Sunday, October 26, 2008

Will They Ever Stop Patting!

It's bad enough that The Greatest Generation, boosted by their lobbyist Tom Brokaw, does it constantly "We saved the world!" But now the Baby Boomer Generation has started in on it (and they are different from their parents how again?), "We changed the world!".

Well grand, congratulations you Boomers, you all must be so proud... all that protesting and burning of draft cards worked out just grand. So now groups can't really protest anymore - note both political conventions this year: sure protest is 'allowed' (those are strong air quotes) but was so shoved to the fringes as to be irrelevant. And what about all the protest over the Iraq war? Millions of people marched, made signs, wrote letters, yelled pleaded and what happened? (What generation was George Bush born in again?) Now government just ignores protest and does what it wants anyway. They're mavericks!

And we no longer have a draft. Now we just have stop loss. But that volunteer army feels so relieved that there's no draft. "Phew! Wouldn't want that common rabel with us here for three, four tours... oooo pinch me, come on tour five!" The Boomer parents must be so proud of their kids and grandkids in Iraq and Afganistan.

As you can see from the attached article the Boomers are lauding themselves for changing medicine (thanks for all that Vioxx and Viagra), changing the way we eat (that high fructose corn syrup was a GREAT idea), the way we exercise (OK, I'll give you that one) and communicate (except with their own kids who they just keep saying "Good job!" to but keep forgetting to remind them that they will actually have to work hard and have integrity on the job").

And you know, I wonder, what generation Alan Greenspan belongs to? And all those other guys, Senators who decided to forego regulations, or CEO's who created fancy financial 'products' (I would really like to pop the person who coined that phrase one, it's not a cookie for christ's sake!), real estate folks who pushed the second home market and said "We can list your home for $15,000 more than it's worth and probably get even more on top of that!" that indeed have changed the world. Even before the 'financial crisis' the Greatest Generation had left their grandchildren and the Boomers their children in a position where they were NOT better off than their parents. But a shrug of shoulders and a shout of "Charge it" and they looked the other way - for all the many years the economy moved away from industry and manufacturing, to service now to... what, consumming.

Where were the hippie values when food became industrialized? Where were they when cars and car culture grew from necessity to insanity? Where were those values, that angry protest when our government stopped calling us citizens and started referring to us as consummers? What's next? Maybe someone would like to just be honest and start calling us cogs.

Yes, they saved their own world the Greatest Generation, just not for us. And yes they changed the world, for the better, then for the worse, and now disaster (the ultimate flip-floppers). They say all parents want their children to be better off than they were. But they also say actions speak louder than words. I guess the Boomers were just so mad at mommy and daddy that they didn't care if they scorched the earth for their own kids, and grandkids... and maybe their kids too....

Keep patting yourselves on the back.