Skip to main content

Playing fool, to boomer-king

Concerning my despicable boomer "hatred"

Contrary to reports, HTWW does not want to sentence an entire generation to mandatory euthanasia

Judging by the comments thread on yesterday's post, "Curse of the Boomer Hegemony," and some extremely upset and vituperative letters written to me personally, I really hit a nerve with my comments on the generation that supposedly won't let go.

I will cop to an inflammatory headline, but for the record, I am not calling for mandatory euthanasia for baby boomers, nor do I bear them any special ill will. (Andrew Leonard, “Concerning my despicable boomer ‘hatred’,” Salon, 11 December 2009)

THIS is your power, boomers

I really hit a nerve with my comments on the generation that supposedly won't let go.

Supposedly? So the truth is otherwise? They really want to pass the baton onto youth, but circumstances have just determined they have in fact handed them the bayonet?

Indeed, as a 47-year-old born in 1962, I belong, according to some demographic calculations, to the final trailing edge of the boomer generation, although I have always considered myself part of the pitiable "lost" generation, stuck between the boomers and Gen X, with no identity to call my own. But if you want to, consider me a self-hating boomer wannabe.

I don't hate you, I really hate myself: If I make myself seem all small and pathetic, will you promise not to eat me? Note: that slight cut at you in the end, if it catches more than the glimmer I intended, is, again, to be primarily understood as one of the tics born of being so ill-positioned and self-loathing. Take it as evidence your presence is so solid and impressive it draws me -- quite genuinely -- to slide to the side out of snaky deference and take cuts while I can: it's a compliment, really. And please don't press me on this. I know I'm capitulating: I'll lose ALL self-respect if I can't think of myself as slippery in net.

And just to make the point of my last sentence -- "Conspicuous, self-involved consumption abhors a vacuum" -- totally clear: While I can understand why that might sound hurtful to a 55-year-old who has kids in college and is living on the edge of unemployment, my point was actually hopeful, in that it pointed to the possibility of a new generation of Chinese and Indian consumers pulling the locomotive of the world economy, replacing the yeoman efforts of American baby boomers. As long as such consumption doesn't overheat the planet into unlivability, I'm fine with that.

When I referred to laviscious, self-absorbed assholes, you must understand that I was really thinking of you as plowmen, and of others, as engineers, all in train to flex National vitality through girded spending efforts (forgive the evident hyperbole -- it's not as much sarcasm as you might think: I meant it to be largely believed, IN PART because I expressed the plain truth through exaggeration, which I now want to use to help convince you that I'm always at play, and therefore to be believed if I exempt myself from slights made to those whose toes I've stepped on I actually do fear could stomp me out.) The only thing actually really consuming, is the self-consumption arising from being unable to resist in the end wryly implying that your engine of accomplished consumption, still might just -- and this is what I really meant to argue -- be worrisome. You are truly awesome, my lord -- way too big for me! -- but do not know your strength, and its possible implications.


Popular posts from this blog

Full conversation about "Bringing Up Baby" at the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…

"The Zookeeper's Wife" as historical romance

A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.

The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …