May 4th, 2013

My generation: hatin’ on the boomers

[Bumped up.]

I couldn’t help but notice the amount of boomer-directed venom expressed in the comments section of yesterday’s thread.

I’ve noticed it many times before. Actually, I’ve noticed it almost every time I write about—well, about my generation. And here I think we need a musical interlude:

Note, of course, the verse:

People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

I’ve never been a big Who fan, but that’s the lyric that popped into my head yesterday when writing about the boomers and their increased suicide rate. Is some of the cause almost as simple as this (understanding, of course, that suicide is never the least bit simple): that some boomers want to die before they get really old? It’s late and getting later. No generation before the boomers (although several after them) has ever focused so obsessively on youth, and getting old is no joke.

But right now I’m going to talk ’bout the “people try to put us down” part. Those of you who hate boomers (and wish them dead, apparently, if you mean what you say) may or may not have realized that not only am I a bona fide boomer, but that boomers are now (and always have been) a somewhat conservative bunch, at least by the standards of today.

For example, who failed to vote for Barack Obama either in 2008 or 2012? Why, boomers, that’s who:

Romney won “Middle-aged voters” (45-59) by 5 points (52% to 47%). These were 29% of voters.
Romney won “Older voters” (60+) by 9 points (54% to 45%). These were 25% of voters.

When boomers die off, the voting public will be far more overwhelmingly liberal than it is now—unless, of course, other generations turn more and more conservative as they age, which is certainly possible. But if you look at voting patterns over time, you’ll see what I mean about the boomers, and this doesn’t just represent a recent change. And note that older boomers and younger boomers seem to have behaved somewhat differently from each other, as well, with younger ones consistently being more liberal than the older group:

The clearest pattern is that younger voters who turned 18 during the presidencies of Clinton, Bush or Obama –the younger members of Gen X and the Millennial generation – have typically voted much more Democratic than the average. In contrast, voters who turned 18 during the Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush Sr. presidencies –much of Generation X and younger Baby Boomers– have voted somewhat more Republican than the average.

The picture is less clear for older generations. Those who turned 18 during the Nixon administration – a segment of older Baby Boomers – have tended to be slightly more Democratic than average in their voting. Those who came of age during the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson years – mostly members of the Silent generation and the very oldest of the Baby Boomers –have tended to be more Republican than the average, especially in 2008.

And before you laud the Greatest Generation as being the conservative ones, take a look at this:

The Greatest generation is dwindling in numbers, but at least until recently their Democratic tendencies were still evident. Voters who turned 18 during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt consistently voted more Democratic than average.

All of this doesn’t mean that I’m a boomer booster, or that I don’t see why people are so pissed about them. There’s a tendency among the most vocal and visible boomers (who may or may not represent the generation as a whole) to come across as arrogant, selfish, histrionic, narcissistic, and foolishly and destructively iconoclastic. My generation was instrumental in the dismantling of a great many institutions and traditions that held the fabric of society together, and we are all feeling the pain today.

But we certainly had some good music.

59 Responses to “My generation: hatin’ on the boomers”

  1. chuck Says:

    had some good music.

    I keep waiting for the next revolution in popular music, but it hasn’t happened yet. Some GenX folks told me it had arrived, but I didn’t hear it, just seemed like decayed versions of what had come before. When it does come perhaps it will herald the next big change in politics.

  2. Sam L. Says:

    I’m a war baby. Just enough older not to get caught up in boomer-mania.

  3. DJMooretx Says:

    I’m a boomer, cohort of ’53, and while I can’t say I hate us, we are responsible for a great deal of the trend to drive our society over a cliff. I’m deeply ashamed of my generation.

    I also suspect that Boomer hate is going to increase, sharply, not because of our politics, but because we’re going to be just as selfish and demanding in our old age as we were when we were younger, only now we’re going to be demanding all the health care. There won’t be much left over for anyone else. (Not that the health market is entirely zero sum. But we’re going to treat it as if it is, and it will be our pensions and savings funding it. At least until they’re taken away from us.)

    Watch the ads on TV: medicines and treatments for old people disease: incontinence, limpness, diabetes, arthritis, gout, wrinkles…we are going to be a serious pain.

    And we taught our children to feel even more entitled than we do, while carefully shielding them from the experiences that build up pain thresholds, and the skills to avoid pain. We padded their childhoods, and now they’ll be loose in a hard, spikey world.

    I am not looking forward to the next ten or twenty years. When things really fall apart, we won’t just be hated, we’ll be hunted.

  4. Ann Says:

    I always knew I wasn’t a Boomer, but didn’t know that I was a Silent one — thanks, neo, for introducing me to the term! Weird that I’d never heard it before.

    Anyway, in defense of the Boomer generation, I think much of the responsibility for the destruction of the institutions wrought by them should be shared with the Greatest folks. I well remember how during the sixties most of them seemed to just fold in the face of the onslaught, while others joined in the fun.

    I also remember going to see the James Dean movie, Rebel Without a Cause, many times when it first came out (I had a huge teenage crush on Dean) and being confused as to just what it was that made him hate his father so. The man seemed thoroughly decent, if rather ineffectual. Clearly, the movie was something of a warning sign.

  5. david foster Says:

    Some of the resentment is due to the feeling that when the Boomers were building their careers, an average or even mediocre person could do pretty well for themselves…whereas today the ladder is much steeper and slipperier.

    GE CEO Jeff Immelt apparently got tired of people remarking how much better the company’s performance had been under Jack Welch, and said something along the lines of: “Anyone could have run GE in the 1990s. A dog could have run GE in the 1990s. My German Shepherd could have run GE in the 1990s.”

    I think many younger people have a roughly similar view of the career successes of the Boomers.

  6. George Pal Says:

    There’s a point to the hate fest against the boomers, and, it seems, catharsis. As is usually the case though, the wash is too heavy and laid with too broad a brush. We may be in for a comeuppance but how about some prioritizing.

    Here are the culprits, in order of priority:
    1. 68/69ers – the revolutionaries who took over the institutions. Deal with the sonsabitches accordingly; then….

    2. Obama voters – need more be said. Deal with the sonsabitches accordingly; then….

    3. Boomers – stood idly by during the first, making the second possible. Deal with the sonsabitches accordingly; then….

    The Millennials will have to own their shit – including the crap they call art, lit, movies, and music.

  7. physicsguy Says:

    “But we certainly had some good music. ” That is one point I will concede… we had a amazing number of very talented musicians and songwriters. I often think about the amount of boomer music being played right now, and then think about during the 60’s how much music from the 1920’s was being played. Similar time lapses.

  8. chuck Says:

    just fold in the face of the onslaught

    At least the academics. I was at Columbia in 1968 and recall a meeting with professors on stage to talk about the events after the building occupation and police eviction of the occupiers. What struck me were the ‘if’, ‘maybe’, ‘perhaps’, tone of their talk. They were incapable of taking a stand and expressing an unqualified opinion about anything, not to mention defending their institution. Truly, a feeble response to events. I was not impressed.

    And speaking of victim hood, it was of course already present. I recall a student with a bloody head from a night stick complaining about police brutality. What the hell, I thought. What do you expect after shutting down the school and occupying the buildings? But the best part was sitting on a bench in the middle of Broadway by the subway vent the night of the bust. There were two other guys sitting there doing a country bumpkin act, drawling about the excitement of their visit to the big city and occasionally spitting through the grating to the tracks below.

  9. neo-neocon Says:


    Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind describes that “folding” very very well, in the second half of the book. It is a very disturbing story of complete and craven abdication of responsibility by an earlier generation of academics. Holdouts were few (but they included Bloom).

  10. carl in atlanta Says:

    George Pal at 2:40PM:

    “68/69’rs” Amen.

    Re the music thing, it truly was/is very good, if not great. I wonder why/how that came to pass? We had an incredible burst of creativity from what?, 1963 through maybe 1973, then almost rapidly descended into the wasteland of Disco. Odd, that. Was it the drugs? Commercialization? It’s always mystified me.

  11. Don Carlos Says:

    I disagree about the “Good Music”. It was a symptom of declining standards- in personal conduct, responsibility, education- and the list goes on.

  12. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Ref y. last sentence, neo.

  13. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Feminist Channeler of Ill Repute Says:

    }}} Those of you who hate boomers (and wish them dead, apparently, if you mean what you say) may or may not have realized that not only am I a bona fide boomer, but that boomers are now (and always have been) a somewhat conservative bunch, at least by the standards of today.

    a) Of course you’re a boomer. But YOU wised up as you got older, meaning you’re not REALLY a “boomer”.

    b) Technically, I, too, am a boomer — I’m right on the edge — but what I really am is a “bleeding edge Gen-Xer” — I have vastly more in common with Gen-X than with Boomers in terms of my outlook — religious, social, economic, and political.

    I recall being in High School, a senior taking a Humanities course, the first term of which was a kind of Bull session, where the teacher threw out an idea and had people hash it out. What I CAN say is that it was usually me and one or two other people (rarely, if ever, the same two) on one side (i.e., the conservative/libertarian side) and everyone else in the class on the other.

    I think you can break it down two ways, and that’s how they perceived Watergate. One group — the “Boomers” — learned the lesson “You can’t trust Republicans“. The other group — the Gen-Xers — learned the lesson “You can’t trust politicians

    And the “true boomers”, unlike you, Neo, were of a class that lacked (as I have noted MANY times before) any semblance of WISDOM — the capacity to learn from experience. They kept on with the same lame, stupid, idiotic ideas no matter how many times they were shown false. They continue to advocate socialism. They continue to advocate racist and sexist policies, even after they’ve been shown to be either NOT NEEDED any MORE, or not effective at all.

    c1) In MY case, note that I acked there were exceptions. Fewer than I think you allow for. You gave stats for Romney, I want to see the stats for 2008. That some of them wised up enough to vote for “change” again is hardly indicative of an overall sudden approach to common sense.

    c2) The younger voters have never mattered that much, and they never will, because their turnout is so sucky. So even though they went for the Kool-aid in droves, their numbers watered-down the Koolaid to insignificance by itself. If there is any group that threw the election, it was the racist blacks, who voted for him because he was black. And would have screamed to high heaven if anyone had dared to do the inverse. Their 90% pro-0 turnout was of sufficient numbers that, had they voted the same as the rest of the country, Romney would be PotUS right now.

    d) Sorry — all too many Boomers — regardless of how they voted for PotUS in either election — support a vast array of social policies, which they push towards their reps, and which are as much the cause of the problems of today. Moreover, if they DO vote GOP, they’re likely to be the force behind RINOs getting elected. The number who are actually “conservative” to any sensible degree is markedly small.

    I do not believe any of the boomers frequenting here, excepting for a troll or two, are the problem. It’s the postmodern liberal twits that are the problem.

  14. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Feminist Channeler of Ill Repute Says:

    }}} Truly, a feeble response to events. I was not impressed.

    Postmodernism had already infused academia by then. It just hadn’t made it to the upper administrative hierarchy. But anything that required full faculty input was certainly of the class of “moral relativity” that leads to your noted decisional paralysis.

  15. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Feminist Channeler of Ill Repute Says:

    }}} Re the music thing, it truly was/is very good, if not great. I wonder why/how that came to pass? We had an incredible burst of creativity from what?, 1963 through maybe 1973, then almost rapidly descended into the wasteland of Disco. Odd, that. Was it the drugs? Commercialization? It’s always mystified me.

    LOL, you just missed the whole set of cycles….

    My theory of pop musicology:

    Rock-n-Roll (and possibly the generations of “pop” music that preceded it) went through boom and bust cycles.

    Starting with the early 50s, they went several years with a lot of great new stuff.

    Then the doldrums set in. Less talented hacks got attention from the Powers That Be as they tried to re-hash the same stuff that sold so well before.

    Then, a complete phase change occurred (that is, this time, Girl Groups) that cleared out the deadwood hacks…

    This paved the way for the British Invasion, which was good for another 5-6 years of amazing stuff… and the doldrums set back in. Note the resurgence during this time (72-75) of old-hat artists like Neil Sedaka and Frankie Valli.

    Phase change again. Disco comes along, clears out most, if not all, the deadwood hacks.

    This clears the way for Punk (too harsh!) which morphed into New Wave… once more, we got 5-6 years of brilliant stuff…

    And the deadwood hacks rose again. Note the resurgence during this time of old-hat acts like The Monkees.

    Bang, Phase-change time again, and this time we get Rap and Hip-Hop clearing out the deadwood.

    And we got 5-6 years of Grunge. You might not like it, but it had a lot of very talented people in it.

    And then the deadwood hacks got back into the mix.

    —Note that about this time, the pattern breaks down. I’d suggest that the pre-existing Radio Airplay model, which was either the driver of it or an artifact that fed it and fed from it — broke down in the late 90s/early 00’s, and that is why it hasn’t recycled again as one would have expected ca. 2002-2005 or so.

    There are lots of good artists out there, you just have to find a way to hook up with them.

    I recommend Madrugada, as an example.

  16. vanderleun Says:

    They tell us, “Don’t you know you can’t take it with you?”

    We tell them, “We’re not leaving.”

  17. Dennis Says:

    I like most of posts above. Perhaps I missed it, but did anyone mention the ratio of future retirees to workers?

    Just by their huge numbers, the boomers will be a huge economic drag on the younger generation when they retire? When you consider that there may be one retiree for every two or three workers, the reason for the youger peoples’ animosity is obvious. One of the worst things we boomers did to the younger generations is not to reproduce in greater numbers.

  18. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    As a member of the silent generation (sg), I think that my generation as well as the Greatest Generation (GG) deserve some of the blame for what has happened. GG and sg were the profs and administrators who folded like tissue paper before the demands of the early Baby Boomers in the colleges in the late 60s. That failure to stand up for maintaining an orderly society, obeying the law, and respecting tradition was the beginning of the slide toward a more permissive, less law abiding society that we have today.

    Apparently some of the GG and sg were actually com-simps who actually agreed that it was “Better to be Red than dead.” Most knew that the Communsts had a bead on South Vietnam but were willing to repeat the fiction that the Vietcong were “agrarian reformers.”

    Most of what the Baby Boomers learned about politics, social sciences and ethics they learned from GG and sg profs. But then the Baby Boomers became the profs and it has only gotten worse. IMO, there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    The silent generation (1927 – 1942) has been called the “Lucky Few” because we are a small group. We missed WWII and experienced the high labor demand years after WWII. Job scarcity was seldom a problem during our working lives. Most of us were in the military during Korea, and quite a few during Vietnam. All of my contemporariy acquaintances served at least one enlistment in the military. Nearly all of us are now retired or dead. Between us and the GG we produced the Baby Boomers. It’s not as if the Baby Boomers became what they are by themselves.

  19. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Feminist Channeler of Ill Repute Says:

    Not to get into it right now, but Postmodern Liberalism was a response of liberal twits to WW *one*. Classical Liberals in their arrogance believed themselves to be part of a “superior” society. When they saw the insanity that was WWI, they turned on Western culture with a vengeance, and have been rejecting its concepts as a whole and doing everything possible to undermine them

    That’s why it’s a cancer eating away at our society.

  20. neo-neocon Says:

    I Got Bupkis:

    The article I linked to (and discussed) towards the end of my post gives stats not just for recent elections, but for elections over time, and the boomers have always been more conservative than most people know or credit, and more conservative than the generation that grew up during the Depression.

    As for the stats for 2008, here they are. It’s hard to compare to 2012 since the breakdown of the ages is different than in the other chart (and the boomers, of course, were a different age as well back then). In that 2008 chart, the boomers would have mostly been in the 50-64 range, which was evenly split Obama/McCain. In general, the older a person was, the less likely to vote for Obama.

    Forty was the cutoff point in 2008 between the Obama voters and the others. There are two very distinct voting blocks these days in the US, and the boomers have been on the more conservative and less liberal side for quite some time.

  21. Ann Says:

    About all those weak-kneed and/or fellow-traveling academics in the 60s: Anyone here remember the mess created at San Francisco State College in 1968 by folks like the Third World Liberation Front and S.I. Hayakawa’s efforts to confront them? I think he was a fairly liberal guy who quickly became persona non grata among other liberals.

    There’s a detailed account of what happened at S.F. State here for those who’ve forgotten or are too young to have lived through it.

  22. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I suppose that by some counting I am a boomer byself (born 1954, graduated HS in 1972, college in 1976) but I have always felt as if I was one of the clean-up brigade, following in the wake of the great trundling disaster that the main Boomer flood created. I was just old enough to get the benefit of establishments like public schools and universities before the emerging Boomers and those who chose to capitulate to them wrecked them totally … but just to late to have any first-hand memories of the so-called Glorious Sixties when anything was possible. Yeah, stop the war – and I got to work Vietnam refugee resettlement. Free love – and I had to face things like herpes and AIDS full on. The conventional family arrangement is oppression! And I had to sort out being a single parent, thanks to a guy for whom social pressure to marry in the event of an accidental pregnancy was no longer in force. (Not that I think I would have, but it would have been nice to have had it raised by him as an option.) And, oh yeah – I joined the military just in time for it to recover from the demoralization of the late 1960s-early-1970s. I recall feeling something of a sense of relief during basic training, upon finding out that there were a great many other people who did not feel that the existance of our country was one massive crime against humanity.

  23. sharpie Says:

    The isolation of inspiration to the political world by a minority, but a significant minority, has altered the balance of world consciousness. The directive needed to restore balance, hence life, is death.

    In other words, when the DNA was tragically altered, progeny was doomed.

    This shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. It’s actually cause for celebration for if the opposite were true, if fundamental transformation were successful, then absurdity and idiocy reigns and we know longer live in a comprehensible world but in a freakish world without anchor, without finite reference, without meaning. Such a thing cannot be and the protection, by death, of the non-sensible, the revolt, is proof of Design.

  24. Doom Says:

    I don’t know about great music. It was all there was, but I wouldn’t call it great. As for destroying traditions, traditions based on how things really work? That is what gets me the most. But that isn’t all of it. I will relinquish the notion that every generation, yours certainly in it’s time, has a certain hate, or disrespect, for the previous generation. In my humble option though, your generation took it too new levels. And more, your generation was the first to begin destroying future generations, literally, on top of it all.

    There are more sins with your generation than with any other the world has seen. As for greatness? I don’t see it there. I think of economic ruin, I think of Manson, I think of mass abortion, I see drugs, I see failed marriages. My generation was slaughtered, not sure what we would have done. Simply we are too small to matter. At least of born Americans. The generation after me is smaller yet.

    You were the beginning of the end. And while some do change, and become more conservative, as you have, it was too late, and too weak, to change the ruination.

  25. rickl Says:

    I have to repeat a couple of comments I made last night, in the Boomer Suicide thread.

    I strongly recommend the book The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe. It was published in the late 1990s and I just read it a few months ago.

    The authors have an interesting cyclical theory of history. The grand cycle is the “saeculum” which lasts 80-85 years and is equivalent to a long human lifespan. Apparently this idea originated with the Romans, or possibly their Etruscan predecessors. The saeculum is divided into four phases, or “turnings”, which are like the seasons in a year. Each phase lasts about 20 years, and the authors call them “High”, “Awakening”, “Unraveling”, and “Crisis”. The generations that come of age in the different turnings also have their own characteristics, or “archetypes”. They are called “Prophet”, “Nomad”, “Hero”, and “Artist”.

    No matter what your age or which generation you are a part of, this book will help you understand what makes other generations tick. The authors trace the turnings and archetypes back to previous periods in history.

    As I said, the book was published in the late 90s. The authors predicted a “Crisis” phase beginning in the mid-to-late 2000s. I don’t believe that anyone can deny that we are now in it. And the Crisis phase lasts for about 20 years, so it’s just getting underway.

    Previous Crises in American history were the Revolution, the Civil War, and the Depression/World War II. So if the authors are even close to being correct, we are really in for it. Each generation will have a role to play.

    According to that book, Gen-Xers kind of drew the short straw. They tended to be neglected as children, and will tend to be ignored and not highly valued when they are elderly. So I don’t envy you guys. (The book calls this the 13th Generation, or “13ers”, for some reason.)

    The most recent historical analogue of Gen-X was the Lost Generation, who came of age around the time of World War I.

    The generation coming of age now, the Millennial, could turn out to be interesting. Their most recent historical analogue was the generation that fought World War II.

  26. Les Says:

    I graduated HS in 67, almost everyone worked, many volunteered for VN (to fight for your Country). Most very conservative. People in the military honored and supported. I noticed that tv, Hollywood and the propaganda changed very rapidly after that. It seemed to me the driving force for the “revolution” was my grandparents generation (not, mind you, my grandparents). Those were the folks who wrote and produced and controlled the movies and the media. They did not speak well of the Greatest Generation until the GG was aged. They told us the GG were warmongers and moneygrubbers. How old was Andy Warhol, Abby Hoffman, Hugh Hefner and that bunch? Hoffman was a younger one of them, I think. I remember a movie in 67 or so where Ann Margret and Willy Joe Namath were the stars. The Hero (Namath) began in the movie walking through a supermarket eating food off the shelves, he was so cool, by definition. I remember thinking “he is supposed to be the Hero?”.
    The “revolution” in our area hit in about 1970, it demolished with drug and sex a lot of the group born in 1951 or so. The brainwashing had its effect. I always thought if a pilot was shot down over NVN in 1965 and put in Hanoi Hilton and then released in 1971 or so he would not believe the changes to his country. Men and women living together unmarried, unisex dorms, sex outside of marriage, all almost unheard of in our part of the country until 1970 or 71. One or two teenage pregnancies at most in high school prior to that. We heard of the “summer of love” but it wasn’t part of our experience. We were also told in 1972 or so just to have one or two children at most for the environment and quality of life. They didn’t tell us it was so immigrants and their children could be brought in to change the demographics.
    The later boomers were the first generation to constantly be exposed to tv. The movies told them how stupid their parents (the GG) was. I thought it was interesting how later on their children were told how stupid they were (Turn up the Volume? with Christian Slater). Same movie aimed at a different generation. Smear as much of a group as you want, but it is unjust (but so easy!). Lots of good, hardworking, patriotic unselfish people in the Boomers, and they shouldn’t be written off.

  27. sharpie Says:

    Here’s a Gen’X extolling baby boomers!

    If you can laughter at these somber moments. And you can go on youtube for more.

  28. Gary Rosen Says:

    “There are more sins with your generation than with any other the world has seen.”

    Please. Hitler. Stalin. You can criticize boomers without making a fool of yourself.

  29. sharpie Says:

    There you go. Baby did a big burp up. Baby feel better now. Feel better?


  30. Capn Rusty Says:

    I’m Boomer class of ’46. If the generations following us don’t like what they think we did to the country, then they can learn from our mistakes and do something different while there is still time. Shoot, they can even ask us and we can tell them what the mistakes were and what they could do about it. But electing Obama indicates that they are neither listening nor learning. If they don’t wise up soon, the damage they do will be irreversible.

  31. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Feminist Channeler of Ill Repute Says:

    }}} There are two very distinct voting blocks these days in the US, and the boomers have been on the more conservative and less liberal side for quite some time.

    And, I would argue, without taking the time to prove it (so don’t think I’m attempting to obligate you to prove me wrong in any way — I feel sure it is correct but don’t wish to take the time to prove it because there’s nothing *I* can do either way about it), that they are “more conservative” only in the sense of the RINO. Yeah, there’s a nominal conservative attitude there, but it’s really a faux conservativism.

    }}} “There are more sins with your generation than with any other the world has seen.”

    Please. Hitler. Stalin. You can criticize boomers without making a fool of yourself.

    Sorry, individuals are not a generation. The generation in question invented the “me decade”, and went on to fight every attempt to bring social security, and entitlement in general, under some semblance of control.

    That same entitlement crap is one of the things taking us to economic ruin, even more so than out of control Federal spending.

    This is the generation that bought the BS meme of “God Damn America!” and made it the enduring motto of a generation.

    They’re the ones that swallowed every bit of leftist propaganda and NEVER IN ALL THE INTERVENING TIME HAS WOKEN UP.

  32. rickl Says:

    From time immemorial, young people have regarded old folks as hopelessly square and out of touch.

    At the same time, oldsters have contempt for the young whippersnappers who refuse to get off their lawns.

  33. rickl Says:

    But we certainly had some good music.

    Yes, indeed. The Sixties saw a glorious explosion of musical talent, which has never been matched to this day. Everything since then has been derivative.

    I’m a late Boomer, born in 1958. I came of age in the 70s and discovered 60s music at that time. It was painfully obvious that 60s music was vastly superior to what was contemporary.

    On the other hand, a couple of years ago I heard a disco song which had been a hit back then. I hated disco in the 70s. But hearing it recently, it was like a breath of fresh air compared to the musical crap that is being shoveled out today.

    By the way, all of those great musical geniuses from the 60s, like the Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Hendrix, Joplin, and both Morrisons were members of the Silent Generation, not the Boomers. They were born during WWII, not after.

    Ironic, eh? Those Silents sure could make some noise when they wanted to.

  34. James Says:

    ” as arrogant, selfish, histrionic, narcissistic, and foolishly and destructively iconoclastic.” Neo I wish you’d leave my family out of this! Heh. As I’ve said before, we gotta go. Music, yes a lot of good stuff, but some pretty bad stuff too. Still I love my liberals they’re always there when they need us.

