Monday, February 7, 2011

Gen X saves civilization?

Popping back into blogging to post about a Superbowl commercial -- this one:

Now, it's a jump -- okay, a stretch -- to go from the commercial to the title of this post, but bear with me. First I have to explain that I came across the commercial from a post at Ann Althouse's blog, which in turn simply quotes from a post on Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist blog, entitled "Volkswagon Super Bowl ad is an anthem to Gen X". Here's why, in Penelope Trunk's words:
So I love this commercial because it captures the shared experience of Generation X. We like being home to make our kids peanut butter and jelly. You could not sell Baby Boomers with this. They think it’s lame to sit in a kitchen waiting for your kid to be hungry. We like having a male breadwinner and we’re not afraid to say it.
And we are surrounded by little boys in love with Star Wars.
When we look back, we will see that Gen X redefined family and work.
Which explains the connection to Gen X at least. With one more step, we can connect Gen X to the salvation of civilization. And that involves a self-reference, to this post a little while back: "Is modern civilization viable?", which noted that the populations of all industrialized nations (i.e., the representatives of "modern civilization") were imploding, for reasons that seemed inherent in the very nature of such cultures -- namely, the rise of wealth and individual freedom. This has tended to undermine the traditional functions and role of the primary procreative institution of society, the family, particularly within the left-liberal, statist ideologies that have long had a dominant position within all such societies.  But here was my own bit of cheer, however vague, near the end of that post:
Or -- to speak of more hopeful predictions -- the ongoing evolution of the modern world includes a renewed or revived view of the family, seeing it once again in its multi-generational dimensions, but within a redefined view of the roles of men and women as both unique individuals and as fathers and mothers.
Which, in the context of the oft-expressed contempt for  "family-values" that you find within the self-styled "progressive" camp,  would certainly be a conservative development. But, in the context of the real world, in which children are necessary for any future at all, this would be simply a correction to an unfortunate generational dead end, and the real route forward. Maybe, then, as I say at the end of the post, "for the latest generation to come of family age, children are making a comeback".