The Sweet Spot of Generation Jones


If you’re like me, you were born in 1959 and you are writing a blog. You experienced puberty and Watergate more or less simultaneously, and when you saw JFK Jr. with his jacket and flag, he was the same size as you. I remember seeing Michael Jackson singing on TV and having some sense that it couldn’t be good for him. There was a sense that things were just out of reach. We were 9 in 1968 and 13 in 1972. Something momentous and historic and liberating was happening without us and would probably be over by the time we were old enough to participate. We knew that the Summer of Love was categorically superior to the Summer of Green Plastic Army Men in Dirt Piles at Construction Sites in the New Subdivision.

Did you know there’s a word for us? Everyone born between 1954 and 1965 is a member of Generation Jones (like Generation X but just for us). Because we’re anonymous? Keeping up with the Joneses? Possessed of a Jones (for life?) as in a longing or craving? At any rate, there’s press and websites and Wikipedia and everything. Though the generation I’m talking about was born between 1957 and 1962, making us between 10 and 15 in 1972.

I’ll have more to say about us as I go along. I think it’s a worthwhile lens to look at a very particular chunk of the American experience. One thing it means is that you were 18 for Talking Heads ’77 and might have found it as revelatory as I did. Oh my, I thought, people can do this and get it into the culture. From art school no less, the art school down the hill from my college. And when the Clash claimed the title as the only band that mattered, at least they indicated an awareness that the proper spectrum of evaluation ran from mattering to not mattering. Stay tuned.

5 comments to The Sweet Spot of Generation Jones

  • Steve

    Having been born in ’61, I have to say you nailed it!

    • admin

      Hey Steve!

      Thanks so much. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. It’s going to be an ongoing feature on my website — once every 19 days, so mark your mobile calendaring device.



  • Hi Paul,

    I’ve been writing about Generation Jones for almost two years – great to see you picking up on it! It’s one thing to finally “find” one’s generation, but there are some real practical issues the Jones’ers are facing. check out this article I wrote the GJ’s retirement challenge at

    Also check out my friend Jonathan Pontell’s website at


    • admin

      Hi Keith,

      Great to hear from you. Yes, we definitely exist. Are you a “Joneser” as well? I did find and thought it was very interesting. Maybe you’d like to pass along a link to my blog post to your network. I’d love to see what people make of it. Here’s the link:



    • admin

      By the way, how did you find me?


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