One of the weirdest things about being in college, especially at a small liberal arts school like ours, is living in a generational bubble. We are young adults who are constantly surrounded by other young adults. We party with them, eat with them, share beds with them. Other than the occasional appearance of college faculty and staff, we spend most of our time surrounded by fellow eighteen to twenty-two-year-olds.
But this block, book-ended by major holidays that often remove us from our strange bubble and return us to the even stranger world of our families, provides a much-needed dose of perspective. Whether you’re surrounded by little cousins, older grandparents, football-watching uncles, or just your pain-in-the-ass parents, it’s hard to get through these months without a few good fights. Some of us will duke it out over the recession with grandparents who lived through the depression and can tell us that this “isn’t so bad.” Others will marvel at their seven-year-old cousin who types sixty words per minute. I’ll be arguing with my mother about whether “queer” is still an appropriate synonym for “weird.” And you might be telling your dad that your skirt isn’t really that short. But there’s nothing quite as illuminating as these (often futile) arguments. Accordingly, this seems like a good time to release a “Generation” issue; there’s nothing like a lot of family time to remind you of your own.
Per usual, the articles that appear in this issue represent several unexpected interpretations of the theme. Artie Niederhoffer and Clara Campoli return us to the days of 7th grade with a Venn Diagram to decipher the demographics of the current CC generation–check it out and find your bubble (p. 24). Cipher editor Will Vunderink provides a post-punk primer, giving us a key connection for understanding the music that came just before our own (p. 26). Liz Ludwig examines how sexism, something that is supposedly only a relic of older generations, still affects us, even inside the infamous “CC bubble” (p. 20). And Ginny Leise looks at the effects of technology on the generational gap (p. 31).
Before we send you off into this issue, we’d also like to thank all of our readers, writers, and supporters for your participation in 3D Cipher last block. Whether you wrote a library love letter, filled in a part of the Worner Box round robin, participated in the storytelling competition, provided your doodles, deciphered the crossword puzzle, or put in your two cents on our “Best Of” posters in the library, we loved hearing from you. You can check out the fruits of your labor on our website, http://www.ciphermagazine.wordpress.com, where some of the byproducts are posted. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Happy reading and happy holidays,
Jenny Friedler and the Cipher editors