Sometime in October 1952, my parents had sex and nine months later I was the result.
A little small, a little jaundiced, and whether I wanted to be or not, added to the ranks of the Boomers, who were rapidly taking over the world and apparently making an effing mess of it along the way.
I first heard the expression, OK Boomer, about two years ago. But it got lost in the stupor of an ongoing Pandemic and became locked down physically, spiritually and emotionally, until the phrase began reappearing recently. Usually at the tail end of some accusation or belief that I simply wasn’t paying attention.
As a result of all this generational angst, I have grown tired of being lumped in with every nitwit and political buffoon who was born between 1946 and 1965. Tired of being blamed for climate change, expensive housing, and wealth being absorbed by the top 1%.
Exasperated that younger people think, that I think, that they think too much and do too little. Bending with fatigue from having to defend myself for things I’ve never thought of, problems I’ve never contributed to, and successes that will not be acknowledged because of the date on my driver’s license.
I resent the fact that my age slots me into a category that is not at all flattering and no matter how hard I try to get out from under that label, I am met with snickers, eye-rolls, and a sigh, deep enough to push me over the edge.
Truth be told, I think many Boomers are twits. Not because they are 62 or 58 or because they work at Goldman Sachs or in the US Congress. But because, statistically, there are as many twits in a random sampling of baby boomers as there are in a random sampling of millennials.
I dislike the lack of thought. The laziness implied by including all or most boomers into a niche, all because it appears to be the right answer.
There have been many events over the years, orchestrated by those older than and younger than the Boomers, and yet they are not the ones being held accountable.
The Vietnam War is a great example of an All-American fustercluck. And just for the record the oldest baby-boomers at the time this miasma of malfeasance erupted on the face of humanity, was about twenty years old. Old enough to die but not to have engineered our first major conflict in quite some time based solely on lies and disinformation.
Also, for the record, I was against the war. I had the pleasure though of watching it on TV every night when the Media’s measure of compassion was a little skewered and we got to watch the wounded being airlifted in waiting helicopters and body bags being moved quietly in the background.
We got to see the “box scores” of the war every single night, scrolling along the bottom of our TV screens. US dead – 142, wounded – 541. Viet Cong dead – 1245, wounded – unknown.
And yet years later, guess who gets associated with this war and the subsequent ones in the Middle East? Baby-boomers. And you’d be partly right – so score some points for your side.
But there has also been a contingent of older white gentlemen pulling the strings behind the scenes for the last 50+ years, who were decidedly not Boomers and who should – also for the record – be held accountable for being the passionate jingoists that they were.
Look, I understand that housing costs have gone way up and that many millennials have their own personal mortgages – affectionately called student debt – already burdening them. And that they are experiencing the old favorite financial pastime of running three steps in front of a moving bus, trying to keep it together
But please keep things in perspective.
One of the reasons our favorite Boomer got elected in 2016, was because many of the more recent ones were sufficiently fed up and disillusioned with the status quo of – no jobs, poor paying jobs, loss of homes, loss of respect – that they elected a mannequin in an Armani suit. Operating on the not-so-rational hypothesis that if he doesn’t act, speak or look like he’s from Washington, D.C, then all is well. Failing to realize that, that particular Boomer had done more to cause their hardships than the average 1%-er. He was simply better at lying about it.
In other words, Boomers don’t know everything. Boomers, haven’t seen it all and made it work. Boomers bleed and suffer the same as everyone else and contrary to urban myths, very few of us walked to school barefoot in the winter, and only had one potato to eat all day.
Again, with statistical relevance, some Boomers think they do know it all. Some think that Millennials are underachievers, that guns are never the problem, and the coronavirus isn’t a living organism anyway – so masks won’t make a difference at all.
Genetics is not yet under our control and until it is, people on all sides of every argument will continue to do stupid things, make stupid decisions and leave the heavy lifting of critical analysis to stiff-haired talking heads on Fox News and Newsmax.
So, what do we do in the meantime?
We treat each other with a little more respect. We listen a little longer before making decisions that go sideways. We don’t let the insincere and the intellectually impaired get under our collective skins and assign cause to everyone in their age bracket.
And for those that continue to think they know it all and everyone else doesn’t – well, treat them with the same disdain and condescension that they inflict on others. After all, it’s only fair that they get to experience the American dream, just like the rest of us.
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