Boom or bust?

Posted by on March 10, 2023 in Blog, film, Leisure activities, Living today, Music | 2 comments

1927 Boris Bilinski (1900-1948) Plakat für den Film Metropolis, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/Wikimedia commons

Some time ago Verity wrote a blog about when might have been the best time to be alive in the UK. She concluded that if you were born in 1943, you would have had access to a good education, healthcare and job opportunities supported by a well funded programme of taxation and community facilities.

As I look on in despair at striking public sector workers who are having to resort to food banks due to their low salaries, I am definitely in agreement that unless well heeled, your prospects won’t be anything like as good as those of someone born 80 years ago. The bank of mum and dad, or indeed grandma and grandpa, seems to be crucial if you are 30-something, not in law and finance, and want to get onto the housing ladder or pay the deposit for your rented accommodation.

Alternatively you could cosy up to the former CEO of Shell, who received nearly £10m in 2022 in pay and bonuses. Was that a Ukrainian war bonus perhaps, due to the surge in wholesale gas prices?

However, we could choose to look at the different generation groupings through a more light-hearted lens.  Here is a reminder of who we all are and how we all fit in:

  • Baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964
  • Generation X- those born between 1965 and 1980
  • Millennials or Gen Y – born between 1981 and 1995
  • Generation Z – not as clearly defined, but definitely born after the mid-90s

In terms of the digital divide, the first two groups can remember a time when the internet wasn’t there and the other two can be classed as digital natives.  But I’m interested in which ‘gen’ got the best kulchur in, for example, music, theatre and film.

Actually I have to confess that some of my favourite films are pre boomers. Fritz Lang’s Metropolis came out in 1927, when wireless broadcasts were in their infancy and Instagram was a twinkle in an unborn Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. Belmondo in A Bout de Souffle however, firmly places him in the boomer camp – it was released in 1960.  We boomers also had some of what I consider (well, I would wouldn’t I?) some of the best music – the Stones, the Beatles and Bob Dylan.

Gen X have to be credited with hosting punk however, and that was an extraordinary time for music. And fashion was right beside it – Vivienne Westwood blew the lid off fashion, and it’s never really been put back on again.

Once I enter the world of the digital native I experience some hesitation, although the 1990s saw the rise of Nirvana and R.E.M. I still can’t quite work out how ‘Losing my religion‘ gets to me every time I hear it – a bit like Dolly Parton’s Jolene, which was released in 1973, nearly 2 decades before R.E.M. They will both be on my desert island discs, although I fear I am unlikely to be invited.

Streaming music and film have of course changed everything. No self-respecting Gen Z would understand the concept of listening to an entire album from start to finish, nor would they  comprehend having to wait for the next episode same time next week.  There you have it – not just a digital divide, but a conceptual one too. Maybe it’s time to get out my LPs.


  1. Thanks Barbara for explaining the different generation groupings. I agree that there is a digital and conceptual divide !

    It amazes me what has changed in my boomer lifetime . It is the most fortunate of all the generations with indubitably the best music!

    • I’m with you there!


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