Tuesday, June 26, 2007

From "Me" to "We"?

Can the Baby Boomers exit their self-absorption and offer generative advice and mentoring to the youth? Phyllis Goldberg seems to think so:
The Baby Boomers or so called 'Me Generation,' on some level, weren't all that different. They were often seen as egocentric and self absorbed, as having a sense of entitlement. But, along the way, they developed the capacity for self reflection. Now, entering the retirement years, they are serving the greater good and are often referred to as the 'We Generation.' Paris Hilton can learn a lesson or two from the changes in their attitudes and behavior.
Read What the Baby Boomers Can Teach Paris Hilton.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gen Y Voter

Writes a 22 year old Millenial (aka Gen Y) on the Boomer-dominated media and politics:
I would have assumed censorship of this kind is acceptable only in communist countries, but in the United States of America? So I ask the older generation: How are young people supposed to get excited about politics, when the moment we actually do, our hopes are crushed by media censorship and unfair bias? My hopes right now are limited that my generation will grow up to experience a true democracy.
Is the Silent Generation candidate, Rep. Paul (R-TX), making waves with the young and Boomer-nauseated?

The Adolescent Squeeze

From Psychology Today:

Before 1850, laws restricting the behavior of teens were few and far between. Compulsory education laws evolved in tandem with laws restricting labor by young people. Beginning in 1960, the number of laws infantilizing adolescents accelerated dramatically. You may have had a paper route when you were 12, but your children can't.
Gen X started in 1961, so restrictions on the youth are implemented just after the Baby boomers have their freedom, fun and growth... Reminds us of Jon Stewart interviewing David Steinberg on The Daily Show: Steinberg gets famous just in time to exploit that fame in the Sexual Revolution, Stewart gets famous just as AIDS breaks...

As Tom Wolfe said, we are in for The Great Relearning, or the 20th Century's Hangover...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Narcissists Running

Is the third Narcissist of the most narcissistic generation from the most narcissistic city in the world going to run for President too? Since the Boomers are Visionaries of a highly ideological nature let's see what Ideological Visionary Utopias they have to offer: Hillary is a Communist, Rudy is a Socialist, and Bloomberg is a Fascist of the Mussolini variety? What about a Roosevelt?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Keep in Line Slaves!

Yikes! Kids can't high five, shake hands, or hug in Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools. Reports The Washington Post:
All touching -- not only fighting or inappropriate touching -- is against the rules at Kilmer Middle School in Vienna. Hand-holding, handshakes and high-fives? Banned. The rule has been conveyed to students this way: "NO PHYSICAL CONTACT!!!!!"School officials say the rule helps keep crowded hallways and lunchrooms safe and orderly, and ensures that all students are comfortable.
One size fits all to keep the future wage slaves in line, taking orders to pay for the retirement of their elders. Government Education: Creating compliance and timidity for the future!

Selling Our Children into Slavery...

Sacred cow smashing Baby Boomer Justin Raimondo writes (emphasis ours):
As Ron Paul tirelessly points out, the American welfare-warfare state is built on the shifting sands of an economic pump-priming perpetual motion machine, i.e., government debt. We are selling our children into slavery and bankrupting the nation: this is the price of empire, at least in purely economic terms.
Raimondo continues:
We defend Japan and South Korea, allowing them to shelter under our military umbrella while they export finished goods to the American market – and lend us the money to build an empire of bases around the world.
Both parties in power, Democratic and Republican, will crusading visionary Baby Boomers in the lead, be it Bush or either Clinton, are selling out our future for their grandiose visions of utopia. If it is welfare or warfare both Right and Left are selling out the youth and the future.

Remember the old joke about why kids and grandparents get along so well? Because they have the same enemies. Maybe Gen X and the Millenials should ally with the avuncular Congressman Ron Paul, who is from the Silent Generation and who is ringing the alarm bell that the Baby Boomers in charge are going to bankrupt the future for the young...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Creating a Trembling Generation of Weaklings

According to Strauss and Howe, the current gurus of looking at history in terms of Generational Cycles, there are four types of generations that have cycled through U.S. history. They are the Idealist type (e.g. Baby-Boomers), Reactionary (e.g Gen-X), Civic (e.g. G.I.s and Millenials) and Adaptives. The Silent Generation is the adaptive generation born between the G.I.s and the Baby-Boomers. Similarly those born after the Millenials are the new Adaptives, starting roughly in 2001.
Now the poor Silent Generation was born too late to "save the world from evil" and too early to live a "politics of meaning". They may even be the first generation in American history to not have a member become president. By being overprotected in their youth during fearful times of Depression and War, and being overshadowed by their elders who "saved the world from evil" and went on to build the American economic dynamo after the war, the Silent generation could only tweak the structures built by the G.I.s and egg on the younger Boomers with folk music and beat poetry. They were miserably overshadowed and simperingly rebelled by being the first generation to start divorcing at a high rate in order to experience the liberation of the sexual revolution that the younger Boomers were enjoying. And they spawned the first wave of bitter Gen-Xers who grew up in the chaos of their sexual escapades.
The new Adaptives look to be shaping up as a similar bunch of wimps as their Boomer parents overprotect them. If only kids could breathe through bubble wrap I'm sure neurotic parents would use it. Not only are there evil terrorists around every corner and contagious diseases on every flight, but every box of kids' cereal contains "obesity fascism" seeking to destroy a kid's chance of becoming thin and famous! Kellogg:
The company said it won't promote foods in TV, radio, print or Web site ads that
reach audiences at least half of whom are under age 12 unless a single serving
of the product meets these standards:

—No more than 200 calories.
—No trans fat
and no more than 2 grams of
saturated fat.
—No more than 230 milligrams of
sodium, except for Eggo
frozen waffles.
—No more than 12 grams of sugar, not counting sugar from
fruit, dairy and vegetables.Kellogg said it would reformulate products to meet
these criteria or stop marketing them to children under 12 by the end of

Do kids start smoking just because they don't buy into the idea that this flesh is all there is? It is one thing to say that the body is a temple, it is quite another to treat it like a museum and not disturb, touch, enjoy, any of the exhibits. Stasis is not living, but maybe Boomers think that by trying to induce stasis in the body and the culture Woodstock will always live and the Beatles will always be germaine...

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Opposite of Sanity

Yesterday, I heard Baby Boomer tool Trent Lott on the radio suggesting that the Senate should just pack up and go home if they couldn't vote on certain legislation.
We should be so lucky! This from a guy who titled his book on a life in politics Herding Cats. It's so cute and funny trying to get everyone on the same page to spend their descendants into poverty. What anecdotes he must have about the pork barrel. How's your pension Trent?
But good news! They are going about "the people's business" and gave themselves a higher debt ceiling. I'd love to legislate my own credit increases and then pass off the payment obligation to others after living a life high on the fat. From NPR:
Like many cash-strapped Americans who have maxed-out credit cards, the federal government has hit its limit for borrowing funds to keep operating. If the limit isn't raised, the government likely will run out of borrowing authority within days, risking a shutdown.
Can I have my tax refund in Euros please?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Cheating the Prophet

G.K. Chesterton, in the early 20th Century, described the humorous tendency of men to predict the future based upon current trends. (Most people believing in linear "Progress" or "Cycles") In the first chapter of his great novel, The Napoleon of Notting Hill, he wrote:
The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. And one of the games to which it is most attached is called, "Keep to-morrow dark," and which is also named (by the rustics in Shropshire, I have no doubt) "Cheat the Prophet." The players listen very carefully and respectfully to all that the clever men have to say about what is to happen in the next generation. The players then wait until all the clever men are dead, and bury them nicely. They then go and do something else. That is all. For a race of simple tastes, however, it is great fun...

... But the way the prophets of the twentieth century went to work was this. They took something or other that was certainly going on in their time, and then said that it would go on more and more until something extraordinary happened. And very often they added that in some odd place that extraordinary thing had happened, and that it showed the signs of the times.
Paul Craig Roberts pokes a similar hole in some of our economic prophets:
Economists are governed by the illusion that America's post-World War II prosperity is based on free trade. It is not. America's postwar prosperity was based on the destruction of the economic capability of the rest of the world by World War II and communism-socialism. America was prosperous in its trade because no one else could produce anything.
Now the spoiled scions of that unique monopolistic moment in history for the United States to get rich, the Baby Boomers, are steering the ship of state assuming, with all the sagacity of adolescents who know everything, that trends will continue and they can mortgage our inheritance on their foolish visions of a temporal utopia.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Generations at Work

Major corporations are taking seriously the different attitudes that generations have towards work and the place of work has in life. From Deloitte:
Baby Boomers in general really wanted to climb up the “corporate ladder” as high as they could; such ambition was seen as a key measure of business/career as well as personal success. Later generations are redefining what ambition and success mean to them. Increasingly these definitions don’t include trying to climb very far up this ladder much less all the way to the top...

... Gen X and Gen Y favor family and personal time over the rewards that usually accompany increased job responsibility. Today’s men and women are working hard but are often not willing to work harder. They are wary of the perceived costliness of trade-offs they would have to make by advancing into jobs with more responsibility.
Boomers won't get out of the way for Gen Xers to rise up anyway so we might as well focus on our families, creating communities. But Boomers were similarly thwarted by the "institutionalized" generations -Silent and G.I.- those drones of the big corporations of the past like GM and IBM.
Boomers began operating outside of those constrained corporate cultures -inventing "junk bonds" (a derisive term coined by stodgy elders) and personal computers...
Generation X is likewise stepping out of the Boomers corporate model and charting it's own path...

Monday, June 4, 2007

Bicentennial Baby

We came across a great blog tracking the Generations X and Y, or the 13th Generation and the Millenial, if you want to follow Strauss and Howe's formulations. It's called Bicentennial Baby and the latest post discusses a study showing that Gen X men will make less money than Boomer men did, that for the first time a generation will not do better than it's parents -financially that is.

But the author also points out that Gen Xers are far more interested in establishing a stable family environment at the expense of promotion and more money. This makes sense if you understand that one's "mission grows from one's wound", that the first generation of latch-key kids does not want to subject their children to the same suburban vacuum of parental presence, nurturing and authority that we grew up in...

It is the Gen X parents and adults doing the little things at the local level that will nurture the new Millenial generation, hopefully in a positive, civic way.