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Gen X Poland '69 – '82,


Havok 10 | 912
25 Nov 2011 #1
Our country 'produced' about 4 million of us.
We grew up in times of turbulence. Times of countrywide strikes, PZPR's propaganda, ZOMO and John Paul the Roman Catholic Church's mental dome, constructed solely on faith in God and hope for a better future for Poland. We lived and matured during times of the free market economy reform, (and well, many of us still do), unjustified poverty, unfulfilled dreams and disappointment, re-enforced by our solid Polish educational system. Which, by the way, transformed us into angry sarcastic people, slightly overeducated for our own good, who still are hoping for a normal prosperous life with dignity.

At age 10 I remember paging through store catalogs, borrowed from my father's friend sister's in law uncle, who just got back from a business trip to East Germany. While dreaming about the "normal life", so apparent in the Western store catalogs, I spent a lot of evenings picking my imaginary bestest 1st communion present. I absolutely wanted a short wave radio and a wrist watch with a calculator. In my mind, those two unattainable items seemed perfect for "timing and listening" to messages which were frequently transmitted by the nearby military base. I guess at that time I was heavily inspired by my dad who spent a lot time drinking tea, impatiently checking the time and then at the right hour listening to Radio Free Europe almost every evening.

At age 14 in a "PO" class, amongst other useful things, I was educated about the importance of team work in simulated combat situations, first aid, and how to dig with a shovel and rake leaves around the school. Also, how to properly put on a gas mask, in case of a chemical attack, how to arm and throw a hand grenade and most importantly, what to do when an 'A' bomb explodes "za blokiem".

In my opinion Polish Gen X of is a unique breed, different from any other group of people of this time period. Left with a few good qualities like adaptiveness, focus on efficiency and self-improvement but also with a mental baggage. Cynical approach to unity and unconvincing strive towards hard work for the greater good of the new Polish society seems quite apparent . We are a well-engineered product of the Polish society but randomly twisted and shaped into beings that are somewhat bitter, constantly denying being angry about the whole thing, trying to desperately fit in. Our original purpose is long gone and now irrelevant. Our new purpose hasn't been clearly defined yet.

------

I sent that to my wife to see what she thinks about it. Here is our email conversation:

me: wrote something, what do you think about it?

her:Very nice. Don't you have something useful to do?

me:Do you like it?

her: amazon.com/Israeli-Civilian-Mask-Nato-Filter/dp/B0002XJ2OU
LOL
Check out the user photos...

me: Wow only 17 dollars, do you want one?
Ironside 49 | 10,166
25 Nov 2011 #2
If above were true and army could organized and Poland overtaken to at least build something sensible and substantial.
a.k.
25 Nov 2011 #3
‘69 – ‘82,

Why have you chosen those years? I think that those born in 80s hardly can remember:

countrywide strikes, PZPR’s propaganda, ZOMO and John Paul

. More likely they remember Beveas and Butthead or 90210. It's completely different generation than those born in 70s. So maybe: '69-'79?
Also you shouldn't present your perspective as a voice of your generation, how can you know if people actually relate to your personal memories/traits?

Especially this statement is doubtful:

We are a well-engineered product of the Polish society but randomly twisted and shaped into beings that are somewhat bitter, constantly denying being angry about the whole thing, trying to desperately fit in.

You may not believe it but some people in Poland are actually successful.
OP Havok 10 | 912
25 Nov 2011 #4
Also you shouldn't present your perspective as a voice of your generation, how can you know if people actually relate to your personal memories/traits?
Especially this statement is doubtful:

yet you're bitter and denying being angry about the whole thing.

Why have you chosen those years? I think that those born in 80s hardly can remember:

Interesting observation, I guess you’re right 69 – 79 seems more accurate.

You may not believe it but some people in Poland are actually successful.

I believe and I didn’t say they weren’t. btw, I can tell you're in you’re from that era.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
25 Nov 2011 #5
Do you mind me asking asking Havok, how old are you, specifically?
OP Havok 10 | 912
25 Nov 2011 #6
Why do you ask? Can you explain?
Teffle 22 | 1,321
25 Nov 2011 #7
Just curious about your dates. No matter, you don't have to say, no offense.

Personally, I would suggest a bit later than '82. '85 or '86 maybe.

Based on the Poles I know there is a BIG difference in outlook/perspective/attitude between current 25ish and 30/31 year olds.
OP Havok 10 | 912
25 Nov 2011 #8
Based on the Poles I know there is a BIG difference in outlook/perspective/attitude between current 25ish and 30/31 year olds.

