Kevin over at Pointless Banter has an interesting article lambasting anyone born since 1981 for lacking culture relevance.
I agree with his basic premise, that the popular culture of the generation that came of age in the late eighties and early nineties carries a great deal more cultural gravitas than most of what's been produced in the last few years. Reality Bites, Nirvana, the original The Real World, the works of Kevin Smith and many of their contemporaries have an edge, a force and a quality unmatched by The Hills, Fall Out Boy or MTV's later forays into reality television, to use his examples.
I cannot, however, agree with his assertion that this is generation Y's, failing, or at least not their fault. Kevin Smith's first few films notwithstanding, the makers of media are rarely the same age as those who consume it. The production personnel, money moguls, gatekeepers and producers that created generation X's iconography all grew up in the seventies. Likewise, the people who have created this last decade's drivel, the media slop that generation Y consumes so readily is made, predominantly, by members of generation X.
So, yeah, the stuff from fifteen years ago was pretty great. What's disappointing is that we, the people who grew up on it, can't get our shit together well enough to produce something consistently as good.