Saturday, April 17, 2004

The strange mind of Julia Baird

I’ve blogged, in passing, on this SMH Op Ed writer once before, but the combined effect of her last two columns on me is such that she merits her own headline on this occasion.

Last week Julia, a GenXer, penned this Ode to Grown-up Behaviour. Such behaviour is not something I am automatically against; indeed, I have made a point of encouraging baby boomers to do it, for quite some time now. Somehow though, Julia, has got herself tied-up in an inter-generational time machine, and has taken on for herself (but also on behalf of her generation), the many and varied failings of the boomers.

Thus, GenX is the “me generation” !!! (Seriously Julia, where were you in the eighties?). And Gen X apparently has a greater disposable income and freedom from sexual taboos than the boomers. Heard of (i) call centres and (ii) AIDS, Julia? Even better, though, is this unintentionally hilarious plugging of a new book by fellow GenXer Ethan Watters.

In his 30s, Watters set out to understand why he was still single and what his generation was doing wrong. He discovered instead what it was doing right. In the desert at an arts festival with 20,000 other people, he had an epiphany.

Yeah, Ethan (and Julia) – I remember when I had my first e, too.

Today, Julia displays a worrying lack of consistency with this line:

What Sarah Marbeck and the sleazy senorita think they have to gain by publicising their stories of sex with a British icon - apart from money - is mystifying.

“Apart from money”??? Look, Julia, it’s one thing to pillory GenX for being shallow and materialistic (or as much as they can be on call centre incomes of $30k). But then to turn around and casually dismiss a few hundred grand as a trifle for a GenXer – well, methinks you’ve been to too many Sydney dinner parties.

Oh, and FYI, desert arts festival “epiphanies” don’t come cheap, either. Maybe such self-enlightenment – no more no less – is simply what David Beckham’s (alleged) mistresses wanted the cash for.

And maybe you can have your very own pricey epiphany too one day, Julia.

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