I would agree there is a noticeable difference... I’m 34.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
25 Nov 2011 #9
Based on the Poles I know there is a BIG difference in outlook/perspective/attitude between current 25ish and 30/31 year olds.

how so? just curious
Teffle 22 | 1,321
26 Nov 2011 #10
Well, without getting too much into it and risking the wrath of the omniprescent defender Ironside, broadly speaking, I would say the 25ish bracket are much more openly critical of Poland, are more questioning of authority generally, are more open minded, more objective, realistic.

I know Poles in their early 30s for whom it is simply automatic to defend Poland and all things Polish, rightly or wrongly, and most tellingly of all are incredibly unworldly in their attitudes - if it's not the Polish way it's wrong, not different, but wrong. Which in itself of course ends up in all kinds of dark corners, attitude wise.

I will add that I have good friends in both categories, regardless.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
26 Nov 2011 #12
I've noticed this comes up a fair bit on the site, yeah. No real marked difference in my experience.

Maybe the 30ish people (this categorisation sounds awful and very patroninsing but, hey I'm trying to be coldly objective) reluctantly embrace the specifics that suit their lifestyle whilst the the 25ish people embrace just the general availability that comes with increased affluence but not in a manic or greedy way?

I don't see much evidence of vulgarity if that's what you mean.

Consumerism vs materialism?

Well maybe the younger group will get a Chinese/Indian/Thai takeaway the odd time if they feel like it whereas the older group mumble about chemicals and people who eat dogs.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
26 Nov 2011 #13
I don't see much evidence of vulgarity if that's what you mean.

not vulgar but perhaps slightly pronounced, at least seen with Scandinavian eyes.. anyways just checking and thanks for sharing your insight.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
26 Nov 2011 #14
not vulgar but perhaps slightly pronounced

Ha ! well, go on - what is your take?

Scandinavian eh? I though you were American. Excellent English, but hardly surprising.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
26 Nov 2011 #15
Ha ! well, go on - what is your take?

well not really my take (oh well it is too but that was in the late 90's when I spent 7 months there to polish my Polish:) ), just some of my friends from Denmark who made that observation, but perhaps that's not so surprising as Danes tend to be very unmaterialistic
Teffle 22 | 1,321
26 Nov 2011 #16
polish my Polish:)

Oh very clever ; )

But Havok, reading your initial post again, I see a longing sadness.

To be Polish is as good and as bad as it is to be anything else. We all have our BS. Every country. You write very well by the way.

I love my Polish friends, warts and all.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
26 Nov 2011 #17
warts and all.

Speaking of which (at the peril of getting heaps of flak) when I was there (in Warsaw) I noticed a lot of Polish men were running around with all kinds of zits and pimples on their faces.. is this still a 'problem' or has the metrosexual wind of change swept across of Polska?
Ironside 49 | 10,166
26 Nov 2011 #18
so surprising as Danes tend to be very unmaterialistic

Given the fact that they are supported by the state they can afford to appear to be no-materialistic.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
26 Nov 2011 #19
they can afford to appear to be no-materialistic

correction, they don't appear, they are and yes it is a result of generations growing up in relative affluence and social equality, one the lowest rates of disparity between rich and poor in the entire world
Ironside 49 | 10,166
26 Nov 2011 #20
So, isn't that without merit to be no-materialistically minded while all your materialistic needs are being fulfilled ?
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
26 Nov 2011 #21
Yes but in case of Denmark this doesn't just stem from having enough money to go around, although that obviously factors in. It's also part of the culture; Janteloven (which may or may not be a negative thing depending on the context) as well as the Scandinavian form of societal all-inclusiveness (roots of social equality).

Historically these were very sparsely populated countries, competing against much larger neighbors to the south. Therefore the need to utilize everyone and as such care about everyone (even the weakest) so that the whole collective was strong, was recognized very early on. Heck you can even trace it back to Viking times, where the Viking longboats were kind of individual cooperatives with the crew members as more or less equal co-owners of the enterprise...
sascha 1 | 826
26 Nov 2011 #22
To be Polish is as good and as bad as it is to be anything else. We all have our BS. Every country.

agreed.

one the lowest rates of disparity between rich and poor in the entire world

lucky vikings...

me: Wow only 17 dollars, do you want one?

smart woman, your wife. just kiddin about the mask, but maybe she has some knowledge we lack of...;)


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