I love jazz and easy listening. It puts me in a low cortisol type of mood that’s just right for a commute home. I obviously didn’t grow up in the Jazz Age, and I only have early memories of listening to jazz with my grandmother as a young child, but it’s nostalgic for me. I don’t have a lot of memories of feeling safe and secure as a child, but those few times I would listen to my grandmother sing, would listen to jazz with her and talk about New York City gave me a sense that my existence wasn’t just some strange fluke, that I was meant to be on Earth and that it was okay to be here.
And while a lot of jazz and easy listening classics have been digitized, they haven’t been redone by people who don’t respect the genre or the process, and although nowadays, you hear so many young female vocalists heavily using jazz inflection or crooning to music that isn’t jazz or even homage to jazz, I like it nonetheless. It’s nostalgic to me, and I can croon along in the car while evading potholes and car doors.
And I was listening to Jerry Vale recently, as a song came on one of my Spotify mixes that I haven’t heard in a very long time. Jerry Vale is probably most recognizable nowadays because of Goodfellas and The Irishman, but he’s had a long, prolific career. In fact, there is one song I think he’s probably most famous for, “Pretend You Don’t See Her,” accompanied by the Percy Faith Orchestra, a hauntingly beautiful ballad about an inescapable moment of secret, unrequited love that the singer has no choice but to endure.
And I love this song because I have been there as have many, and the simple, comforting lyrics he sings to his own breaking heart brings me back to those very Venus in Capricorn, Saturn in the 7th house moments of my own.
The problem, however, is that not all of the lyrics, as simple as they are, have aged well:
Back when this song was written, the lyrics “Pretend you don’t see her, my heart/Although she is coming our way/Pretend you don’t need her, my heart/But smile, and pretend to be gay,” had a distinct, simple message back when it was written that is very different from the distinct, simple message it would have today. Oddly enough however, the lyrics are still strangely apropos today, if a tad overkill.
And I know what the lyrics actually mean and the context in which they were written, but my 43-year-old self still laughs while belting this song in the car on the way home.
But knowing this gives me pause when I think about rolling my eyes at a younger generation that’s taking a Khmer Rouge approach to culture and deciding everything that existed before 2005 is the dreaded “problematic,” because I realize that these kids don’t have grandmothers who played jazz on records or found out they were allergic to poison ivy the hard way, so it’s easy to have a more black and white approach to danger when everything is more theoretical rather than empirical (which, by the way, will make you very anxious). And I try to remember this when I have no patience for younger astrologers coming up with whackadoodle astrological theories that have absolutely no foundation in reality and have no regard for shit that has actually occurred in material reality.
And I should probably remember this when I’m complaining about Boomers as if I’m not fully aware that they are a deeply traumatized generation, raised by a deeply traumatized generation, and the first of the generations in recent history to say “but wait…what about me?”
Because the “Me” Generation is pretty much every generation from the Boomers on in every individualistic modern society, right? And we don’t necessarily think individualism is a bad thing, do we? But what’s so wrong about saying “no, I’m not going to go die in your war, Mr. Nixon?”
Generational Astrology: Just Say No?
One of the reasons I’m hesitant to dive fully into the astrology of generations is that they don’t neatly fit into astrological transits. Everything is more complex than one Pluto sign or one Uranus sign. Boomers are late Pluto in Leo to Pluto in Virgo, Neptune in Scorpio and Uranus in Virgo, mostly, but not 100% neatly. But all the reasons that Boomers came to be was because of a series of things that happened – namely a little thing called World War II. And this is where it gets interesting:
The Boomers in Europe had a much different childhood than the Boomers in America, and the Boomers in Asia had a much different childhood than the Boomers in America, and the Boomers in Africa had a much different childhood than the Boomers in America, too. You know, almost as if America is not the entire fucking world — crazy right? Although a lot of things did change globally, it was not suburbs and picket fences for everyone. Britain, for example, was devastated after WWII and there were still shortages and destruction. And Japan didn’t recover from those two atomic bombs over night. Egypt had a revolution in 1952 that had nothing to do with cars and lawns and one-income households. And let’s not forget the European countries now behind the Iron Curtain – that was no veneer, no whitewash.
But honestly, I don’t know much about Boomers in other countries as much, although it might be interesting to do comparative astrology between generations from different areas of the world.
The Boomers we’re talking about are American Boomers because this particular subset of the generation wasn’t haunted by the ghosts all around them but the ones their parents brought back with them and carried with them all the way from The Great Depression.
Children who are first generation middle class can tell you what it was kind of like for American Boomers, I think. We went from poverty to war, to the social order upended, to a rush to something ideal and the belief that we were entitled to it. Boomers, on the other hand, would never “earn” the spoils their parents did en masse: they would never have houses, jobs, and college handed to them. They would not all be able to have single-income households. They would never have the freedom of The Great Depression or WWII to upend things and allow them to wallow in dysfunction. They would never have The Jazz Age or WWI to upend the social order, too. They would have rock music, and rock music would represent freedom and youth culture – but rock music and youth culture was a lot of commercialism, too. The Beatles went from Hamburg pub musicians to international superstars on a level never seen before. They would even have a sexual revolution that gave them the freedom to have sex but not the freedom to have intimacy, or at least, not the wisdom to understand it because their parents couldn’t teach them that: for the Greatest Generation, it was about finding a guy or gal, settling down, having a family, doing it right before the Commies blew you up.
And for Boomers, who had to do air raids and constantly fear nuclear attack the way we now fear school shootings, there was always a touch of nihilism in all things, because it wasn’t just your school that could get shot up, but your entire world could be blown up, and there’s nothing you could do about it. When they were children, there was still Segregation in much of the South. Women could vote, work, and go to college, but they had to marry and produce, and they could not leave bad marriages, so many Boomers grew up quietly enduring dysfunction for the sake of appearances when the world could blow up at any minute, when Commies could invade and destroy everything. When polio could come through and cripple you or kill you, when any adult could tell you what to do or make you do anything, even something you didn’t want to do, and you would be blamed for it and live with the shame forever, when the culture was falling all over itself to get into your home via magazines, television, radio, and gossip, and for the first time for many families, they lived in homes away from family – the single family home became a norm.
Little Boomers pretending everything is normal, saying nothing about abuse or neglect, no one to help them, trapped inside single family homes in the suburbs without the benefit of nosy neighbors and relatives who were willing to help out and be a comfort or relief. Little Boomers who were the results of their parents’ youthful indiscretions, their war bride marriages, their parents’ fears of being too old to marry, trapped in homes with men who were shell shocked and deeply traumatized from war and the wives who were trapped there with them, soothed into inaction by gadgets, electronics, media, and consumerism.
Little Boomers didn’t invent consumerism. They were fed packaged foods, TV dinners, cereals that were little more than tiny cookies floating in milk. They were raised to believe that it was a god-given right to not have to share – your individual burger, your individual fries, your individual lawn, your individual neighborhood by race, your country that was not open to any more immigrants, but was the best in the world and had to be in order to stave of the end of the world that could come at any moment at any time.
Pluto in Leo – we’re the best or we die trying. Pluto in Virgo – it’s perfect or we die trying.
Little Boomers would never earn their parents’ respect. They would not fight in great wars, but they might be dragged to Vietnam for a war we couldn’t win to ostensibly defend a country that didn’t want us there. Vietnam was the first televised war, the first time we could war that wasn’t carefully curated, the first time we were able to talk about what happened in war, and what kept happening after war. Here, these children managed to survive a childhood that surely should have ended in sudden death in a world that was all a lie only to go die in a jungle to defend a concept or stave off fear of communists coming to take away our stuff and our religions, both things we were no longer so keen about. But they were raised from day one with the burden of making America #1. Eat your food – there’s starving kids in China. Do better. Earn more. Be braver. Be stronger. The Boomers were tasked with ensuring the Greatest Generation did not work in vain, which was terribly, terribly unfair to them because they didn’t ask to be born and they didn’t owe their parents’ generation any sort of worship. Imagine growing up hearing that if it wasn’t for your father, you’d be speaking Russian and digging in the woods for roots and bugs for dinner. Imagine growing up and hearing that it wasn’t for all the men around you, everything would be horrible. How could you live up to that? Even your mother, who polished warheads, even she who now doesn’t have to work anymore is more of a man than you will ever be.
