Markus Birdman is a fascinating comedian and proof that the snippets you see of an act in a big gala is not indicative of the comedians full body of work.
In short bursts, Birdman is a cynical but well read 40s something solo father of a 12 year old but in a full show he is a philosopher who encapsulates the zeitgeist of the cultural death of Gen X.
It’s a theme that we saw in this years release of Logan, and we saw it in that most enlightening insight into the popular psyche of America – Wrestlemania 33 where Gen X legend the Undertaker was beaten by a new generation.
Gen X are the first user pays culture and have above them Boomers who have benefitted most from the cradle to grave state subsidisation of their life and whom live in constant friction with Boomers in a career sense because Boomers have no interest in letting go of power or retiring as their golden age continues well past its use by date.
Beneath the Gen Xers are hungry Millennials who born as consumers have no idealogical compass whatsoever and whom want what Boomers had.
Sandwiched between a hegemonic culture that has no interest in ever letting go and the aspirations of a hungrier more individualistic generation, Gen Xers in their 40s are having to come to terms with their cultural death. Logan dies, The Undertaker retires and Birdman re-writes well known children’s nursery tales for his 12 year old daughter whose social media footprint is far larger than his.
Coming to terms with mere survival and the important sense that we have so much more soul to sing, Birdman plays all this Gen X angst to comedic effect in a show that is as thoughtful as it is bitingly witty.