Robert's Virtual Soapbox

(or, The Sanctimonious Professional Leftist's Blog)
APRIL 23, 2012 11:42PM

Why I don’t blog for the baby boomers

Rate: 20 Flag

Infanticide suddenly seems like a good thing…

Most people who read blogs probably assume that most bloggers want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible — and therefore, never to (gasp!) offend anybody.

Not me.

I don’t think that I’ve ever come out and said it, but for these past almost 10 years of blogging, I’ve been writing primarily for those in my age group (Generation X) and younger.

If some baby boomers or even older folks read my blog, fine, but if they don’t, perhaps that’s even better, since I don’t write for them. I long ago stopped looking to the baby boomers (generally identified as those born between 1946 and 1964, but to me the cohort really spans from about 1944 to 1960) to be agents of positive change, and I look to those in my age group and younger instead.

Most of my critics turn out to be (I see from their blog avatars) baby boomers. Before I take their criticism to heart, I look at their mugshot avatars. Chances are, they’re boomers (who apparently think that an Internet presence makes them young again [it doesn't], and who of course have to plaster their faces on their blogs, being spotlight hogs). If they have a bio, I read that, too. Chances are, from their bios I surmise that they’re people I wouldn’t like in person, so it comes as no shock that I’ve written something that (gasp!) offends their delicate sensibilities. (People who act as though they have the fucking right never to be offended in the least bit – they’re interesting. [Psychiatrically, I mean.])

I could write a book on the fucking baby boomers, but I’ll try to keep this to a blog post, albeit a long one.

George W. Bush (born in 1946) could be the poster boy for the baby-boom generation.

He accomplished nothing on his own, but coasted on his family name. If George Sr. hadn’t been president first, there’s no way in hell that George Jr. would have been governor of Texas and then the second president named George Bush.

Not only that, but George Jr. in 2000 stole office (with the help of his brother Jeb, who then was the governor of Florida, the critical state that George Jr. “won”; with the help of then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who infamously disenfranchised voters by deeming them felons when they were not; and with the help of the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, which stopped the recounting process in Florida). George Jr. didn’t even win the presidency outright.

Then, once in the Oval Office, George W. thoroughly trashed the nation, among other things allowing 9/11 to happen (remember the August 2001 presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”?), allowing Hurricane Katrina to kill hundreds of Americans, taking the nation to a bogus war for the no-bid federal-government contracts for Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other oily subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp, and giving giant tax breaks to the filthy rich. George W. Bush had received the nation in good shape from Bill Clinton and the prosperous 1990s, and delivered it to Barack Obama in January 2009 on the brink of collapse.

That, in a nutshell, is the baby-boomer modus operandi: inherit your power and your wealth from your parents, squander it selfishly and recklessly, and leave nothing behind for those who follow you, not even the polar ice caps.

Baby boomers unabashedly display a bumper sticker that reads “I’m Spending My Children’s Inheritance.” (I’ve seen this bumper sticker on cars driven by boomers several times.)

This is supposed to be funny. Ha ha.

Except that the baby boomers’ parents, the members of the so-called “greatest generation,” didn’t spend their children’s inheritance. They gave their children — the baby boomers – their inheritance.

Not so with the baby-boom generation, the first generation in the history of the United States of America that did not care in the fucking least about at least trying to leave things in better shape for those who must follow them.

The baby boomers, endlessly doted upon by their parents, had no problems going to college and getting good jobs. Hell, they didn’t even have to go to college to live well. (Neither of my baby-boomer parents has a four-year college degree, but neither of them during their young to middle adulthood ever struggled with buying homes and cars. My four-year degree, on the other hand, which I worked hard for, was worthless when I received it — along with considerable student-loan debt — in 1990 during the first George Bush recession, and I gave up on having a paid job that allows me to make good use of my skills [without doing evil and without completely being exploited by some talentless plutocrats] and I gave up on home ownership long, long ago.) If the boomers put just a minimal effort into attaining a college degree, a good job, a home, a nice car, these things were theirs for the taking. The members of the “greatest generation” made sure of that.

But do the baby boomers today give a rat’s ass about our young people of today?

Hell fucking no.

This is from The Associated Press today:

The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t fully use their skills and knowledge.

Young adults with bachelor’s degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that’s confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.

An analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press lays bare the highly uneven prospects for holders of bachelor’s degrees. …

Again, when this Gen X’er received his worthless bachelor’s degree in 1990 — a journalism degree, which in the face of mass newspaper layoffs at the time was worthless (and still would be mostly worthless today, although as a blogger it gives me a leg up) – there were not, to his recollection, any news stories about the fact that in the face of the recession, college degrees were worthless, and newly minted college graduates had to take jobs that greatly underutilized their talents and abilities — and struggle with student loans they couldn’t afford to repay. (Massive student loan debt was something that the boomers did not experience when they were of college age and young adults because their parents saw them as young people to be fostered – not as cash cows to be milked dry.)

It would have been nice to get the media attention then that today’s struggling young college grads are getting today — in my day, for instance, crushing student-loan debt wasn’t seen as any problem whatsofuckingever, since my generation always has been viewed by the boomer majority as wholly disposable, but today, both the Democratic and the Repugnican candidates for president are promising to work on the suddenly-now-obvious problem of crushing student-loan debt — but, I suppose, better late than never. (And ah, well, as my fellow Gen X’er Ted Rall has noted, we X’ers indeed are the “leapfrog generation,” the generation [between the boomers and Generation Y] that has been passed over entirely.)

Why have Gen-X and younger college grads struggled so much in the job market since at least the First Great Bush Recession (circa 1990)?

It’s not just the economy, although the greedy, get-mine-and-get-out boomers fucked that up, too.

It’s the boomers’ sheer numbers — 76 million of them, according to Wikipedia — that alone would create at least some amount of scarcity in the American job market (and indeed, the majority of the plum jobs have been taken by the boomers for decades now), but their sheer numbers are coupled with the fact that, unlike the generations before them, they refuse to leave the fucking stage when their act has long been over. The boomers view their jobs just like the U.S. Supreme Court “justices” view theirs: We’ll have to pry their cold, dead fingers from their desks.

Other generations of Americans knew when it was time to hand over the reins. And they handed them over. Not the boomers.

Witness baby boomer Madonna (born 1958), whose latest big video has her playing a high-school cheerleader. She’s fiftyfuckingthree. It apparently kills her to fucking pass the torch already. And she’s typical of her generation, thinking that she’s some hot shit acting and trying to look decades younger than she is, when in fact, she’s just fucking pathetic, refusing, like Peter Pan, to grow the fuck up already.

With the baby boomers we have and will continue to have a nation full of old people, but not old and wise people.

Baby boomers whine that they can’t retire because they can’t afford to retire. Bullshit. Most of them can afford to retire — it’s that they want to live in excess and opulence (“enough” isn’t in their vocabulary) and it’s also that, whether they will admit it or not, out of their egotism they must believe that we younger folk can’t get along without them.

As Wikipedia notes of the boomers (emphasis mine):

One feature of boomers was that they tended to think of themselves as a special generation, very different from those that had come before. In the 1960s, as the relatively large numbers of young people became teenagers and young adults, they, and those around them, created a very specific rhetoric around their cohort, and the change they were bringing about ….

Yes, indeed, all of that rhetoric from the boomers in the 1960s about changing the world, and boy, have they. They fought against the Vietnam War, only to create the Vietraq War themselves. (Apparently the only reason that they opposed the Vietnam War was to save their own skins. They were perfectly OK, however, with bogus warfare in Iraq. After all, it was someone else doing the dying for the baby boomers’ profits.) The American empire, which is being sucked dry by the vampires who comprise the corporate-military-prison-industrial complex (the majority of them boomers, of course), is on the brink of death, and even the North Pole is melting. The baby boomers ushered in change, indeed.

The baby boomers are the first generation of Americans in the nation’s history who are leaving things much worse off for the generations that follow them.

Before the boomers it always had been the American ideal that the current generation in power leaves things in better shape, not in worse shape, for the generations that follow them. And congratulations, boomers; your generation very apparently is the one that, history probably will record, destroyed the American empire. You fucked it all up on your watch.

Point out these obvious truths, and the boomers almost invariably will tell you (the post-boomer) how “Angry!” you are, as though you’re defective for being angry about obvious injustices.

No, when you are being raped in the ass with ground grass for lube, you have every fucking right to be ANGRY!

