Five Stupid Things About Baby Boomers


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  1. I'm trying to remember which book I'd read it in, but from what I remember, while the students and youth were the majority of the protests it was actually the WWII generation that was most against the war.  The Baby Boomers were more "for" the war than their previous generations.  There were just so many of them that we could look at the protest groups and go, "Wow, that generation is really against the war!"

  2. It is, of course, more complicated. Indeed, my generation has much to answer for, but we did some good things, too. We fought for civil rights. We fought to stop an unjust war. We made it to the Moon. (The freakin' Moon, for Pete's sake!)  

    I used to think that our biggest crime was (often drug induced) naivté. But it was what happened after that. It was giving in. We woke up one day with kids, and mortgages, and unrelenting debt, and little sense of accomplishment in any of it. The world had turned into the exact opposite of what we wanted for you. Some became bitter and resigned. Others embraced those demons. Fewer still hold to their ideals, though they've been modified through time. Nothing and no one stays the same.

    Hey, my bad, we screwed up.  Like our parents, and theirs..all the way back. Yet when you look back far enough, you see that progress has been made. It was messy, and clumsy, and we blundered our way through most of it, but we have moved forward. It's just never in a straight line.

    So, you have my apologies. I do take some small solace in the fact that the gap of understanding between my generation, and that of my parents, is much larger than the gap between my generation, and that of my children.

    Though I have no doubt that your parents are proud of you, Steve, there will come a day when you have to answer to your children.

    Try not to screw it up.

  3. I gotta make a correction: most of the baby boomers that were supporting the war in Iraq (and all of the ones that engineered it) were supporters of the Vietnam War during the 60s and 70s (although curiously not supportive enough that they would go themselves)

  4. My mom was born in '55. She's one of the few Baby Boomers I've ever known who thinks very highly of Millennials, because we have a shot at fixing everything.
    She likes to say that it's time for the old, out of touch, cigar-munching white men to move over and let Millennials fix everything they fucked up, and then give it bluetooth and a Twitter.

  5. Yeah, I'm usually with you most of the time on a lot of the 5 Stupid Things series but this one was kind of a stretch, Steve. It sounds to me like you are making some connections here that aren't really justified. There my be some association or temporal coincidence involved here but it feels like you are drawing some causational links that aren't really warranted.

  6. A great many of us wanted to be better than the "Greatest Generation", because a lot of folks, before us, were the ones who did the wrecking of the American Dream.  In our defense, we're the ones who grabbed the civil rights "baton" and ran with it, then built on it.  A lot of us never did lose the idealism of the sixties.  It just goes to show that stereotyping by age, is really terrible.  Nice try, though.

  7. I'm one of them thar baby boomers. I think there are two very different strains of us'ns. There are those of us who did learn the lessons of Viet Nam, civil rights, Second Wave feminism and liberation theology, and those who went to college for MBAs and the suckers who bought into that selfish mindset. The whole Southern Strategy and the rise of the intentional entanglement of the religious right and the political reactionary right were added to the toxic brew. 

    Even today, I think you'll find that sort of divide in the BB generation, the difference being that in the 60s and early 70s, we were louder and since then the other side, the side you characterized quite well (though over-generalized to the whole lot of us) has had the megaphone. Take a look at surveys and polls of liberal vs conservative policy ideas, and even amongst us selfish nation-wreckers, the liberal ideas nearly always win out. It's just that politics has become much more compartmentalized, dog-whistle bullshit and Fox Noise segmented than it used to be, and politicians have used the divisions (hello Scott "The Big Shithead" Walker) to build coalitions where right-wing money can buy gerrymandered districts and voting restrictions that bring us rule by the minorities.