And that’s probably why Boomer men are so obsessed with WWII – it’s the thing that belonged to their fathers that they could never, ever do. They can never have a WWII to make men of them, they can never have that kind of generational achievement, and the fact that they weren’t dying right now in a nuclear holocaust was a testament to American exceptionalism, the men who were protecting them.
They had the Civil Rights movement, but honestly, unless you were black or a person of color or very heavily involved in it, there’s a good chance you had little to do with it, but that doesn’t stop a lot of Boomers from co-opting it and acting like they ended racism. They had rock n roll. They had Woodstock. They had the sexual revolution. They had a cultural revolution in the 60s and 70s that directly rebelled against the pressures put on them by the previous generation – turn on, tune in, drop out. If they could not be a collective who fought a solitary evil or axis of evil, they could be a collective fighting the establishment that had oppressed them and everyone around them for as long as they could remember. The next adventure was inventing a new world in which people could just be…people.
So what the fuck happened in the 80s?
Reality happened. Not every single Boomer was counterculture, just as not every single young person today is Woke, just as not every young person when in my twenties would identify as feminist or tolerant or whatever term we were using back then. Pluto was in Virgo, and when the veneer shattered, it built a new order. Pluto in Virgo generations need structure and order, but what they need is integrity and mentors. Some of them had mentors, and many of them did not. The Greatest Generation were still recovering from their own trauma, many of them forced to grow up way too early and having no real concept of what a childhood was and not really being sure how to supply their children with childhoods other than enforcing social norms. Their kids went to school, had toys, wore children’s clothing, ate children’s food, played outside instead of working. They listened to children’s radio and watched children’s TV. They had commercials targeted to them. The cult of childhood that the Greatest Generation created for Boomers was a cage that kept the children from leaving but didn’t stop the bad things from coming in — they didn’t hide their problems from their children. They made their children feel indebted to them (Pluto in Virgo) for existing.
Baby Boomers, in short, were spoon-fed consumerism from the time they were born. It was what they knew. It was the order they knew. It was safety and assurance, and not just their assurance, but the assurance of the entire country against the threat of the enemy. We were still very much in a Cold War in the 1980s. It wasn’t just the Soviets either, but the Contras, the guerillas, the terrorists, and all the other groups that hated the West and particularly us, and not all without good cause either – the Bay of Pigs invasion that nearly landed us at war with Cuba, for example that the Boomers also endured. Oh, and their young president was assassinated. And also assassinated was their civil rights leaders. And even though they had abortion rights, birth control, and the sexual revolution, they didn’t have any wisdom to know how to choose the right partner or have a good marriage because the fuck their parents knew anything about that to teach it to them, and it’s not like women culturally had the right to simply be as they were – they were free to be sexual and to earn money, but not necessarily free to be people. They could walk around without bras but they couldn’t defend themselves if their husbands hit them. But that was under the veneer – what they knew was the veneer:
Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow, we die. Show the enemy that they don’t scare us by partying hard.
And no shit, because then there was a drug epidemic and an AIDS crisis that got swept under the rug by Reagan. Technology was booming, manufacturing up, and the middle class was becoming more middle-class. While there would still be poor Boomers and generational poor Boomers and rich Boomers and generational rich Boomers, social mobility was possible because we were terrified of other countries outdoing us in brains and earnings. When Boomers were young, it was imperative for them to out earn their peers in other countries, to do better in school, to go to college, to make sure that we had more smart people than the Soviets or the Chinese or whatever country we feared, and we would do that by making college accessible to whomever wanted it and could do it. When Boomers were young, prosperity was their duty. Wealth was their duty. America would become so big and bad, sitting on a hill of its riches, so no one could reach it. Hell, Rick, who didn’t do that great in high school but got to college on a football scholarship and didn’t make the team, managed to get through college and law school and to rise up to become a successful lawyer in his day. The culture tampered down the competition because a high tide raises all boats, and when all boats are raised, so are their cannons.
And that’s the war that Boomers were fighting, the one they inherited from the Greatest Generation: they were fighting the Cold War by beating their chests and saying “USA #1!” and demonstrating to the world such a thing. And if they had the wealth, the connections, the material goods, and the mobility, no one could say they didn’t earn their right to be Americans just because they didn’t fight in WWII, and the Communists would be too afraid to start a fight with someone as big and bad as Americans, right? They were doing exactly as they were programmed to do as young children, and it was working: they were like little sleeper agents, in a way.
Boomers were raised to not think about other countries, other cultures, or their impact on the globe. For those of you who don’t have Boomer parents and did not live through the Cold War or that sweet moment in time between the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of Putin and 9/11, you may not really understand what it means to not have been programmed to believe that The Communist Other has a target on you and it’s your job to dodge that target. It’s exhausting when you’re a teenager — just fucking shoot us already — and it’s terrifying when you’re an adult and have some semblance of a life and things that are valuable to you, if only your own health and your own body.
The post-9/11 world is not the same as the Cold War. Similar, but not the same. Even though I saw the towers on fire, and I was there when they fell, and I was in New York post 9/11, and I dealt with that trauma for years and I still periodically get mail from the World Trade Center Health Registry asking how I’m doing or sending a Christmas card (I get so few Christmas cards nowadays that the ones I get from dentist and from the World Trade Center Health Registry I will keep and display during the season), it is not the same. 9/11 is an information age even in the War on Terrorism, an Information Age war. The Cold War was a Machine Age War, or rather a vestige of that era that would cause the shift to the Information Age. The fears, however, were different, and I think really the only generation that will understand what Little Boomers experienced will be the late Zoomers and Generation Alpha with the nihilism of school shootings, although it’s not quite the same as the fear of nuclear annihilation. It’s not better, not by any means, but fearing nuclear annihilation means safe rooms and drills, but it also means there’s no safe place, because if an h-bomb lands on your town, if you’re not in the reinforced basement, you’re dead. there’s no hiding, there’s no homeschooling to hide from nuclear annihilation or moving out to the country because nuclear winter will kill you regardless.
And it was these children shaped by nihilism and the darkness of this kind of fear who, who had their abuse framed in it could be a lot worse, because they at least had food, a roof over their head, shoes on their feet, grew up to be the adults who didn’t address their trauma and made guns all the more available to today’s school shooters but can’t tap back into those feelings of helplessness because they had those expressions slapped and spanked out of them. No time for sissies in war. Make sure you have food, a roof over your head, and shoes on your feet and make them the finest because capitalism is freedom and safety.
And now they are old. Now they are the crones and the old men. Now they are retired, retiring, or forced out of the workplace due to age and illness. The forever young generation just…isn’t.
Now they are clinging onto their identities as earners and professionals, as cool people, as the ones who finally fixed all the things the other generations got wrong, the only generation who has a proprietary claim to rock music (name three songs), the ones who think they handed us youth culture (even though it was invented for them), civil rights, feminism, liberalism — and they have, in many regards, even though they didn’t invent these things.
Did they put the holes in the ozone layer? No, but they fixed them. Did they solve the AIDS crisis? No, but they made it better. Did they replant the rainforests? No, but they made us all aware that we shouldn’t keep taking them down. Did they keep us all safe from Satanic Panic, drugs, or Dungeons and Dragons? No, but they gave us a perspective on these things. Did they solve racism? No, but no generation has, but they were the ones who introduced us to multiculturalism, the precursor to polyphony and intersectionality. Did they normalize leaving bad marriages? Yes, even if they couldn’t tell us how to have good marriages. Did they normalize women working and having careers of their own? Yes, and don’t you forget it, because if they didn’t do it and they didn’t push that boulder uphill, you would have no path to follow on your way up. Seriously – do not forget that Boomer women were the generation that made working women the norm, not the exception. Did they cause the housing crisis? Um, well… Are they the reason young people can’t get decent paying jobs, can’t afford houses, and have to sell their souls to pay college tuition? Um, well… How about that dependency on oil? Okay, they didn’t start the fire, but they certainly threw some foreign-acquired oil onto it…
…but as they fade out, as they retire, as they go their Florida condos and their RVs, and their part-time jobs at Wal-Mart, as they go bankrupt to pay for cancer treatment, as they find that they’re dipping into their retirement savings to help out their financially strapped Millennial kids, splitting meds with them and moving back into homes with them, a new anger will rise against Pluto in Libra.
