This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 25, 2006 5:01 AM. The previous post in this blog was Inconvenient truths? We've got a million of 'em. The next post in this blog is Gig of a lifetime. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Boomers' lament

I'm ashamed to say that Bill McD. has once again hit the nail squarely on the head as he describes us folk of a certain age:

Meanwhile the truth is, WE suck. This generation sucks. You were loads of fun to party with but now that I've seen us in action, it's starting to be a horrible feeling. We go right on sniping at each other while the station wagon is heading off a cliff. We've taken the spoils that our parents sweated to give us, turned America into the richest most materialistic orgy in human history and now we're spending the money our children and grandchildren need for themselves.
Read the whole thing. And then tell me (or better yet, Bill) what we of the Worst Generation can do to make at least some amends while there's still time.

Comments (1)

After reading Bills Blog I just thought about one of Peter Fonda's last lines to Dennis Hopper in 'Easy Rider' "We blew it."

Posted by: Tom at July 25, 2006 05:59 AM

Becoming a Minimalist helps! Its not only easy, its easier and more affordable.

Posted by: Abe at July 25, 2006 06:49 AM

the children of the boomers have been saying these things as long as we can remember. There was a big chunk of musictime that was flat out dedicated to saying it. Screaming it.

Posted by: pril at July 25, 2006 07:00 AM

You were on the right track back in the '60's, I think. The willingness to try new things, the courage to step out of line when it had to be done, to take the risks that had to be taken.

Try some more of that stuff. Or make it possible for others to try.

If anyone needs to remember what those ideals were, they'll be coming to a car commercial Real Soon Now, when some corporation buys the rights to yet another '60s song.

Posted by: Samuel John Klein at July 25, 2006 07:18 AM

Sigh, I remember thinking how much smarter we were than our parents. About the only thing left is to individually help each younger person we meet to make a better life whether thru education or aid.

I think relying on our political system to improve things is pretty much a shot idea, Republican or Democrat. Heck, they had 30+ years to address the energy problem and results = zero.

Posted by: Steve at July 25, 2006 07:25 AM

We, the worst generation, can start by throwing out all the current bums we can, out in November 06 and the rest in 08.
At least it will take the new bunch a while to figure out how to be as corrupt as the ones presently in office.
We will have to work hard to convince the younger generation in their 20's now that voting is a viable option.
And let us not discount the younger generations as "too young". We did screw up, let's let the next generation have a go. I don't think it can get too much worse, unless we let the status quo continue of course.

Posted by: Anne at July 25, 2006 08:34 AM

Maybe the quaint notion of inculcating self-reliance and compassion on the individual level would be a good start.

The notion of a nanny state is a demonstrably failed experiment - here and around the globe. All the best intentions in the world won't replace personal responsibility and accountability.

Posted by: rickyragg at July 25, 2006 10:03 AM

The baby boomers are gambling with their own lives if they assume that their children will pay the massive debt.

Instead, their kids may decide to eliminate medicare and medicaid, and make their parents work longer for social security.

If they do, they will have learned that lesson from their parents.

Posted by: jim at July 25, 2006 10:25 AM

I think that he has something here. My wife has a bumper sticker that reads "More Fun, Less Stuff". Unfortunately that thought doesn't match what we do all the time. I think that when we live in a culture that is so materialistic, so short sighted in terms of any long range view, sometimes the ideals just get washed away.

When more people 'vote' on American Idol than vote for president, then, well, here we are.

Posted by: Stan at July 25, 2006 10:28 AM

I guess I'm considered a Gen Xer -- I was born in 1966 (40 years old this September...whoopee.) I've noticed a huge amount of ne'er-do-wells in my age bracket. I know many who are still working dead and jobs, drink/smoke too much and exist paycheck to paycheck. I think growing up in the 70's tended put the zap on many 35 to 45 year olds.

Posted by: Chris McMullen at July 25, 2006 10:42 AM

I think Jello Biafra summed up the problem most succinctly: "Give me convenience or give me death!"

Posted by: Clay Fouts at July 25, 2006 10:58 AM

Bill, there's some truth in what you say. But then I think of Nero and Caligula. Stalin, Mao and Hitler. No shortage of sycophants, hedonists and psychotics in those imperial courts. Still, generations of the masses seem to come and go like the seasons. Human life, in one form or another, seems to trundle along.

I think you make too much of the person who is President, and the office. The person is configured , as is the Whooper, to appeal to mass appetite and to capture market share at dinner time. Granted Bush, Cliniton and others have also been exceedingly generous in offering themselves as national scapegoats, but throughout history most societies do seem to benefit from some sort of recurring scapegoat ritual.

As for practical self-help for the boomer generation, I'd recommend:

1. Read up on who Edward L. Bernays was and his influence on our pathetic, autistic and avaricious lives today.
2. Kill all TVs.
3. Stop buying stuff.
4. Each day publically ridicule opulence and ostentation for at least 4 hours.
5. Each day perform manual labor at least 4 hours ...even mowing your own lawn and washing your own windows. If you feel you don't have the time, use a scizzors for the former, a tooth brush for the latter.

Posted by: WoodburnBob at July 25, 2006 11:05 AM

When more people 'vote' on American Idol than vote for president, then, well, here we are.

My new mission in life is to correct this statement whenever and wherever I see it printed.

Look, you can vote as many times you want for American Idol. People have rigged their computer to auto-dial for a certain contestant, and end up making 100s of calls per night. So, yes, there were more TOTAL VOTES CAST for American Idol than for Bush vs. Kerry, but those total votes cast on AI represent a lot of people who voted many, many times. In other words, more total votes for AI, but more people voted for President.

Ok, rant off.

