Friday, July 29, 2016

Talking About My Generation LBC 07/29/2016

This weeks topic  was suggested by me. It should come as no surprise that my inspiration for the topic  came from here -

So the question becomes - have we baby boomers lived up to our promise? Have we made a difference?

One thing is clear to me - we have produced the best music of any generation before or after ours. We are the generation of the Beatles, Stones, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan - we are the rock and roll generation.

We are the generation that drove social change. Sadly, in doing so we insulted and demeaned those of our generation who fought in Viet Nam  regardless whether we should have been there or not. Our soldiers did not deserve the shameful treatment from many boomers when they returned home. It is one of our greatest national shames and embarrassments IMHO and a driver of the uber patriotism so rampant these days. Can you say guilty conscience?

Social change. An assassinated  president, his brother and Martin  Luther King. There were rough times

Conspiracy theories galore. Area 51. Watergate. Nixon resigns.  Kennedy wins an election with the assistance of voter fraud in Dailey controlled Chicago.  It somehow all sounds familiar.

And did we inadvertently create the folks that have no idea what it is like to compete for something? That winning and losing matter? Did the participation awards we so strongly supported at the time cause more harm than good? In this crazy world we need to know how to win and lose. Sports were always one of the primary ways we passed that lesson along and did we effectively neuter that lesson?

Did we create the monster that is political correctness?  Are we overly sensitive to everyone's feelings? Can nobody take a joke any more? We seem to have become an "off the record" society. Publicly we strive for political correctness. Privately, off the record, we say what we think - and in doing so created the conditions ripe for a reality TV star/real estate developer to become a nominee for the job of President. Never before has be careful what you wish for been a scarier proposition. And we deserve what we get - however that works out.

Now lest you think I am being only critical of my generation, please allow me to set the record straight. I am proud to be a baby boomer.  We gave the world Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Bill and Hillary, Steven Spielberg, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Cruz and more. 

The technological changes alone that have baby boomer roots from the work of Gates and Jobs are mind boggling. In entertainment we helped create the great, all important question - Star  Trek or Star Wars (Star Trek for me but I do enjoy Star Wars). 

We gave the world the first African American President, we now offer the first female nominee for US President. We also gave  the world Donald Trump. Fair and balanced -  that's me. Ahem.

And now we are at the end of the line.

Boomers are circling the drain. The baton has been passed. We are leaving a world both better and worse than we inherited. The last couple of decades or so have created a significant imbalance in how wealth is distributed. The great American middle class that drives the world economy is taking a beating. The social contracts  between the US and its people are being called entitlements.The likely last two boomer presidential aspirants are running. 

That's a bit of talk about MY generation.  Time to see what Ramana has to say - just click here.



  1. "... and in doing so created the conditions ripe for a reality TV star/real estate developer to become a nominee for the job of President." Thanks for making me beam a smile, Shackman. That is so so succinct. To think that once upon a time we thought an actor becoming president of the USA was "revolutionary" if not a scandal.

    As to "end of the line". The most chilling were those same words spoken by the Charles Bronson character (Harmonica) in "Once Upon a Time in the West". Sends a shiver down my spine to this day.

    Good to hear you and Ramana talk about "your generations". Mine? Not that the three of us are that far apart in years, I haven't got the faintest idea. I wouldn't be able to define it. Too complex. And, of course, there are the overlaps between generations. Where I might have caught the tail end of, say, Dylan's adulation and speculated on the eventual visage of Jagger in his old age, my not so recent years immersed me (courtesy of the next generation) in, say, Lemmy (Motorhead), the whole metal scene (though Lemmy maintained that he played Rock n'Roll and he did - just another example how borders/boundaries fluctuate, how the father begets the son). I might have mentioned this here before, and I don't mind repeating myself: Beethoven was the father of Metal. THERE! Particularly once he went deaf. As metallers do.

    Great read.

    1. Things tend to be multigenerationa U - a lot of any generation's impact is what they like - they drive the trends. Before I became enamored of he British Invasion I was a folkie. Then some of the folk singers moved ito rock ad pop - groups like the Assocuiaytion, We Five and otjhrs had roots in folk. Because of my kids, I love some later stuff - the Gin Blossoms, Hootie and the Blowfish but I cannot aquire a taste for hip hop. I do enjoy telling my grandkids they owe a lot of that styuff to the early work done by Bob Marley - a long tome favorite of mine.

  2. Hmm, I'm a baby boomer as well, but I might have to debate the "best music". I think the big band era and the 50's produced "great" music. I mean even today the theme from "Peter Gunn" is still tops. Great post!

    1. Judy that music is great but.... give me the British Invasion, Beach Boys, Byrds - any day. I do like Big Bands - I even met Bob Crosby at a partu at my uncle's house. A buddy of mine played with some big bands.

    2. Not many people know about the Bob-Cats!

  3. On two issues we are in sync. Music and political correctness. Like you had your assassinations, we too had ours. We also had conspiracy theories. During my long innings, India and Pakistan have been at each other's throats and terror has had its impact on us much more than it has had in the USA.