The boomers are taking everything with them, shamelessly – and even bragging about it in their “funny” bumper stickers.

Here’s another cheery story from The Associated Press today (emphases mine):

Social Security is rushing even faster toward insolvency, driven by retiring baby boomers, a weak economy and politicians’ reluctance to take painful action to fix the huge retirement and disability program.

The trust funds that support Social Security will run dry in 2033 — three years earlier than previously projected — the government said [today].

There was no change in the year that Medicare’s hospital insurance fund is projected to run out of money. It’s still 2024. …

At age 44, I’ve been paying into Social Security and Medicare since I began working when I was a teenager, but I don’t expect to see a fucking penny of either. The baby boomers are poised to blatantly steal my money — and slam me for being “so angry!” while they do it.

The boomers are leaving those of us who follow them with less than nothing, but we’re supposed to think that they’re great fucking people nonetheless. (Or, at least, we’re supposed to keep our fucking mouths shut while the boomers screw us over like no other generation in U.S. history has screwed over the next generation ever before.)

That’s part of the baby boomers’ mass narcissistic sociopathology — they are a “special” generation, indeed – and the reason that I put the “greatest generation” in quotation marks is that I don’t see how you can assert that the parents who created the most spoiled generation in the nation’s history comprise the “greatest generation.” No, in producing the baby boomers, the members of the “greatest generation” fucked up big-time. It’s almost impossible to overstate what awful parents the members of the “greatest generation” were. Regardless of what their intentions might have been, the results of their parenting have been catastrophic for the nation — and for the world.

And the boomers’ bumper sticker sums up their credo, their manifesto, indeed, their raison d’être, neatly: “I’m Spending My Children’s Inheritance.”

Yes, I got that long, long ago. Consequently, I stopped looking to the boomers long ago. The ones who created the colossal mess aren’t the ones to fix it. The boomers exist to cause problems, not to solve problems, and to consume, not to produce. They are the problem, not the solution. They are, essentially, dead to me. That’s why I could give a flying fuck if a single baby boomer ever reads a single blog post of mine.

I look not to the boomers, but to my fellow members of Gen X and to those poor souls who have to follow us. (I’d thought that my generation had it bad, but today’s young people are even more screwed, apparently, than has been my generation. They do have one thing that my generation didn’t have, however, and that’s a national conversation about how badly today’s young people have it.)

We, the post-boomers, are the clean-up crew. It’s not a job that we wanted. It’s a job that the boomers have forced upon us.

What the baby boomers probably should do while those of us who have had to follow them perform the incredibly difficult work of cleaning up after their decades-long wholesale trashing of the nation is shut the fuck up and be very thankful that the national conversation has not yet turned to the elephant in the room, to the root of our nation’s problems: the baby boomers and the increasing burden on the nation that they are. And that we post-boomers have not yet begun to seriously discuss a much, much better use for the baby boomers: something along the lines of Soylent Green.

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Yes, indeed, all of that rhetoric from the boomers in the 1960s about changing the world, and boy, have they. They fought against the Vietnam War, only to create the Vietraq War themselves. (Apparently the only reason that they opposed the Vietnam War was to save their own skins. They were perfectly OK, however, with bogus warfare in Iraq. After all, it was someone else doing the dying for the baby boomers’ profits.)
No need to read Robert Crook again ; that much is simple.
I share your horror at how my generation threw everything away. But I remember when I thought my generation was going to be so much superior to my parents. I think every generation makes their own mistakes, society changes fast and the herd does not always keep up with it.
Kim: Thank you for showing my readers the typical baby-boomer self-pic blog avatar that I was talking about. Very illustrative!

Read me. Or don't read me. I don't care. I'm a "slacker," remember?

Kathy: But will the world survive the baby boomers' mistakes? I mean, look at the scope of those mistakes! I find it unforgiveable, frankly. The boomers have been partying since the 1960s and the rest of us -- indeed, the rest of the world -- have been paying and will continue to pay the price.
P.S. to Kathy: But thank you for acknowledging the damage that your generation has done. Most baby boomers refuse to do that. Many (if not most?) boomers won't even acknowledge that as young adults they had it much easier than do today's young adults. They act as though they were self-made when, in fact, their parents helped them much, much more than they, in turn, have helped their own children, whom they pathologically have regarded as competitors!
I get a lot of what you are saying - but, I would also be in the so-called Gen-X, and guess what? WE were supposed to step up and carry forward the gains made in equal rights, women's rights, and WE were supposed to step up and be a force in policy. Did you miss the late 90's in their entirety? We do have to take some blame here.
We Gen X'ers always, our entire adult lives, have been vastly outnumbered by the boomers, my friend. And they viewed us not as their children or their youth to be fostered, but as competitors to be vanquished, or at least kept powerless. (Sick!)

The boomers had the numbers, the money and the power to push through any truly progressive agenda they truly wished to. Instead, they focused on their own selfish, ultimately petty interests -- especially in the mid- to late 1970s through the 1980s and into the 1990s we saw this -- at the expense not only of their fellow human beings, but of the entire planet itself.

We X'ers have never had the kind of strength that the boomers did. I believe that if we had, we would have put it to much, much better use than they did.

You must admit these facts before faulting us as much as you seem to, I think.

Our X'ers' best bet, in my book, is to align with Gen Y, although the boomers have done their best to make us invisible at best and to malign us at worst.

And note that Gen Y gets the attention -- and yes, the high-level jobs (some of them, anyway) -- that we X'ers never got. My guess is that since the boomers fucked over us X'ers and realize that they'll need SOMEONE to wipe their asses in the nursing homes, they've been kinder to Gen Y. But they care about Gen Y as much as they care about Gen X, which is ZERO, since they care only about themselves, being the fat swine that they always have been.
OK, your reply to my comment was so delicious I had to rate you.
r./
P.S. Recall that baby boomer Bill Clinton was in the White House through most of the 1990s. Sure, there was Rock the Vote in the 1990s, but I certainly don't remember Gen X'ers being let into the halls of power during that decade. Do you? I don't, and unlike the boomers, it's not because I was smoking shit!
I want to be tasty!

I have good reason to feel the way that I do. Usually, after I explain exactly why I feel the way that I do, people understand, even if they don't necessarily agree.

Except for the baby boomers. But their opinion means less than nothing to me anyway, as I believe I have established...
I'm averse to making sweeping generalizations about entire generations, just as I'm averse to generalize about any other group, whether based on race or whatever other criteria you care to name. I'm technically a boomer (b. 1964) but I'm no more like the people you describe in this post than you are, and there are millions of other Boomers who don't fall into the category of selfish, narcissistic, wasteful pig. And to be fair, Gen X was no more or less complicit in Vietraq than the Boomers were, wouldn't you agree? There are plenty of things to be seriously pissed off about, but I'd rather stay focused on greed and wilfull ignorance and materialism and Christofascism and corporate control of our system of government, among others, and none of those things have their origin with or end with the Boomer generation.
Sweeping generalizations are FUN!

No, but seriously, there are commonalities in boomers. It has much to do with how spoiled they were. They grew up in our nation's most prosperous decades, and were coddled by their own parents, yet they refuse to help out today's young, whom they ignore or ridicule. I mean, look at how well they have received the Occupy movement! The boomers got theirs, so why should they care?

I attended anti-Vietraq-War protests before the bogus war even began, but what power did we X'ers have, short of becoming suicide bombers or the like, of stopping that war?

Baby boomers may not have invented certain evils, such as "Christo"fascism and war profiteering and corporateering and union-busting, but boy, did they perfect those evils!

That said, yes, there are a FEW truly progressive boomers here and there, but my uncle is a typical "liberal" boomer. He calls himself a "socialist" -- his word, not mine -- yet he's a (fairly wealthy, to my knowledge) U.S. military contractor (feeds at the trough of the military-industrial complex when a blind man could see that the military-industrial complex is bleeding the nation dry) and he freely offers that his condo on the watered-grass golf course in the desert of Tucson is not at all sustainable, but he sure loves it! He acknowledges that his lifestyle is harmful but has no intention whatsoever of changing it. That is a TYPICAL "progressive" baby boomer, so the admittedly right-wing ones are extremely corrosive.

All of this aside, even if they were wonderful people, the fact is that the boomers are poised to wipe out all of our resources. We are going to have tens of millions of old people we don't have the resources to care for. We've seen this catastrophe coming for decades but we have had our heads in the sand.

