Copyright (c) 2008 Wendy Tendys
For some reason or other, we coin generational phrases to put people in their place. Or, is it to define subcultures of certain patterns of behaviour?
Mobileers were a community of early two-way radio users. According to Wikipedia, the Mobileers popularized the technology that birthed the mobile phone.
Permanent installations in vehicles gave way to the portable Bag Phones, equipped with a cigarette lighter plug. You wouldn’t recognize the huge clunky piece of equipment these phones were, compared to the dinky pocket size we carry today. But I am getting ahead of myself.
In the early 1960’s there was a youth movement that evolved into the Hippies. Again according to Wikipedia, ‘Hippies originally were Beatniks’, or the black people. These people were black by nature, not by the colour of their skin. Even their clothes were black. They were losers. Their message was, “Danger is fun”.
Hippies were a group of people who moved into the Haight-Ashbury San Francisco area. Psychedelic rock, the sexual revolution, cultural diversity and drugs like cannabis and LSD, in order to explore alternative states of consciousness, became the hallmark of the Hippies. Flower Power symbolized their cry of “Make love not war”, as they handed out flowers to passersby.
They were the frontier group of the ‘Wild West’ of our modern culture. Their far reaching effects included health food, music festivals, through contemporary sexual concepts (free love) and the use of drugs.
Many were eco-friendly and the forerunners of the Greeny Movement. They were also pioneers of the cyberspace revolution.
Today every school kid has a mobile phone, though I often wonder who pays the bills. But when mobile phones were relatively unheard of, there rose a group of Male Yuppies – Young Urban Mobile Professionals.
They had a particular stance that went with the title, as did most subgroups. One hand raised to the ear; Their other hand protectively placed on their briefcase; Head cocked to one side; Eyes glazed over as they stared at the distant horizon; A noncommittal grimace on the face.
Of course they were seen to eat at all the Yuppy restaurants and naturally drove a Yuppy car. They were the symbol of all the young affluent professionals of the day. Where are the woman in this equation.
Evolution comes in many forms. However, I wonder if that is always the case. I peresonally believe they were the result of a group of very clever marketing gurus.
Either way, the Yuppy generation took over from the Baby Boomers – suburban, couple of kids, mortgage and the backbone of the community. That is after the Baby Boomers had dried out and come off the Grass, introduced through the Hippy stage.
Let’s not knock the Baby Boomers though. The Baby Boomers produced many a Lord Mayor or politician.
Strictly speaking the Baby Boomers may have been too long a period to be classically described as a ‘generation’. The baby boom lasted over a post-war period of 18 years.
Why we have to put a name to every generation is totally beyond me? I could never work out just where I belonged, even though I contributed to the Baby Boomer period.
In Russia the Baby Boomers were called the Sputnick Generation, from the Russians race in space. How the two became connected is totally beyond me?
It was the rise of the contraceptive pill that heralded in the end of the Baby Boomer period.
Double Employed With Kids – DEWKS – was the next prominent phase. Have a child, six weeks later dump the baby in the Creche/Child Care Centre and back to competing with your partner as to who brings home the most income.
The Yuppies become Yappies – Frustrated Yuppies having to deal with a couple of screaming kids, now that spanking children (corporal punishment) was being outlawed.
Sadly this was followed by the predictable KOOPF – Kids Of One Parent Families.
Next came the DINKS – Double Income No Kids. It became fashionable not to have kids. Why not, if you could no longer discipline them?
Dinks was more widely used than the usual generational term. There were Gay and Lesbian Dinks and a midget wrestler, Claude Giroux, took the stage name, Dink. The water had become decidedly muddied. No longer could you assume the person was with their husband or wife. It had become ‘partner’.
According to some experts, if the trend of Dinks continued, intelligent professionals would become another ‘dinosaur’. Extinct, due to the lack of DINKS not having children and reproducing themselves.
However, gays and lesbians, in same sex relationships, also contributed to the downturn in population growth.
Supposedly the DEWKS and DINKS are the privileged ones who have ‘Disposable Incomes’. That which the economists say gauges the state of the economy.
Let me ask you this though, does anyone have income that can be ‘disposed of’, like polystyrene containers, paper tissues and disposable plastic bags? That of course is before bio-degradable became fashionable.
Somewhere in the middle of all this we have the term Nerd. The original stereotypical Nerd was ‘white males with glasses and braces’, according to Wikipedia. You wouldn’t get away with such a term today, in our new found non-gender consciousness.
Nerd, or Nurd, was originally known as ‘knurd’, which is drunk spelled backwards. A nerd was a person who studied, as opposed to one who partied.
With the maturing advent of Cyber Space, the term Nerd has gained respectability. It is the Nerds of our world who drive Cyber Space.
Charles J. Sykes said, “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”
Then of course we always have the Trendys, who set the pace for the next generation. The feeding grounds of the latest fashion gurus and their high paid advertising junkies.
So we keep creating new terms, putting each generation into a neat little box. We also like to do the ‘crab trick’ – don’t let anyone get out of the box. Pull them back if it looks like they are escaping.
If you live long enough, chances are you will be around for quite a few of the names, in the cultural evolution. Or is it all plain rebellion to the established mores – status quo?
I want to add one more name to the list. Most of us only dream of being a Wyna. Better than being a Luza. If you have difficulty picking up what I am saying (writing) try speaking those two names out loud.
The world is full of Luzas, but in every generation there is a minority of Wynas, about 2%. Only those who dream big become a Wyna. What did the song say, ‘Climb every mountain, ford every stream…’?
Right now there is a generation of people who are chasing after a ‘Seachange’. When they go on holiday they yearn for cooling sea breezes. Some coastal communities have been classed officially as a Seachange area.
It was even reported that one such city was attempting to restrict the numbers of visitors that flooded it during holiday periods and stretched the amenities beyond their limit. Will they create a boarder around the city and produce passports? Another Berlin wall?
Wyna says there are children in Vanuatu and other geographically isolated areas, who are financially underpriviledged. Without help they will never have the opportunity to go to high school, because they live in a cashless society.
Together we can help them. We can make them Wynas.
YouMe Support Foundation is offering a unique, world first raffle of a South Pacific resort, Seachange Lodge. YouMe Support Foundation, in partnership with winaresort.com, provides non-repayable higher-education grants for geographically isolated and financially underprivileged children. Dr Wendy Stenberg-Tendys P.O. Box 5101, Port Vila, Vanuatu Email: