Born to Lose

Thu Dec 6, 2007

This conservative rant against Boomers is smarter than you might think.
I’ve always said the Boomer mindset goes beyond politics. There’s a horrible continuity between Clinton and Bush, and there are them who say little Billy’s take over of Washington hurt our generation more than Reagan’s all-out assaults on unions, schools and drugs. God help us if we end up with another Boomer in charge for the next decade.


Generation Scripts

Oct 4, 2006

I think I should add a brief word about generational scripts.

Some people have compared my Vanished Messenger to Ellison’s Invisible Man and I think this is appropriate. For those who haven’t read the novel, the story concerns a young black man who is turned invisible by the racist ideological apparatus of the 1950s. He tries to infiltrate the society where he hopes his blackness can act as a sort of virus, but in the end he is forced back underground where he lives on the margins as a sort of ghost in the machine.

The script writes over him just as it has written over us. Living in the shadows of the Baby Boomers, many people my age (and now younger) have felt the same way. We scream, “No, don’t raise our social security taxes,” but nothing seeps out to the mass media. We told them not to punish the poor, but they did anyhow. We said we wanted to rise up by our own merit, but society said greed was good.

Our experiences were negated from the start, but more importantly our culture has been led into perilous waters by following the values and illusions associated with this generation. It may be fair to argue that I have misrepresented these illusions and values, although I try to use as much statistical evidence as I can, but what usually happens is people end up defining a script that they actually find reprehensible when they actually consider it.     

When I attack Baby Boomers’ illusions, some people screech at me that I’m being unfair or too general. Theses folks are invariably Boomers who feel they are exempt from whatever criticism I’m making and yet somehow feel personally attacked. They also tend to be highly politically charged individuals who demonize their opponents whenever they can, but never mind that.

For me the important thing right now is to break down the generational scripts that are preventing us from seeing one another as human beings. Because so much of our lives have been defined by Boomers – or more specifically the Boomer demographic, if you want to disassociate from the group – their persistent illusions haunt us.

How? In real issues that need to be sorted out like peak oil, the credit crisis, the crash in the housing market, etc… Try applying the Boomer template from 1998 to today to see how useless these fictions were then, now and tomorrow. And yet the scripts – spun out by media and embraced by the Boomer demographic – are still trying to gain footing, mostly because these illusions have been profitable to business, not necessarily individuals.

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