The changing of the guard: Pluto in Libra
Because Generation X gave us ecommerce, but they also gave us the gig economy, hustle culture, and social media, teen angst perfected, autotune, and reality television. They didn’t give us normalized divorce – that was the Boomers, but they did give us normalized not-getting-married, not fully committing, the normalized pre-nup, the normalized multiple children with multiple people, the normalizing of low intimacy tolerance. They didn’t give us their independence or the analog childhood they got to enjoy so they don’t make the mistake of putting up a stupid TikTok that goes viral and haunts them for the rest of their lives, but they gave us the technology to do so and to augment our looks to create a second version of our faces that don’t exist in reality, and second versions of ourselves that don’t exist in reality.
How Pluto in Libra is all of this shit? How Pluto in Libra is it to balance multiple jobs, to normalize dividing your attention among multiple things, of being far too concerned about what others think but incapable of living without their attention, of indecisiveness of partnerships, of making even the most mundane – bad singing voices, bad television – glossy.
Generation X is going to have their reckoning from the generations that are so tired of being so anxious all the time because the world has been coming at them all at once, all the time, since they were born and have been told that it’s for their own good because the world is inherently shitty and you can’t fix it.
Eventually, the younger ones are going to tire of living in a surveillance culture in which you now augment your life to avoid being recorded without your consent and in which you have to constantly be on the lookout to do and say the most innocuous thing regardless of their own needs and boundaries so as not to appear as someone who is one thing or another.
Because that’s a way that people become radicalized, when they feel that they can’t keep up with the changing world and that their ignorance is taken for offense so they can never learn or keep up, so they may as well be the terrible person they think others accuse them of being…even if at their core, they’re not bad people, even if they’re sick people. That’s why Travis Bickle gets a gun and practices confrontations in the mirror with it.
If you have a Boomer relative who finds Fox News a safe space because while they wouldn’t consider themselves racist, sexist, or bigoted, they don’t have a way to deconstruct these paradigms because they fear being labeled as something they either are not or do not intend to be, whether or not anyone has ever actually accused them of being racist, sexist, or bigoted in some way, you know.
This is not going to happen to Generation X because they know how to kill their monster; they will just retreat quietly into a world of nostalgia, wearing their newsboy caps and getting injuries in the moshpit at the Rage Against the Machine Show. They will be accused of sitting back and just refusing to do anything about the monsters they’ve created, wrapping up the last of the social benefits for themselves and refusing to retire so the kids can have a chance at a career.
And that’s a thing.
I’m not going to retire. Why should I?
What about the quiet ones?
Many of us were raised by Boomers; many of us by the Silent Generation who were born during the Depression and children during WWII, the Korean War veterans, the ones who really were the leaders of the things that Boomers claim as their own – the Silent Generation started rock music. They started counterculture. They started the civil rights movement. They started the sexual revolution. They started the feminist movement. And for all their hard work, they’re forgotten, and Boomers take the credit, much in the way Generation X started social media and Millennials take the credit for being the “tech saavy” generation.
These Pluto in Cancer and early Leo folks who managed to be born and survive childhood during the Depression and WWII, to be born to into a world where the collective needed to survive and carry on in order to fight off the big scary world outside the front door. They missed the jazz age, the Golden Age, but were young enough to have parents who remembered the freedom and liberation found under the veneer of Prohibition. They were born after the first sexual revolution here in the United States. There was no room for me, just us, and life was uncertain. Food was rationed. Parents, if they were around, were helping with the war effort. So were you. So was everyone. We couldn’t see the enemy, but we could see what it was doing in film reels and to the ones who were coming back home, either alive or dead. This cohort included children who often did not know their fathers in their formative years because they were either dead or still overseas, and their mothers and the women were holding down the fort – Pluto in Cancer. They were deprived the tradition their generation craved, and by golly, they were going to have it when Dads and older brothers returned home from the war. Unlike Boomers, they would get their chance in the Korean War to find out, first hand, that war is hell and that their illusion of it was not the reality.
