Gen-X candidate to appear on a presidential ticket. But unlike the pride Baby Boomers felt for sax-playing Bill Clinton, Ryan is generating some very Gen-X angst, irony, and diffidence, reports the New York Times. “Vice president: it’s the perfect Gen-X job, isn’t it?” said Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Gen-X Bible Prozac Nation. “To have no responsibility, to have only the perks of what was left behind by the responsible people.”

Some academics take issue with the stereotype of Gen-Xers as slackers. "Although boomers and perhaps the media didn’t expect much of Gen-X, Gen-X has always expected the best from themselves," says one psychologist. But for others, having a strong conservative representing the generation is at best a mixed blessing. “From a vanity standpoint, it makes you feel a bit old to have a person from your generation on the presidential ticket,” says actor Johnny Knoxville. “And it’s embarrassing that it’s Paul Ryan. I wonder if the Germs ever felt this way about having Belinda Carlisle as their first drummer.” (More Generation X stories.)

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