Thursday, January 22, 2009

All dressed up with nowhere to go -OR- WTF happened?

I'd like to say a few words in defense of my age group.
Much maligned; misunderstood.
They say we're spoiled and greedy and selfish, but that's
not exactly fair or true. (Just convenient.)
Our fathers fought and won a great war. Our moms built the bombers.
Dads came home. Met mom. Married and had kids.
Lots of kids. Lots and lots and lots of kids.
It was easy. It was good.

Our fathers built stuff and our moms tended our wounds.
We went to schools packed in like sardines.
The country was open to new ways of thinking. Boundless possibilities
seemed assured.
But a funny thing happened when we grew out of childhood.
Jobs got scarce, money tight. There just wasn't enough to accommodate all.
In a style reserved for the few. Hard choices came and cracks began.
Dad's factory wasn't hiring. Big industries started moving.
Overseas jobs programs were hastily started. Education was prolonged.

Bad planning say some, spoiled brats say some more, make your way, stay out of ours.
Some with an in or a special indulgence moved along, climbed aboard.
Most of the rest of us worked, paid our taxes. Danced the tune that was called.
Waiting for OUR turn. Like we were told. Our day would come.

So the age group kept aging; paying into the system. The one that would one day would be ours. Mountains of money, building up, funding goodness. IOUs for the future; oh so bright.

But a funny thing happened, when the torch got to us. Like an oreo cookie with the filling licked out, IOUs but no funding. Sorry kid. Tough luck. Guns ain't cheap you know.

Then an actor of note wrote a new script on the fly, spun fiction so stunning, so bold and so sly. We'll just rewrite and rewrite the contracts of old. Outdated, too giving, too generous, too easy. We got ours, we spent yours, but don't worry son. We'll just rewrite that too; make it your fault; you're scum.

The unions are gone, there's no Bughouse Square, scream all you want, we don't really care. Transfer papers have been signed, we sold it you see. To pay for the monuments, parties and glee. We've built whole new compounds where we live and we play. The rest? Not our problem. Detroit's yours if you please. And Gary and Lowell and thousands of places sucked dry, mined out, drained. That's yours. It's hardly our fault that you didn't maintain them.

They say that genetics can skip generations. Lay dormant, recessive, waiting for the right conditions. The same evolution that begat the hybrid boomers who evolved into consumers will evolve or devolve according to nature rather than nurture. Nurture and conditioning will only delay nature's emergence. It's a delicate balance. With very real critical mass points.

The boomer generation is marked largely by its limitations. Protections against any assertion of widespread uprising. Shackled, harnessed, prohibited, marginalized, criminalized, and wholly unrepresented outside of very narrowly defined subsets.
Their biggest mistake, perhaps their only mistake, was trusting too much. For not
harnessing their common interests to stop the takings and lootings of their labors.
For letting dinosaurs and fossils remain in power long enough to indoctrinate, co-opt and condition their own brand of continuum.

The paeans of gratitude to the greatest generation by the scions beknighted as official historians do an injustice to their own.

With rare exceptions, the boomers were barred from attaining their rightful place, reaching their potential, in order to preserve something else. So when this new dynamic emerges, expect boomers in general to accept their lot, support a future less reliant on limitations and cheer on the success of their own offspring. We know the future depends on them. Not our own future. Despite the stereotypical portrayals, we are very experienced at sacrifice. We are still the hardy stock of our forefathers. And we're very good at preparing and waiting. The generation stepping into the fray now is our product. They're gonna dazzle because that's what we knew they would have to do.

1 comment:

larue said...

That's some beautiful fuckin poetry, hoss.

*stands on chair clapping*

Slainte Mhath.