Another Reason I Hate the Boomers
June 5, 2008 § 34 Comments
Revere has a post up over at Effect Measure wondering if the Presidential candidacy of Barack Obama can return us to a sense of optimism akin to that of the sixties.
But the midwife was Camelot, the Presidency of the charming, young, dynamic JFK. Politically, Kennedy was an inveterate Cold Warrior and from a progressive point of view he was no prize. What he was, was a master of soaring and idealistic rhetoric. And the rhetoric unhooked the fasteners of Pandora’s Box and out flew Hope and Idealism and a sense of empowerment, particularly for the young.
We’re feeling it revere, we truly are. Much of the appeal of the Obama candidacy is this promise of a return to a time of pride, hope and optimism in our collective future. The DM, however, tosses a wet blanket in a comment:
Are we who came to political awareness in a climate of the “failed” Carter admin and Reagan nightmare irretrivably cynical? Can Obama reach the all critical GenX? And let us have our Camelot?
To which revere responded:
Lots of people between the two eras kept the fires burning. They weren’t the spirit of their times but of an earlier time but they (you) were incredibly important.
Not politically, my grizzled warrior, oh no. I agree with the DM. I’m a Gen X’er. Which Wikipedia defines as those born between 1965-1982. Perhaps a tad generous on the ass-end but good enough. As the DM notes, GenX was coming to political awareness in the Carter administration; for many of us, the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan to the Presidency was an all defining political event. And I mean ALL defining.
I just don’t get all the canonizing of Reagan, the blithe trippers after his death mouthing the “Morning in America” shit. I have no such recollection. I thought this idiot actor was a fucking nightmare and he proceeded over the next 8 years to prove me correct. From dismantling our social compact, to pitting Americans against each other and to committing the fundamental crime of attacking our Constitutional separation of powers..a nightmare. The list goes on an on. And then we got Bush I and the economy tanked to boot. Fuck!!!!
In short, Gen X had a formative political climate of unbelievable cynicism and depression, almost a disbelief over how our country could be moving so fast into such a bass-ackward place. Twelve long years of dashed hopes. Pathetic, dismal grey Democratic offerings leading our side. Mondale? Dukakis? We were supposed to be excited about Paul Fucking Tsongas? Jesus Christ!
Bill. Ahh, Bill. Finally a little hope. Younger, cooler, smarter and (we found out) he could tie those motherfuckers up in knots, politically. But they got him too, didn’t they? That stupid ass Contract on America and the rise of the fucknards taking over Congress and hamstringing his Presidency. I don’t want to be too greedy or whiny. Bill proved the point. He got us charged up and turned that shit around. It still sucked though. All that opportunity lost in the dwindling years of Monica-gate.
Couldn’t last though, could it. They got us in 2000. With another faux affable shit-in-burrito-clothing. And look what that got us.
It is all the Boomers fault. And this is why I hate those motherfuckers with a generational vengeance. They are the big ass generation of voters that let this happen. Hell, they begged for much of this to happen. And they were the right age and size to really damage this country.
Coming of mature age in the 70’s and early 80’s they looked around and said “Fuck it, I want mine”. And so they stopped taxing themselves so that they could spend all their money on blow and BMWs. They delayed child rearing, opted out altogether or shuffled their kids behind “their needs”. Instead of working to build shit they took jobs as lawyers, stock brokers and other “professional” high paid gigs that didn’t actually help the social compact. No personal obligation, no ties to community and a rampant ethos of self-involved, self-congratulatory constant fucking pleasure seeking.
And those motherfuckers ruined our country by dissolving the sense of community that JFK had unleashed. The fought back in the sixties, oh yes they did. Every time you turned around there was another political death match. But they did it because they loved the community, the social compact. Yeah, even those anti-communist nutjobs loved America. And then you Boomers, especially you second half jerkwads, decided to pack it in. Fuck the community, you said, I’m in it for ME! I don’t know what the hell is wrong with you shits. Too much having to listen to “the Greatest Generation” and how they sacrificed? I dunno. Something went wrong in your heads. So you went turbo-selfish.
The worst thing is, you Boomer stains took our optimism away. We had no hope to make a chance, and we didn’t. Not in 84, not in 88. Too small of a generation and too small a part of the electorate anyway. Bush I fucked up so bad even the selfish bastards clued in a bit; good thing Perot was there to take your dumbass votes!
But you got us again. You kept right on voting the tax cutters in, refused to admit why Clinton was turning the economy around, refused to credit the power of social-compact optimism. Oh yes, my friends who jump through hypocritical mobius strip pretzals trying to explain how chronic Republican recessions alleviated by one Democratic President, were really the result of electing Ronnie in 1980…optimism is the economic tool of the President. Bill used that tool and that is what made the ship turn around and bail our asses out of the Republican-spend-and-not-tax deficits.
That, and people who make shit. Build things. Work to contribute instead of sucking off the teat like the Boomer Yuppie fuck professionals. And who was that? None other than GenX. We were the ones who, in giving up on what appeared to be useless political fights, buckled down. We built the information tech revolution and the biotech one as well. We were the intellectual workhorses who didn’t want to go to law school but wanted to make shit. And to make shit happen. We got a little bit of extra education, maybe, kicked around a little bit more…but then we got down to bizziness. We went back to service roles too. Served our communities. Went into academics in droves, drawn by research. Hi tech, biotech, research science. We didn’t buy Beemers. We didn’t buy coke.
We built community too. We waited a little while, but then we started having families. Unlike the Boomers, we’re having 3 kids, not 1. We prioritize those little wackaloons too. We don’t push them to the back of our self-fucking-indulgences. And that means we spend our time on community too. We have too, because those selfish tax-lowering Boomers left us with shit school systems, shit infrastructure, family neighborhoods converted to condo projects and all kinds on non-community desolation. And that is just in the motherfucking good neighborhoods! Did I mention the Boomers are my generational enemy?
So we are not a generation of big optimism, revere. We lost all those battles to the selfish Boomers. We buckled down, though, and moving into our midlives now, we can take some pride. We’ve planted our GenerationX flag and said “enough” to the Boomer fucks. The tech revolution, true, but also in little ways. Humble ways. Hometown and local ways. Just not politically.
I don’t know if we are turning in the tide, nevermind winning. And we have no reason for big optimism, we don’t need it. We are gettin ‘er done. But not on the policy front. Not necessarily in the halls of power.
I still want to hope though. I want my Camelot, just like the DM said. Obama elevates us and, yes, gives us hope. Hope that this lingering Boomer Presidential candidate can become our JFK. Can he?
I fucking hope so.