    BTW, I was one of the good guys in the 60s/70s. Still am. There are a whole shitload of us, and we're even more unhappy about this than you are, though you lot are paying a bigger price for it in student debt, lost income potential and lower life expectations than we are. Our youthful dreams have become dust, and that is bitter fruit. Ain't fair, but hey! Maybe there is an afterlife or karma, and we'll pay for our sins there. (Atheist here, so not counting on it; but sometimes I wish…)

  8. I think that you'll find that the decline of the middle class has more to do with the advancement of technology than any other cause. Take for instance the secretary. At one time in a large office there would be 20 secretaries taking and directing phone calls, doing dictation, typing (on typewriters), filing, getting things for the execs, etc. Now, with computer technology that same large office can get away with 2 or 3 secretaries to look after the same amount of execs who do a lot of their own work on laptops; there is less paper so less need for filing, automated phone directories and cell phones eliminate the need for secretaries to answer all calls, etc. That means that 17 or 18 jobs are gone for good because of technology. This is not the only case – there is major technological labour saving devices in factories, eliminating "joe jobs'. In mining where 10 guys would be needed to shovel muck, one guy with a scoop tram can muck out what those 10 guys would take a shift to do in about an hour. This is where the middle class has gone and, unless you're blaming the Boomers for creating the technology, you're a tad off base on that one.

  9. A lot of Boomers also make every single issue come back to their generation and bring up being a Boomer, even when it has absolutely nothing to do with the topic.  "I'm a Baby Boomer, and my mother has Alzheimer's."  "I have Golden Retrievers, and I'm a Baby Boomer."  "As a proud Baby Boomer…"  "Many Boomers have happy memories of…"  You'd think no other generation ever dealt with issues like divorce, aging parents, buying cars, having sex, becoming grandparents, or retirement, the way so many news stories mention how these issues are all about Boomers.

  10. The Iraq War was justified and the only parallel between the Iraq War and Vietnam. The ONLY parallel the 2 have is that there were anti-war movements that opposed them.
    There are 7 reasons for the Iraq War:
    1. The US and Iraq had a CEASEFIRE agreement. Technically the US and Iraq were at war since 1991. Just like North and South Korea have a Ceasefire agreement and are still technically at war.
    2. Saddam violated the No-Fly Zone on a Daily Basis- Saddam's regime would fire on US aircraft on an almost daily basis. Those were aggressive military actions that would justify a military response. Shooting at US aircraft on a DAILY basis.
    3. Saddam's Human Rights record- We went into Somalia and Bosnia OVER LESS.
    4. Saddam OPENLY supported Hamas- This is a war on Terror and Saddam's Iraq was a terrorist haven for Hamas. Saddam was not related to Al-Queda or 9-11. But he was supporting another well known terrorist group Hamas.
    5. WMDs- Saddam had a history of using WMDs. And they did find Sarin Gas WMDs in Iraq. Not to mention Saddam had over a year to ship his chemical weapons from Baathist Iraq to Baathist Syria. And that would explain where Assad got his WMDs he used in 2013.
    6. Unfinished Business- Through out the 1990s liberals complained that Bush41 didn't finish the job or do enough after the 1st Gulf War. Just watch the liberal diatribe "Three Kings" to refresh your memory. If Clinton or Gore had invaded Iraq that would have been okay. But when Bush 43 comes along to finish the job and do something about Iraq. Suddenly its a bad idea. TOTAL HYPOCRISY
    7. Iraq was a problem waiting to happen-The situation in Iraq would have only gotten worse. If you think Saddam was bad just imagine how bad things would get when his 2 insane sons Uday and Qusay were running things. This was nipping bigger problems in the bud. Cutting out a cancer before it became a full blown tumor.

    The Iraq War has been grotesquely distorted  because of bitter partisan politics and a biased media.

  11. Kinda sounds to me like you are characterizing an entire generation on the basis of the actions of the 1% who actually engineered the five things you mentioned. It wouldn't surprise me if the vast majority of that 1% are in fact members of the boomer generation, And it would be fair to accuse (much of) the other 99% of apathy, indifference, stupidity, gullibility, complacency, etc., for allowing the 1% to do what they've done. Speaking as a boomer, I think there's bound to be truth in the assertion that the parents of boomers spoiled their children, and as a result, too many boomers have lost sight of what needs to be protected, and what needs to be done to protect those things.

  12. You could easily make a "Five More Stupid Things About Baby Boomers" without any difficulties at all, heck for starters the Boomers (and X'ers) spawned and raised the entitled Millennial generation, but I would not be blaming the Boomers for the economic stagnation of the 70's or the erosion of the middle class that began around that time. The Boomers were 10-25 years old when the 70's started, and the previous generations were still very much "running the show" throughout the 70's (and well into the 80's). It would be kind of like blaming the Millennials for the 2008 economic meltdown, which of course is silly.