Posted by: Dave J. at July 25, 2006 11:08 AM

"My new mission in life is to correct this statement whenever and wherever I see it printed."

Odd how any little factoid that fits in with a particular groupthink gets repeated endlessly and mindlessly.

On a lighter note,

I think Bill's breast-beating is just an excuse for more Bush-bashing. His post seems to hold up Bush as the logical(?) result of our generation's purported misdeeds and attitudes; which works, of course, only if one accepts Bill's premise that Bush represents the nadir of the human race.

Hard to lose that argument - as Kevin Nealon (Gary Potter) said in Happy Gilmore: "...it's circular." Nothing new here.

Posted by: rickyragg at July 25, 2006 11:40 AM

Self Loathing is also a symptom of middle age thus the mid life crisis.

Posted by: tom at July 25, 2006 11:47 AM

Dave, I'd like to add my two-cents to your post:

I think the Nation's myopic voter turnout is not due to electorate stupidity or ignorance, it's because things aren't that bad. For all the doom and gloom, American's are enjoying a pretty good life; new cars, cell phones, PS2's, boats, granite countertops, plasma TVs, computers, abundance of cheap food and water, etc. The country is not in dire straights as of yet. And people aren't going to flock to the voting booth until things get real bad.

Posted by: Chris McMullen at July 25, 2006 11:47 AM

Personally, I don't buy into the "Worst Generation"/"Greatest Generation" hoo-hah. Each generation has it's bad seeds and its hard-working saints, along with everything in-between. The "Greatest Generation" bought into a lot of fear and paranoia. They continued the imperious imposition of their preferences upon the rest of the world that their elders had and we have obliged by allowing it to continue yet another generation. My problem with my own generation (and I'm a boomer) is that it seems to have abandoned some of the best lessons the previous generation had to offer, while continuing the manifold malevolent tendencies and it's become a loss of promise with the erosion of principle.

My generation didn't build excessive nuclear weapons to point at the rest of the world, but it certainly hasn't done anything to lessen the risk that it imposes. All those weapons are still out there and still capable of being misused.

I personally think my generation began its decline when it bought into the "greed is good" paradigm that reigned in the late 1980s. Ever since, it's been like we've been determined to relive the Gilded Age of "I got mine, the hell with the rest of you."

I'd like to see a return of personal responsibility, building a sense of community with a search for win/win situations instead of continuing to inflate the adversarial culture we inherited, and a willingness to commit to sustain that community over time, beyond our own transient cameo role on the stage of life.

Posted by: godfry at July 25, 2006 11:54 AM

We are all participating in the most revolutionary agent of change defining this generation. Weblogs. This is a forum for expressing ideas which may be put into practice. This discussion is a perfect example. All the platitudes in the world won't change it. Practicing some of these suggestions will. Here's a simple one: Give of yourself without expectation of return. Look for opportunities to practice this simple shift in consciousness. Spend a little time today doing something for someone else to help them. You will be amazed at how good you feel when your modest act benefits another. Peace all!

Posted by: genop at July 25, 2006 12:14 PM

As someone who cannot collect SS until 2046 (you have to be 65, right?) I feel quite shafted that it most likely wont be there when I get there, even though a significant amount of my paycheck goes into it. For those that decry higher taxes, my SS payments are really just an additional tax on me, right, since I won't see any return. If these crooks in congress would set aside the surpluses, and had done it all along, investing some blocks of $$$ into various accounts, SS would be solvent forever into the future.

I am opposed to the Iraq war for many reasons, but I think if we are going to go about it, we should at least pay for it today, not when I'm 45 or 55. Along with the war, we see this attitude in everything our government touches. Bush crowing about a 300 BILLION $$$ debt, even though that includes the SS surplus? C'mon peeps, work with those of us that do vote on the younger end, and send these creeps home!

My parents generation, including them, are a very spoiled group. I cannot believe the toys that exist today, Chris McMullen mentioned a few above. While they saddle me with an unimaginable national debt they expect me to pay, they inturn outsource the jobs I need in order to pay those debts. Screw us, we don't vote so when things get bad enough maybe we will get off our arses and register? Too bad that is the prevailing attitude! My father taught me, 'take only pictures, leave only footprits." He also taught me, "do as I say, not as I do."

I guess y'all aren't leaving me much choice.

Posted by: MarkDaMan at July 25, 2006 12:16 PM

Another characteristic of boomers is extreme self-absorption - even to the degree of assuming unto themselves the mantle of "most important factors in society's decline".

...or something like that.

The black hole generation might be apt.

Posted by: rickyragg at July 25, 2006 01:05 PM

I don't buy into the notion that Clinton's BJ's belong in the same conversation as Bush's war mongering incompetence. Clinton was a selfish f-ing liar, but a least he knew how to run our country. Sure I'm sniping and I'll keep sniping until there is positive change in this country. Gore in '08.

Posted by: Kevin at July 25, 2006 02:07 PM

All you Boomers could pick a certain date to go to the bank and withdraw all your savings for 72 hours, then go home, watch the financial news and revel in the havoc you have created for the 'finpol' (financial-political) elites of the world, based on the laws of fractional reserve banking. I think the last time this happened, it was a Beatnik Boomer in the 60s from UC Berkeley or something and that was on a very small scale, but he still probably had some pissed-off FBI agents pounding down his door. Imagine what you Boomers, the richest generation to ever live, could do.

Posted by: Robert Ted Hinds at July 25, 2006 02:43 PM

"...I'll keep sniping until there is positive change in this country. Gore in '08."

F. Scott Fitzgerald said that the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. Now we just need a workable definition of function.

Posted by: rickyragg at July 25, 2006 04:20 PM

[Posted as indicated; restored later.]

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