Why does it seem stars from my generation* have such a hard time staying alive?

What gives, yo?

I mean, life’s a bitch and all but come on Gen Xers, don’t let all that depressing music from the Nineties go to your head…

Or your heart.


I tell ya, last year we lost such notable Gen Xers as Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell*** and, before them, Scott Weiland a couple years ago, not to mention all those Gen Xer stars we lost early in their prime: Kurt Cobain, Tupac, Biggie, Layne Staley, Shannon Hoon, Bradley Nowell, and god knows how many others I’ve failed to mention.

And now this year we continue the tragic Gen X endings with the tragic death of Dolores O’Riordan.

By the time my generation gets in its natural zone of death, it seems all the stars from it will be long gone with no big names left for me to pay tribute.

But, as is evident by Delores’ recent passing, it’s painfully obvious the premature dying off of famous Gen Xers will continue unabated and I sincerely would like to pay a heartfelt tribute to the life of Dolores, for hers was a unique and beautiful voice that defined my generation*.

Sadly, like the death of Scott Weiland, I kind of saw it coming

A while back, I posted about how much I loved the music and movie scene from the Nineties. As a representation of the awesomeness of that era, I included a video from the Cranberries.

I remember thinking then, that I hope Delores had gotten her life together, considering how she had depression and bi-polar issues that had negative effects on her career.

While the cause of her death hasn’t been announced as of this writing, I fear the worst…that, tragically, she took her own life.

All I can say now is, RIP Dolores and wherever your spirit may tread, continue to rock on like the quintessential Gen Xer you always were.

I only hope that Dolores’ death doesn’t hit her fellow Gen Xer and Irish sister Sinead O’Connor too hard because she’s already been having a tough go of it…

*In case you weren’t aware of it, I’m a human; so, as one, I can’t help but to generalize, process-ize, and categorize all aspects of my life.

Round peg, round hole is my battle cry. (For an artistic expression that explores this concept tangentially, see my short story Stafangr, 1994).

So, as a species, we humans of course can’t help but to generalize and process-ize and categorize ourselves into neat little groups, the most obvious and persistent way is by the color of our skin. While it’s impossible not to do this, it is unfortunate, just as it is for our self-inflicted categorizing of gender, sexual orientation, and all the other such like.

Yeah, I don’t really dig having to do all that nonsense; however, I don’t see any way around it in the foreseeable future, I’m sad to report.

I would love to say, who the fug**** cares what your skin color is, or what gender you want to be, or to whose bed your sexual genes and/or fantasies lead you to.

But it would be a stupid question because it’s obvious that oh so many humans do care, I mean, they really, really care.

In fact, they care so much about the color of your skin or what gender you want to be or whose bed you want to sleep in that some, many, will fight, murder, and go to war over their care for it.

Stupid question, indeed. (For an artistic expression that explores this concept completely, see my novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor)

But hey, not all human categories are bad, right?

I mean, it’s kinda cool how we like to categorize and label-ize our ilk generationally, right?

I mean, what harm can come from saying that, based upon the year a person was born, he or she falls into such and such generation.

Well, I guess I better walk that back a bit because I’m sure there is someone out there somewhere, not excluding yours truly, who would take offense being inappropriately mislabeled generationally.

You know, ageism and all that.

And to be honest (which doesn’t necessarily mean I wasn’t being honest elsewhere…just trying to make a point of my point), now that I think about it, I am pretty particular about of which generational label I am slapped with because it’s not necessarily obvious by my birth date to which generation I belong.

For you see, the year I was born was the year that most experts***** agree is either the end of the Baby Boom Generation or the beginning of Generation X.

By looking at me, there is a high probability (believe me, I know this empirically) that you would automatically categorize me, i.e., stereotype me, as being one of the Baby Boomer Generation.

And, again, to be honest, when looking at myself in the mirror, I see a dude who, if I didn’t know him better, even I think looks like a classic, Classic Rock Baby Boomer.

I mean, if you look at me you’re gonna think without even having to think, that that dude, meaning me, surely has a 45 of Fortunate Son spinning on the turntable when he wakes up in the morning and 45 of Kashmir spinning when he goes to bed at night while walking around all day during the time in-between humming the iconic riff from Purple haze, his looks epitomize a Boomer that much.

But you know what, it ain’t me. I ain’t no Greatest Generation’s son (did you see how I did that? If you’re a Millenial, the answer is probably hell no, old man)), for, since, my parents are from the oft-forgotten Silent Generation, the one right after the Lost Generation (think Gertrude Stein (well, when thinking of the Lost Generation, you have to think of her because it was she who came up with the Lost Generation moniker for crying out loud), Hemingway, and Fitzgerald (that generation is, to me at least, associated mostly with literature and not music like most generations are to me because, let’s face it, there isn’t much music from the Twenties that I’m into)) and right before the Greatest Generation (known for its prowess both on the WWII battlefield and in the bedroom, hence the booming of babies after the war), I was born right on the fuzzy demarcation line between the Baby Boomers and Gen X, which allows me to choose which side I want to be on, of which generation I choose to identify with.

And, even though people try to put me down by talking about my generation (see how I did that again?) being that of the Baby Boomers…

I have, and always will, choose to identify as a Gen Xer.

Can you dig it?

**non-gender specific

***He’s the same age as me so, even though I never heard him publicly declare it, I’m assuming he also identified as a Gen Xer. I mean, fug****, he’s another one of the defining voices (man** that dude could scream like an angel) of Generation X.

****an acceptable alternative expletive in the original edition of The Naked and the Dead for the unacceptable expletive of fuck.

*****I mean, come on. How much of an expert does one have to be to deduce that each generation lasts only until it is of the age to begin the process of procreating out the next. These days, for most populations, the procreative process tends to begin three to five years after puberty, which, give or take a year or two, makes it close enough to round up the lifespan of a generation to a nice even 20 years.

6 thoughts on “Why does it seem stars from my generation* have such a hard time staying alive?”

  1. Its always sad when a great artist dies – luckily their music/poetry/novels live on… they do become almost immortal.
    I am a Cusp Gen X/Baby Boomer and happy to say I’m a BB 🙂 Love the music/ motorcycles/ cars and stars from that era – just wish I had all the money that every baby boomer is supposed to have hahaha

    • Yeah, I assume everyone my age I grew up with would prob identify as a BB, but I never did. To me, someone old enough to be involved with or truly understand at the time all the crazy of Vietnam and all the protests, Woodstock, hippies, and Nixon defines a true BB. I was only 10 in ’75 and all that madness just seems so surreal and distant from me that I never felt like I really belonged to that era.

      Good to hear from you, brother.


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