Pot wasn’t legal, the Internet wasn’t a thing, and a blind date was really a blind date. Oxy was a cleaning product and Ultra was just an adjective. Diane Sawyer was a hot blonde with great legs and Michael Jackson was black. Jamie Lee Curtis wasn’t famous for Activia commercials and Robert Downey, Jr. was in rehab. Princess Diana was alive, Prince William had hair and 911 was just the number for emergencies.
Their morale was strong; our weed is stronger. They had a bush; we had Bush. They had libraries; we have Wikipedia. They had drive-in movies; we have Netflix. They had records; we have ringtones.
They had Woody Allen; we have child molesters. They had Diana Ross; we just have the cocaine. They had books; we have Kindles. They had four channels; we have 400. They had newspapers; we have Twitter. They had Bill Gates; we had Steve Jobs. They had Joan Rivers; we have plastic surgery.
They had “The Brady Bunch”; we have “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” They had rock and roll; we have Miley Cyrus. They had cassettes; we have iPods. They had discos; we have DJs. They had Frankie Valley and The Four Seasons; we have “Jersey Boys.”
They had Elizabeth Taylor; we have Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor. They had Jim Morrison and the Doors; we have 3 Doors Down. They had Penn State; we had Sandusky.
Gays stayed in the closet and shoulder pads lined it. They could keep their shoes on when flying and could smoke on the plane. Scientology wasn’t a word, but groovy was. Osama wasn’t a cursed name, and neither was Voldemort. “How I Met Your Mother” was the beginning of a sentence and friends were just that. Greenwich Village was East Village and Soho were affordable. Colorado was famous for its skiing, and Iraq was just another country to get oil from. Telephones were attached to the house and color television was a big thing.
You could hit your kids with belts, and high-waisted pants weren’t for hipsters. Talking back wasn’t allowed and rulers were used for more than measuring. Suntan lotion was for sissies and skin cancer was just a myth. Parents weren't your friends and kids were to be seen, not heard. Veterans were quieted and no one thought the Marlboro Man would ever die.
For those of you progressing into your twenties and thirties (or maybe you’re just a 14-year-old filled with angst), you’ve most likely been hit with a heavy realization that you will never completely get along with your parents. It seems like no matter how much closer you get to adulthood, there’s always going to be a disconnect between you and the people who raised you.
Like every generation before us, they’ve grown up in a completely different world, with different advances and different ideals. They were raised in a world completely unlike ours, and that of their parents before them. They were shaped by a different history and remember the world completely differently. If you think about it, isn’t that how it is with every generation?
Our parents certainly don’t see eye-to-eye with their parents -- of whom were a generation born into The Depression and a world war -- anymore than our grandparents got along with their parents. It’s nothing new to our generation, just the variables have changed.
And even though things may have progressed too far in some regards, and we’re not happy that Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber have come to represent cultural archetypes of our generation, I think we’re all pretty damn happy we didn’t have to get through college without Wikipedia and Sparknotes.