Finally, as I noted in the piece, I don't consider 1964 to be the cut-off for the boomers. I consider 1960 to be the cut-off. My boyfriend was born in 1962 (his birthday is tomorrow, in fact) and in my book he's much more an X'er than a boomer. My older brother, on the other hand, like you was born in 1964, and while I'd put his mentality more in the boomer column than in the X'er column, I don't really see him, taken as a whole, as a boomer.

In fact, they call you guys "Generation Jones," born between 1958 and 1964, if memory serves. That includes our own President Barack Obama. You guys are on the cusp, not really belonging entirely to the boomers or to the X'ers, it is said...
Then I must be the real american kid. Many of us were not doted upon, a lot of use never had Barbies. We worked long before we were legally old enough to work and we never stopped.

And all that time, we paid and paid and paid into social security.

So WTF? Asswipes don't want to pay up? Well too bad. We'll have no trouble becoming the biggest collection agency in history.
Seriously comedic. Every Gen xer I know lived with mom and dad or still does, doesn't "come of age" till 3o or so. All my friends have been working since 16 or less, I moved out with nothing at 18, went to Community College and lived without a cell phone computer cable, drove a bomber or took the bus, no vacation to Cancun, spring break, student loans that daddy pays, give me a break. I have no idea what paradigm you are describing but I grew up blue collar and paid into the system and pay out the wazoo now. I am on the fringe of BB, but at least I had the balls to strike out on my own and be broke and independent, more than I can say for Xer's.
ps if you are the clean up crew you will have to take a break from Facebooking your every thought and disconnect from X box.
Amen... I've been dropping that line of thought here and there in comments here for two years now (on this glorified ?left? gatekeepers version of an electronic "Readers Digest") with very little reaction, I'm afraid.

You know, they enslaved many of us (in the US) who came at the latter end of your bb birthdates criteria. With wonderfully heartless methodologies like criminalizing fatherhood (jailing!) through impossible to meet child support payments by blue collar wage workers; buying up all the housing property with, attainable only for them, bank loans (read with workers savings), for the purpose of (now we know false ) real estate speculations, while at the same time charging exorbitant rents; chipping away at any form of health or unemployment (ha! read underemployment there, as most 'working class' people needed to burn the day end to end to meet the bills) ***insurance*** etc.etc. etc.

I saw the beginning of this, down on my hands and knees, 70 hours a week, installing italian marble in three million dollar "speculation" homes in the middle of what once were beautiful unspoilt Pennsylvania farmlands... watching the breath fly out of my mouth in the dead of winter. I arriving at dawn, leaving at dusk. Hard labor often 7 days a week. The trust fund babies from the "Mainline" arriving briefly in their Beamers on the weekend, the plush seats still wrapped in plastic. THAT WAS THIRTY YEARS AGO. It has taken three decades of that crap, the wage/debt enslavement, military conscription and or imprisonment of a generation by their peers, the physical ecological trashing of a major part of the "rest" of the world, not to mention the wanton and deliberate assassinations, deprivations, and ruinations of millions of people not of ***first*** world status for it to come to this... Finally. Your generation has been dumped a truckload of shit, true. Many of us have been fighting our whole lives against this (not the co-opted ones either) and have also been completely unheard... never even merited a catchy name. Just invisible.

Soylent Green is a bit strong, but I absolutely agree, it's way past time for the *** ME *** generation to get the fuck off the stage and quit blocking the light.

Saludos ~
Well, if we ate them, at least we'd get high from all of the drugs in their system!

This topic does get people riled up. I've already deleted comments from boomers that are just personal attacks on me rather than anything like thoughtful contributions to the discussion. (I've been toying with the idea of turning off the comments function altogether, as too many fucktards just spray their graffiti on my work. WordPress lets me screen out the graffiti before it ever sees the light of day, but Open Salon, unfortunately, lets any asshole leave anything at any time.)

I am aware that I have generalized (I wouldn't say "OVERgeneralized"), but if I do, well, fuck, the discussion has been in the boomers' favor for several decades now. Because they've been in charge, they've controlled the messages that go out in the corporately owned and controlled mass media, and anti-boomer sentiments aren't allowed.

The boomers can sustain a hit from an obscure blogger, I'm sure, although from their reaction I can tell that I've hit some nerves.

I, too, wish that the boomers would just get off the stage and at least give Gen Y a chance that my generation never got.

(That's yet another reason not to vote for Mitt Romney, by the way -- he'd be our third baby boomer president, after Clinton and Gee Dubya. As I noted, Obama is trapped in "Generation Jones," not fully a boomer but not really an X'er, either.)
I guess I'm from your 'cusp' generation, then. I just have one thing to say, really. It is very easy to look backwards and see only what makes your argument. There was a huge recession in the 80s, which is when I was entering the grown up world. Hedonism was rampant. Self-gratification was the rule of the day. And I didn't get the secret password for success. But I don't blame an entire generation. My Dad is living on $900 a month SS. That's it. I blame the people in power that rigged the system and the apathetic populace that believed all they had to do was vote for the right person and they would magically be rich.

So keep your anger. But finesse it better. Narrow your focus and you'll be more effective. Because the new people being elected to power aren't boomers and I haven't seen anything to make me confident in their ability to avoid the corruption and work for you.
As a woman solidly in the boomer generation (born 1954) you forgot this clarion call: "He who dies with the most toys wins." I am not going to argue with you. When the boomers' vanguard such as Jerry Rubin and Abby Hoffman because Wall Street f*cks, I knew we were screwed. Peace and love? Freak flags flying? What a crock. We became warmongers and put our children is school uniforms! The hypocracy of it all makes me ill!

That said. I didn't do it. I worked in Washington, D. C. in the early eighties hoping that I could make a difference from within but no. I got my ass kicked and went home. I became a teacher and taught poetry to children. I retired after twenty years without a pension because my Gen X ex-husband refused to work at all. I have paid over 42 years into Social Security and have not collected a cent. I was hoping a new teacher would be hired in my stead but a woman who was retired (and not even a good teacher) and wanted back into the force was hired-- a "double dipper" receiving a pension AND a salary. That is disgusting!

I have apologized publically for the excesses of my generation during the commencement speech I made at the high school where I taught for the Class of 2009. I am so sorry for the boomers' selfishness and for ruining the country--especially for R and D money being spent on exorbitant executive pay. I see my children struggling and am not heartless. We'll start dying soon and the world will be well rid of us.
PS I would keep the comments if only to illustrate what the boomers are--a generation of selfish takers who refuse to take responsibility for the fine mess we are in.
Born in 1941 I've narrowly escaped the calendar indictment, but I'm not sure it means a hill of beans. The Boomers (and me) grew up in a time when mass production and mass marketing created a middle class that benefited everyone fortunate enuf to be living in this country, employable and willing to work. Sea change shifts have since occurred, starting with the advent and exponential growth of a technology that's changing the workplace so rapidly that even those smart enuf to acquire math and digital skills are struggling to keep up. Meanwhile wealth and power is consolidating at a similar pace as the once robust middle class shrinks daily. That's just on the economic front, but that's enuf, at least for me, to explain so many of the other symptoms of a degenerating society you've mentioned in this rant. If the middle class remained healthy and its future appeared rosy, the Boomers would be spoiling their kids as much as their parents spoiled them. That's human nature.

I agree with Nana and Phyllis that you marginalize the effectiveness of your anger generalizing so broadly and blaming a generation for the ills we face right now and appear to be facing for a long time to come.
Typical, when it doesn' t suit the "I am special look at me" Myspace, Facebook, UTube generation just don't acknowledge it. Delete it. At 44 you are just realizing that you have to pay taxes, work and pay back your student loans on the ten years you went to college (how come Gen X'ers made college a ten year deferment to adulthood, eternal Spring Break of the mind). It sucks doesn't it.
I got an EP for a post I wrote critical of baby boomers, you can look it up and boy did that piss a bunch of them off. Funny thing is I am one and a decorated 100% disabled Vietnam Veteran and worked for the Government for 35 years and participated in every fucking conflict since then up until I retired in 2001 after returning from Afghanistan. I am one of the 1% boomers only I actually worked for it. I have 3 wonderful and highly educated children from 28-16 who grew up working our farm and help put themselves through college by getting scholarships and WORKING to achieve there goals for themselves. Myself I have read all your posts in the past and to tell you the truth you along with my own children have made me better understand how my energies can be channeled to change things not for me but your futures for the better. Most Boomers have given up trying to understand the new generations of thinking much like our parents prior to us. They think it's your problem now and when they do try to change they are overwhelmed by the continued stupidity of it all. What all generations have failed they keep repeating because they let useless career politicians keep fucking things up. I didn't vote for George Bush and I didn't want to have my senior trip to Vietnam either, I provided for my family and built what I have for them and myself and I didn't steal any of it. Every generation assigns blame to the previous or future generation instead of actually changing the way we should be living now. I personally thank you for your honesty in defense of your thoughts but sadly as it is we all live in the same dysfunctional society who think of ourselves first before greater good for all whether they deserve it or not. Yes the Boomers are still fucking things up and before long your generations will be chastised by the future one if we last that long. My best to you and all your future endeavors I'm sure they will be screwed up by some asshole somewhere else with a personal agenda for themselves. Cayman Islands are great year round but I'm at my farm in Missouri now letting the members of your generation work it for me and make it a continued success for their future and their families not mine. Keep writing and make a difference it's worth more than a 15 second sound bite of misinformation. Good post........older/exasperated r*****
My oldest Daughter is DVSM and just starting her practice here and I asked her when she applied why she choose being a Veterinarian over being a Doctor or Nurse and she said to me, "Daddy people pay more money taking care of their pets than themselves and besides it's a cash business and no insurance companies are involved and animals actually appreciate what you do and don't complain."
She is your generation and I'm damn proud of her.
rita: Yes, I routinely delete dipshits' comments. It's my blog, not yours. If you don't like it, go elsewhere.

You describe/stereotype Gen Y, not Gen X, fucktard. The things that you claim Gen X is so interested in weren't even fucking around at the height of the Gen X generation (the 1990s). I don't use an XBox or MySpace and don't post any personal things on Facebook (at most, I post politically oriented links maybe twice a week; I'm not big on Facebook). It's YouTube, not "UTube," and I'm not big on YouTube, either.

You don't know me at all, boomer bitch, yet you presume to know my interests and you repeat the tired old meme that this Gen X'er hasn't worked or paid taxes when, in fact, he has worked and paid taxes ever since he was a teenager.

Again, fuck you. I need NO lectures from some bitch like you. You're done commenting on my blog. Any further comments from you will go bye-bye. I can't delete boomer bitches like you from the planet, but I CAN delete your trolling comments.

Joisey Shore: Pretty much ditto for you. You are banned also. You sorely need to get a life.

The "inconsistency" you claim you have found is that I stated that the boomers, like Supreme Court justices, refuse to retire, yet the AP story states that Social Security is running dry in large part because of boomer retirements.

Yet if you actually fucking read and fucking comprehend the AP story, it says that Social Security is to run dry by 2033, which is 21 fucking years from now. Of course by that time most boomers will be FORCED into retirement, being in diapers and being unable to feed themselves.

Obviously I was talking about the boomers who are of retirement age (65 or older) who refuse to step aside NOW and allow our young people to have jobs. And again, obviously between now and 2033, there will be involuntary boomer retirements. Duh.

So, you're a dipshit and your avatar is as revolting as is your personality, and I hate going around and around with losers like you -- it's a colossal waste of time -- which is why you're banned. (Again, I would delete YOU and most of the members of your generation if I could.)

phyllis: The boomers were in firm control in the 1980s. (Yes, Ronald Reagan enabled them, no doubt, but your description of the 1980s as "Hedonism was rampant. Self-gratification was the rule of the day," totally describes the boomers. In the 1980s I was in junior high school, high school and starting college. I certainly wasn't out there partying. [I never was the party type, actually.]) With the abuses on Wall Street that began in the 1980s, the boomers started the economic collapse that we've seen since 2008.

There are very few Gen X politicians. Many if not most of us are too disgusted to go into politics, knowing that we'll only be blamed for being unable to clean up the messes that the boomers have created. (President Obama is feeling this now.)

Chicken: The boomers aren't known for taking responsibility for anything. Blaming our nation's economic problems on the rise of technology and other world changes won't cut it. It's greed, greed, greed that has been this nation's problem, and it's the "me" generation -- all tens of millions of them -- who have brought this nation down. Shit, all that you have to do is look at just ONE baby boomer, George W. Bush, and see the damage that he alone caused the nation, and then reflect upon the fact that more than 75 million baby boomers were born.

We are short on resources now because the boomers have used them all up. It's not like the resources just disappeared on their own, like it was some natural disaster. It was boomer-caused, not some act of God.

Your assertion that the boomers would gladly share with the generations that follow them if there were anything left to share is obviously incorrect. There is nothing to share because of the boomers' historical refusal to share anything. Most of the nation's wealth is concentrated in their grubbies already.

All of that said, (1) I've always been prone to hyperbole, since the mainstream media only present ideas that are acceptable to the powers that be (the boomers), and those who can't handle that shouldn't read me, and (2) the boomers have gotten off so scot-free for so fucking long now that I'm not concerned about stating my opinions about them in strong terms. Anything that I could write about boomers is just a drop in the ocean compared to the silence about them and the great things that are said about them -- since they, due to their numbers and their wealth, largely control the media.
Miguela and older/exasperated: Thank you for your THOUGHTFUL comments. I fucking hate it when I pound out a long, thoughtful blog piece and trolls leave their worthless drive-by comments that took them all of 15 seconds to conceive.

I will respond more fully to your comments later. Right now I have to go to work, so that I can pay my taxes and pay into the Social Security and Medicare that I'll never see while baby-boomer assholes leave comments on my blog lecturing me about working and paying taxes.

Oh, well. I, for one, plan to let them sit in their own shit and drool in the nursing homes that they built for their own filthy profit. I won't lift a finger for them.
While I disagree with a few of your details, all in all, you are more right than wrong. The boomers need to get out of the way and let the Xers run things. I'm an early Xer (born 1965) and interestingly, know people who are culturally boomers (well Jonesers) who are younger than I am. I'm the child of two Silent Generation folks, which is another group that has pretty much been ignored.
I'm a boomer, we were poor when I was young, never got any part of any gravy, just low wage hard work. My generation was the one that when young (some, not all, though the media pretends it was all just because they were noisy) took to the streets to protest the war and for human rights and equality. Some of those protesters even grew up in families where there was enough but cared a lot about those who had less. I remember the older people being angry with us back then just like OWS. I haven't forgotten Kent State.

My Gen X daughters got lucky, they didn't expect more because we didn't have some illusionary boomer life. We learned long ago many have to work for less so that some can earn more and buy things for less. That hasn't changed, that's how it's always been. I don't know why generations after mine didn't take to the streets and protest until now. My eldest will not get involved, she finally has a good job so she doesn't care what happens to others, that includes not caring what happens to me. Maybe the OWS movement is because those people who had enough now don't have enough. Maybe some care about those who have less or are afraid they will lose what they have. I've been hoping younger people would get fired up. I have no answers except that life has always been very hard for most. A few more got lucky for a few short decades, I even know some women who have been very lucky and had good jobs.

I chose to get married, it was a stupid choice but no one can guarantee the future. Choose the wrong spouse or wrong career and you have to live with your choices. I considered college ten years ago but knew that there was no way to guarantee which skills would remain desirable. I learned decades ago that no one is obligated to take care of anyone else, aside from what laws there are that can be enforced. Laws can change. The only law that protects earnings is minimum wage. Jobs have been shipped away for decades so you just have to take less. I'm sick of all the old dinosaurs in politics but that's just how it's become. For years I've talked to younger women about the failure of 13 states to ratify the ERA and women's rights. They don't care, they are getting waxing, tanning and other things they see on silly commercials. Instead they tell me to color the grey out of my hair. I'm old, I don't care if my hair is grey and I'm not going to waste 8 bucks a month on a box of hair color. As far as talking to men of any age about equal pay for equal work, they had no interest because they weren't affected yet. I have no idea what it will take to motivate people again, I assume mass suffering will do it.

I have a lovely home, worked years of 60 hour weeks, missed a lot of meals, wore used clothes and skipped what I consider luxuries to have it. My kids are long grown so I don't have to work as hard to survive. I'm 55 and worn out. Started working full time at 16 and even if I pay in for 50 years or more, I never expected to get a dime out of Social Security, nor do I expect Medicare. I assume I'll get ill and I'll live with it or die fairly young, that's what being a boomer has taught me about life in the US. I remember a bumper sticker I don't see anymore but it still applies; "Life's a bitch, then you die."

I have a granddaughter now and when I look at her I don't worry about the debt, let the rich worry about it, they're the ones with the money. Some idiot is always telling me how many hundreds of thousands I owe. As if that's my tax burden, fuck what the rich owe. I worry about the polar ice caps and wonder what trash pile we're all leaving her. That tiny little girl might have a life like mine or my daughter's lives, or worse. And it breaks my heart.

I'm tired of being separated into groups where it's one group against another. I wish we had an ageless movement.
So much energy in this post...I'd love to read what you've written that moves forward, any solution-oriented posts around? How we all move forward here?
We didn't start the fire but we certainly fanned the flames. Sorry.
Thank you for the apology, Sir Robert. So few baby boomers are able to apologize for anything. (Similarly, way too many whites refuse to acknowledge the existence of racism and white supremacism.)

Just Thinking: Solutions? Soylent Green wasn't a great solution? But seriously, we're all responsible for solutions. Not just me. Not just Barack Obama. (And trust me, you DON'T want MY solutions...) Anyway, the first step is describing and defining the problem -- part of which is that we expect only a tiny few of us to come up with all of the solutions, when it's the responsiblity of all of us. Solutions come after the problem has been identified, but when the masses refuse even to acknowledge the problem, solving it is an uphill battle.

l'Heure Bleue, to clarify, in my estimation the worst of the boomers are in their 60s. You are a "tweener." Hee hee.

Anyway, you wrote, "I'm tired of being separated into groups where it's one group against another. I wish we had an ageless movement."

Well, just as the plutocratic right wing talks about the "class war" that the left supposedly started, when in actuality it's the plutocrats who declared war upon the rest of us long ago, funneling all of our wealth to themselves, the fact of the matter is that the boomers effectively declared war upon Gen X and Gen Y long, long ago. The boomers have a monopoly on the good jobs and are poised to wipe out Medicare and Social Security. But when we younger Americans fight back, WE are then accused of waging a generational war. That's unfair, hypocritical bullshit on the boomers' part.

Can't we all just get along? No, very apparently not. But that's not the fault of Gen X or Gen Y. We know fully well that we're being screwed.
Born in 1947 I am the boomiest of boomers, as is apparent from my avatar. I agree right down the line with everything you have written, Robert. When a man is correct, he is correct, and I do not fear to say so and to rate your piece accordingly.

Life has been an unqualified lark for me. And I did have sufficient prescience to foresee the upshot of that, the generational war that is coming. Which is the primary reason that I left and am now holed up deep in Mexico. I wanted to be out of the way when it erupted. You'll have to find me in order to Soylent Green me.
Being a "Joneser", I don't feel aligned with, or feel I have much in common with, or even like very much, either the generation before me or the one after me.

As far as Social Security and Medicare are concerned, I think it the main reason it will be overwhelmed is the sheer numbers of boomers. They didn't call it the "baby boom" for nothing - it was a huge spike in the birthrate.

At any rate, I'm kind of glad I don't have any children at this point, as I don't think things will be getting much better.
I suppose that is why I ask. So much "You are the problem" going on in the world...I do agree that it's tough to pull the critical mass of heads out of the sand, and if/when they are pulled out, the finger-pointing ensues.
Meanwhile, we need feasible solutions.
I like to think that way, anyway.
I'm working on them...as long as I don't look at everything at once. I might not get up in the morning if I did.
Anyone else?
Is it too late?
Brassawe: Thank you for the acknowledgment of the wrongs done unto our younger generations by the older generations here in the U.S. of A. (But are you serious when you write, "Life has been an unqualified lark for me"?)

I don't actually advocate cannibalism, or even the genocide of the boomers, as much as that would help the nation. However, those of us of the younger generations are going to have to make it clear to the boomers that they may not continue to suck up our limited resources, that their party is OVER.

That said, if and when all hell breaks out in the U.S., the have-nots will go after the haves, and the haves tend to be older people, since the boomers and those older than they have the lion's share of the nation's wealth.

So I don't know so much that it will be generational welfare as it will be "class welfare" -- war between the haves (in their gated communities, with their rent-a-cops) and the rest of us.

Jeanette: My boyfriend, whose birthday is today, just turned 50, and he's like you -- not really a boomer or an X'er, but somewhere in between.

I think the most planet-friendly thing that one could do is not to have any children. What better way to reduce one's carbon footprint than to NOT create the pitter-patter of little carbon-footprint-making feet?

Speaking of which, Just Thinking, lots of viable, progressive solutions to our nation's and our planet's problems have been put out there. It's that the corporately hypnotized masses shoot them down. Here's just one idea: Our tax dollars pay for those men and women who wish to become sterilized.

Think of the billions and billions of tax dollars we'd save on having fewer human beings to have to take care of, and how much more attention we could give those children who are born responsibly. Think of the lowered carbon emissions and the overall benefit of the species (quality of life issues, avoiding extinction, etc.) and the planet (global warming, vanishing species, etc.) by controlling our population growth.

But controlling population growth responsibly and wisely is abhorrent to most Americans, who are brainwashed by the "Christo"fascist cults that preach "be fruitful and multiply." The "right" to overpopulate the nation and the planet is considered one of our most fundamental "rights."

But -- tackle just that one problem, and so many other problems would improve or even resolve over time.

But -- again, there is quite a lot of resistance to obvious solutions, such as drastically reducing our use of fossil fuels and being proactive where overpopulation is concerned.

This resistance to viable solutions probably is so difficult to overcome that the older folks are going to have to kick off before we seriously can implement most of these solutions, frankly. Look at how slowly racism and white supremacism has been dying, and at how slowly homophobia has been dying. A lot of stupid old people have to die for things to get better.
I do truly acknowledge it, Robert. Without tongue in cheek at all. I simply prefer to appear light-hearted on the subject of how ashamed I am of my own generation for the very reasons you have listed, most particularly about the evolution of its attitude toward war and its obscene embrace of consumerism rampant on a disappearing field of green.

Now then, Robert, have you not gotten the word that even the use of the phrase "class warfare" is a no-no?
Good to see the anger and energy rising- take the world but also take the lesson- the number who won't trade ideals of environment, simplicity, art, love of fellow man for a ridiculously big house, season tickets, hot tub and porn are much smaller than youth will have you believe. It was only a blink of the eye between the 60's and the 80's and only a few stayed true. (social security will still be about 75% and can be fixed by increasing the pool-don't let the media trick you into settling for vouchers but see for yourself)
You guys get this old geezer's vote... here's the very first post I made on OS Salon: http://open.salon.com/blog/jmac1949/2012/02/06/fked_-_the_screwed_generation

I joined so I could rate and respond to "F**cked the Screwed Generation," which appeared up front in Big Salon. Go for it because we're coming down the demographic dump tube and we're going to plop right in your laps. Boomer are no different than any other group, got your progressives, your conservatives and your just plain ignorant, self indulgent pigs as well.

Hang in there and remember, "Don't trust anyone over thirty!"
Brassawe: Well, at first I thought you were being entirely sarcastic, and then I thought you were being hyperbolic. It's rare to read such words written by a baby boomer.

I think we should take back the term "class warfare" -- which I define as the class warfare that the rich declared upon the rest of us long, long ago.

kenneth: I don't need a ridiculously big house, season tickets or a hot tub, but please, please, please let me keep my porn! A man has to have SOMETHING to hold onto! (Seriously, though: I like my porn!)

jmac: You wrote, "Boomer are no different than any other group, got your progressives, your conservatives and your just plain ignorant, self indulgent pigs as well."

I disagree. Boomers incessantly were told by their parents how great they were, and this went to their heads. Therefore, the likes of your Gee Dubyas of the world have wildly exaggerated positive self-esteem, way overvalue their talents, abilities and their worth.

We Gen X'ers, by contrast, were ignored by our parents (most of them boomers). (One of fellow Gen-X'er Ted Rall's first books was "Revenge of the Latch-Key Kids," a reference to the fact that for the most part many of us raised ourselves, were on our own.)

So no, people aren't just people. The generation that they are born into shapes them greatly.

Sure, there are assbite Gen X'ers whose assholery harms many others, such as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the late Andrew Breitbart. But they are the exception, not the rule. Most of those doing harm to the nation are baby boomers.

