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Culture Gap - - - Close-up photo of a VHS videotape - - - Original photo copyright Rich Cutter - - - Licensed through iStockphoto.com
Culture Gap

each year we get older.  each year a new freshman class enters college.  And each year, that class enters without personal experience of some of the cultural norms that others of us share.

There is a list that is circulating on the net.  In an article February 19, 1999 the Wall Street Journal reported:   "Although the list is of unknown origin, it has come to be associated with Beloit College in Wisconsin, which has decided it will create its own list before the start of each new school year for distribution to faculty."

The list on this page is my personal adaptation of that list.

Culture Gap

  1. Freshmen in college today (February 1999) were born in 1980.
  2. They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan era, and did not know he had ever been shot.
  3. They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged.
  4. Black Monday 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression.
  5. There has only been one Pope. They can only remember one other president.
  6. They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart, and do not remember the Cold War.
  7. They have never feared a nuclear war. "The Day After" is a pill to them, not a movie.
  8. They are too young to remember the Space Shuttle Challenger blowing up.
  9. Tienamin Square is either old history or an unknown event. 
  10. Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
  11. They never had a Polio shot, and likely, do not know what it is.
  12. Bottle caps have not always been screw off, but have always been plastic.
  13. They have no idea what a pull top can looks like.
  14. They never had leaded gas.
  15. The expression "you sound like a broken record" means nothing to them.
  16. They have probably never played Pac Man, and have never heard of "Pong."
  17. Star Wars looks very fake to them, and the special effects are pathetic.
  18. There have always been red M&M's, and blue ones are not new. What do you mean there used to be beige ones?
  19. They may never have heard of an 8-track, and probably have never heard or seen one.
  20. The compact disc was introduced when they were one year old.
  21. As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 32 cents.
  22. They have always had an answering machine.
  23. Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a black & white TV.
  24. They have always had cable.
  25. There have always been VCR's, but they have no idea what Beta is.
  26. They cannot fathom what it was like not having a remote control.
  27. They were born the year Walkmen were introduced by Sony.
  28. Roller-skating has always meant in-line for them.
  29. The Tonight Show has always been with Jay Leno.
  30. They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool.
  31. Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
  32. They have never seen Larry Bird play, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a football player.
  33. They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
  34. The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI and WWII or even the Civil War.
  35. They never saw Nightline discussing hostages in Iran.
  36. They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
  37. They don't know who Mork was, or where he was from.
  38. They never heard the terms "Where's the Beef?", "I'd walk a mile for a Camel" or "de plane, de plane!"
  39. They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. is.
  40. The Titanic was found? I thought we always knew where it was.
  41. Kansas, Boston, Chicago, America, and Alabama are all places, not music groups.
  42. McDonalds never came in Styrofoam containers.
  43. There has always been MTV, and it has always included non-musical segments.


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I didn't write all the stuff on this page. I got it, in part, from email and/or newsgroup postings. Some of this material has also been reported in traditional media. Efforts to identify a copyright holder were unsuccessful and it may be anonymous or in the public domain.  If you have any information to the contrary, and particularly if you are the original author or copyright holder, please notify me. To send me notices about this information, please see my DMCA page and also my Disclaimers, Copyrights & Other Legal Stuff page. This site seeks use permission from copyright holders and will not post if permission is denied. Whenever ownership information is obtained, I promptly correct the page. (For example, see this page.) I edited, adapted and supplemented this particular version: Copyright © 1997-2014, James S. Huggins.

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This page created:
Wed, 16.Aug.2000

Last updated:
16:17, Sat, 10.May.2014

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