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BACK AND FORTH, BACK and forth with this Generation ?/X group house thing. First the Washington Post Magazine comes out with an article on the Mount Pleasant group house residents. Then chicken pox survivor and exemplary young adult Pedro E. Ponce writes in Washington City Paper about how the Post‘s article made our generation appear to be a bunch of slackers (“Generation X-asperated,” The District Line,3/10). Ponce (along with some City Paper letter writers) feels that the portrayal of our generation was unfair to him and his housemates and friends, because they are not at all like the Mount Pleasant team. Well, in the utterance so popular to our generation…DUH!!!
It seems not many people are aware that these cute feature stories always skew and narrow the facts down to stereotypes. I don’t think the Post article meant to define our generation; it only introduced a portion of a portion.
I don’t personally know anyone in the Mount Pleasant house (I do like the groovy music of Delta ’72), but I’m sure each resident never meant to speak for anyone but themselves. Besides, the Post article did mention one of the Mount Pleasant roomies was well on her way to becoming a lawyer, another was designing furniture, and so on. Did readers miss those parts of the article?
Why are Ponce and other self-described résumé-bulker-uppers so darn put off that members of our generation are not all working as consultants or interns, or in a law office or in the government? You have to have all types of people to make our world function—lawyers, doctors, politicians, craftspeople, strippers, and musicians.
We all have goals of some kind, or are trying to sort them out. Hell, I’m 30 and I still don’t know what I’m doing to capital-D Do with my life. So I just live my life, work in an office, bitch about work, make jewelry, dream about what’s next, plan, enjoy, discover, learn, play, help, whatever. Not all of us are striving for a key position on the Hill or the top of some corporate ladder (and if someone chooses to do those things, it doesn’t instantly make ’em a materialistic, uptight yuppie dweeb). Our goals are not any less worthy if we choose to work at a record shop, to be an actor, to make hats, to teach aerobics, to feed the homeless, or to drive a firetruck. Let us truly, I mean truly, open our minds here.