[sixties-l] Brewing hatred of the baby boomer generation

From: BrentLance@aol.com
Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 23:33:13 CUT

  • Next message: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu: "Re: [sixties-l] more .. generations"

    Dear Fellow Sixties-L List Members:

    In the interest of thwarting a growing image of baby boomers as a generation
    of self-indulgent navel gazers, I respectfully refer you to the June 12,
    2000, issue of TIME magazine. In an article entitled "Twilight of the
    Boomers," 52-year-old turncoat and journalist Daniel Okrent positions baby
    boomers as a "generation committed to nothing more (or less) substantial than
    what we appear to be leaving as our signal (sic. single?) legacy to American
    culture: casual Fridays."

    I've seen more and more articles and book reviews in the mainstream media
    foisting this attitude. I hope some of you, as activists and scholars, share
    my indignation and commitment to challenge ageism, no matter how cynically
    it's framed.

    I'm pasting here my reply to TIME with the hope a fraction of the letter ends
    up in print. I invite you to do the same.

    TIME Magazine Letters
    Time & Life Building
    Rockefeller Center
    New York, NY 10020

    To the Editors:

    In his recent article, "Twilight of the Boomers," TIME journalist Daniel
    Okrent demonstrates ageism in its most disparaging form. At best, he is a
    revisionist; at worst a bigot.

    Okrent agrees with the accuracy of the satirical newspaper the Onion in
    arriving at a foreboding conclusion: "The ravages of age will take its toll
    on boomer self-indulgence, and the curtain will at long last fall on what is
    regarded by many as the most odious generation America has ever produced."

    Substitute "African American," or "World War II veteran," or "feminist" for
    "boomer" in the first clause of the above sentence, and then substitute
    "group" for "generation" in the second. Is it difficult to understand my

    Those who buy into his prejudices gloss over the baby boom generation's true

    Whom, exactly, does he think built the digital economy and set in motion the
    longest economic recovery in American history? Boomers set the stage by
    developing the personal computer, operating systems software, and the
    Internet. Look at advancements in almost any field from 1975 through
    mid-1990, and you will discover significant, unsung contributions by baby

    Has my generation lived off the fat of the land without suffering or
    Although 58,000 of us died in Vietnam and another 300,000 became injured, our
    war was within US borders -- a war against arcane values and a hegemonic
    political and social power structure. Because of many noble sacrifices

    1) Never again will a million US citizens be sent to fight in an undeclared
    2) Never again will women live in this society as second-class citizens;
    3) Never again will racial minorities suffer segregation and discrimination
    sponsored by sectors of our government and its institutions;
    4) Never again will companies paternalistically and autocratically control
    employee's lives;
    5) Never again will companies dump poisons unabated into the natural

    Blatant prejudice is hardly the worst implication of this article. By using
    an acerbic lens through which to view the aging baby boom, Okrent invites the
    war between generations that his sources haunting predict. Because of the
    size of his soapbox - TIME magazine -- he is contributing handily to a
    loathsome image that younger generations may learn to detest -- ushering
    elderly boomers toward becoming a hate symbol like the Jew became in Nazi

    Okrent needs to disavow membership in my generation; we don't want him.

    Brent Green

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Jun 10 2000 - 01:22:24 CUT