Ah, The Who…don’t you just love these old fogies…
As far as labelling generations goes, I really thought I was a Generation X, albeit an early adaptor. Regardless of what the experts say, I’m way too young to be a Baby Boomer and refuse to be lumped in with them. Anyway, aren’t they the old folks born post-WW11 who are well on their way to retirement now? No thanks! I’m not answering to Baby Boomer.
Gen X is the go, besides it’s got a much cooler name. Anyway, my friends say I act like a Gen Y or worse that most of the time.
But then I happened upon US cultural historian, Jonathon Pontell, who has coined the term ‘Jonesers’ – that is people born from 1954 to 1965. Yay! (Okay, the name’s not great, but let’s not quibble.)
Apparently, Generation Jones is the lost generation caught between two demographics. We’re stuck in the middle. We’re children of the sixties, were teenagers in the seventies and took on our adult responsibilities in the eighties and beyond. Now middle-aged (again, not a term I’m fond of) Jonesers are distinguished by our pragmatism, tempered scepticism, and perhaps most importantly, by the quality of ‘Jonesing’—slang for a longing or craving.
According to Pontell, Jonesers were given huge expectations as children in the optimistic 1960’s, and then were confronted with a different reality as they came of age in the pessimistic 1970’s, leaving them with a certain unrequited, jonesing quality. In other words, we feel hard done by!
This is the situation described by Sex Pistols bass player, Sid Vicious, who said that he had missed the Summer of Love because he was too busy playing with his Action Man.
As Pontell explains, ‘We fill the space between Woodstock and Lollapalooza, between “Turn on, tune in, drop out” and “Just Say No,” and between ‘Dylan going electric and Nirvana going unplugged.’
Apparently, Generation Jones has two defining features: they tend to have more money, being at the peak of their career earnings; and they are ‘persuadable’, because they are not as fixed in their preferences as older people. Pontell says that Jonesers are also busy, practical and media-savvy.
Defining Joneser show: The Brady Bunch (Yes, definitely!)
Defining Joneser film: St Elmo’s Fire (Good, but I preferred The Breakfast Club.)
Defining Joneser game: Twister (Must admit I never got into that.)
So, are you a Joneser like me? Don’t despair. You’re in good company. Famous Jonesers include Russell Crowe, Madonna, Tom Cruise, Elle Macpherson, Gina Riley, Brad Pitt and Barack Obama.