Generation Jones?

21 11 2010

So I learned a new buzzword (or buzzphrase) today: “Generation Jones”. This is a term created by writer Jonathan Pontell to refer to people born between 1954 and 1965. This group, according to Pontell, doesn’t really belong to any of the other generations defined in popular culture: they (or we – I’m one of them) are too young to think of themselves as Baby Boomers, and are too old to qualify as Generation X, Generation Y, or any other generation that is identified by a single letter of the alphabet.

Generation Jones – if such a thing exists – is taking over the world right now: many major world leaders were born in the time period specified. This means that the planet is currently being run by people whose mind tends to snap in a certain way when they hear the first B-52’s album. (“Rock Lobster! Down! Down!”) I’m not sure whether to be pleased by this or frightened.

I hate overgeneralizations, so I won’t comment on whether there is such a thing as Generation Jones. But I will say this: for as long as I can remember, people of my approximate age have always believed that there won’t be any government-funded pensions by the time we get to be old enough to require one. There won’t be any money left. I hope to be proven wrong, but there’s already talk of shifting the retirement age from 65 to 67 – and we haven’t hit the big wave of baby boomer retirees yet. (I fully expect to be working past 65 – I come from a long-lived family, and I don’t have enough saved up for 20 years’ worth of living expenses.)

Anyway, enough of this cheerful talk: here’s a bunch of songs that either have the name “Jones” in the title or refer prominently to someone named Jones:

  • Billy Paul’s Me and Mrs. Jones
  • the Psychedelic Furs’ Mr. Jones
  • Janie Jones by the Clash
  • Mr. Jones by Counting Crows
  • New York Mining Disaster 1941 by the Bee Gees (“Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?”) Aside: I love the very idea of a pop song about a mining disaster. That’ll get the kids dancing! The Bee Gees also wrote a song called Massachusetts despite, apparently, never having been there.
  • And, of course, there’s Bob Dylan’s Ballad of a Thin Man: “But something is happening here/But you don’t know what it is/Do you, Mister Jones?”

I hope I got them all – please let me know if I missed any.

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One response

22 11 2010
Scott Watkins

I had a brief moment of panic when I saw the age breakdown on that definition page, until I realized the stats are from 3 years ago. I’m still Generation X.

I do find it odd that Douglas Coupland endorsed this idea though, considering it places him outside of the generation he named.

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