I have one living relative I know who was of the Silent Generation, my mother’s oldest sister, who is thirteen years her senior. She was born out of wedlock to my grandparents when they were in their twenties, not that long after they met, after my grandfather came back from WWII, after he moved to the Bronx to start over. She was born in Upstate New York and raised in a girl’s home for about 12 years until my grandparents got married, after which they had two more daughters in a highly dysfunctional home. But it wasn’t that hard back them – foundlings were much more common, and it was a Depression, after all. When they married, when they became legitimate, they came for my aunt and took her into their home which I believe was the single worst thing to have happened to her — as an orphan in a Presbyterian girls’ home, she had structure, support, and community, and now, she had two parents and total fucking chaos. She ended up marrying late to an abusive man whom she eventually fled from, who gave her no child support but bought sports equipment for all the kids in his neighborhood. She never remarried; my grandmother bought a half house so she and her children would always have a place to live, my Generation X and late Boomer cousins.
I forget to write her, but she has always given me a birthday and Christmas card – Aunt Carol, the dentist, and the World Trade Center Health Registry all wishing me a happy holiday season. My grandmother has come to me in a dream before and told me to write her, but I just forget that pen and paper exist even though I bought a card last year to send her. I wished her a happy birthday by text. Both sides of the family are relatively long-lived, but I forget about this silent aunt who was one of the few relatives who has always been consistently kind to me, and I wonder if I would have ever met her if she stayed in the girls’ home. But would she have been happier had it not been for my grandparents’ superior right to custody despite how unsuitable their home was for children?
Who Am I?
I fit into a cohort between Generation X and Millennials. I am both, but also neither – Xennials are unique in that we had an analog childhood and a digital adulthood, the last generation to experience both childhood and adolescence offline. We experienced the Cold War but also the end of the Cold War. We experienced the Recession of the 90s, but we weren’t hit as hard as Millennials who were just coming up during the Great Recession. College was still affordable, and many of us could still get jobs. We may have been as neglected as Generation X or as nurtured or hovered-over as Millennials — the child protection laws and the attitudes toward children were shifting as we were growing, so we were part of the learning curve when it came to the cultural revolution involving children and parenting. We were the DARE generation, we were the Adam-Walsh, stranger-danger, LSD-in-Halloween-candy generation. We were the kids that everyone fucked up with by telling us that it was strangers, and not the people closest to us, who were more likely to harm us. Many of us experienced the iron fist pedagogy of the drills, punishment, and what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you schooling, and we too were also doing air raid drills and having the pencils and scissors taken out of our left hands. We were the little kids who saw the Challenger explode, who saw the Berlin Wall come down, who knew that Ryan White died but were part of the wave of no-information sex ed because during our childhoods was the beginning of the radicalization of the New Right. Abortion was legal but getting an abortion meant risking being bullied, attacked, or even shot.
We are the semisextile cohort – Saturn in Virgo, Pluto in Libra, Uranus in Scorpio, and Neptune in Sagittarius, and for many of us, about 30 degrees or less. I have Saturn at 24 degrees Virgo, Pluto at 20 degrees Libra, Uranus at 22 degrees Scorpio, and Neptune at 19 degrees Sagittarius. We are now all in our forties, and we have now all experienced the Pluto Square, the Neptune square, and the Uranus opposition of the mid-life crisis. I think that every generation experiences theirs a little differently – Boomers had a very Boomerific midlife crisis of lots of recapturing youth and material things as the culture of their youth told them was right. Generation X had their midlife crisis and disappeared into the background, as the culture of their youth told them was right for them to do – go home after school alone, don’t answer the door, and get yourself a snack because no one cares about you and the whole world sucks and you were right. Xennials are now having their mid-life, and they will be followed by Millennials proper, but I can’t quite describe this to you yet because even some of it appears to be hidden from me – thanks, Uranus in Scorpio. But, because I still believe that good astrology is rooted in reality and things that have actually happened, the pandemic gives us a clue. We know the issue will be of values, investing, and what to do with resources and energy – do I put my time and energy in me, or things bigger than me? Is this the time to strike out on my own and finally slip away from The Man?
