Generation (mini)Gap

Image taken from article: “Rolling Stones 25 Worst Cover Misfires”

Do you remember this magazine cover? I don’t, but like any good Millennial I recognize the Backstreet Boys. If you went to high school in the years 1998-2004 you probably know N*Sync and Back Street Boys song lyrics by default (maybe even some 98 Degrees, and LFO).

A couple weeks ago I saw this cover used in the documentary “Pearl Jam 20”. At one point in the documentary, it shows Pearl Jam hitting a rut in their touring, as the grunge scene starts to fade during the late-90s. This point is illustrated with the cover of Rolling Stones featuring the Back Street Boys with the headline “The New Teen Spirit”.  This made me laugh out loud. “Yep, that’s when I started high school,” I told my husband. Enter Millennials, exit Generation X.

With only a five year age difference between me and my husband, we share things in common from our 1990s childhood. We both watched kids’ shows like Chip N’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Tale Spin, Gummie Bears, and Dark Wing Duck. We listened to some of the same bands through high school, although I listened to later albums: Sound Garden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer, Blink 182, Green Day. How can we be from two separate generations?

Well, it turns out that there be even less of a gap between the grunge generation and the boy-band generation– if you’re in your early 30s and can’t quite relate to GenXers you may be part of the Catalano Generation.


Confession: I didn’t know who Jordan Catalano was before I blogged about this article. He was in the TV show “My So-Called Life”. Love the name 😉

Writer, Doree Shafrir hit the nail on the head with his take on the “Catalano Generation“, named after Jordan Catalano, a main character on the TV show My So-Called LifeBirth years for this group are approximately 1977-1981, during President Carter’s term, and don’t quite fit the GenX or Millennial group.

Carter Babies were born too late for the full-fledged GenX angst, but too soon for the unabashed optimism of the Millennials. I can identify these traits in my husband (born 1979) , and my brother (born 1981). Really, it’s the best of both world, and Carter Babies are some of my favorite people.

Are there any Carter Babies in your life (born 1977-1981)? Are you a Carter Baby?

9 thoughts on “Generation (mini)Gap

  1. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but I’d rather be defined by Cookie Monster, really. Who would want to be named after this picture? I don’t even remember seeing this guys face anywhere… besides, I’m 1981, so I’m a Reagan baby, not a Carter baby. But while I do love Genx, I prefer Millennials (less exhausting). It’s good to be in between!

  2. I used to think that the peanut farmer was just your delusional leftist. Now I know that Carter actually knew what he was doing when he forced the Shah out of Iran and ushered in the current reign of extremism. Witness his wholehearted approval of “freedom fighters” like Chavez, and his palling around with Hamas. Why in the world would I ever want to associated with someone like that?

  3. Yea the backstreet boys, the mickey mouse club, TGIF, the Nsync… Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch…Eminem, generally 90s HipHop…of course that too is part of what we all grew up on… starter jackets all of that is part of what we grew up on too… only difference some of us were in elementary school and other in Junior HS and HS, though it may have made a difference then, now not so much… LOL

    • Well heres the next one, 5 years later..
      I reckon the thing that defines the bubble gen – 1977-1982, in my mind- is that we had basically our whole childhood + teen years with NO internet, and have had basically our whole adulthoods WITH internet. Everything our schooling was based on, our career plans, the way we thought we would meet and court our partners even, was pretty much turned on its head just as we transitioned to adulthood (im Australian, we are considered adults at 18). All our plans, suddenly become obsolete. Some career paths ended completely in the first serious shake up since the dawn of the industrial revolution, and we had to prepare, suddenly, for new & unforeseen roles that hadnt existed while we were at high school. We were literally thrown in the deep end during the Dawn of the Internet Age and had to learn to doggle paddle in new employment streams without the years of work experience our elders had at that point, and without the training the millenials following us got in school.

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