  35. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Got a theory:
    I was born in 45, while my father was overseas. Just beat being a boomer–didn’t know what a privilege that is.
    When my Dad came home, we lived in an apartment. Moved from his hometown to the Midwest for his job. Lived in an apartment along with a bunch of other young families. Which meant young guys with families getting started. Which meant veterans.
    Moved to one of the square-mile-built-a-year subdivisions, three bedrooms, one bath, unfinished basement, crawlspace instead of an attic, no garage until you had one built. Lots forty by one-twenty. Young guys with families. Means veterans. Everybody’s father was a vet, almost without excetion in my age cohort in school.
    Mortgages were typically for fifteen years. Housing prices went up fast, equity built up in the mortgage fast.
    From ten to twenty years later, sold the getting-started house and went into the got-it-made house.
    Later boomer kids figured the got-it-made house and life was The Way It Was And Was Supposed To Be.
    Veterans and their families remembered the hardships of the Depression and made sure such things weren’t going to happen to their kids. To the extent the world could be manipulated, it would be.

    Thus, anything that bothered the later boomers was supposed to be FIXED, DAMMIT. If it wasn’t, that was a crime.

    As to music. Go to Youtube, enter “Mille Regretz” Paula.
    That’s music.

  36. John T Says:

    Maybe the Boomers don’t plan on leaving:

  37. Charles Says:

    Well, the more I think about it, the more I realize it is nothing new – current generation angry with the previous generation for the world they are going to inherit.

    “All, the world’s a mess because of you!”

    Boomers blamed our parent’s generation for racial segregation and building the bomb (never mind they were busy ridding the world of facism – we blamed them anyway)

    The current generation blames boomers for other stuff (never mind that bloomers ended racial segregation and brought women out of the second-class place they held – they blamed boomers anyway)

    Just wait “current” generation. YOUR kids will blame you for something. Don’t know what it will be yet. (If they’re smart they’ll realize what dipshits you were for electing Obama, twice!)

  38. southernjames Says:

    I’ve already expressed my mind on how ludicrous it is for a kid who started junior high in 1970 and graduated from college in 1980, still manages to get shoe horned into the 1960’s “boomer” stereotype in the prior thread (approximately 3-4 from the end).

    I don’t care how anyone wants to lump us in with the 60’s kids, due to some demographic statistics, culturally, the 70’s were NOTHING like the 60’s, and neither were the people who came of age in that decade like the 60’s kids. The decade of the 1960’s, and everything it represented, officially ended around 1972.

    In my twenties, watching the self-centered, whiny, naval gazing, 30-something, narcissists, in the movie “Big Chill” was like seeing aliens from another planet. A repulsive film that led to a thankfully short-lived tv series, I think called “30-Something.”

    “Easy” employment for boomers, somebody mentioned? What is this utopia of which you speak? I graduated in 1980, at the height of the Carter recession. 20+ applications, one offer. I live in S. Florida and I am surrounded by old people with big cars and big pensions. My wife and I have no pensions – just like the younger people coming up behind us. If it isn’t in a 401K, there is zip. My wife and I realized a couple of years ago, that we will probably NEVER be able to retire. We pray that our health holds up.

    Too many of us will be retirees, with too few replacement workers causing some resentment? Oh Gee, and how many kids are you 30-45 year-olds having, in comparison to the two we had (instead of my parents having four of us)? Answer: 0 or 1. Cry me a river.

    We’ve “got ours” for when we get old? Who is this “we” you speak of, kimosabe? At 54, I’ve been paying into the Soc Sec system for 33 years. I expect to see immensely reduced, if any, benefits, compared to what my Mom is now getting. My health care at age 70 will be a minimalist form of NHS style care — the nightmare old people suffer in UK will be visited upon those of us in our 50’s.

    As for music? Meh. The vast majority of the highest rated “oldies” FM stations play 70’s and not 60’s music. Hating on Disco in college campuses was primarily done because it was cool to do so. Kind of like hating on Rethuglicans is cool now. “Simplistic”? Compared to what? Today’s Rap crap? To 60’s music. To that I say “Yummy yummy yummy, I’ve got love in my Tummy.”

  39. Gringo Says:

    But we certainly had some good music.

    But was Boomer Music on the quality of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington or the American Songbook as composed by the likes of Irving Berlin, Rogers & Hart, Jerome Kern et al. – and as interpreted by Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday et al?

    Don’t think so.
    At least this is one Boomer’s opinion.

  40. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Les @ 9:04pm, your comment rfeminds me of one I wrote over at Vanderleun’s blog.

    Here it is:
    I graduated college in 1954. Spent the next twelve years learning to fly and floating about the Western Pacific courtesy of Uncle Sam. In 1966 I was assigned to recruit prospective Navy pilots on the college campuses of northen California. Damn, it was like Rip Van Winkle. In 1954 when I “went to sleep,” the world was pretty squared away. People believed in patriotism, fighting the Communists, and serving when called. The college world I went into was as foreign as if I had landed on Mars. Who were these young people and where did they learn to dislike their country? If I had acted like they did back in the 50s, I would have landed on my keester in the gutter. But no, someone had told them they were smarter than their parents. “Don’t trust anyone over 30!” What conceit! Many, like Gerard have grown up, but too many of them are still smart aleck punks who refuse to grow up and are still trying to live in their make believe worlds where everyone is perfectly equal.

