Sunday, July 16, 2006

Baby Boomers: The Ungreatest Generation

Open Letter to Gregory D. Foster

Dear Dr. Foster -

Thanks for your essay on Baby Boomers. As a member of Generation X, living in your shadow for my whole life, I have long been well aware of Boomers un-greatness, selfishness, and so on. But no one will listen to my generation, because your generation controls not only government, but also the press and publishing houses, and have shaped those institutions in your own image: self-absorbed, lacking vision, all the things you wrote.

I am so bitter and cynical, I almost named my blog "babyboomersareshameless.blogspot.com." But another trait of my generation is quiet, unassuming tolerance of even the shallow greed of our elders: we are like our Depression-era grandparents, resigned to the collapse of the economy, environment and indeed, entire civilization that greeted us upon our entry into adulthood.

Some of us responded with a wary hedonism driven by easy access to credit cards: enjoy it while it lasts, because it ain't going to.

But others of us, self included, have responded with a weary sense of obligation and profound self-denial, helped by the fact that we have no job security and can't afford to buy your giant overpriced houses anyway. You didn't do anything to help us or our kids, your own flesh and blood, let alone tackle the horrific inequities within the global village. You took it all for yourselves, used it up, ruined it and threw it all away.

So we Gen-Xers figure we'd better do what we can as far as damage control. And we'd better try to recruit you through the last shreds of conscience you Boomers might retain, because it is going to be unfathomably hard work, we can't do it alone, and we need to you to start by listening to our observations on the past and present, and encouraging us and our vision for the future.

The upshot is, I named my blog Tideshift: Foreign Policy for Generation X. It is forward-looking, and I try hard not to blame you too much, not because you didn't screw up royally, but because blaming you won't bring back the planet, the creatures and the cultures you've destroyed. Also because I very much admire the hippies who never gave up on their idealism, even after Vietnam, Kent State, and all the rest of the crackdown backlash.

Anyway, your time is almost up, and we are quietly preparing ourselves to step into the muck we already inhabit and show you what real responsibility, unto the seventh generation and beyond, looks like.

Please help us in any way you can. We are very, very tired, and the real work is only just beginning.



  • I absolutely agree with every thing you said. The greedy, selfish generation left no legacy for its children except ruins, debts, and problems. All the social security safety net is dismantled in the name of Capitalism, profit. Constitutional rights are also taken away piece by piece in the name of security and "freedom". It was the social activists and socialism (from FDR's legacy after the Great Depression which was caused by Capitalism) that created mass of middle class and made American a great nation. Boomers lied to their teeth when they proclaimed that they are self-made men (yeah, just like GW Bush is a self-made man). The next generation will face very tough, uncertain future. I hope that our generation and the next generation are not succumbed to the poison theology that boomers are currently spreading.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 1:56 PM  

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