Also, not only are most (but not all, of course) boomers self-absorbed assholes who take far more than they give back, but there are more than 75 million of them, making them the nation's largest generation still living. The nation can absorb a certain amount of assholery, but not that much. That's why the empire is crumbling before our very eyes.

So to say that the boomers are no different than the members of any other generation -- yeah, that's just not correct. They are much more toxic and much more numerous than the assholes of the other generations.
The lives of Boomers like every one else were at the luck of the draw. We weren't all spoiled and what is felony child abuse in today's world was then looked upon as acceptable parental discipline. I was also a latch key kid and my old man didn't stop beating on me until I threatened to crush his skull with a 2x4, and the only reason he quit was because he knew I could do it.

Don't take this personally but you should try reading some posts by the folk who lived through it, then think about it for a day or two before you climb back up on your soap box... you're shooting from the hip about stuff that you don't know and that makes you sound like a fool or worse an ignorant idiot not dissimilar from the rhetorical noises that com from the likes of Rush and Fox News.
@ JMac - Thanks, bubba. You had me worried a tad with that first comment. I rarely comment on posts by true believers of anything because once they've figured it all out the close the door and screen out anything that doesn't pass their narrow litmus test. I guess the only reason I commented here is because I saw several reasonable comments that offered the poster a chance to engage in open-minded dialogue. I'm now looking at Kim Gamble's comment, and see now that I didn't have read any further than his approach to this sophomoric rant.
Just came back to reread my second comment and now I'm thinking you might take it the wrong way... I'm really on your side and the side on my kid and grandkids... you just pissed me off a little bit.
Chicken: If you hate my "sophomoric" writing so much, then why do you come back to roost? Um, yeah...

jmac: I realize that every individual's experience is unique and to say that every single baby boomer has had it easy -- and that every single Gen X'er or Gen Y'er has had it hard -- is, of course, inaccurate.

However, I do believe that we can make fair and accurate generational generalizations that, while not true for every individual within the group, are true as an average for the group as a whole. In fact, statisticians do that kind of thing all the time! (And no one calls them "sophomoric" for it, either...)
Wow. Well, uh, my day job keeps me deep in conversation with the 18-21 year olds, and I am grateful for this, because I have zero qualms about passing them the baton. They are smart, creative, involved, irreverent, and committed to their future. They have the skills to deal with what comes.

I'm 57. With each decade, my perspective shifted as awareness accumulated. When I was young, I was pissed off and determined to evoke change, same as you. By age forty, I was disillusioned and disappointed at having to set aside many of my dreams, same as you. By fifty, I understood that the world is unfair, there are injustices galore, and anger can become like a sharp arrow you stab yourself with over and over. Suffering is the human condition. So you take your place in the long line that stretches back to whenever in some caves and recognize that now is your time to be forty, while now is my time to be fifty, and my dad's time to be eighty. Each age deals with their own measure of shit and grace, and our collective experience as well. At this very moment, we're all taking a breath, and when you peel away the rest, ain't that truly sweet?
Frankly, I completely share your horror. I can't believe how stupid people were to take everything for granted. I feel like a victim here too because I did not take everything for granted. You are simply right.
As you see by your comment thread and if you look around OS demographics, you are indeed writing for the Boomers. This is an overwhelmingly old head site, which you probably knew when you posted this inflammatory piece, but carry on with that knowledge and cast your "dipshit" and Fuck Yous about.
I was going to make a joke about how you're 'that' age, and all this angst will manifest itself in a Porsche showroom or maybe a tattoo parlor or a cosmetic surgeon's chair, but then I realized the problem is you can't afford to buy your way out of your midlife crisis. Yup, your generation's screwed.

So's mine of course- we're much worse off, being Gen Y- but somehow we seem to be dealing with it slightly better, in no small part due to the parallel economy that is the internet, and a rampant entrepreneurial spirit that appears to have come out of nowhere. I can't say the same for you guys, but we lucked out in that the world really is a much smaller place now if we want it to be, meaning of course more opportunities and less emphasis on permanence- buying a house, car etc.
There is a critical difference between Gen X and Gen Y, mi amigo: We X'ers were the latch-key kids. We were neglected, ignored, on our own. Y'ers, on the other hand, were the "baby-on-board"-sign set.

With the Y'ers, the boomers, perhaps realizing that they'd need someone to help them with their incontinence once day, but had burned their bridges with us X'ers, started to treat the Y'ers a lot better than they'd ever treated us X'ers.

That's not whining. That's just historical fact...

Still, though, as you state, both of our generations are screwed, blued and tattooed.

(On that note, no, no mid-life crisis for me. No interest in sportscars, gold chains, tattoos, plastic surgery or the like. I shun even Grecian Formula for Men. And that's not out of a lack of funds, but out of my plan/hope to age non-pathetically...)
Seer cuts to the chase again.

So you've outlined the problem. What's your solution besides mass genocide? Boomers aren't going anywhere. You can continue the "woe is me" or you can move forward. Which is it?
That's the aggressive, male-oriented Western mindset, the mindset that has put the U.S. on the brink of collapse: We must have a solution. NOW. Why even talk about our problems if we cannot come up with immediate solutions to them? Meanwhile, we fiddle while the empire burns.

Again: First, an awareness of the problem must come about in a critical mass of individuals. This can take a long time. Then, slowly, over time, solutions follow. Again: it's the responsiblity of many, many individuals, not just this one blogger or just one elected official, to find solutions. That's another American trait: always thinking that someone else is going to take care of everything. But when everyone is thinking that someone else is taking care of it, that means that NO ONE is taking care of it. The only way to save the empire is for everyone to participate in finding the solutions to its problems.

And again: Since boomers have BEEN the problem, I don't count them as being part of the solution. And, let's face it, given their age, and how long it most likely will take to solve the problems that they have created, it's not like they'll be around long enough to help clean up their own colossal mess anyway.

Which is why I look to my own generation and to those generation that follow mine. We have no wise elders here in the U.S. We have the baby boomers.
P.S. The boomers ARE indeed going somewhere. It's called DEATH. Even though they think they're immortal, they are not. And they don't have as many years as they think they have, given the fact that so many of them try to act like teenagers...
Get over yourselves. This was a good exercise. Manifestos like these alleviate the rage within and sometimes are proven to lower those suffering from hypertension. ;)
Baby boomers are expensive. As they retire or expire, paying it forward will become our future heirs' legacies.
I've avoided this post like the plague -- there's no way to win a pissin' or a pig rasslin' contest. For the record, born in '44, I am the very last of the pre-boomer generation. That said, tho I might not be from the Boomer generation, I am of it.

Yes, Boomers deserve their share of blame for the way the world is. Problem is, most of their younger critics want only to give blame and no credit. Boomers had a large role in forcing America to live up to it's promise of equality, both for women and minorities. They also helped end the Vietnam War, tho in all honesty their motives were not always the purest, and their methods were not always the most admirable.

That said, it was the so-called Greatest Generation that supported that stupid war almost to the bitter end. They also supported Richard "I'm not a crook, but I'm resigning anyway" Nixon till the bitter and ignominious end. They also gave us stifling conformity and the louts on Madison Avenue, who are as responsible as the banksters for the mess we're in today. That generation paved the way for corporatism far more than did Boomers.

Indeed, Boomers were also on their way to doing something about economic inequality till they got sidetracked by too much sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. But to be blunt, I don't think your generation has much room to talk about the distraction of sex and drugs, and no doubt, your music mostly sucks. Too bad for you.

But go ahead, blame everybody who came before you -- like that will do you any good. If you really want change, get out from behind your computer and take it to the streets and make it happen. That's what we did -- for better or worse.
Tom, Seer, et. al.: I love being volunteered for a one-man suicide mission by people who apparently won't lift a finger themselves. Fact is, peaceful protest accomplishes nothing. Almost all lasting, significant revolutions have been by force. And that takes a critical mass -- not one person.

Tom, every senior citizen thinks that the music of his or her own generation was the best music that ever was produced in the history of the planet, and for the "taking it to the streets" that you recommend, and for your bragging about how your generation did that (actually, your generation partied a lot more than it ever effectively protested), and for your bragging about how your generation ended the Vietnam War, members of your generation then went on to perpetrate the Vietraq War. The members of your generation became the evil they claimed they despised and were going to overthrow. Agreed, the members of the "greatest generation" started the corporatism and the militarism -- and the fascistic fusion of the two in the military-industrial complex -- which threaten to bring down the American empire today, but the boomers only went on to magnify that evil because they gained personally from doing so.

And why do you presume that blogging is all that I do? There are many ways to be a part of the solution. Blogging is only one of them.

But no, I'm not itching to go out and get pepper-sprayed and arrested for your entertainment.
And thus you indict yourself ... and thus you demonstrate you are resigned to your fate.
Yet your "argument" remains that *I* should throw the first Molotov cocktail. Right...

All that we Gen X'ers and Y'ers can do, really, is wait for the boomers to keel off -- and do what we can to prevent them (you...) from taking the rest of us with you as you continue to deplete our resources.
Like I said, nobody wins a pissin' contest, but I find it truly sad that at an age when you ought to be at the height of your powers, you choose instead to blame old people for your misery.
I agree. My generation should be at the height of our power. However, we've been vastly outnumbered by more than 75 million baby boomers who, since our infancy, have done everything in their power to prevent our having a meaningful amount of power, because, sickeningly, they've always seen us as competitors. The boomers always have eaten their young.

The blame that I cast is wholly appropriately placed.
Are the boomers to be blamed for their numbers as well? Being born is one of the few things no one has any control over. (Or do you want them all to kill themselves?) ;-)
Do you really want me to answer that last question?

Besides Soylent Green, I'm pretty big on the concept of Carousel from "Logan's Run"... (I'll be generous, though, and up the age for "renewal" from 35 to 65, especially as I'm 44...)

:)
I think Carousel would be a rating grabber on TV!! Get a Richard Dawson-like host!! Bam!!

So old people, do us a favor, and kill ya self!! ~:D
As an X born in '75, what amazes me most about Boomers is their Vanity and their Denial.

As the responses to this refreshing post demonstrate, Boomers will resort to mainly two forms of condescension: psychoanalysis and grandstanding.

Boomers will boast that they stood and fought the injustices of the Veitnam war by protesting, spitting on vets, burning flags, smoking dope, tripping out on protest songs, and other highly symbolic, questionable means, until one day they snapped out of it and voted for Reagan twice, then Bush, then Bush's son twice. They woke up and showed the world they could be even more ruthless, exploitative, greedy, and immoral than those generations that came before them. They showed us they were never truly taken in by their own youthful parade of idealism. In fact, Boomers ended up making Nixon look like a saint.

But when anybody shows any form of rage and protest from our generation, they all get a little sensitive. Very sensitive. How dare we Xers complain, living in our crowded apartments in crowded cities, working our crap jobs to pay off our exorbitant college debts off, while, THEY, the Darlings of the 60's, stretch out in their nice homes in the suburbs reading books about health and new age, reminiscing about their heroic history and spending their childrens' inheritance on looking young, on pumping their cars with gas, and on entertainment. They see our rage as inconvenient, irritating, or worse, potentially dangerous.

Most Boomers will never know what it is to rent their entire lives, to be at the mercy of (Boomer) landlords, to live from pay check to pay check with no hope of savings or retirement, to rely on public transportation because gas is too expensive, to pay off a 75,000 dollar college debt for a Master's degree that employers don't even recognize. My own parents can't understand why I'm so "angry," and that I should seek help for my "depression," which, by the way, is the word generally used to describe the collective, economic situation our generation is mired in at the present time. The fact is, I would be dead if I was 'depressed,' and that it takes all my optimism simply to survive.

I applaud this post. I say anger IS productive. It sparks debate. It gets people off facebook. It makes the apathetic re-examine their boredom, their stupefication in the face of economic rape and environmental catastrophe. At the risk of making people uncomfortable, it catalyzes zombies into action.

I'll finish by saying it is a shame not to see more Xers responding to this post. We, too, are to blame for our lack of outrage. Most of us aren't even awake to how thoroughly and thoughtlessly we are being screwed. We should be asking more for ourselves.

Thanks Robert for your refusal to back down from the usual barrage of boomers' defense mechanisms. Stay angry, and keep blogging.
I'm a Gen Xer. My dad was born during the Silent Generation and my mom's an early boomer. Both came from poverty. They worked their butts off (often seven days/week) to achieve a comfortable life. Throughout, they always gave back to the community through service or financial support, and continue to do so. My brother, sister and I were taught to work hard and get an education. We weren't coddled, but we were supported, and one thing we have in common is a strong work ethic.

Sure, things aren't as easy - for example, I knew my Bachelor of Science degree wouldn't amount to much (although my dad's univ. degree ensured a good job - but why resent him for that?) - so I got a Master's (while working) then got a scholarship for a PhD program.
Does it suck that you have to have at least a Master's degree to get a (no guarantee) decent job? Hell, yes! Does it suck that many in my generation can't buy homes even with great jobs, whereas the previous generations who bought into the market way back have homes that have appreciated exponentially in value? Hell, yes!
Do I resent the boomers for this? Nope.

It seems absurd to me to blame all the woes on the boomers - and trying to compare our circumstances with those of the boomers is like doing an experiment that ignores countless confounding factors.
I suppose I just don't find it productive to make arguments about who should be to blame for the fact that things aren't all that easy, there is very little security, life is hard work & even if you do all the "right" things, sometimes things just don't turn out well. However, I do believe in personal agency and doing what I *can* for my community and me. That's all I can do, and harbouring resentments toward the generation before me and expecting some sort of boomer mass exodus is ridiculous, and I would rather direct my mental energy toward something infinitely more useful.
Noticed an error, should be:
"I suppose I just don't find it productive to make arguments about *which generation* should be to blame...."
Hmmm. Commented recently to someone's blog that I was "tuning in late" and had been thinking of changing my screen name to T.I.L. Robert, here's what I scrawled on a Post-It while trying to go through this wondrous effusion (I'm not being sarcastic!) of comments to your original post:

I'm one of the "older folks[*] who "are going to have to kick off before [who?] can implement ... solution".

So it's hard for me to know what or whether to contribute here (and if my paragraphing makes problems, mes apologies!).

What bugs me, personally, is the "we/them" language you use, assigning it to quikspik sociological age group generalisations. These Horrible Baby Boomers you're taking to task are the age of my kids my nieces and nephews. "If you knew 'em, you'd love 'em". [I hope, any way?]

A lot more I'd like to say &/or ask you but already I'm concerned about my way of paragraphing ... that I'm taking up too much space on your blog.

R
DiBi: To be sure, there are plenty of X'ers who don't have any resentment toward the boomers. This is for many reasons. One, there is the widespread American myth that The Individual is Solely Responsible for his or her success or failure here in the U.S. of A. This is a load of bullshit when the American socioeconomic system clearly is rigged to maintain the status quo in which there are haves and have-nots. But this myth keeps the commoners from grabbing those torches and pitchforks and going after their feudal overlords. After all, if you're struggling, it's your own damn fault! Two, let's face it, there are dull people in every generation. Many X'ers are too dim to comprehend the level to which they've been royally screwed. They go day to day minding only the immediate demands of survival, of avoiding pain and seeking pleasure. They don't look at the Big Picture. Three, as I have stated, although there are generational generalities, every individual's experience is unique. I, for instance, was the typical latch-key kid Gen X'er. My boomer parents treated us more or less like pets to be fed and watered and sheltered than like human beings to be fostered. You apparently had a different, better experience than I did. I am happy for you that you did. (Seriously -- not being sarcastic.)

You write: "However, I do believe in personal agency and doing what I *can* for my community and me. That's all I can do, and harbouring resentments toward the generation before me and expecting some sort of boomer mass exodus is ridiculous, and I would rather direct my mental energy toward something infinitely more useful."

I agree with you. I don't expect "some sort of boomer mass exodus." They will die off over time, but no, I don't expect them to just go away. They have demonstrated that they believe that they are immortal and will be here forever.

"Personal agency" only gets us so far. Again, we are social creatures who are part of a vast social network. We love to think that we can go it alone, that our failure or success is dependent only upon ourselves, but the fact of the matter is that that is motivational-speaking/positive-thinking bullshit. Our success or failure to a very large degree is based upon what others have and have not done and what they are and are not doing. And when the generation is as large as is the boomer generation, if they have committed dereliction of duty -- and they have -- then the entire nation suffers. That we are so interconnected is so fucking obvious but is missed or ignored or denied by so many millions of Americans.

As far as "harbouring resentments" goes, from this blog post one would think that I spend all of time time stewing about the baby boomers. Actually, I know this will sound incredible, but I don't. In my work and in my personal life I am able to avoid boomers to a great degree. (And if I can avoid them, I do.) In my current job there are fewer boomers than in any other job I've had before, I do believe. I really lucked out. I don't have a single baby boomer in at least the first three layers of supervision over my job position. This probably is the first time in my life that I have had that.

I agree with you that while we can identify the givers and the takers, who has contributed problems and who has contributed solutions, in the end, we can only do the best that we can within our own sphere of influence. (And the major problem, the reason that the American empire is on the brink of collapse, is that a critical mass of Americans are NOT doing the best that they can within their own spheres of influence.)

However, I think that it's critically important to keep in mind who created this big fucking stinking mess that we are in right now, because over the coming two decades or so, as the editorial cartoon that I used with this piece illustrates, the baby boomers are going to be incredibly demanding of our resources -- as though they (as a group) had ever given society anything instead of having been so fucking selfish their entire lives. I, for one, won't forget.

Seer: I don't know of any revolution or any other significant social change that didn't first begin with debate. A lot of debate. Get a grip and get your head out of the male/doer mindset. Debating isn't doing nothing. Debating is setting the groundwork for creating something better.

Carlo: Ditto, ditto, ditto, dude!

It's funny to read so many people assert that the generation in which you are born doesn't matter, when the fact of the matter is that those born in affluence (the boomers), as you indicate, are so stuck in their materialism and in their socioeconomic advantage that they refuse to acknowledge that other generations could have had a different experience than they. (And I remember my grandmother, a member of the "greatest generation," who, because she grew up during the Great Depression, had a mentality of poverty her entire life. Even though she had wealth of at least $200,000, in her mind she was so poor that she was on the verge of having to eat cat food. So yes, the socioeconomic conditions that one experiences in the first several decades of his or her life do indeed tend to shape him or her for his or her entire lifetime. Duh.)

I agree with you wholeheartedly that the boomers "see our rage as inconvenient, irritating, or worse, potentially dangerous." As much as they tell us that we are just slaggards, they know that their excess has come at OUR expense. (And if we truly were slaggards, it wouldn't be possible for them to exploit us like they do.) They know that they are parasites and they know that we know it.

Every exploiter, every have, knows that the exploited, the have-nots, might one day rise up and revolt. Many if not most of the boomers must be terrified that one day their karma might get them while they're still alive. Perhaps they especially are afraid that when they are elderly and more vulnerable and more defenseless, they might get their karmic due. Perhaps that's why so many of them pathetically pretend to still be teenagers.

Anyway, Carlo, I've been blogging since 2002. In the past decade of blogging I've received incalculable flak from wingnuts and boomers and other assorted evil individuals. Far from making me stop blogging, these attacks have been fuel for me to keep going. I know that I wouldn't be as attacked as I am if I were just plain wrong. If I were just plain wrong, I would be ignored.

podunkmarte: Yes, you took up way too much space on my blog. However, Open Salon's comments function is lacking, so it's not entirely your fault. I usually delete such clutter, but since you're not making a personal attack, and since you're a newbie, I'm letting your comment stand.
Still only 17 ratings, Robert? A marked disparity between that and the number of readers' comments. Which just goes to show that a discomfort with content will trump any willingness to acknowledge a style with flair. A piece by Patrick Henry would probably meet with a similar reception here.
Well, I wasn't going for ratings or for comments. I just said what I had to say. I've learned not to be too attached to the response that a piece gets. A kick-ass piece might get very little attention, whereas a completely insubstantial piece might get an awful lot of attention. (I am thinking of one OS blogger who pretends to be a cat whose insubstantial, stream-of-consciousness stuff gets such attention, as though all blog pieces were equal, as though a blog piece were a blog piece. Oh, well.)

Anyway, getting a lot of responses on a piece is a double-edged sword anyway. You attract venomous fucktards as well as intelligent people (the former of whom believe that they are much, much more clever than they ever will be, and that it's illegal for you to delete their graffiti even though it's your own fucking blog), and it can be difficult for just one blogger to keep up with a lot of others who are leaving comments. Many have left thoughtful comments here that I haven't had the time to respond to, and I did compose a response to several comments that got lost in cyberspace, and I didn't have time to write it out all over again.

It's an imperfect process. But I always appreciate thoughtful feedback, which is rarer than it should be.
P.S. And if Jesus Christ were to come back, the "Christians" would crucify him all over again. I am very familiar with the mentality of the mob, which would much rather lynch the messenger (oh, the number of times that I've been gang-banged by the tiny people here on OS...) than to re-evaluate their most cherished myths and misconceptions.

P.P.S. Before some fucktard leaves a comment, NO, I am not comparing myself to Jesus. Or even to Patrick Henry. I would find a comparison to someone like Ralph Nader or even to Glenn Greenwald to be complimentary, though...
I can agree on this post....about the boomers in my life, very selfish. When I was hit hard by the economy my parents didn't help me when I lost my buisiness, house, car.....my father told me "When I was 30 I had my own business, had built a house and had 2 children that I supported with no problem!" They couldn't be bothered to bring over a bag of groceries. Like it was my flaw because everything tanked in 2009. His mother also let him and his family (me and my mother) live with her after he came home from the military and she was my babysitter of course at no charge...she never gave the excuse she was too busy with Zumba, a 3 week cruise, martini night with the girls to keep her grandaughter. The baby boomer generation (0nly from my experience) beleived in Tough Love, don't help your kids succeed, don't support them, how will they ever learn mindset! Use and throw away, even if they are your children. I get this post. I have some baby boomer issues myself.
ya dont go back far nuff....if it wernt fer dat damn adam n eve...nunna dis would have hapnd to ya...
No, I blame everything on the Big Bang. That's when our nation's problems REALLY began.
I'm from gen X. I, too, graduated in the 1990s with a useless college degree in Psychology. My parents seemed to have a really easy life, while I have never held a decent, well-paying job despite the fact that I worked hard in school to get good grades, went to a highly selective university and worked hard to find a well paying job. Now, if I ask my parents or any help, they treat me like some kind of leper because everything was so easy for them. You are right, they don't want to ever retire, saying that they cannot afford to. They also laugh about having nothing to give us when they die. They sold their house several years ago and are renting so that they could avoid paying property taxes. I felt like a total failure all of these years and wondered what is wrong with me? Why is life so hard for me and so easy for them. They have absolutely no compassion for us and really don't care.
I agree with many of your points. A aging Xer here who subscribes to many X type news/blog/forum feeds. There is nothing we will be able to do on a national or international scale concerning the Boomer problem within the current Boomer-centric institutions. There are many things that I have personally done on the micro level that has sabotaged Boomers.

First and foremost if you are in a position of power (even if it is social, ie not a manager ect...) within your organization/group, work slowly to discredit the Boomers. This takes some time, patience and dedication. The payout has returned good dividends. They have created these monstrous bureaucratic systems within these institutions. Learn them and use them to remove the Boomer problem one at a time. I have removed Boomer bosses, three of them in the last five years, using this method. I simply made sure their performance numbers were always below standard without jeopardizing my job position or integrity. Fudging the numbers here, delaying a project there, without my name on the document in question does the trick. I have a strong personality and the younger employees trust me. So it was easy to manipulate or win them to my side which easily made the Boomer bosses performance numbers exponentially worse. We finally have a 42 year old Gen-Xer running our department and the atmosphere has never been better. The Boomer employees are much easier to discredit than the management types. You just set them up to fail and make sure every single one of their failures is documented in the appropriate institutional forms. I have personally removed several Boomer employees in this manner.

Some may say this is a dirty underhanded tactic and I will agree with them. I will also say that generation Boomer has created me and this is exactly what you will get. I have absolutely no problem getting rid of a Boomer in our department, who has children in college and a mortgage, to simply keep the generational ratio below 1:1; Boomer:other.

Now imagine if there were several thousand or tens of thousands of Gen-Xers/Yers using these tactics throughout every institution in the good ole USA? The Boomer problem would be fixed fast, with little to no political/bureaucratic wrangling and the genocide option could be left off the table.
There are many from the generation just as disappointed as you are in "them."

My favorite quote comes from Tom Brokaw's book on the boomers: "They were last seen in their VW bus with the "Make Love, Not War" bumper sticker heading out of town and weren't seen or heard from since."

It's your generation who suffered the most from their mistakes, and hopefully learned the lesson not to emulate those who never grew up.