    Ann @6:52pm: I was at San Francisco State in ’67. Hayakawa had not yet tried to regain control of events. It was bad, but not quite as bad as Berkeley. The tactics (burning our literature, spitting at us, endless chanting, barring othert students from talking with us, painting our van with peace symbols, etc.) were all designed to elicit a response. We were under orders to stay calm and let events run their course. ‘Twas a difficult thing to do.

    I have to thank the protestors. though. They forced me to think deeply about the issues. Before that, because of the unity during WWII, I had believed everyone was patriotic and loved the country. It was a seminar on anti-Americanism that strengthened my belief in conservative values.

  41. Dent, Arthur Dent Says:

    We all know people start out as optimistic, pie-in-the-sky liberals (the Sesame Syndrome) but grow more conservative with age.

    Hopefully, the younger generation will learn the difference between liberal theory and real life.

    Hopefully, the youngins will come to see that “progressive” liberalism isn’t the Utopia they were led to believe it would be.

  42. Mike Says:

    Boomers could more accurately be described as the “lab rat” generation, every weird and wacky and seldom wonderful invention and system, philosophy and foolishness was tried on them. Dr. Spock to smoking cannabis, new education techniques to factory built “muscle cars”. Boomers even were the generation that tested the concept of “personal entertainment” like Ipods and the like but boomer teens had transistor radios and all you got was AM and only one earpiece.

    Just like every generation it took the previous generation’s attempt at making money by selling products and trying to get in or stay in power through the “youth vote” that’s what sways the culture.

    Boomers were just a huge group of “skulls full of mush” , and sadly some still are.
    I would guess that a whole lot of the 76 million were conservative then and are still conservative now.

    I think the final weird and wacky system that will be used on boomers will be forced euthanasia. Too many of those oldsters clogging up the health care system. Plus many of the following generations blames them for everything anyway.

    Born in the USA, 1949. ARMY after college in 1971 and if I’m not gone on my own by 2029 a needle is waiting. Think any post boomers will be picketing the euthanasia clinics?

  43. chuck Says:

    But was Boomer Music on the quality of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington or the American Songbook

    No. I think those greats had a degree of craftsmanship that was totally missing from the 60’s. Same for movies and art, the 60’s were a celebration of the amateur. And it has been so ever since except, perhaps, for craft beer.

  44. Dinocrat » Blog Archive » The Boomers and what the Boomers have wrought Says:

    […] Add to the mix that the young have had it pretty easy by earth’s standards and haven’t so far been challenged like some generations by great wars, famines, plagues or depressions. It wasn’t that long ago that the Dow fell by almost 90% and life expectancy was half of what it is today. Things don’t look good if present trends among the young continue. But there are many reasons to think that some of the current excess is self-correcting. HT: Neo […]

  45. MollyNH Says:

    I’m a boomer too, all great responses from you guys enjoyed reading them !

  46. Mike Says:

    Boomers are the largest of all American generations.

    They invented more things than anyone ever, ever, ever, by far not even close.

    They created more jobs than anyone ever, ever, ever, by far not even close.

    They paid more taxes and fees so other people could have good stuff for free (Liberals) than anyone ever, ever, ever, by far not even close.

    The generations after the boomers are total slackers and ne’er do well complainers. They think the universe came with the stuff they had. Wrong!

    Now they see the writing on the wall that they will have to make their own way and that maybe the bennies will be cut back and they are ticked.

    Their answer will be – and this you can bank on – to euthanize the Boomers until they are all gone.

    And truth be told the Boomers will have deserved it. With all those good things they were also the abortion generation. Some sins you never stop paying for and that is the biggest sin there ever was in America, worse than slavery worse than anything.

    Roll up your sleaves Boomers one and all, and take the medicine you gave!

    God help us all.

  47. Julia NYC Says:

    the boomers raised these young folks to be pretty obnoxious and entitled. The boomers seemed like they wanted to be best friends with their kids, and not real parents. The young folks today seem pretty lost and I blame their boomer parents who never wanted to grow up.

  48. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Richard Aubrey et al, +1

  49. M of Hollywood Says:

    Chuck: a celebration of the amateur. That’s good. That’s what happened in the late 60s and from then on. It happened all the way up to the WH.

  50. Pat Says:

    The boomers didn’t make America Socialist. Their parents and grand-parents did that. They gave FDR free reign and we are still paying for it today. That inter-generational Ponzi scheme, aka Social Security, is still going strong and still going broke.

    Be that as it may, the young folk of today, the ones who elected Obama know not what they have done. They have destroyed their own futures. The debt Obama has incurred on his watch is a future tax increase for future generations. They will be drowned in debt from their student loans and from tax obligations imposed on them from the past.

    I might have said sorry, but they voted Obama.

  51. raf Says:

    Who are the beneficiaries of, for example, Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid today? The old folks, sure, but also their children, who have been relieved of the responsibility for caring for their parents. This was true of the Boomers, too (of whom I am one). I did not have to support my mother in her old age, so I was able to contribute to my own 401k/IRA. I never expected to receive SS benefits, but I may get a few years, I suppose. What will annoy me will be the assault on my retirement “savings” to fund those who didn’t bother.

  52. raf Says:

    Glad to see other people pointing out that the real instigators of the social disintegration blamed on the Boomers was led by the previous generation, who are still around and still admired for some reason.

  53. Ira Says:

    Pat, three comments above, makes an excellent point. Also, this from earlier should be repeated:

    J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:
    May 4th, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    As a member of the silent generation (sg), I think that my generation as well as the Greatest Generation (GG) deserve some of the blame for what has happened. GG and sg were the profs and administrators who folded like tissue paper before the demands of the early Baby Boomers in the colleges in the late 60s. That failure to stand up for maintaining an orderly society, obeying the law, and respecting tradition was the beginning of the slide toward a more permissive, less law abiding society that we have today.

    Apparently some of the GG and sg were actually com-simps who actually agreed that it was “Better to be Red than dead.” Most knew that the Communsts had a bead on South Vietnam but were willing to repeat the fiction that the Vietcong were “agrarian reformers.”

    Most of what the Baby Boomers learned about politics, social sciences and ethics they learned from GG and sg profs. But then the Baby Boomers became the profs and it has only gotten worse. IMO, there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    A short version of a story I (a Boomer who was a college student from ’66-’71) often tell:

    Professor (making an off-subject comment): “Our dropping atomic bombs on Japan was inhumane and criminal.”
    Me: “Sir, where were you on the day you found out that the first atomic bomb had been dropped?”
    Professor: “On a ship heading for a Pacific island to train for the invasion of Japan.”
    Me: “What were your thoughts about the bomb then?”
    Professor: “Getting back to the subject of my lecture . . . .”

  54. Rick Caird Says:

    Most of the programs the “boomer critics” complain about were actually put in place by the “Greatest Generation” or earlier by FDR. The most expensive ones, Medicare and Medicaid came out of the LBJ administration. The from end of the Boomers were only 18 at the time. When anyone tried to get control of SS, Medicare, or Medicaid, the Greatest Generation raised holy hell. Look for Rostenkowski being chased down the street by angry Medicare recipients. That was not the Boomers. That was the “Greatest Generation”.

    Unfortunately, most of those criticizing the Boomers are historically challenged. BTW, Clinton was the first Boomer President.

  55. genxap Says:

    Boomers grew up with affordable everything, assets, then they sold them off. Houses, then they bought them all up which raised prices through the roof. They enjoyed free education which later then charged an arm an a leg for a degree which was both necessary yet often useless. They use there numbers to silence any culture besides their own then assume they new generations have none. They enjoyed apprenticeships then refused to teach their children as they didn’t want the competition. They enjoyed a care free childhood, then create a police state that picks on kids. They had wholesome family lives then left gen x to fend for themselves as latch key kids that were raised by mtv more than whichever parent they were being shuffled between at the time. That’s if the kid was lucky enough to even know their Dad. Then as a final blow they will make sure all the money is gone when they die while they suck more and more from medicare because they need their money for their next trip to Europe, to prove how young they still are.

  56. LostBayou Says:

    I definitely hate the baby boomers. So here’s one. I’m right here!!!!! I want to thank the baby boomers for all those expensive tests (LSATs, MCATs, GREs) that we now have to take. I also want to thank the baby boomers for all those expensive certifications that we now have to take. They didn’t have to take certifications and tests. The boomers were grandfathered into their jobs. Thanks for downsizing and outsourcing also baby boomers. The baby boomers didn’t want to go to war. In fact, they are afraid of dying. They spit on returning soldiers. Vietnam is the baby boomers ultimate mind fuck!!!!! Generation X-ers served in the military because the economy is so bad. I did eight years Active Duty Army. I despise all of you boomers. You are a generation of vipers!!!!!

  57. LostBayou Says:

    genxap that is the reason for all the downsizing and outsourcing and it is the reason for all the expensive certifications and all the expensive tests that our generations have to take but the baby boomers didn’t. The reason is because the baby boomers resent us and they decided to compete against us. They were grandfathered into their jobs and when we came along they made it harder for us to get into those jobs. When we came along and tried to work beside them we were constantly told that all we have is “book smarts” and a “fancy education”. I have never seen a generation that is so willing to eat it’s young like the baby boomers!!!!

  58. neo-neocon Says:


    You’re a little bit—well, lost. In the bayou or otherwise.

    Both the returning Vietnam soldiers themselves and the ones who spit on returning Vietnam soldiers (see this, by the way) were boomers. Boomers all. And the boomers today are actually one of the more conservative groups in the US, if you take the 2012 election as any evidence, since they voted Republican rather strongly.

    What’s more, boomers did have to take the GREs, the LSATs, and all those other tests about which you complain. They did not invent them. Research is your friend. The GRE’s, for example, were invented in 1949, and the LSATs around the same time (see this for the MCAT history). Blame the Greatest Generation, if you must blame someone.

  59. football Says:

    In the end, you will have assigned 136 confidence points (16+15+14+.
    Alabama will try to rebound from their loss to the Sooners and rank
    fourth in the Sporting News college football preseason rankings.

    Ole Miss and Mississippi State moving the Egg Bowl away
    from Jackson, Miss.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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