By Matt Getty
You fell asleep watching Happy Days. You woke up to cradle that Atari joystick, destroy hordes of 8-bit spaceships on the same TV where you later saw the Challenger space shuttle explode. Judy Blume taught you how to be an adolescent before you knew what "adolescent" meant. You watched the Berlin Wall crumble but can only remember how it looked in that Jesus Jones video. Yes, you watched MTV when they still played videos.
You came of age during the first Gulf War, Whitney Houston wearing a white bandana and singing the national anthem, CNN shoving Desert Storm into your living room. Then came the Rodney King riots—Los Angeles turned into a horrifying wonderland of violence. Or was that a Gangsta rap video? Or Pulp Fiction?
You are Generation X, and your memories of growing up are tangled in mass media.
But what happens when that's also your chosen field? What happens when you find out how much work it takes to make days look happy on TV, that making sense of the Internet isn't as easy as blasting space invaders, that writing Forever takes a mighty long time, that even hip-hop stars need to know a little copyright law or that overnight success doesn't come as quickly as it seemed to come for Quentin Tarantino?
Dickinson Magazine caught up with five Gen-X Dickinsonians to find out what it takes to succeed in a landscape strewn with pop culture.
Published January 11, 2013