My Generation can beat up your Generation

People try to put us down, just because we get around.              Things they do look awful cold. Hope I die before I get old              –The Who

I remember when the two surviving members of The Who played the halftime show at the Superbowl a few years ago. The last line of their classic “My Generation” had been changed to “Don’t wanna die before I get old.” I guess Pete Townsend has figured out that life after sixty wasn’t so bad after all.

Like a few million other boomers, I’ll be watching the premiere of “Mad Men” this weekend. The series has brought back many memories of the psychedelic sixties, not particularly good ones.

In a way, “Mad Men” is the epilog to Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” Our parents survived ten years of depression, went on to save the world from Germany and Japan, and then came home to lead America into an era of prosperity unequaled by any civilization in history. And they did it while completely intoxicated.

Of course, not everyone was soused. My parents would have a few highballs on the weekends, usually when they had their friends over for a few hands of cards. I never once saw them drunk, but one of the friends usually had to be led out to his car at the end of the evening. It was nothing out of the ordinary.

When I entered the workforce at age fifteen, many of my employers and older co-workers thought nothing of drinking on the job. Another one didn’t drink during the day, but at five he would crack open a jug of Red Mountain Wine and abuse his wife and children.

Drinking was a rite of passage to manhood for us boys. (Just watch about any John Wayne movie.) For women, I suppose it numbed them to their second class status as many of them were stuck in dead end relationships with little hope of making it on their own in a man’s world.

Of course, that didn’t stop the grown ups from lecturing us on the evils of drugs, even if they were drunk while doing it. It was that kind of oblivious behavior that led us to question our parents’ values, and fueled the angst we felt while watching movies such as “Rebel without a Cause”, “The Graduate,” and “Easy Rider.” It should also be noted that it was the adults who were selling us on these concepts.

But I don’t want to excuse the bad habits that we boomers wallowed in. We grew up in a very easy and privileged world, and we took advantage of it. I could be the poster boy for the self-indulgent sex, drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle many of us led in the latter half of the 20th century. Do I have regrets? Yes and no. It made for a lot of great experiences and stories, but it will probably catch up with me in the end.

Recently, commenter and self-avowed Gen-x’er Ryan Mount wrote, “I want to point out to boomers that we’re now managing their retirement funds and were probably the mathematical whizzes that came up with these financial instruments that pumped up the speculative real estate bubble.”

“You’re welcome. We learned from the best.”

Touche’, Ryan, but if there’s one truth that every generation must face, it’s that someday you’ll get old too. Think of it as deferred kharma.


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70 Responses to My Generation can beat up your Generation

  1. Greg Goodknight says:

    Bob, I’ll drink to that!

    However, you forgot for the moment that the WWII and Korea vets thought throwing us Boomers into the Viet Nam meat grinder (McNamara’s Folly) was a real good idea, as was inflating the currency and convincing some of us to buy their wretchedly inflated homes so they could retire in some luxury.

    The Greatest Generation? Good marketing by Brokaw.

  2. Greg Goodknight says:

    No need for a GenXer’s speculation… the real estate inflation was demand driven. Boomers needed places to live and raise families, while supplies were held down and old farts discouraged from selling (in California at least), since a new smaller retirement place would have much higher taxes than their old 4 bedroom homestead, one of the Prop 13 unintended side effects.

    Us Boomers (*not* including Al Gore) also invented the internet, though it may have been the GenXers that invented live streaming of internet porn.

  3. TPaign says:

    Your Generation
    Written by Thomas Paign, 2012
    Performed by TBD, 2012

    U People will try to keep us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    While U work us into the ground (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    To support a future that’s already been s-s-sold (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    I hope U die before U get old (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)

    This is your generation
    This is your generation, Granny

    Why don’t U all f-fade away (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    U better listen to what we all s-s-say (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    We are trying to cause a big s-s-sensation (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    To defend our future from your g-g-g-generation (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)

    This is your generation
    This is your generation, Granny

    Why don’t you all f-fade away (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    And don’t try to s-steal our p-pay-day (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    I am trying to cause a b-big s-s-sensation (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    I’m takin’ this message to the entire n-n-nation (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)

