Salute To The Baby Boom

My parents were 9 and 5 on VJ day – nowhere near child-bearing age – so I’m not a baby boomer. Culturally, I share none of their references; my only memory of the Beatles was hearing they’d broken up. I didn’t hear a thing about Woodstock until I was probably in fifth or sixth grade (heck, I was in sixth grade before I had a radio that could bring in any kind of even mainstream rock).

So I’m no baby boomer. Of course, I doubt I’m an X-er. Call me part of the “Generation that nobody cared enough to give a name to”, for all I care.

Anyway – in my earlier years, I suppose I bagged on the Boom generation as readily as any Xer or Millennial does today – especially as I , as I became a conservative, started associating the boomers with the Hippie generation. It was a mythology pushed by everyone from Jerry Rubin to the TV show Family Ties.

And as Paul Mirengoff at Power Line notes, it just wasn’t true. The tale was in the (voting machine) tape:

[R]adical leftism did not define “a generation” — at least not the generation of Woodstock. In the first presidential election after the festival, about half the members of that generation voted for Richard Nixon. As the Woodstock generation came into its own, it elected Ronald Reagan twice by landslides, and Reagan’s successor by a comfortable margin.
This was followed by two terms of a center-left president and two terms of a center-right one. Not until 2008, 39 years after Woodstock when that generation was on the wane, did America elect a president as far left as the one who had departed the year of the festival.
If I recall correctly, there was at least one reference to Reagan on the Woodstock stage. He was referred to as Ronald Ray-gun (maybe during Joan Baez’s segment). The Gipper also appears in the PBS retrospective. He is seen denouncing radicals during his time as governor.
So it’s ironic, I guess, that Ronald Reagan, not Woodstock, is the political legacy of the Woodstock generation.

And with that, I salute ’em.

34 thoughts on “Salute To The Baby Boom

  1. My Dad served in Germany–a few years after the war at a time when all they had to do was stay out of the way and ski in the Bavarian Alps on the weekend. By Wikipedia, I’m in with “the Boomers,” although, like Mr. Berg, the Beatles were yesterday’s news for me as a kid. I missed out on the Vietnam war because I was in grade school, and at the University of Minnesota during my time, the main protests were about boycotting Chilean grapes.

    Can’t we break free of the Boomers and call ourselves the “Perfect Generation?”

  2. But the “bad boomers” built the media and academic cultures that are tearing America apart.

  3. The (Baby) Boomers were the first generation that was named (that I know of) and it was based on a very specific circumstance, soldiers coming home from WWII who continued on where they left off when they went off to war. They either got married to their pre-war sweethearts and raised families or returned to their marriages and had (more) kids. I was not part of this definition at all; but then the demographers arrived and they organized and they named and they defined things and now I am a Boomer. Right in the middle of the range.

    And I was 14, 8th grade, when Woodstock took place. It was just as much something happened somewhere for me as for our host (and Tony P above). Heck, Led Zep, my favorite band at the time, didn’t play there, so why would even I care?

    Years later, the Woodstock movie would be shown at the drive-in theater and we’d go see that – especially for the momentary nudity – but no one that I recall ever regretted not having been there. It looked creepy, to be honest.

    And now that I’m old, I just wish PBS/MPR would just shut the eff up about Woodstock and the “Summer of Love”. The true legacy of the hippies and their ilk was Altamont and it’s gone downhill ever since.

    To see those creepy progressive old-farts at the periodic money-begging concerts that PBS/MPR does is just painful. It’s even worse when I think what those a55h@oles have wrought over the last 50 years.

  4. It’s strange. When Ronald Reagan was president, conservatives made much of how words can change the world. Now conservatives say it doesn’t mater what Trump says, it’s just words.

  5. “It’s strange. When Ronald Reagan was president, conservatives made much of how words can change the world.”
    Which conservative said anything like this?
    “Just words” got Trump elected.

  6. It takes a lot of work to try to exonerate Trump and his instigating of racist violence, but Trump’s followers are giving it their all.

  7. I choose not to blame boomers because as painful as it is to admit the origins of this is actually the Greatest Generation who didnt instill American Values into the the baby boomers and it showed.

  8. It takes a lot of work to try to exonerate Trump and his instigating of racist violence

    Give an example please Emery. And if you have a particular answer I know you are a brainless idiot who believes only the media and not what was actually said

  9. It was hard to follow The Greatest Generation. I miss many of them. We Boomers were just lucky we had them for parents.

  10. PoD wrote: “Give an example please Emery.”

    Do you have a smartphone?

    Even my phone knows Trump is a racist.

    Try texting — Trump is a ….
    I don’t even have to type r

    They don’t call ‘em smartphones for nothing.

  11. I’ll give Trump this — whatever the circumstance — be it a joyous occasion or terrible tragedy — he is a master at staying on his most important topic — himself. 

  12. I’ll give E this – whatever the post – be it about the MSM’s immorality or “complex moral, social and cultural problems” – he is a master at staying on his most important topic – whatever interests him.

  13. Just to show how long I have been hanging around this place Mitch, we had this discussion a loooooooong time ago, with a commenter who doesn’t seem to be around now (flash maybe? can’t remember). Anyway, I was born in 1960, I believe you were 1962, and neither of us is a boomer. Nor are we Xers, we are truly inter-generational.

  14. Say, wasn’t Jeffrey Epstein a boomer?

    This guy should not have been allowed to take a dump without someone watching him.
    I mean, stuff happens, but this is beyond astounding. If conspiracies erupt, there’s good reason for them.

    Isn’t it ‘interesting’ that just after Trump’s name appeared on the Lolita Express that Epstein has the ‘ability’ to hang himself once again and succeed this time.

    Woolly, do you think the Clinton Cabal-Cartel is one of the more likely suspects?

  15. They don’t call ‘em smartphones for nothing.

    Because window lickers like you rely on them for every fucking bit of information, or because Dunning Kruger sufferers like you rely on them for material?

    The fact that you carry on, despite the fact that everyone here can so easily differentiate between the low IQ twaddle that comes directly from the shit stew between your ears, and something you’ve cribbed from the web only works to deepen the revulsion young guys like POD have for the left.

    You definitely deserve a spot on mSnBC, D_K. You’d kick Rachel Muffin Monster’s ass.

  16. You are the conspiracy theorist in chief at SITD, Emery, not me.
    How’d that “Russian Collusion” thing work out for you?
    Use your powers of reason and always check your epistemology.
    I strongly suspect that Epstein was a blackmailer. He was a college dropout who went from high school math teacher to a partnership at Bear Sterns in four years. This is not a typical career arc, and note that as a high school teacher, he had contact with literally hundreds of girls of “recruitment age.”
    I bet that there are many people who were his clients, and are not famous, who would want to keep Epstein from talking. Corrupt prison officials are an ever-present problem.
    And, of course, it is idiotic to believe that Trump has the kind of sway over the federal bureaucracies enjoyed by the Obamas and the Clintons.
    There will surely be an investigation and plenty of leaks during its course. A red flag to me would be if the decision to leave Epstein at risk for “suicide” was done on the judgment of a contractor or career prison official who was near retirement.

  17. Trump is now retweeting conspiracy theories about the death of Jeffrey Epstein.

    Maybe he died from Epstein-Barr virus?

    Good thing we can count on AG Bill Barr to seek the truth, let the chips fall where they may. That would be the same AG Bill Barr whose father hired the 20-year-old two-time college dropout Jeffrey Epstein to teach at a prestigious private school.

    Not a well advertised fact: Bill Barr and Epstein used to be god friends back when Epstein used to teach at Dalton where Bill Barr’s father was the principal. Barr’s father gave Epstein his way into the world of Upper East Side money and power, Bill Barr was in charge of the world via which he exited. I’m not speculating about anything here. It’s just strangely circular.

    Complete confidence in his impartial pursuit of the truth.

  18. And here comes the conspiracy theory — circles within circles, wheels within wheels.
    All these elites know each other, Emery. Matt Yglesias attended the Dalton School. So did Anderson Cooper. So did scfi author Samuel Delaney.

  19. “And here comes the conspiracy theory — circles within circles, wheels within wheels.”

    Woolly you are spot on — The President of the United States is currently retweeting conspiracy theories about the death of Epstein. Hard to tell where the crazy ends and the stupid begins.

    Imagine being in control of the world’s best intelligence-gathering operation, and spending your Saturday tweeting out conspiracy theories. It’s weird, pathetic and unhinged.

  20. Uh . . . you are the one who is weird, pathetic, and unhinged, Emery.
    Nanner-nanner. Anyone can call names. You may have noticed that every single one of the twenty or so Demo candidates for prez believes in a conspiracy called “structural racism” by white people that can’t be proven to exist. It’s actually a social science adaptation of a literary theory called “structuralism” developed in the 1950s by a wacky French guy named Barthes.
    Spend less time thinking about Trump and more time think about your failings. You’ll be happier.

  21. If I’m reading his tweets correctly, Trump is admitting that as president he’s too incompetent to stop the Clinton body count from mounting. Really an amazing argument when you think about it.

  22. It wasn’t the Boomers that POZ’d the public schools, that was our generation’s doing. All of the crap we are dealing with, every bit of it, started with the brainwashing we allowed our kids to undergo…well, your kids, the closest my kids ever got to a government school was driving by them.

    Thanks to whatever generation we care to call ourselves, our country is a clown world filled with self loathing, leftist zombies that dream of doing Socialism right this time.

  23. It wasn’t the Boomers that POZ’d the public schools, that was our generation’s doing. All of the crap we are dealing with, every bit of it, started with the brainwashing we allowed our kids to undergo…well, your kids, the closest my kids ever got to a government school was driving by them.

    Thanks to whatever generation we care to call ourselves, our country is a clown world filled with self loathing, leftist zombies that dream of doing Soci@lism right this time.

    ^Re-posted due to the S word

  24. The world was already ruined by the time the Boomers came of age.

    I credit the greatest generation with part of that legacy. The greatest set up everything for themselves. Came back from war (thank you for your sacrifice there) and get themselves GI bill, cheap college, cheap housing, great pensions, suburbs, white flight, redlining, systematic racism, union corruption then union busting. Then as they aged, voted to keep it all and not pay for it. I could rant on.

  25. WW II veterans earned free college, government subsidized housing loans, lifetime free medical, retirement pay . . . all the things Liberals want today.

    Except Liberals today aren’t willing to earn them.

  26. The greatest paid less for college because it wasn’t a resort. Most of them lived in dilapidated dormitories three to a room. No private baths and suites. No luxury dining options, fitness centers, or climbing walls. And no coaches with multi million dollar contracts. They were there to learn and considered it a privilege, not a right.

    Now I’d like to see you address the debt and profligate spending.

  27. It wasn’t a resort – true. I remember seeing the “overflow” dorm that’d been built for GI Bill students in the late forties. Basically a two-story shack with a bunch of rooms the size of a small suburban bedroom, for two. By the 80s we were using it for storage for the theater department.

    But it was also cheap because, outside the GI bill (which had to be earned the hard way) and academic and athletic scholarships, there was no subsidy.

    The explosion in the cost of higher ed is closely correlated with the notion that it was close enough to an entitlement to warrant throwing entitlement-level money at it.

    At that college I went to, my mother’s father paid something like $500 (after athletic scholarships – not sure what the pre-scholarship tuition was) for four years. In constant dollars, that’d be like $10K today.

    My dad, twenty years later, paid something like $2,000 for four years. That’d be about $24K in constant dollars (going from memory on the inflation rate, so don’t light me up over that). No athletic scholarships, so probably closer to list price.

    When I went to the same place thirty years later, list prince on tuition was $4K a year – which meant four years was about $32K in inflation adjusted dollars today. This was at the *beginning* of the wave of federal subsidies, when things were just starting to zoom ahead of inflation.

    That same school is just under $30K for tuition, room, board and fees ($21K in tuition alone), which is a relative bargain among four-year private schools, compared with the likes of Macalester, Carlton and Saint Joseph’s – and still *far far far* ahead of inflation.

    It’s the subsidies.

  28. If Trump really wants to see some leftist popskull, he should direct Secretary DeVos to comission a study on the return on public investment for liberal arts gender, sex and race “studies”, as well as offerings like Puppetry and Popular Culture Research (real courses).

    The results are a foregone conclusion of course. Trump could then use the report as a warrant to restrict federal grants and loan guarantees from funding the insanity.

    There is one course of study that doesn’t bring a return in the current year that I nonetheless think should be retained; “Classics”. It’s been pretty much gutted from Humanities majors, replaced by the above mentioned victim class studies.

    After the dust settles, we’ll need people who can teach the new generation about the rise of Western culture and science. Maybe have them minor in carpentry to tide them over until we’re ready for them to start their real work.

  29. My AA from Normandale Community College is worth more than a BA in Gender studies from any 4 year college

  30. Ya wanna join the American Association for the Advancement of Science?
    Here are the three topics of discussion held on their next webinar (august 22):

    During the webinar, we will address these important questions:
    Does the scientific workforce match the broader population? If not, how do we address this?
    Can science serve all people if it is inaccessible to certain groups?
    How does the homogeneity of the scientific workforce impact scientific thought and our ability to solve complex world problems?

    None of these questions are scientific questions.

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