I understand that this Radio 4 programme is well worth a listen (planning too later), it’s entitled The First Generation X (apologies, will only work in UK) and the blurb goes like this:
“They sleep together before they are married, don’t believe in God as much, dislike the Queen, and don’t respect parents.”
Meet the original Generation X – teenagers who in 1964 seemed to embody a new sense of rebellion, but also uncertainty and anxiety about their changing world. X stood for mystery – the unknowable future.
50 years on, oral historian Alan Dein tracks down some of the original Generation X’ers, to confront them with their teenage selves.
Interviewed by the editor of Woman’s Own magazine, a diverse group of young people answered a range of questions about their lives. Sex, drink, music and religion all featured – but so did bird-watching in rural Cumbria. The subsequent book was a landmark – a platform for teenagers to give their views, to the consternation of some of their elders.
“Most nights I sit in coffee bars with my friends talking about cars and girls..”
“Why are people in authority so stupid?”
“You’d hate an adult to understand you…”
“I’d marry anyone to spite my parents.”
“Security is a killer, corrodes your mind but I wish I had it.”
So what happened to those teenagers, wonders Alan Dein, joined by teen experts Jon Savage and Melanie Tebbutt, and how did their hopes and dreams turn out? He tracks down some of the original speakers to find out.
He also uncovers a wealth of atmospheric BBC archive from the 1930s onwards, exploring the changing perception of the teenager, such as “To Start You Talking” from 1943, which dramatised the fate of “Good Time Annie”, to make up for the lack of guidance amongst young people – as fathers were away fighting, mothers at work, and VD on the rise”
ht to the legendary Andy Poultney
Captains Log Supplemental: Fascinating piece of social history. I had no idea that this book existed … or how radical it was to talking to young people about their world, experiences and opinions, so Ironic that this radical piece of work was commissioned by “Womans Own” magazine.