Unlike Millennials, a lot of us have the grit, the resources, and the focus to go solo because we didn’t have a lot of people hovering over us and we grew up without the instant gratification of social media. We still have “tech saavy” even if we’re losing our grip on what’s cool nowadays, but I think it’s become more apparent now than it was generations ago, that youth culture is a crock of shit that is packaged and sold to young people. Young people have voices, but they don’t have economic power. They are able to spread information, but not wealth, and if you’re off social media, you can ignore it completely. Everyone is famous now, so no one is famous, and no one really matters anymore, and many who are famous didn’t do much to deserve it. Xennials have a longer life expectancy than those who are younger than they are. We have retirement funds, we had undergraduate degrees that we could pay for. We have health insurance. We have had the benefit of being able to be without adult supervision every minute of our childhoods and of not having our lives splashed all over the Internet.
But I wonder what is the Xennial midlife crisis – Kim Kardashian and I, for example, are relatively close in age, and about the same ages, decided to become lawyers. I went the traditional route, and now I’ve been practicing law for about four years. Her I wish the best of luck as I wish I could be that optimistic. Most of us wouldn’t take on that much debt, but I wonder if we will be the last cohort to attempt reinvention in mid-life because we may be the last one that really can do that because our pasts don’t currently exist in real time anywhere unless we’re part of a very select few people, like Macaulay Culkin or other child stars whose childhoods exist in media in real time. Uranus in Scorpio can do that. Uranus in Scorpio can change the course of one’s destiny. Can Pluto in Scorpio do that, however? Uranus is change, Pluto is annihilation. I think that Millennials will only miss their midlife crisis because some other crisis forces them to lose this last opportunity to grow and take control of their own destiny, to own their adulthood and come into their own. Will it be because they’re caring for Boomers? Generation X is silently sandwiched between caring for adult children and caring for adult parents. Will they en masse walk away from everything, say fuck it, it can’t be fixed, so why bother? The pandemic has opened eyes to what could be, and if you’re not old enough to remember adulthood before that, you may not realize that there was once a world in which you had to go to an office, you had to socialize in person, you had to talk to people in elevators, and that you were the weird and awkward one if you know how to respond to small talk and that it wasn’t a violation of your boundaries if a stranger said hello to you.
Because I used to think it was Boomers who were all about all this grit and Naked and Afraid and DIY and homesteading stuff, but I realize that it’s Millennials who are fascinated with the idea of homesteading, of making do from scratch, of giving up on a social safety net and waiting for a Zombie Apocalypse while they take joys in the small things, like food, pets, apartment living since their brains are hardwired to take in everything, all at once, to have both complete situational awareness and yet totally rely on someone else’s opinion as to whether something is safe because they haven’t lived and learned that you can drink from the garden hose or eat a candy apple dropped in your Halloween bag.
And fuck – were Millennials really the last generation to get to go trick-or-treating? They should bring it back, but for adults, for their midlife crisis.
I went trick or treating until I was 19 or 20, and I only stopped because I moved to New York.
It’s free candy. From strangers. Gathered in the middle of the night because you threatened them. While you were in disguise. In the dark.
Nah, I don’t think I would trade my youth for what passes for youth these days.
I would rather have had all those cold nights running around the city in the dark with a pillow case full of candy knowing I was getting high on a playground later that night and possibly catching a cold from the bowl going around than to understand the appeal of TikTok.
The Neptune in Sagittarius cohort knows a kind of freedom that the Neptune in Capricorn generation will never understand.
And the Neptune in Scorpio generation, the Boomers, know an uncluttered sexual freedom of having sex for pleasure and not performance and an ability to believe that we are sexually desired without needing constant reminders from strangers that those of us exposed to ubiquitous pornography early in life will never understand.
We are all born at the right time. We are all born on Earth. We are all subject to and shaped by the forces outside of ourselves, to the unresolved fears and sorrows of the generation before our own, and to our own unresolved fears and sorrows. And when we come back, it all starts again.
I’m not ready to leave Samsara. I want to come back and do this again and again. Life is just too fascinating to abandon, even when it’s terrible sometimes.