    This is your generation
    This is your generation, Granny

    Pop your boner pills and p-play away (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    Kick the can again our w-w-way (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    We’ll no longer do what we’ve been t-t-told (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    Gotta steal our future back from the o-o-old (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)

    This is your generation
    This is your generation, Granny

    U People will try to keep us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    While U work us into the ground (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    To support a future that’s already been s-s-sold (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)
    Yeah, I hope U die before U get old (Talkin’ ’bout your generation)

    This is your generation
    This is your generation, Granny

    • rl Crabb says:

      Excellent song, dude. I think every generation resents their predecessors, and for good reason. That wall tends to break down a bit after one has lived life long enough to see the challenges our parents faced. Nobody’s perfect.

      Every generation comes to a crisis point where they have the opportunity to make their mark on history. The current financial meltdown has been the boomers chance to show what we’re made of, and I must say it’s been pretty pathetic. We’ve wasted three years squabbling over ideology and whether to spend our way into oblivion or cut off the safety net and let the chips fall where they may. Both political parties are owned by special interests that care little for the common good. Can it still be turned around? Yeah, but the clock is ticking…

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        The Greatest Generation picked the pockets of the Boomers with skyrocketing SS and Medicare rates in order to finance the Wealthiest Generation’s retirements. Boomers are beginning to retire, the bubble has burst, and the generations that follow are not going to stand for indentured servitude to continue the scheme as it stands until the last of the boomers medical bills are paid.

        Perhaps we’ll have local Kevorkian Centers being franchised by the Soylent Corporation and their new biofuels division.

  4. Judith Lowry says:

    T. Paign,

    A wiser Thomas Paine said these things over two hundred years ago, and was jailed for them.

    “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

    “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”

    “Those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it.”

    “Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.”

    “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

    “He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.”

    “I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”

    And finally,

    “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”

    And we do.
    Have a good day, Grasshopper.

  5. As somebody who graduated from college when the government was grabbing everybody who could fog a mirror to fight in Vietnam, I prefer the lyrics of another The Who song:

    And I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We won’t get fooled again.

    That didn’t work out too well, did it.

  6. Todd juvinall says:

    Actually I think America is a lot more complex regarding the 60’s. There were many “squares” in school then who simply worked on the side and led a boring life. They outnumbered the sex, drugs and RandR’s by ten or twenty to one. Unfortunately, the people in the press writing the news articles were not squares.

    • rl Crabb says:

      Since when did any revolution ever start off with a majority? Remember that McGovern lost forty-nine states in ’72. It took a while for the Reagan revolution to take hold as well. Both sides are closer to even these days. Most national elections are only a few percentage points apart.

  7. E. Christina Dabis says:

    Regarding Greg Goodknight’s comment about adverse financial implications associated with selling a home under Prop. 13.

    IF the seller is staying within the same county, then they may MOVE their PROP 13 value to their new home. There are some conditions on that transfer which can be explained by the Assessor’s Office (Sue Horne). Basically, there is a two-year window of opportunity for the transfer of value to the newly acquired home, and that new home cannot be larger than the old home. Since most ‘nesters’ are scaling down this works just fine for them, and it does no harm to the taxing agencies since the value is a wash. The value on the OLD home’s value increases.

    Some counties will allow a value from another county, however, that is very rare. Check with the Assessor in your home county and the county where the new home is located. Nevada County will not accept values from other counties. That makes sense because we have so many retired people moving here and if they all brought their 1960, 70, 80 values, our tax base would drastically suffer. Nevada County, and the other 57 counties, do allow intra-transfer (within the county) values if they qualify. Again, check with the Assessor’s office BEFORE YOU BUY YOUR REPLACEMENT HOME so that you know all of the rules going into that deal.

    NOTE TO BOB: Could the ‘Security Question’ be placed above the “Post Comment” button?

  8. Todd, nice talking with you a couple of days ago. I would guess that in GV/NC area the hippies were few and far between. I remember very well a logger in an Auburn parking lot peeling off my “Free Speech Moment” sticker, and when I asked if he opposed free speech and to stop peeling the sticker, he replied, “try and stop me.” Size-wise I made the intelligent choice.

