The ’60s generation remembers when the pronouncements of “youth leaders” like Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman and Mark Rudd were taken very seriously and so, now ensconced in executive positions, they keep looking for the next generation of “youth leaders.”
You want to slap them and say, “Hey, wake up: The Sixties sucked!”
What really sucked, of course, was that the likes of Hayden and Rudd were taken seriously. Hoffman, at least, had a sense of the theatrical; it’s no accident that Sacha Baron Cohen was originally cast as Hoffman in Steven Spielberg’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, currently on an extended holiday in Development Hell.
Eventually, we’re supposed to put away childish things. I can’t claim to be entirely successful in so doing, though I have gotten myself to the point where if someone says “Chicago Seven” I can come back with “That’s the one with ‘Wishing You Were Here,’ isn’t it?”
I have, however, a partial solution to the Baby Boomer nostalgia for its preening teenage leftism. Since the generation which followed the Boomers is universally known as Generation X, we should give the Boomers a properly-alphabetized redesignation: call them Generation W, a reference to one of their own, and see how fast they shut up.