May 5, 2018

Pop music cycle enters mellow vulnerability, after manic invincibility of 2013 era

What first drew my attention to the 15-year cycles in bouncy upbeat music was the contrast evident on the radio last year. They were still playing songs from the manic peak of the not-so-distant past of five years ago, alongside the much more mellow songs just being released. Now that those older manic songs have noticeably dropped off in airplay, and there's another year's worth of mellower songs, you can really sense how different the current mood is.

Rather than manic and invincible, the prevailing mood has shifted to mellow and vulnerable. Here are just a few examples from the 2017-'18 mood (compare to the songs in the first post on the 2012-'13 mood):

Looking back over previous cycles, this seems to be a recurring mood change. After the upbeat high-charging peak of 1997-'98, the next phase of 2002-'04 was more downcast and vulnerable. From the Spice Girls to Avril Lavigne in girl-pop, from the Backstreet Boys to John Mayer in sensitive-guy land, from Third Eye Blind to Linkin Park on the emo front, from Smash Mouth to Nickelback in alternative rock, and from Chumbawumba to Pink in the danceclub.

Some went through both phases of that cycle, with Christina Aguilera starting off with a sexualized techno sound in the late '90s ("Genie in a Bottle"), then switching to soft emo piano ballads by 2003 ("Beautiful"). In the current cycle, we see the same shift in Kesha from "Die Young" in 2012 to her new piano ballad duet with Macklemore, "Good Old Days". Daft Punk began upbeat with "Around the World" in '97, then mellowed out by 2001 with "One More Time". They took part in the current cycle's phases as well, starting with the high-energy "Get Lucky" in 2013 and mellowing out by last year in their collaboration with the Weeknd shown above, "I Feel It Coming".

Without going into so much detail for the time being, the same sequence of phases showed up in the earlier cycles.

After the manic peak of 1982-'84, the mood became more low-key and vulnerable by '87-'88 -- from new wave to power ballads, even within the same artist's career, such as the George Michael of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" to the George Michael of "Faith" and "Father Figure".

After the manic peak of 1967-'69, there was a major mellow-out by '72-'74 -- from the Monkees, Tommy James and the Shondells, and Sly and the Family Stone, to "Lean on Me," "Killing Me Softly with His Song," and "The Way We Were".

Although it would be hard to call any part of the 1950s "manic," the early half was still more upbeat, like the Ames Brothers and the Four Aces, compared to the lovesick teenager mood of the late '50s, like the Everly Brothers and Ritchie Valens.

Having established two phases of the cycle -- a manic phase, followed by a vulnerable phase -- that still leaves the third phase. My hunch is to call it "decadent," but that doesn't really relate to the theme of invincible and vulnerable. It's more like terminal, moribund, and giving-up. Some respond to the "giving-up" mood in a submissive surrendering way, others in an assertive decadent way, but it's all based on the cycle coming to an end.

That will have to wait for another post, but to preview things, just think of the music of the late 2000s, the early '90s, the late '70s, and the early '60s.


  1. History repeats: "Drift Away" by Uncle Kracker in 2003 and by Dobie Gray in 1973 -- both mellow, vulnerable phases. Exactly two 15-year cycles apart.

    Also nearly the exact same spot on the year-end Hot 100 charts -- #17 for Dobie Gray and #19 for Uncle Kracker.

  2. Maroon 5 had hits over 4 phases of 2 cycles, making a good case study for how the mood has changed. Same band, same basic approach to writing and performing, only difference is what the zeitgeist was at the time that they were channeling and responding to.

    They started off during the 2002-'04 downer vulnerable emo phase -- "This Love" and "She Will Be Loved".

    Then into the decadent phase of 2007-'08 -- "Makes Me Wonder" and "Wake Up Call". This is their most purely disco sound, and sure enough, that era was exactly two 15-year cycles earlier, circa 1977.

    A little hint of things to come in 2011 with "Moves Like Jagger" -- higher energy than before, but still not that upbeat.

    Then in 2012, along with everyone else, they get more uplifting, upbeat, bouncy, and charging forward -- "Payphone," "One More Night," "Daylight," and "Love Somebody" (the choruses of the last two songs are iconic of their moment).

    By 2014, the mood is just starting to clear the hump and get more anxious, albeit still high-energy and danceable -- "Maps," "Animals," and "Sugar".