    Deferred karma? Yup. I always heard the middle class pays for the ER care the poor get regardless. Wasn’t sure just how this happened, until an accident required a quick visit to check out shoulder. Checked with United Health Care, “is ER covered?” “Yes it is, but you pay 15%. I guesstimated 500 to $1000, my cost thus 75 – $150.

    Clever people in accounting had big surprise for me. Intake clerk and initial RN interview take place in ER. Then they call the doc, on the phone. He says: “x-rays!” Through one door and another 50 steps and into x-ray room.

    ” You are now leaving ER, warning Will Robinson, you are leaving ER” unfortunately was not piped into my head. Three x-rays later, on to Area 2, where the doctor is, deep in the basement of Sierra Memorial Hospital. Sat there for well over an hour. Finally called, and as I go through the door, notice sign that says doctors are all independent contractors, not employed by hospital. First question out of my mouth were, “are you “in-network” for UHC?” Answer, “NO!”

    I told him that it stopped there, and we then had a chat about how broken the system was. I said I would offer $100 to find out the results of the x-rays, but that was ALL I would pay. He eventually told me that I hadn’t actually broken anything.

    End result? Initial bill from SNMH for ER (AKA, intake person, RN interview, roof over head for doctor and x-rays) $823. Most likely covered. Not covered and not received yet, x-rays and doctors, all cash, pay now, not covered, not in network, etc., God knows how much?

    So, yes, selected members of the middle class are indeed and very much up front and in person, footing the write-off bills of the hospitals, the sluicing of the middle class managed by clever labeling and bookkeeping. I will be driving all the way to UC Davis Med Center for all additional medical needs. My health care is accepted there. Not buying local anymore. Not one, but two local doctors dropped “out of network” and never told me, and racked up big bills on what I thought were covered visits. There ought to be a law.

  9. Todd juvinall says:

    I have had the same thing happen to me from a hippie regarding the bumper sticker. Also been keyed but couldn’t run fast enough o catch him. Hie tie-dye was very bright.

  10. Revolution? What revolution?

    In the ’60s I graduated from high school, graduated from college, served two years in the Army, got married, and started my career. I didn’t have time for no stinkin’ revolution.

  11. Ryan Mount says:

    BTW, Greg beat me to the punch with the Internet Porn thing. It’s a true touché. (note the appropriate use of the accent.) That’s absolutely true. After graduating from College, I immediately started commercializing the Internet having suffered from the disorganized, government-sponsored, boomer Internets[sic] in college. It was a mess for those who remember or care. Most do neither.

    Yeah, we’ll get ours. I have no doubt on that and I look forward to it. But let me set the record straight. The “hope I die before I get old” thing should be read this way for GenXers:

    “I don’t care what that pedophile Pete Townsend says, although I do own a few Who records.”*

    *[note the citation boomers]:

  12. Ryan, Yup, most do neither. But just how the hell would have a commercial enterprise ever gotten the capital together for what was back then a total dream, with only a few future minded boomers pushing for the expansion. You are remarkably narrow minded about this, and if those of your generation think you “invented” the internet, you are totally full of huuey. Go back into the 1980’s, when BBS’s were king, and gave a hint of what was to come. It took people like myself to see the potential, and grab for the brass ring when it came by. I was happily teaching stand alone apps when I was approached by the District and PacBell to be the point man on getting the Internet up and running at Lowell HS, only the second such installation in the state at a public school. I accepted the challenge and the incredible amount of extra UNPAID work that entailed. I was curious and excited, I wanted in place for my daughters, etc. (of your generation I might add), and this was before www was invented. Telnet, FTP, Gopher, etc., no www. I recall an article about Gates and Dvorak discussing “the next big thing” in 1992 or 3 which they mutually decided was, “handwriting recognition.”

    If you want to Monday morning quarterback the real birth of the Internet into oblivion, to suit your views of the boomers, be my guest, history laughs at you.

    PS, if you look into the real history, you’ll find that the original purpose of the protocols and all the routers was to make damn certain we’d still have the ability to communicate after suffering an atomic attack, so we’d still be able to launch a retaliatory strike. That’s what the government was paying for, and then it got borrowed and modified by scientists, not bumbling government bureaucrats. Prior related art included a databased repository for moon mission engineering and science, with Educational Research Information Clearing House being a spinoff, which I used in 1974 to teach Educational Technology.

