The Atlantic Magazine Is Complaining About Baby Boomers
"The Boomers Ruined Everything," By Lyman Stone. It might have been a humor piece, but I don't think so. How many articles have we seen with that same title? He seems to have written the article in earnest, though, so I was moved to reply. If I see something like that on Yahoo! News, I let it go, but the Atlantic Magazine is a serious magazine that has been doing quality work for a long time now. They should know better. So here's my reply:
I shouldn't bother, because articles like this are just click-bait for millennials, but it has long since grown tiresome to have my generation blamed for all of the ills of the modern world, because, you know, post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Mr. Stone, who appears to be forty-something (from his photo on the IFS site), piles coincidence on coincidence while admitting that many of the trends that he mentions started when Baby Boomers were in grade school, or before we were born. Honestly? We are responsible for all modern drug overdoses, suicides, car accidents, and "violence?" Responsible for the increase in the number of jobs requiring licenses? Please.
The vast majority of Baby Boomers, or member of any generation, have no more than the political power that God gave geese. I don't think it's fair to blame all of us for what the couple of hundredths of one percent of us may have done in one legislature or another, or on some corporate board.
Young people now are in a terrible bind, it's true. Why not blame Nixon, who disconnected money from its traditional role as a device for measuring equivalence? Things had value for a reason up till then, and casting money adrift on the seas of "whatever people will pay" has led to a lot of mischief. Blame the fascist think-tanks that sprung up in the 1970s in response to those filthy hippies and those uppity blacks. (Sarcasm alert, if required.) Blame it on Reaganomics. How about the uncontrolled expansion of the money supply? The population growing to 330,000,000 people? Computers and the resulting explosion in productivity? The weaponization of medical billing and university tuition? Baby Boomers? We have been dust in the same wind that is pushing Mr. Stone down the same road. I, and most of my fellows, don't like what's happening now any more than he does.
Mr. C is: a reformed lawyer; a religious atheist; a useful "Handy Man;" an amateur social scientist; a beloved teacher; a well liked husband and father; Ambassador Emeritus from, and to, Planet X; a freelance professor; taxi driver to the stars (Joe DiMaggio and Ronald McDonald, both out of uniform); an excellent fire fighter; an enthusiastic but untalented musician; an experienced counselor; a top-notch disk jockey; an all around get-along-guy; a cunning linguist; a would-be lifestyle victim; a Masonic wannabe; a frequent reader; Professor Irwin Corey's Ph.D. adviser; an accomplished driver and motorcyclist; a famous rockologist; a reliable but indifferent bullshit detective; a poor speller; a proud United States Navy veteran (honorably discharged, barely); the Ayatollah of Ass-o-Hola; a drug legend; a Returned Peace Corps volunteer (Thailand); a generally charming man; nationally and internationally known from coast to coast; a legend in his own mind; a cultural-anthropological critic-at-large; an avenging angel who coolly bides his time; Soul Brother number 37; and a friend to the poor.