    In the next and current phase of 2017-'18, they've mellowed out considerably and are more plaintive -- "Don't Wanna Know," "Cold," "What Lovers Do" (that one's a little bouncy, but in a low-key way), and "Wait".

    They're not currently as angsty and emo as they were during this phase of the last cycle, when they debuted, because they're in their late 30s instead of early 20s. But still closer in mood to that part of their career than the disco revival part of the late 2000s, or the manic upbeat part of 2012-'14.

  3. Kelly Clarkson began with mellow / emo hits in the 2002-'04 phase ("Miss Independent" and "Since You've Been Gone").

    Not sure how best to describe how she fit into the 2007-'08 phase -- bland, generic, phoning-it-in, part of the "giving up" mood of the end of a cycle ("Never Again" and "My Life Would Suck Without You").

    More upbeat, thumping, and can-do during the 2012-'14 manic phase ("Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" and "Catch My Breath"). Fading out of that phase in 2015, getting more anxious but still bouncy ("Heartbeat Song").

    And now back to the mellow vulnerable phase to match the mood of 2017-'18 ("I Don't Think About You") -- more of an emo piano diva performance, channeling the mood of "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera of 2003, one full 15-year cycle ago when she began. Just now sounding more mature than the mellow groove she started with.

  4. Pink began downcast and emo during '02-'04 ("Don't Let Me Get Me" and "Just Like a Pill"). Then more decadent and nihilistic around '07-'08 ("So What" and the disco-y "Funhouse"). Then during the manic '12-'14 phase, as peppy and danceable as her constant theme of self-loathing could potentially get ("Blow Me One Last Kiss" and "Just Give Me a Reason"). Then mellowing out and more vulnerable again in '17-'18 ("What About Us" and "Beautiful Trauma"), similar to her early emo phase one full cycle ago.

  5. Katy Perry missed the '02-'04 phase, but began decadent and nihilistic during the '07-'08 phase ("I Kissed a Girl" and "Waking Up in Vegas"). More peppy and bouncy during '12-'14 ("Part of Me," "Roar," and "Birthday"). And turning mellow, spacey, groovy in '17-'18 ("Chained To the Rhythm").

  6. In the early-to-mid 90s, the decadent/nihilist phase manifested as, on the one hand, the Eurodance craze(Ace of Base, the Real McCoy, Hadaway), and on the other hand grunge. Some of the hip-hop also seemed more fatalistic - in 1995 TLC released a music video, for their song "Waterfalls", that dealt with AIDs and gangland murder(this was around the peak of the crime rate for inner cities, so that also probably influenced it - more like a music version of the "very special episode").

    In the late 2000s, some obvious decadent/nihilistic music was, for instance, Lady Gaga, who was huge during that period. Bieber, Taylor Swift, Gaga, all of them came on the scene suddenly in 2008-2009, and I thought it was related to music becoming more manic/upbeat.

    the decadent/nihilistic phase is sort of hard to understand. These zeitgeist trends seem to go more in dualities, yet now there's a third phase distinct from the other two phases.

  7. Late '00s even had disco-grunge! "Paralyzer" by Finger Eleven:

    One of my favorites to dance to when it was a club mainstay.

    Doesn't seem to be a parallel from '92-'94. Closest might be "Are You Gonna Go My Way" by Lenny Kravitz -- not really grungy, but hard rock, and funky though not infectiously danceable. Somebody dropped the ball back then.

    Better parallel is from the original disco peak of '77-'78, when one of the genre's major hits was made by a punk group (precursor to grunge, at least in attitude and mood -- decadent, nihilistic). Blondie, "Heart of Glass".

    A cycle having three phases is not unusual. An excitable system, like a neuron firing or a heartbeat -- resting state, excited state, refractory state. Easy to analogize the last two states to the manic and mellow states (meaning, unexcitable). Resting meaning it's capable of being excited, but is waiting around for something to stimulate it... somewhat like what I'm calling the decadent phase.

    Or an epidemic, where the population is mostly susceptible but not yet widespread infected, then when the contagion is flaring up, and then when it's burning out and people are immune to re-infection, then returning to the susceptible state after immunity wears off.

    I'll have to think more about that phase before I write up a proper post on it.

