A new term has surfaced in our culture, which I had heard before but not understood previously, and that is, “OK, Boomer.” Apparently, this is now the younger generation’s catchphrase to dismiss any argument, suggestion, or observation we might make. And I find it amusing that some of my fellow boomers are so shocked at this turn of events. After all, our generation ushered in the civil rights movement, ended the Vietnam War, waged the sexual revolution, and practically created ecology. We, in our wisdom, changed this world for the better, didn’t we? So why won’t these brats listen to us?
Well, putting aside for the moment the argument about how much “better” we made the world, let’s look back at our youth for a moment. Come on now, I know I’m one of the later boomers being born in 1953, but most of you still have your wits about you. Remember how we treated our elders? True, generational tension was nothing new, but we raised that concept to new heights. We institutionalized it in our way of life, even in our entertainment. Everything seemed to reflect the Bob Dillon mantra, “Never trust everything over thirty!”
It was even reflected in our entertainment. The adults were portrayed continuously as clueless, intolerant, racist, etc., especially if that adult was the father. Almost overnight, we went from Father Knows Best to Father Knows Nothing. We knew best, those of us who were high school and college-age. We were better than them because we were educated, we read books, and just because they had been through the Great Depression and two world wars, that didn’t mean they had anything of value to offer us. We had books.
And so, my fellow Boomers, ask not why Millenials are dismissive of us but what together we did to create this monster. We may be inclined to think we deserve better because we fought so hard to give them a better world than our parents gave us. But did we? What was the true impact of all our progressive posturing? That’s the topic of my next post.