  13. Here is an article than may enlighten you a bit, in regards history:

  14. Ryan Mount says:

    Hi Doug.

    “if those of your generation think you “invented” the internet”

    For the record, I don’t think about anything that doesn’t make me and my customers money. The members of my generation who survived the the Reagan and Bush I years (some did not) make Gordon Gekko look like a nun who runs an orphanage.

    I am very aware (not sure why I’m defending myself here other than a courtesy) of the entire history of the Internet having worked with many of the seminal Unix/NSFnet/and other creators (I will avoid name-dropping). My criticism of Boomers is very narrow and frankly appreciative if you can look past the sarcasm. I appreciate the unbridled idealism of the Boomers, and recognize their achievements in challenging authority and “thinking outside the box.” GenXers don’t care about any of that. We’re pragmatic and love managing things, like your pensions and the supply chains for your Apple toys. We’re REALLY good at it.

    And as a side note, I would invite you to avoid presumptuous personal attacks on me (“you are remarkably narrow minded about this”), and focus on what I think is a legitimate point of discourse: the dissonance between generations.

    So, in a nutshell this is how us GenXers think of Boomers: we love how they run full-force into the fire of conflict/injustice/taxes/whatever often with their clothes off, screaming and shaking their fists. (Note this applies to Tea Party people as well lest you think I’m picking on the Lefties.). We find it amusing. However GenXers believe we need to clean up after the Boomers and get the house in order. We typically like to do this as a contractor. And we also believe that this unbridled idealism is good for priming action, but over a prolonged period it tends to grind the system into the ground. I think we can safely say my last point is true.

    If Boomers are looking for trophies for their achievements, better look to the next generation, the Millennials for that. GenXers are too busy at the moment for self-esteem enterprises. God knows we have little of that to share anyway.

    • rl Crabb says:

      I don’t think any generation ever cornered the market on smarts or stupidity. We all build on what came before, even if we tend to think we’re smarter than the previous inhabitants. Like I said before, you tend to gain more respect for your parents when you get on in years. As lifespans increase, the elderly end up taking care of their elderly parents.

      • Ryan Mount says:

        I agree RL. But each generation certainly has a different ethos that defines and guides it.

        I, speaking for myself, have no intentions of avoiding my obligations to my elders, nor my children for that matter. Quite the contrary. GenXers aren’t the “Me” generation. We’re the private contractor/managerial one. And that’s a boring and frankly quite sterile proposition. You’d think Boomers would appreciate that as they approach their twilight years, but I have a feeling that they see us as apathetic, uninvolved and aloof. That’s just my hunch.

  15. “For the record, I don’t think about anything that doesn’t make me and my customers money.”

    “If everyone did that, what a wonderful world it would be…”

    or maybe not so much. Many members of our boomer generation looked to see where we could make a difference. The smartest kid in my class, 800’s on not only the SAT but a lot of the achievement tests, said he wanted to teach high school. I wound up following his lead, as a fall back position, when ethnographic film making didn’t pan out in time, and a divorce, with responsibilities for a child who need dad in the custody arrangements for her safety and well being, did. Could have made a fortune selling insurance, like my dad wanted me to, but that’s an alternate universe. Hope all cash and no play works out for you, and the society you’ll be living in.

    • Tony Waters says:

      Ryan wrote: “…in a nutshell this is how us GenXers think of Boomers: we love how they run full-force into the fire of conflict/injustice/taxes/whatever often with their clothes off, screaming and shaking their fists. (Note this applies to Tea Party people as well lest you think I’m picking on the Lefties.)”

      So fellow baby boomers, Ryan sees us as nothing more than naked tea partiers and lefties. Imagine all of the Nevada County bloggers charging off to the conflict in the buff. The mind reels…

      • Ryan Mount says:

        Hi Tony.

        Those are all figures of speech and sweeping generalizations. It’s indeed more complicated than that and there are books written on the topic which go into more detail than than a few dozen words that a blog can capture. And I’m trying to explore it here, the way RL started it. However I’m not new to this discussion. Heck, I think it was Boomers who elevated the study Generation Gaps to a science. They loved it at the time. Not any more I guess since they are the target of criticism.

        So I see lots of things, notably a penchant for dragging the discussion into the personal domain by Boomers and drift off topic. (I feel like that commander in Star Ware yelling at Luke Skywalker’s decent into the Death Star: Keep on target.) Perhaps Boomers need to redraft their “don’t trust anyone over 30” rhetoric since they’re all dead now. How about this:

        “Don’t trust anyone between the ages of 32-48 or anyone who enjoys watching X-Files re-runs or thinks Xanadu is a funny film because it’s so bad.”

        Get it? Probably not. Again, this tempest in a teapot that’s developed here is amusing.

        • Tony Waters says:

          Nope, I don’t get it–never seen either Xanadu, or the X-Files! But then I gave up going to movies regularly sometime in the 1980s more out of indolence than any type of statement.

          Sweeping generalization of course has its place–and I expect that Crabb’s blog is one of the better ones. Anyway, I enjoy your comments here, and find them generally in good humor!


          • Ryan Mount says:

            >never seen either Xanadu, or the X-Files!

            And that good Tony, is Rebane’s real great divide.

          • rl Crabb says:

            I missed Zanadu, but was an avid X-Fileophile. I still don’t understand Scully and Muldaur got back to civilization from Antarctica at the end of the movie, though. I guess your generation has a greater tolerance for sub-zero weather.

          • Ryan Mount says:

            We didn’t like the film either.

          • Tony Waters says:

            But note, Ryan, “Great Divides” go both ways.

            I’ve been on European health systems, and have family who are on them right now. We really kind of like them better than the American system. Those from the right often have not and do not like them. But somehow their anecdote trumps mine. That’s a “great divide,” too, and in terms of public policy, much more relevant than what movies you watch.

            Question: I just googled Xanadu, and it is a 1980 Olivia Newton John movie. Why would that not be just another bad film credited to the baby boom naivete?

          • Ryan Mount says:

            Hi Tony.

            Finally back on topic. Like all GenX phenomena, this is best explained by either a citation from The Onion, or from a South Park episode:


        • Michael Anderson says:


    • Ryan Mount says:

      Hi Doug-

      GenXers are expecting nothing for us when we retire in 20 or so years. Certainly no government assistance. That’s where we *start* with our assumptions. Medicare? Social Security? That’s for Boomers and the Silent Generation. My generation is depending on Dr. Oz to save the day. And for those who are smart enough to understand that Dr. Oz and his supplement ponzi scheme aren’t gonna cut it, we’re squirreling money away the best we can.

      But then again we typically don’t like to work career jobs that provide such things as a retirement/pension. Obviously many do, but our preference is to be what the Generation Studies people call “free agents.” I call them private contractors. And I staff most of my projects with such people. We understand the scope of that decision: we’re on our own.

  16. Judith Lowry says:

    Sweeping generalizations aside, honey, your turn is coming.
    Bon chance!

    • Ryan Mount says:

      Get off my lawn! Seriously, Boomers get off my lawn with your various protest signs.

      BTW, not sure what this discussion has to do with *me*, as in this bitter “your turn is coming,” stuff. Perhaps you’d like to elaborate on what this “turn” might look like. I did enjoy the sardonic “honey” thing. Very GenX.

      Note: Us GenXers are chronic worriers, and that worry is driven by almost manic obsessions of what might happen and how we might mitigate that. Again, thanks Mom and Dad. We always have our “periscope” up waiting for the next torpedo to come in. And most of us have Xanax scripts. And a sense of humor. (they go together)

      So I would invite you to spell-out some of these “turns” you warn about to I can add them to my every-growing list.

  17. Judith Lowry says:

    Okay Ryan,

    First, sorry about the “honey”, it was condescending.
    I don’t know why you are so angry, but I can tell you haven’t had an easy go of it.
    That’s a damned shame, but you oughtn’t let that warp you out of shape.
    You sound smart enough to know it all comes around.
    If you remain a blamer, you will suffer blame.
    You will die by what you live by.
    Facing life’s challenges requires enormous resolve and a sense of humor, two of life’s greatest armors.
    You will see your grandparents, parents and other loved ones in death and you will grieve.
    You may bear children and have grandchildren who you will love and want to protect.
    But you will know that it is an uncertain, even frightening world you leave them in.
    You will age, accept that and get on with your life.
    You will live to hear songs you used to rock out to on the radio and they will sound old and canned to you and you will wish they didn’t play them all the time, everywhere.
    The older you get, the more of your family and friends you will see pass away.
    You will always hurt more when that someone is young.
    But, ironically, you will feel the contempt of some young folks who feel older folks are irrelevant and an obstacle to their happiness.
    Don’t hang out with them, there are always nicer young folks who appreciate what elders have to offer, there are young visionaries, dreamers, hard workers, creators, who don’t have the time or inclination to belly ache about their problems and broadcast it to the world.
    They will be worth your time and whatever help you can give them to face life’s challenges.
    You will lose your youthful assets (hair, teeth, elasticity), face failing health (pick your disease), pain and death.
    I have seen many good people in their valiant last days and graceful acceptance of death and I have seen the opposite.
    You get to choose the way you make your passage sometimes.
    Try not to scare the kids.

    • Ryan Mount says:

      First off, I liked the “honey” comment. So no need to apologize there.

      And secondly, I appreciate your response written in stanza form. The writing graduate student in me also appreciates that. It’s kind of like the Footsteps poem, the blog edition.

      As for me? I’m not angry. Anger is for teenagers. I’m very cynical and skeptical. Any more than say than George Carlin was “angry.”* (Hopefully that cross-generational olive branch will take root in this discussion) For example, I once told a Christian friend of mine that Thomas should have pressed Jesus for more detail. Obviously that conversation went well.

      But I’d like to remind you and others who are hen pecking at my rhetoric, that I am well aware of what happens to smarty pants like me. My fate is sealed much like Hamlet’s Yorick. (I bet you’re regretting paying for my State education now, eh?)

      With regards to your advice, I appreciate that. I really do despite my sarcasm. However, death, mayhem, suffering are all apart of our lives. And I believe, if you’d allow me to channel my inner Boomer idealism, that it is our job and *duty* it help soften the blow where ever we can. [GenXer is back now] It’s really a matter of how we efficiently do that.

      But beyond all that, it is imperative that we do not lose our sense of humor. Or as Mom used to say (she did, BTW), “If you can’t take a joke, !@#$ you.”

      *He was angry. But funny. And right.

      • “*He was angry. But funny. And right.” and therein lies the Fascism of “I Own The Truth.” You may be “right” for you, but do not be surprised that your right to be right for you does not insure universal acceptance and agreement that you are right, in any absolute sense. Your “right” ends where my “WRONG’ begins.

        • Ryan Mount says:

          Oh stop it. So we can check you off in the “I don’t think George Carlin was right” category. Or funny, I guess.

          Olive Branch = FAIL.

          Not surprised, however.

          • If you go around insisting that you are better than everyone else, as a general rule, you will met resistance. What is it exactly that you do for your “clients.?” Materials handling and OR?

          • Greg Goodknight says:


            When Keachie writes, “If you go around insisting that you are better than everyone else, as a general rule, you will met [sic] resistance” it means he’s upset that you’re right more often than he is, and that you know it.

            BTW, I thought Carlin as “Cardinal Glick” in “Dogma” was perhaps the single best casting decision in history besides Shatner as “The Big Giant Head” in “3rd Rock…”

          • Ryan Mount says:

            Hi Greg.

            As my Mom (my poor mother has been evoked several times in this thread…she’s a good woman) would say, “Love thy neighbor as yourself, but don’t pick up hitchhikers.”

            Make an effort to to reach out, but be wary. So I’m trying to have empathy for the positions here, but I’m having a trouble understanding what the beef is here. And why it’s directed at me personally especially since I believe I have been generous with my criticisms?

  18. And pigeon holing people doesn’t work any better for people than it does for pigeons. You wind up with a lot of ….

  19. Ryan Mount says:

    Hi Doug,

    I am certainly not better than anyone else, for the record. Nor right. Nor handsome. I am generally more sarcastic. And occasionally funny. I base that last observation on the fact the people usually laugh when I am naked, so there’s room for debate.

    > What is it exactly that you do for your “clients.?”

    What do you want to know? How much time do you have to discuss the geo-economy and the complexities of global labor and supplies chains? Oh, and there’s revenue recognition models that impact P&Ls with all of these new-fangled cloud/subscriptions solutions. Still there with me? Most people aren’t interested in the details and routinely fall asleep drooling before I get to the second sentence.

    But let me give you a little hint about what I do. (I do lots of things). If you’ve received a flu shot in the past, I dunno, 6 years, chances are that flu vaccine passed through a procurement selling system I designed. Again, you’re welcome!

    In my experience, most people are mostly interested in quick jingoistic and/or bumper sticker slogans, depending on their political slant. But that’s just my experience. However my Mom listens politely. It’s like that Laurie Anderson song, “Oh, Superman”:

    ‘Cause when love is gone, there’s always justice.
    And when justice is gone, there’s always force.
    And when force is gone, there’s always Mom. Hi Mom!

  20. One good way to drag Greg into a conversation is to miss-spell something, works like a charm. I gather you analyze situations and then design ( not necessarily code) software to implement systems that generate revenue for your clients. Not needing flu shots, yet. Lots of sleep, keeps one healthy, among other things.

    • Ryan Mount says:

      Well when you do need a flu shot, I’m there for you. You’re Welcome!

      Silent Generation: In my day, we used enjoy getting the flu. It made us stronger. But as a precaution, I better get the shot since I’m 85.

      Boomer: Everyone needs flu shots…for free! Now. But not me, I’m anti-vaccine. But it’s OK for everyone else to get it.

      GenXer: How do I optimize the supply and demand chains most efficiently to ensure that supply and demand are in sync. And at my age, the flu shot is not necessary.

      Millennial: I’m glad I have flu shots available which I’ll schedule on my iPhone, which I will need once I get back from one of these overseas wars that the Boomers sent me to. I was told to get the shot, therefore I will.

  21. Boomers age differently from one another, and not getting a shot until one has a year in which one actually gets the flu, tell you something about your body that medical science can’t. If you get plenty of exposure to source, as I do substitute teaching and tutoring, and you don’t get it, that is nice to know.

  22. “tells” (typing without glasses again, they’re out in the car)

  23. Michael Anderson says:

    Good comment stream. Since I threw out some Boomer tenets on an earlier thread, I thought I’d comment on some the points Ryan and others have been making.

    First, thanks Ryan for so articulately describing the inner workings of the Gen-X mind. I have learned a few things.

    Second, the Olive Branch is a good thing and I hope to extend one here to the younger generations. I’ll also try extra hard to extend one to those damn Traditionals, but that will be harder (-;

    Third, what Judith wrote above is spot on. As we get older, the boundaries tend to go by the wayside as we worry more about how many years we have left, or who’s going to change our diaper this morning.

    It is well-documented that our early years color how we perceive the world for the rest of our lives. A good example of how this works is Dr. Rebane, who escaped both the Nazis and the Soviets during WWII before he was 10 years old. If you view his writings through this lens, his POV makes a lot of sense.

    Equally, I have become much more clear on where Gen-Y and Gen-X are coming from by layering their growing-up years with what was going on at the time. Us Boomers grew up when all hell was breaking loose: massive riots in every major city, a hideous and unnecessary war wasting both blood and treasure, a president resigning in disgrace, and our parents throwing their car key into fish bowls at the ubiquitous love-in parties (a majority of my friends’ parents were divorced when I was in high school). Also reminding myself about the early Boomer years helps me to remain as objective as possible.

    • Michael, you left out the threat of 15 minutes to nuclear Armageddon, which in the Bay Area during the 1950’s and early sixties dominated everything. Too bad those born later never got to experience 9 B-36’s coming in low over the Berkeley Hills, low enough to see details on the wings. The sounds reverberated the body to the very core. IMAX for everyone, wanted or not. Nike Ajax missiles would supposedly bring down Russian bombers (early 50’s), then came the Nike Hercules to get them further out, and then came the slow realization that nothing could stop an ICBM in flight, and then came folk music and drugs and the summer of love, etc. Dan O’Neill had a great hour glass cartoon illustrating this in his “Hear the Sound of My Feet, Drown the Sound of My Voice Talking,” I think I got that right.

      • Michael Anderson says:

        Oh right, I forgot about the whole “we are all going to die tomorrow” thing.

        I remember living in San Francisco back in the early 80’s, about a year after Reagan was re-elected and he was ramping up the rhetoric re. the Soviets, demanding a huge military buildup to counter their so-called superior technology, and everyone was going nuts. The worst were those goddamn Peacekeepers–they were even planning on deploying them on trains that just roamed around the American countryside, ready to launch at any minute. Madness:

        Anyway, one late evening, out in the Sunset District in my sand dune apartment bldg. during an unusual lighting storm, a bolt hit a transformer outside my window and blew it up. I was awakened by a huge explosion and the site of nothing by fire outside my window (the telephone pole was engulfed). After a couple of minutes of investigation I realized what had happened, but for at least 30 seconds I was sure it was the End of the World.

        Ahhh, those fond memories…

  24. Judith Lowry says:

    George Carlin courageously and brilliantly helped us define our collective neuroses, foibles, hypocrisies and lovability.
    I sure miss him, but am so glad we had him.
    and George Goble.
    and Richard Pryor,
    and Richard Chamberlain
    and Bob Newhart,
    and Bob Marley,
    and Shelly Bergman,
    and Shelly Winters,
    and Allan Sherman,
    and Allen Shepard,
    and Lenny Bruce,
    and Lenny Goodman,
    and Mort Saul,
    and there’s no one to rhyme with Mort but Mork.
    And, (big card) we had the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Stones.
    In fact, we still have the Stones.
    Hey! that sounds like a great, hot selling T-shirt, “Boomers Still Have the Stones”.

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      Jerry Garcia, Pigpen, Janis Joplin, Hendrix. Phil Ochs.

      Peter Sellers.

      A huge loss was a musician youse guys undoubtedly never heard of: David Munrow, an Englishman who was a key mover and shaker of the early music (Medieval, Renaissance, early Baroque) resurrection in the ’60’s and early 70’s. His Early Music Consort of London did the soundtrack of the BBC/PBS Masterpiece Theatre production of Henry VIII and his Six Wives. Strangely, also did music for the movie Zardoz. Suicide at age 33 in 1976. Released 50 albums, I have a few.

      Politically, I suspect had NBC’s Tim Russert and FN’s Tony Snow lived normal lifetimes, we’d have a different President.

  25. And Godfrey Cambridge: You have to listen for a while to get to the better parts.

  26. Judith Lowry says:

    And Flip Wilson.

  27. Judith Lowry says:

    Good plan Ryan,
    Eat local, healthy and smart.
    Avoid the Merck, Lilly, Pfizer Vortex.
    Mutate when you can.

  28. Greg Goodknight says:

    Let’s not forget Paul McCartney. Goo goo g’joob. 🙂

  29. Greg Goodknight says:

    Doug Kenney of NatLampCo and “Animal House”.
    John Belushi!

    Not to forget underground cartoonist Vaughn Bode.

    PS Some may forget how Paul McC Version I died…

  30. rl Crabb says:

    I remember many years ago reading an article that predicted that the baby boomers would be the last generation to experience death, due to advances in medicine and technology. Perhaps that is where Gen-X is headed; a future of implants, cyborg robotics and computerized vaccines. That will certainly play hell with the future of social security and medicare.
    On the other hand, keep in mind that the boomers were promised flying cars in the 21st century. Still waiting…

  31. Judith Lowry says:

    Earlier this month Peter Bergman passed on, bless him.
    “Temporarily Humboldt County” is still the funniest encapsulation of the Native American experience.
    The Bozo remark puts me in mind of Wavy Gravy.

  32. E. Christina Dabis says:

    Nipsey Russell

    He said,
    Go to college, see it through
    if they can make penicillin out of moldy cheese
    they can make something out of you!

  33. Ben Emery says:

    Something jumped out at me reading through this thread. Nobody even gave the hint at the difference in global population with a reducing quantity of resources. In 1932 the world’s population hit two billion. We just surpassed seven billion this year.

    The greatest generation biggest flaw was it set us (US) on an unsustainable path of resource consumption for a global population that was less than half of what we have today. Then the boomers decided to export this lifestyle around the planet speeding up the process and making good profit in the process. The shift needs to return to the responsible 7th generation process of decision making.

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