I’m OK Boomer, You’re OK Boomer

We’ve hated our generation since Disco.

You need to understand this about us, the resentment we’ve harbored for kids our age from the moment kids our age were swept away by Saturday Night Fever. You need to understand this about that moment, that pre-Internet moment, that pre-cable moment, when there was no escape from what everyone was watching and listening to.

The previous generation got the Beatles. We got stuck with the Bee Gees.

Don’t call us a Boomer.

The Draft was gone before we reached Draft age. We had lived through the Oil Embargo before we could drive. There was no JFK in our conscious life, and barely an LBJ, but we did have Nixon to kick around. All the Boomer touchstones had no relevance to us. We weren’t even 30 when thirtysomething premiered.

The Sixties were about the Future. The Seventies were about nostalgia for the Fifties.

We ain’t no Boomer.

This has been a point of perverse pride for us since Generation X hit the scene, because we ain’t GenX, either. We had friends who totally identified with the label at the time. They were all three years younger than us. They had missed Disco, missed the onslaught. They got to be Punk, they got to be New Wave. We got platform shoes and flare pants.

Our perverse pride stemmed from not being a member of either labeled generation — the sidewalk crack of cultural demographics. In practice, being unidentified meant being untargeted, by popular culture or commercials. Nobody was gunning for us, nobody was pandering to us. We collectively weren’t a large enough market. We weren’t worth the trouble.

We didn’t truly understand how good we had it until we saw Wayne’s World. Not the whole movie, just That Scene, the guys in the AMC Pacer rocking out to Bohemian Rhapsody. The movie may have been “contemporary”, but That Scene was totally Seventies, our Seventies, the good part before Disco swept it all away.

We felt it. We felt reached, for the first time in our pop-culture life. Thank god they weren’t trying to sell us anything. Thank god we didn’t have to endure that calculated pandering day after day.

We don’t know how the rest of you do it, you Boomers, you GenXers, you Millennials, you Zoomers. We don’t know how you live like that, with a cultural target on your backs. Disco passed, after all. We only have to live with the memory.

Yet now, all of a sudden, we’re a Boomer. Sixty years coiled up in our mortality, and suddenly our blithe ignored existence is over. We’re one of Them now. It’s inescapable. It’s right there on paper: The Baby Boom lasted from 1946 to 1964. Never mind that this was never the popular understanding, the cultural understanding, never mind that calling Barack Obama (b. 1961) a Boomer President would make your teeth grate. That thing you never were, you are now.

We’ve bristled about this: Like hell our Seventies teen years had anything to do with being a Boomer, like hell Seventies America was anything like Sixties America. And yet, we realize, it has nothing to do with self-identification, however much our slightly younger friends enjoyed their label. For the first time in our life, we’ve been targeted, grouped by age, identified for a purpose not our own.

We may grumble about the details, but at least we’re getting some fucking attention for once.

11 comments:

8:23 pm • Saturday • November 9, 2019

Turning 60 tomorrow, so everyone can fuck right off. After they get me a glass of water …

Are the Depends on Aisle 9?

10:40 pm • Saturday • November 9, 2019

@blogenfreude: I seem to have recovered from this. But as you know, the first year of any new decade is sheer novelty. It’s always N+1 that gets ya.

https://www.stinque.com/2019/04/28/six-zero-hour/

6:55 am • Sunday • November 10, 2019

Question: why would you care?

I have ten years on you; I’m now 70 and, as you see, have mastered the semi-colon. I’m recently widowed, okay with it, am moving on, disconnected all cable TV trumpery, am in better physical shape than I have been in years, look fabulous, I have never seen Wayne’s World and plan on keeping it that way, am wondering what on earth you have against platform shoes (asking for a friend), have taken up yoga (I don’t do chakras), renovated the house, lost a dog, did not go to London to see the olde country before it collapsed because ew, and am typing now with a pug in my lap.

Unlabeled life is good. So buck up, Bucky. My hilariously tactless GP tells me I can look forward to as many as twenty more years. Or, to put it in a more concrete terms, I can look forward to at least one more complete MCU saga and perhaps another re-reading of King Lear, because it surely can’t be as bad as I think it is. I did make one rule: no more puppies – because I don’t want to outlive them. On the other hand, is life without pugs worth living? Oh, and come spring I might finally plant that vegetable garden.

See? Now I shared and we both feel better. As a bonus here is this. You will want to dance, or whatever it is you do to music, so off with the Birks, big boy. Or at least the socks.

https://youtu.be/JpQ6NtbZxiE

1:11 pm • Monday • November 11, 2019

For me, what defines a boomer is the age at which you’re allowed to retire with full SSA benefits. If they hiked the retirement age on you, you’re not a boomer. I was born the same year as Obama, and work for a sole proprietorship owned by a man who is 75. The odds of being able to keep this job until I’m 67 are not good, and the odds of finding anything as a 60-yr-old in the job market are equally bad. And of course, the real boomers will have bankrupted SSA and medicare before I even get close. I. Am. So. Bitter.

3:16 pm • Monday • November 11, 2019

@Mistress Cynica: As a freelance geek, well, I better hope I remain a freelance geek, since the job market is not kind to Geezer Geeks. It’s this or Greeter at this point.

But I knew that going in, so no complaints. Better this than a bitter, laid off city editor.

11:32 am • Wednesday • November 13, 2019

Over 80 hours of televised hearings with RepubliKKKans like Gym Jordan hopping up and down, shrieking, and flinging their feces. Hard pass.

Skip to the end and feed Prezirapist AntiChrist into an inferno feet first.

12:45 pm • Wednesday • November 13, 2019

JNOVJr has informed me that errrryone who thinks climate change isn’t happening and who basically sold out younger generations because they don’t fucking care = Boomer. Boomer is more than a generation: It’s a state of mindlessness. Okay, Junior.

Is that fucking George Conway on MSNBC? Need less drugs. Thank you.

1:44 pm • Wednesday • November 13, 2019

@JNOV: Had the expression been available, I would have totally used “OK Yuppie” in the Eighties.

2:01 pm • Wednesday • November 13, 2019

@nojo: I like “OK Hipster.” I’m sure they’re up to something.

2:22 pm • Wednesday • November 13, 2019

@JNOV: We already have “Look at that fucking hipster.”

3:41 pm • Wednesday • November 13, 2019

@nojo: Damn. I forgot about that.

I’m concerned that we’re putting a lot of pressure on millennials to fix what we have broken. I’m not concerned that they can’t do it. I’m concerned that it’s just too much.

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