  8. One explanation would be that you found a different scale, oscillating between decadent vs. moralistic, that exists apart from the manic vs. mellow scale.

    You've pointed out peaks of decadent/nihilistic music. Are there peaks of music which are more more moralistic/puritan/preachy, separated from decadent peaks by 7-8 years?

    I mentioned the song "Waterfalls", but come to think of it, that's more a preachy and moralistic song - trying to get people to avoid promiscuous sex and drugs - showing the dangers of nihilism. That same year(1995), the number one billboard song was "Gangsta's Paradise" - trying to young urban-dwellers to turn away from the gangster lifestyle, as Coolio warns that "even my mama thinks that my mind is gone".

    Another hit that year was "Kiss from a Rose" - an "eternal love" song removed from decadence or nihilism. Much different than the "drunk hookup songs" that Lady Gaga sings about.

    '95 would have been when the moral period was beginning, after the peak of decadence in the early 90s. Then again, Macarena was #1 in '96, but that could be an exception. The other hit songs that year('96) were serious eternal love type songs, like "Always be my Baby" by Mariah Carey, or "One Sweet Day" by Celine Dion. Speaking of which, Celine Dion had another eternal love song in '98 with "My Heart will go on". The movie that was from - Titanic - had a preachy moral message about inequality. The Titanic itself is practically a metaphor for hubristic arrogance.

    By this theory, moralism peaks in the very early 2000s. There were a bunch of weepy love songs in that period, which is more moralistic rather than decadent - decadent songs fixating more on the thrill of sex or the thrill of the chase.

    other examples of preachy moralism in the very early 2000s - that Black-eyed Peas song "Where is the Love", which vaguely seems like a political protest song; that Enya song, etc.

    If moralism peaked in 2001-2002, we see more promiscuous/decadent songs beginning around 2003. For instance, "Hot in Here(so take off all your clothes" by Nelly in 2003; "Yeah!" by Usher, #1 song in 2004(where he raps about "double Ds").

    In 2006, #2 song was "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado, #4 song was "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira(the thrill of attraction and meeting someone new, as opposed to a torch song of someone you're dedicated to). then again, "You're Beautiful" was popular also, which is the personification of those weepy love songs.

    Subtract 7-8 from early 90s, what you get are the mid-80s - the era of Live AID.

  9. Van Halen released "Why Can't this be Love?" in 1986, a song about a man who's finally met a woman he wants to commit to. Don't know much about their earlier hits, but I'm willing to bet that more than a few were about sex and chasing girls. This possibly shows that things had become more moralistic in the mid-80s.

    The peak for decadence/nihilism was the late 80s and early 90s - at least going by billboard charts. in '88, some of the top 5 songs on the Billboard charts were "Faith", "Got my Mind Set on you(George Harrison)", both of which are about thrill of the chase and anticipating sex; "Need you Tonight" a booty-call song etc.

  10. "Decadent" is about excitation level, so languid, listless, adrift, restless... not as opposed to moralistic.

    I think the excitable system model is the best way to capture it. First the system gets excited, then it collapses into a refractory period -- from highly positive to highly negative -- where it's incapable of being stimulated back into excitation, then that wears off and it returns to a neutral state.

    In that resting state, you can still stimulate the system without it taking off into a spike in excitation. A little stimulus causes a little excitation, but not much and it quickly returns back to neutral. It needs a critical push in stimulus to clear a threshold before it takes off into a spike.

    That third phase is like the neutral state. Some people are just hanging out in a languid non-excited state, without being so negative that they're refractory -- listless as opposed to downer / emo.

    Other people are trying to stimulate or get stimulated, but it's not high enough of a level, so it's only kind-of-exciting and mostly listless. This sub-group we can call "restless" -- they're the ones who are going to eventually cause the next manic phase. Like how disco kicked off the spike in new wave / synth-pop five years afterward in the next phase.

  11. Very interesting, thanks. I was wrong in my conception of decadence, however, as you say, it still exists on a scale separate from mellow vs. manic - just that the periods of decadence are short compared to the periods of non-decadence.

    something can be mellow and decadent, and manic and decadent, so it shows that the two scales are apart from one another. Just, like I said, that the decadent phases only a last a few years, non-decadent phases lasting longer.

    It would be interesting to correlate these changes in the music zeitgeist with statistics or behaviors. I don't see how changes in music couldn't be correlated with real statistical changes, for instance how music gets crappier when the crime rate falls.

  12. " I don't see how changes in music couldn't be correlated with real statistical changes, for instance how music gets crappier when the crime rate falls."

    Crime (and just as important, the perception of it) didn't decline in earnest until the tail end of the 90's. GSS wise, the FEAR variable ranged from 37-44.5 from 1973-2000, then is suddenly drops to 31 in 2002 and has since stayed below 37 in every subsequent year. Crime gradually declined starting around 1994, then it must have hit people right between the eyes in the 2000's that things had gotten much safer.

    Neil Howe has said that the the early Millennial cohort (those born after '81) was entering high school around the time that crime noticeably declined, and by the early 2000's Gen X-ers were no longer in high school and people relaxed. He's also said that crime declines among older adults were moderate in the late 90's and 2000's, while teen crime rates swiftly fell by the early 2000's. That's his stance, I haven't run the numbers myself but I assume he's correct.

    I once read of an annual creativity experiment that showed a decline starting in 1990; it seems to me that creativity is one of the first casualties of declining outgoingness. Scumbag criminals (who were socialized before the neo-Puritanical environment of the late 80's and 90's, no more smoking in hospitals, sexual harassment and child abuse hysteria) were still preying on people in the 90's, Boomers and Gen X-ers were still getting wasted and partying in the 90's, etc. but our grasp of how to paint, write music, direct movies etc. sure went away awfully fast.

    Judging from the murder rate, crime doesn't exactly coincide with outgoingness; the murder rate in 1995 was slightly higher than it was in 1984 or 1970, for example. It would more seem that those who were socialized in the 1960's-early 1980's demonstrated a great capacity for violence and disorder, with those born in the late 50's-late 70's being especially prone to aggression. It's a little weird that the biggest con artists seem to have been socialized in the 40's-60's, while the most violent assholes were socialized in the 60's-early 80's.

    Child abuse also seems to have a lot of correlation with generations, as opposed to cocooning alone explaining it.. Evidently recorded child abuse quickly escalated from the mid-70's-around 1992, then fell dramatically in the mid-late 90's. That's in keeping with the idea that hot head young Boomer parents were the biggest abusers, and Gen X-ers were the kids most likely to be abused. Boomer kids in the 60's often had Silent parents, who generally were fairly patient with their kids. But Boomer parents could be vicious toward their Gen X kids, which might've had something to do with Gen X kids misbehaving and then staring off into space after being caught, which infuriated adults (Boomer and Millennial kids weren't so off-putting, and as Neil Howe points out misbehavior among children swiftly declined in the 90's anyway, thus giving parents fewer excuses to belt their kids).

  13. "After the manic peak of 1982-'84, the mood became more low-key and vulnerable by '87-'88 -- from new wave to power ballads, even within the same artist's career, such as the George Michael of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" to the George Michael of "Faith" and "Father Figure".

    "After the manic peak of 1967-'69, there was a major mellow-out by '72-'74 --"

    Heavy Metal tracks this cycle pretty good. Muscular rockers tend to be big hits during manic phases. In '68/'69, Born to be Wild (Steppenwolf) and Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin) were hits.

    In the early 80's, the hits recorded in 1980 and popular in '80/'81 were a cross between the decadent late 70's and the more exciting energy of '82-'85. Like Crazy Train by Ozzy, and Living After Midnight by Judas Priest. You Got Another Thing Coming by JP, from '82, is more about bravado and perseverance than it is pure hedonism, unlike the 1980 song. Iron Maiden's biggest US hit song, Run to the Hills, was released in 1982, and it makes bloody battles sound fun and energizing.

    Around 1998, hard hitting nu metal groups like Korn and Limp Bizkit had charting hits that were explosively temperamental.

