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January 4, 2001
3:50 AM   Subscribe

I was reading this article about the new breed of modern airships when I stumbled over the line "Not your grandfather's airship". That started me off thinking about the "Not your father's X" meme that's been part of the journalistic background noise for a while now. It seems to me to evoking something oedipal, a male child's revulsion of his father and his father's way of doing things. It's usually juxtaposed against technology or at least things that aren't all that old to begin with. Does anyone know who used it first? A quick search of Google reveals it in everything from "Cuba: not your father's stagnant nation" to "XML: Not your father's HTML". Anyone got any favorites?
posted by lagado (19 comments total)

 
I liked Not your father's supply chain. I have not thought of fathers having supply chains before, but of course they have. Huh?
posted by palnatoke at 5:08 AM on January 4, 2001


I know that commenting on the original article is a bit off-topic, but I was struck with fear when I read the phrase "Zeppelin NT" as the name of one fo the new airships. (I'll leave it to someone else to make the obvious pun.)
posted by mkhall at 6:36 AM on January 4, 2001


"Not your father's Oldsmobile" comes to mind. It was their slogan in the mid eighties... I'd feel old remembering that except for the fact that I was 7 at the time.
posted by Rev. George at 7:23 AM on January 4, 2001


"Crack. Not your fathers cocaine."
posted by Jeremy at 7:32 AM on January 4, 2001


I recently upgraded to Zeppelin 2000: "Not your father's Hindenburg!"
posted by daveadams at 7:57 AM on January 4, 2001


I'm pretty sure that the phrase originates in a car ad. The Oldsmobile one cited above may have been it. It's sad but common for advertising campaigns to augment our everyday language.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:21 AM on January 4, 2001


In the pencil & paper roleplaying world, the creators of the "Cyberpunk 2020" RPG (R. Talsorian) later published a more youth-oriented game called "CyberGeneration", with the cover blurb "This isn't your father's Cyberpunk". BTW, I concur that the Oldsmobile version was the original.
posted by harmful at 8:31 AM on January 4, 2001


Worst meme ever!
posted by rodii at 8:35 AM on January 4, 2001


I love "modern" country music stations that play "not your father's country music". Honest. It's different because... the pickup trucks are bigger.
posted by dithered at 9:11 AM on January 4, 2001


Worst meme ever!

But at least it's not your father's meme...
posted by rushmc at 9:47 AM on January 4, 2001


MetaFilter: not your father's illicit drug.
posted by pnevares at 10:18 AM on January 4, 2001


I love "modern" country music stations that play "not your father's country music". Honest. It's different because... the pickup trucks are bigger.

Modern country is simply bubble gum pop music with a twangy voice. yet another reason to hate it.
posted by terrapin at 12:19 PM on January 4, 2001


I never saw the Oldsmobile ad so thanks for clearing that up. I'm hoping that mentioning this meme will eventually start of backlash against lazy writers using it. One can only hope.

Here's another siting:

Boys and Porn: What's Normal? ...today's porn is not your father's pornography
posted by lagado at 1:59 PM on January 4, 2001


Here's another siting

err, sighting or citing ...whatever

posted by lagado at 2:09 PM on January 4, 2001


Hey, how did they find my father's pornography??? I looked for YEARS and never found it. Damn. I knew I should have looked on the top shelf of his "special" closet.
posted by Optamystic at 2:29 PM on January 4, 2001


Good gosh, is everyone here that young? The phrase certainly existed before Oldsmobile adopted it as a slogan.
I think it was probably in common advertising use a generation before that, with variants like "mother's" or "grandfather's" also heard.

In fact, when it first appeared, it was generally considered a bit of a mouthful for an advertising slogan, especially that peppy song tag in the TV ads.
posted by dhartung at 4:07 PM on January 4, 2001


you mean "this is not your father's Oldsmobile, this is the new generation... of Olds!". How sad is it I also remember Shari Belafonte and her brother being in the Carribean version. "This Oldsmobile is not your father's, new generation for the sons and daughters"....
posted by owillis at 4:12 PM on January 4, 2001


Good gosh, is everyone here that young?

In my case too foreign.

posted by lagado at 6:06 PM on January 4, 2001


Dan, I'm not young. In fact, I feel older than God sometimes. And I never heard that expression before the Oldsmobile commercials. I think it's so stodgy-sounding that it achieved this air of retroactive existence--like, no ad exec could have thought up anything this clunky, it must be old.
posted by rodii at 3:01 PM on January 5, 2001


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