Saturday, April 14, 2007

Generational War

Whats this generation gulf between us? Take a look at the captains of industry, politics and just your local friendly neighborhood bosses. There is clearly something going on. I have bitched and moaned for years to anyone who would listen about the problem that exists between my generation (people in their 20s) and the generation above (people in their 40s and 50s.) Johnny Cash wrote a good song about it, something about a different tune and about young people dancing a new step that the old cats of the world don't understand. Whats funny is that song was written from the Baby Boomers to the Greatest Generation. The Baby Boomers were supposed to shake up the world completely, change everything. They were supposed to be the Hippy generation, the generation of change, the generation of hope. Everything they stood for, now, has gone by the wayside in favor of praying for their Social Security and co-opting great songs of the Sixties for Cadillac commercials. It used to be perverse to utilize a song for a strictly shitty commercial purpose, but now its the only way. Its become old hat, but its still sickening to people that cared. The goddamn Hippies who grew up to be investment bankers didn't realize that they passed down their ideas, whether song or literature, to a generation who would get saturated with it. My generation has grown up revering the same things the Baby Boomers did, the difference being we can't appreciate them and use them. They are like isolated instances, only reserved for a previous time. The Baby Boomers have raped the planet, spent wildly without recourse, and convinced a generation, my generation, to be subservient.

Plenty of times I have talked about jobs on here. Always I shift the blame to the Baby Boomers for not retiring or just getting the hell out of the way. A professor of mine recently commented that he was happy that I would have to pay his Social Security and he wouldn't have to worry because he and his ilk (the rest of the Baby Boomers) would be taken care of. In a sarcastic tone, he stated that my generation was another story, basically implying we are screwed. What my professor failed to realize is with that kind of attitude, which I hear everyday from a generation that just can't keep up with mine, is that we will have the keys eventually. Soon, whether the Boomers like it or not, they will have to turn the keys to the country over to my generation. Social Security is a privilege in this country, not a right. Remember that professor.

The generation gulf only gets bigger everyday. Recently a friend of mine tried to explain a relatively new idea about parenting to an older Boomer. The Boomer just couldn't wrap his elderly head around it. He didn't believe it. Its just like back in the Wright Brothers days. I can just see it. Some old timer sitting on a porch, swearing up and down that man will never fly. No way, he would shout to the heavens. Flash forward a couple of decades and Japanese Zeros are bombing Pearl Harbor. The gulf has always been there, and I'm sick of trying to span in backwards to let the Boomers catch up. I'm sick of job retraining, Internet courses for non-traditional students and "Video Professor" for soon-to-be retirees trying to figure out how to operate Myspace. All of these are code for "I'm stuck in my ways and I hate technology." My patience is wearing thin for anyone who cannot at least accept new things and new ways.

So whats the answer? Do we bridge the gulf and help the Boomers retire peacefully? Maybe there will be a generational war of attrition with my generation rising up and crushing the establishment. Maybe it will be a bloodless revolution in which we just simply put the Boomers out to pasture and let them quietly slip away. All I do know is my generation has a lot of shit to fix that has been fucked up by an older, self-righteous, war mongering, deficit spending, bunch of lunatics. I'm sick of them and I'm ready for my generation to get their turn at running this big blue planet.

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