Sunday, December 10, 2006

Me, Me, Me 4

Just a book review this week in The Sunday Times. But it's a funny book.


  1. ...The boomers, naturally, think they are in touch with youth, which is probably why all marketing, PR and almost all advertising is like watching your dad trying to get down and boogie or make a pass at your girlfriend...

    And this is why I never avail myself of the opportunity which pops up every few days, even yesterday and the young lady in question thought I had to have had rocks in my head.

    The boomers ahve much to answer for but equally, I'm sick to death of boomer bashing in the MSM by ne'er do well gen xers.

  2. Every generation has its sins, but the sin of the boomers is surely hypocrisy. This, at least, is what occurs to me every time I meet an ex-hippie who protested the Vietnam War and The Man but who became an investment banker or a defense contractor. Guess what? They are legion.

    The problem, though, with typecasting boomers (I think I'm with James on this), is that there's so much variety in our group. I was born in 1960, but I'm categorized a boomer. However, for me, Vietnam was something that happened on TV, like "Gunsmoke" with better guns and camo, and even then I thought hippies were about fashion and not ideals. (My elder brothers sure got a lot of free love out of it and I never saw *them* protesting the war; their biggest protests were about cutting their hair.)

    But I think what must be different, and perhaps Bryan and people in their 50s can speak to this, is that the first-wave Boomers must have recognized how radically different their generation was from that of their parents and grandparents. Whereas my kids, growing up with Boomer parents, have no idea just how cold and strictured the 1950s were. They aren't really so radically different from us (if anything, my bossy teenage daughter would have fit right into the '50s!)

    Unless that, too, is just a stereotype. Anyone?

  3. Young people today (how many boomers start sentences like this?) appear to have more freedoms, but I think this is an illusion. They are not being browbeaten by their elders, for sure, but they are nonetheless subjugated. The source of their oppression now is the market place - a capricious, remorseless, fatuous and morally dubious taskmaster - and while they are willing to bend a great many are suffering under the strain. My word, it's so easy to trot out platitudes. I think I may have a talent!

  4. I was born in 1959, which technically makes me the tail-end of teh Boomer generation, but even as a kid, while my sister was a Beatles fan, I wasn't. (I was into "Switched-on Bach" and the ONCE Group. Okay, I had an early adolescent fling with Beethoven, before I grew up to love first Debussy than John Cage's work. I think I first performed 4'33" in 7th grade.) I was always sympathetic to the punks than the hippies.

    I have always found the main problem with the boomers to not be hypocrisy—get real, every generation changes its income sources as it ages; you get to be 40, and you realize you want to live more comfortably, period—but their endless self-absorption. They tend to act as if no-one had discovered anything about life before they did. They tend to be endlessly self-referential and self-centered. It's a generation of navel-gazers, but the navel-gazing is not must meditation but a total lifestyle: nothing we didn't discover or invent is real.

    On the other hand, not too long ago, I was in a gas station getting gas, and the 20-somethings were playing some very cool music on the stereo. (It was a late Sunday night.) I said, "Is that Portishead?" I was correct, but they were more shocked that an old guy like me would not only know who the band was, but recognize it. Then again, I think Radiohead is amazing, too.