    Meanwhile, in the mid-70's, late 80's, and early 2000's hard rock hits are more likely to be moody and ballady. Many hard rock bands in the late 80's achieved gold and even platinum status on the basis of one or two ballads/near ballads, which surpass the other types of songs in popularity (18 and Life, I remember You by Skid Row, Heaven by Warrant, Wait by White Lion, Every Rose Has it's Thorn by Poison, Sweet Child O' Mine by GNR, the list goes on). In the early 2000's, emo-ish Linkin Park and other more "sensitive" groups quickly raced past the brash late 90's nu-metal groups in popularity, not unlike how late 80's "hair metal" bands quickly raced past the arena rock bands of the late 70's/early 80's (ZZ Top, Styx, Foreigner, Rush, etc.) in popularity, the latter considered to be insufficiently moody. Boston did have a big hit in '86 with power ballad Amanda, while early 80's kings Van Halen successfully transitioned to a more "mature" and "deep" sound in the late 80's by getting a new singer. Rush's last real hit song was 1987's Time Stands Still, which is far warmer and more reflective than their downcast late 70's material or their buoyant early 80's material.

  14. "Crime gradually declined starting around 1994,"

    That actually seems about right if you compare it to the quality of music, which didn't start to decline until 1996-'97(the "summer of Macarena")

    Very popular music in the early 90s was still good and is remembered fondly by the public - Whitney Houston(had a #1 hit as late as '94), Boyz2men, Ace of Base, Mariah Carey, Seal, etc.

    One thing I noticed - genres which develop during the decadent zeitgeist are often looked back at shamefacedly by the public, as in "WTF were we thinking" - disco, grunge, Gaga, etc.

  15. "Like how disco kicked off the spike in new wave / synth-pop five years afterward in the next phase."

    There was a backlash toward Disco and "dino" rock that gathered strength by 1981. Virtually all Disco groups were persona non grata by that year, while 70's rock acts had to adjust to the times or die trying. Kiss concert attendance dwindled by 1982, while Rush totally shed their early prog rock phase in favor of a more New Wave ID. ZZ Top managed to get more popular with 1983's Eliminator, which featured several irresistibly bubbly hits. AC/DC wore all black and became a huge group around 1980, but their stubbornly sleazy sound wore out it's welcome as subsequent albums sold much worse. Yes became MTV-worthy with Owner of a Lonely Heart, which is much more bubbly than their 70's prog stuff.

    Speaking of late 70's decadence, rock-wise it's hard to top Highway to Hell in that mood-sphere. Highway to Hell ('79) and Back in Black (early 1980) were a bow tied to the black box of later 70's nihilism. If memory serves, they were two of serial killer Richard Ramirez's favorite albums (and indeed, the '79 album has a song about a home invasion killing)

  16. That actually seems about right if you compare it to the quality of music, which didn't start to decline until 1996-'97(the "summer of Macarena")

    I disagree. 1990-'91 music is good while1992-'94 stuff is merely okay for the most part. Painted artwork on movie posters, album covers, toy packaging etc. had declined in quality and quantity by 1992 (many artists around about 1989 became more likely to use photos rather than paintings on album covers, too).

    I think that fashion and creativity require a very engaged and open mind, and both fashion and creativity seemed to nose-dive beginning in 1992. Other measures of outgoingness (like committing crimes, going to the arcade, going bowling, going to bars and nightclubs, bumming around with your friends, sleeping around, etc.) only seemed to gradually diminish as the 90's went.

    I've come to the opinion that people's lives get gradually more exciting as in the first half or so of an outgoing period, then the activities plateu for about 10-12 or so more years, then we gradually start cocooning again, in some ways faster than others (for example, clothes and music in 1993-1995 being more unappealing than the crime rate or partying level would suggest.

    1960-1974: Rising outgoingness, creativity, etc.
    1975-1987(?): Plateau
    1988(?)-1995: Gradual decline in outgoingness in some regards, highly accelerated in others. One thing that's always stood out to me is that the horror movies of 1989 (some of which were produced in later 1988) are mostly terrible, and many of them are sequels that signalled the public's (understandable) loss of interest in horror movies which just weren't very good anymore.

    1996: Immersion into cocooning nearly complete.

  17. " were a bow tied to the black box of later 70's nihilism. If memory serves, they were two of serial killer Richard Ramirez's favorite albums (and indeed, the '79 album has a song about a home invasion killing)"

    It wouldn't surprise me if cultic activity tends to become more common during the decadent periods. When people become more listless and reactive, and lose the ability to self-generate plans, it leaves them vulnerable to getting swept up in a cult. The Jonestown massacre happened in 1978, for instance; Scientology went mainstream in the early 90s, when David Miscavige succeeded in having Scientology recognized as a religious organization.

