The “Boomers”

I’m a child of the sixties. A “boomer”. We were born between 1946 and 1964. Our legacy is one of peace, love, sex, drugs, rock-and-roll, hippies, women’s lib, Viet Nam, draft dodgers, activists, social revolution, and great music. Are we as narcissistic and selfish as people say? Did we change the world? Is it a better place because of us? I’d like to say it is but the more I think about it, the more I’m sure it’s not.

I love music. The 60’s and 70’s produced the best music ever. No doubt. No debate. The best…ever. Thank the “boomers” (and the Brits) for good music. Most of my church friends listened to hymns and the old standbys on WMBI. I was a bit of a rebel because I loved rock-and-roll. Still do. My iTunes is full of classic rock. Most Christian kids felt comfortable listening to the Beach Boys, Four Seasons, Tommy James. But I liked the edgier stuff. Big guitar sounds and lyrics that weren’t welcome in church. Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Zeppelin, Queen, and ZZ Top were at the top of my music favorites. It doesn’t get any better…

My mom hated my music. One weekend I was home from school and brought 2 Beach Boys albums with. My roomie loaned them to me. Packing up to go back to campus I couldn’t find the albums and asked my mom if she’d seen them. “I broke them. I hate that music.” “Mom, they belonged to my roommate.” She had to get to the store and buy replacements. That was great. My mom buying records she hated. LOL.

Anyway, did we change the world? I did a Google search of famous “baby boomers”. To my horror, at the top of the list were Bill and Hillary. I should have stopped there. George Bush was next and he almost ended my search. Then came more respectable names like Gates, Hanks, MJ, Dr. J., Kareem, Oprah, Spielberg, Letterman, O’Reilly, Jobs and others. Yes, Trump and Gore were on the list too. I guess if you’re into sports and entertainment the list is OK, but I cringe when I see the politicians on the list. (Although one of them did invent the internet.)

And then I read about “boomer values”. The lust for status that comes with having money. The drive for success. The desire to buy now and pay later. People say boomers are anti-government, anti-war, challenging authority. Maybe…not so sure. I know I got into a fair amount of trouble in the Navy because I “challenged authority.” Anyway, to make it worse, boomers have managed to accumulate somewhere between $15-$20 trillion dollars of debt. How is that even possible? This gives new meaning to our “have it now and don’t worry about paying for it until later” mentality. Our kids came home to empty houses. We were at work. That’s where we got our self-esteem. The baby boomer divorce rate is the highest ever. Experts say our ambition was fueled by materialism, greed, and how many square feet in our house. I don’t even want to talk about the environment. We’ve trashed it.

Most of the polls I read say we are the most despised and hated generation ever. I take pride knowing I’m part of a group that’s rated number one. I always wanted to be number one so this recognition is appreciated. Thanks to all who voted for me…I mean, for us, the world changing, children of the baby boomer generation. Enjoy the music…

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