A costume they dare not shed

Some of us, as we’ve gotten older, are a tad less sharp and a good deal more Shar Pei:

What is happening is that our baby-boomers have gotten wrinkly. The revolutionary-minded generation has reached the age where its members are expected to be society’s wise, respected elders, to run things, to become our latest voices of institutionalized knowledge. But they lack the capacity to institutionalize knowledge, to preserve wisdom from previous generations, “old school” horse sense that younger kids can’t bring because this is the sort of thing that has to be … what’s the word. Evolved. Irony is, although the boomers are big on the idea of evolution, they can’t bring this because they’ve never believed in it. They’ve dedicated their lives to the premise that wisdom comes from the young, and the older generation is just a bunch of doddering old geriatrics standing in the way of progress. Now that’s them, and they don’t know how to react to it. And so they react by proffering a bunch of silly ideas, forgetting to ask themselves obvious, elementary questions that drew frenzied, obsessive contemplation by the older generations of years gone by: How does this make things better? What’s the precedent? What does this do to freedom for those who are not yet born?

And so even when they say freedom is what motivates them, the idea they end up pushing has to do with more rules. It looks like they don’t even know what it is.

Even revolution-obsessed John Lennon could figure that one out. What’s the quantitative difference between carrying pictures of Chairman Mao and wearing a Che T-shirt? Exactly.

Add this to the ongoing corroboration of Gurri’s Proposition: “There is no problem in the world, the solution to which isn’t the Baby Boomers dying.”


  1. Roy »

    1 July 2015 · 8:25 pm

    That tome doesn’t describe *all* baby boomers. Indeed, it doesn’t even describe a majority of them.

    Don’t ever forget, generations don’t “do” anything. Only individuals do.

    And frankly, this – “There is no problem in the world, the solution to which isn’t the Baby Boomers dying.” – scares the hell out of me. Just adjust the year to 1938 and replace the words “Baby Boomers” with “Juden”, and then tell us what you think.

  2. CGHill »

    1 July 2015 · 8:35 pm

    Well, he never said he wanted them killed — only that he wanted them to perish. Which we will.

  3. Lynn »

    2 July 2015 · 7:14 am

    Maybe the problem is not that we are not “wise, respected elders” but that the young people refuse to recognize us as “wise, respected elders”. As usual.

  4. Lynn »

    2 July 2015 · 7:16 am

    And by the way, I feel like I completely missed out on respect. When I was a kid I had to respect my elders. When I had kids that was pretty much over. My kids didn’t have to respect me but I had to respect their teachers. Now I’m older and still nobody respects me.

  5. McGehee »

    2 July 2015 · 9:03 am

    The “name” exemplars of our generation — that is to say, the generation-identity-embracing members of our generation whom the media uphold as exemplars — are incapable of wisdom or of earning respect except from others who are likewise.

    They make up a statistically insignificant proportion of that age cohort, but are the trend-setters against whom all the rest are judged for authenticity.

    Bottom line: if you don’t want your race/sex/religion/age group defined by an attention-grabbing minority, reject all group-identity social norms, vigorously, at every turn.

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