    Another odd pattern - for some reason, heroic movies/stories are more common in the decadent periods; for instance, Star Wars in the late 70s.

  18. Star Wars was a reaction to the nihilism of the era, which largely pre-dominated elite and even upper middle class thought at the time. But populists like Stallone, George Lucas, Spielberg, Eastwood, and John Carpenter made massively successful movies in the late 70's (and beyond) by appealing to working class audiences.

    Since the cultural revolution of the late 60's, upper class and elitist types have largely agreed that behavioral and/or economic controls needed to be done away with. Of course, both ideas have decimated civility, communal values, etc. and have been hardest on low-income people, but also have been psychologically hard on populist-minded elites.

    It stands to reason that populist entertainment became hated by elites starting in the late 70's (Queen's Jazz album was famously called "fascist" by the degenerates (gays and drug addicts) who started Rolling Stone.

    Perhaps we'll know that things are getting more wholesome when arrogant elites stop ragging on stories in which the hero is essentially a decent person trying to do his best (as we see with Luke in Star Wars, Laurie in Halloween, Stallone as Rocky and John Rambo, etc.) against an enemy that's clearly a bullying aggressor and/or psychopathic dark force (the Empire in Star Wars, Micheal Meyers in Halloween, Sheriff Teasle in First Blood, Apollo Creed in Rocky, etc.)

    Alien too gets populist points (all of the human crew member are essentially decent and hard-working, and are exposed to grueling work conditions and eventually a literal monster by the callous Company, as it's called, as if it's not even necessary to delineate between specific private business entities which were beginning to be held in distrust by the public in the 70's).

    In decadent time periods, most elites (who tend to get more arrogant the higher up they are) stop noticing the rampant evidence that they've dropped the ball. Even in the late 70's, proles and their (dwindling) elite defenders were in tandem popularizing stories that represented what many wanted but seemed to, in real life, be getting less and less common. After all, the breakdown in strictly enforced moral norms and restraints had produced an environment in which, by the late 70's, there were more than a dozen serial killers hunting around in California at the same time.

    BTW, the degeneracy of the Boomers speaks for itself, and that if nothing else is a cautionary tale of elites essentially abandoning the underclass, first behaviorally in the 70's, and then economically in the 80's.

  19. New Hollywood (which essentially comprised the period of about 1967-1981, when behavioral controls and censorship declined a great deal, while economic controls were still largely in place) is typically romanticized by decadent Leftist elites for how unpopulist and morally ambiguous many movies were. Yet an obvious backlash was already underway with Rocky and Star Wars, and in the 80's movie studios/producers mostly were able to wrangle movie production back toward populism. Ever since then cultural elitists perk up at naughty decadent directors like Tarantino (who peaked in popularity in, when else, the mid-90's), while they trash the still reigning ethos in Hollywood that movies are primarily a vehicle by which to reflect the mass audience's values.

    It looks as if music tends to be a by-product of an era's overall mood, which if disagreeable can be consumed safely in small doses (e.g., a 5 minute pop song). Whereas with movies, most people generally don't want to spend over 90 minutes in the sewer. Which is why most popular movies from the late 70's and 1992-1995 aren't as nihilistic as late 70's disco or Grunge.

  20. "I've come to the opinion that people's lives get gradually more exciting as in the first half or so of an outgoing period, then the activities plateu for about 10-12 or so more years, then we gradually start cocooning again"

    It may seem that way because people are overwhelmed by the novelty of the new changes. But from what I see, outgoingness and risk-taking behavior got more and more extreme as the crime rate rose throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The 60s had no crack epidemic or wet t-shirt contests.

    Creativity also kept up a high pace. The advent of jazz in the 1920s, the peak of a crime wave. Automobiles in the 20s and the advent of radio in the same period.

    Likewise, cocooning appears to be much more worse now than in the 90s. that can be bolstered by other measures we use to look at these phenomona - for instance, there was still a lot of decent music in the 90s, which Agnostic agreed with in this post:

    "It was only the beginning of the downward spiral, so there were still some good songs being made, especially if the group had cut their teeth during the high-point of popular music from the previous 15 or so years."

    That said though, there is something to be said for your theory. Why is it that the Boomers come across as being more extreme in their outgoingness and risk-taking than Gen X? Not just more risk-taking, but more social in general.


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