[sixties-l] A left hook from one of the turncoats within (reposted with original message) (fwd)

From: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu
Date: Mon Mar 04 2002 - 19:00:59 EST

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    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2002 18:53:29 EST
    From: BrentLance@aol.com
    To: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu
    Subject: A left hook from one of the turncoats within (reposted with
        original message)

    To the Sixties-L list moderator:

    I haven't forwarded a nastygram for awhile, but below I compiled both the
    attack on the sixties generation directed at me because of one of my posts
    two years ago (by a member of the same generation) and my retort. This may
    make your post more convenient and sensible to list readers.

    To Bontil:

    For the record, my most recent published work, a novel entitled "Noble
    Chaos," does not even mention the environmental movement, nor is it a
    Pollyanna tribute to the sixties generation. The book is, and I believe
    properly so, morally ambiguous about the events of 1969 and 1970, our most
    tempestuous years of "arrogant naivete." The novel's contemporary
    implications are equally ambiguous.

    But, that being said, you came looking for a fight, so I will amuse myself
    for a few moments by responding to your left hook (or on further reflection,
    a RIGHT hook).

    Everything you write in your diatribe appears to be a reflection of your own
    disillusioned history; if your dysfunctional views of the lives of 76 million
    other people truly occupy your thoughts as you have expressed them to me,
    then I feel sorry for you. It must be very hard for you to get up in the

    The baby boom generation certainly has its flaws and foibles, but so has had
    every other generation that preceded ours. The Depression Generation has
    rightfully earned its status as perhaps "The Greatest Generation," and I
    humbly honor the memory of my parents in writing this, but that generation's
    record on environmentalism is hardly praiseworthy. The poisoned lakes and
    landfills across America in the 1960s (remember Love Canal?) was of their
    doing, not ours. The ensuing threat of nuclear holocaust, and the
    inextinguishable wastes of its enabling industries, was of their doing, not

    As for your thesis that we've destroyed a great nation, whom, for example, do
    you think built the digital revolution that allowed sixties-L to become a
    contemporary communication conduit? For starters, boomers set the stage by
    conceiving and successfully marketing the personal computer (Jobs et. al.),
    personal operating systems software (Gates et. al. ), and the Internet
    (Berners-Lee et. al.).

    To further illustrate my point, J. Craig Venter (b. 1947) and Francis Collins
    (b. 1951) led teams of scientists to resplendently sequence the human genome,
    a triumph announced with fanfare in 2000. According to TIME magazine, this
    breakthrough is "the necessary first step to laying bare the genetic triggers
    of hundreds of diseases…an achievement that could change our very conception
    of what disease is..."

    TIME magazine ran another cover story last year about today's thought leaders
    in major scientific disciplines, including environmentalism, and out of about
    thirty profiles -- from archaeology to zoology -- only one person was NOT a
    baby boomer. Study advancements in almost any field from 1975 through today,
    and you will discover significant contributions by baby boomers.

    Singling out any group and attaching one-sided, negative, unbalanced
    stereotypes is discrimination. Having grown up in Topeka, Kansas, the
    birthplace of "Brown vs. The Board of Education," I learned at an early age
    both to recognize and fight against negative stereotypes that diminish an
    entire group and its value to society.

    Where you choose to lament about my generation and its contributions, I
    rejoice. My career has been one of accomplishment, service to community, and
    contributions to my profession. And my humble achievements are a small
    reflection of the generation of which I'm a proud member. My baby boomer
    peers are today successful lawyers, doctors, scientists, community leaders,
    artists, and educators. I'm often awestruck by how much time and resources my
    friends continue to give back to their communities.

    There are plenty of baby boomer critics, the most high-profile of which are
    turncoats, such as yourself. You should direct your next excoriation to such
    authors as Joe Queenan, Marty Asher, David Horowitz, and Daniel Okrent. They
    will embrace your limited views.

    But you will find no sympathy or concurrence here.

    attached mail follows:

    What a moron you are to publish something that associates our generation with concepts like environmentalism and Truth. My father's generation passed a rich legacy of pristine Gulf waters to us all, waters open to the public domain, rife with all manner of fish, vast panaromas of unspoilt beauty, endless miles of sand, pines, and seagrass. What did we do with it? We hired Build-A-Condo and transformed the dunes into one great parking lot that stretches clear from Corpus to Miami. And as for truth? Don't make me laugh! We were willfully too shallow-minded to even begin to grasp the complexity and ramifications of a concept as obdurate as Truth. In a word, we've destroyed the family unit, grotesquely broken faith with the ideal of service being paramount to materialism, and have become the most conspicuous consumers in world history. Nothing has come out of the 60's rev. except spite, self-indulgence, and deceitfulness. We've destroyed a great nation and its most cherished values, and are now leaving the wreckage for our children to clean up, but, oh yeah, even that won't work, because we also have been the most abominable parents in history. If that's a beautiful legacy to you, then you've been smokin' too long.

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