That’s Extreme Dude!
If a person that never lived in the twentieth century visited 1997 for just one day, he or she would probably think that we are all trying to kill ourselves. Everything from sports, to music, to advertisements is extreme these days. People are doing things in sports that have never been attempted and are seemingly crazy. In advertising, people of this decade are portrayed as risk-takers, and dare-devils. There seems to be little regard for safety and a lot of regard for fun. I think that advertisers have grasped what this decade is all about, and I am proud to be a member of Generation X.
Not everyone in this world is a risk-taker. I would say that most people try to live their lives peacefully and without very much drama. But, it is impossible to ignore the people who live their lives on the edge with “No Fear.” A clothing company called “No Fear” has had much success in selling shirts to the worlds youth. They have been so successful because that is the exact attitude of Generation X. “Don’t worry, be Happy,” and “Live life to its fullest” are all catch phrases of this generation. People just want to have fun, and they find new and exciting ways to do it.
Sports are a great example. The cable network ESPN hosts an event every year called the Extreme Games. It is a festival that lasts one week which involves sports that most sane people would never try at home. These sports include, skateboarding, in-line skating, sky-surfing, and street luge. Most of these sports are new to the 90’s. While these games are being held, other advertisers have a field day. The soft drink company Mountain Dew ran commercials that said, “Nothing is more intense than slamming a Dew.” It also had many female actors in its advertisements in which they wore grungy clothes, nose piercings, and heavy make-up. This showed that women can be “extreme” too, and should not be counted out in Generation X. Pepsi has also gotten into the mix by its Generation neXt ads. They portray people doing wild and fun things with alternative music in the background. They Pepsi ads are very similar to the Mountain Dew ads.
A good example that shows how big of an effect Generation X is having on the world is the Olympic games. Traditional sports that once got most of the attention during the games are losing ground to new venues which are being added all of the time. Olympians can now medal in sports like snowboarding, and mountain biking. Adding these sports to the Olympics meant a lot. It said to the world that these new “extreme” sports are real, and are here to stay. Just like the people of Generation X.
In addition to sports, the music industry has changed by leaps and bounds. There is a radio station in Las Vegas called, X-treme Radio. The music played on that station is much more vibrant and exciting. It may not have to be appealing, but it is fast and intense. Many people such as Marilyn Manson have risen to the top by selling their music which involves violence and other things never mentioned in musical lyrics before. This is typical of Generation X, because we are a generation of people who are not afraid to speak our minds. This can be good and bad. It is good because, I believe that having the freedom of speech is what it truly means to be free. It is bad because these bad things being said are often about killing, stealing, drinking, and doing drugs, and young people hear it all.
Another industry catching on to this “extreme” attitude is the automobile manufacturers. Cars are getting faster, and their designs are looking more and more aggressive. Most car advertisements feature young people having fun, while taking their trucks to the mountains to do extreme sports. The car manufacturer Saab has had the slogan, “find your own road.” This slogan is appealing to people of Generation X because that is what we are all about; finding ourselves, and doing things that have never been done before.
The world is exciting and full of energy, and I just love it like this. But, to many older people, we are all a bunch of self-centered, non-educated, dangerous kids that run around causing trouble. That is just a big misunderstanding. There will always be extremes of everything. Yes, some people in my generation have ruined our reputation by doing stupid things. And just because they dressed like me, or listened to the same music as me, that does not mean that we share the same morals. That is what people must realize; that we are all different, and we all have different opinions. That is what makes us great. And as for the guy that says we are all uneducated, well all I have to do is show him around my university that is full of 20,000 Generation Xers and laugh in his face.