The original Silent Generation was the generation born between 1925 and 1942. As a whole the generation was "withdrawn, cautious, unimaginative, unadventurous and silent." They came of age too late to be war heroes, and too early to be free spirits. These are of course broad generalizations, as people like like Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Hunter S. Thompson, Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia wore born during the period, and undeniably fostered social change in the 1960's and beyond. However, they were the movers and shakers. They responded to the inaction of their generation, and they were mentors to the baby boomers, rather than being peers.
They are the ones who came to their primes during the late forties and early fifties, solidifying the social structure and norms established by their predecessors. They took up the arms of their fathers in the Korean War, which was fought to a tie. According to David Foot, the best year to be born in America was 1938, at least in terms of economic success. But this only furthers the idea. It's a stable average, it's a silent generation that does not create an impact on society in any form. They're a bookmark between real generations.
It's been proposed that the generation born in the late nineties or early twenty-first century is the New Silent Generation, but I believe the marker goes back further than that. I believe my birth-peers are the New Silent Generation. . We lack the cynicism, lack of beliefs and trust in traditional values that characterized Generation X, but we still cling to their traditions, like body piercings, tattoos, grunge rock, overeducation and underachievment. Growing up we didn't think of the dangers of communism, and we only watched MTV because it used to be cool.
However, we're not the generation that will revolutionize the world having grown up with the internet and cell phones. These were technological innovations that started becoming standardized during our transition from childhood and adulthood. We remember the popularization of internet and cell phones, as it characterized our growth into adulthood.
We are the meaningless choice generation. The generation that feels the need to define themselves with the trappings of the generations that surround us, without the meaning behind it. We're devotely political, though we won't do anything to further political agendas other than bitch. We're the voters who, despite all of the screams about dubya being a moron, showed up to the elections in record-low numbers for his second term. We dye our hair and get tattoos and piercings, not because they indicate our seperation from the state, but because they're acceptable now, and still have a tinge of rebellion. We grew up too late for punk rock to have meaning, so we listened to Blink 182 and made pop punk what it is today. We're the standardizing generation, too meek to try out anything new, but more than willing to hop on every bandwagon that rolls around.
The New Silent Generation has nothing to say, but needs to speak loudly to say it.