Friday, May 16, 2014

time for a rant

     It's a well known fact that every generation thinks it's greater than the one before or after it (their parents and kids generations). This is usually accomplished by a childish act called generational bashing. The current record holders for this petty practice are the baby boomers, or the people born post-WWII through the early '60s.

This is the generation that produced not only Steve Jobs but also Jimi Hendrix (as they are so fond of reminding everyone) while branding their descendants "generation x" and chastising them for never leaving the nest or family basement. Of course, what they always conveniently forget to mention is that their esteemed generation made it virtually impossible for a single young person to survive on their own in this Country having a car, dwelling and gargantuan student loan debt.

The boomers were able to stay in college for eight years while working part time as a waitress or shop boy and still make it on their own; the generation before theirs had yet to run the economy into the ground and destroy the middle class. Then the boomers told their spawn how awful it is out there in the real world (they should know) and encouraged them to work as baristas despite having earned that degree in art history.

Funny isn't it? The boomers will also tell you that their generation was directly responsible for the new direction films began to take in Hollywood toward the end of the '60s and into the '70s (arguably the greatest decade for mainstream American film). Movies like The Graduate, 2001: A Space Odyssey and MASH were all products of their collective brilliance.

Hmmm. Well, let's look at those three revolutionary films for just a moment. The Graduate (1967) was written by Buck Henry (born 1930) and directed by Mike Nichols (born 1931). 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was co-written and directed by Stanley Kubrick (born 1928). MASH (1970) was directed by Robert Altman (born 1925).

Those films may be products of the boomer era, but they were not conceived by baby boomers. 

Come to think of it, Hendrix was born in 1942, just before the Second World War ended. Exactly how are these cultural pioneers baby boomers again? When listing their various accomplishments, they also tend to throw in the whole Civil Rights Movement as well. Most of them were 2 at the time.

Ah, it's nice to see that good ol' cognitive distortion isn't just a byproduct of all the antibiotics and antidepressants the boomer generation is responsible for doling out. It's true, by the way, that their parents and their parent's parents (the "Greatest Generation" and the babies of the depression) did have it harder. And for the most part, they were harder on them as a result.

Still, it was the boomers who virtually created this culture of materialism that we find ourselves drowning in today. It's the boomers who crippled the very thought of our basic institutions (Wall Street; government) and let the environment go to shit. I doubt the real reason is because they simply refused to grow up (Peter Pan syndrome).

I guess as long as we have Purple Haze to jam to and our iPhones to fart with as we're stuck in rush hour traffic due to urban sprawl and that new casino being built next to the gym & racquet club, everything is gonna work out fine in the end.

If the boomers have taught me anything it's that life, after all, is a state of mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment