“Baby Boomers vs. Millennials?”: Pitting us Against Each Other

It’s everywhere on the ‘net: what do Boomers have against Millennials? In fact, most research shows that there are more similarities, feelings of affection and even sympathy for the troubles of Millennials. If there were some things to complain about, Boomers would have plenty, at least now, as they face old age. Yet I would say that Boomers and Millennials share many of these complaints. Who has it worse? You decide.

My guess is that both generations won’t have the average life span that their parents did. They were the first one to be exposed from birth (after 1945) to radioactivity in almost all parts of the earth (atmosphere, water, ground) and thus, more susceptible to cancers, especially. This is due mostly to above-ground nuclear testing,

I already know several Boomers, aged 50–70, who have died earlier than they “should” have, based on estimates of longevity. For every one of them like Keith Richards, who seems unstoppable, there will be thousands more who won’t meet the expected life span but will succumb to cancers, heart disease and as global warming continues, infection by microbes spread by animals like mosquitoes, rodents and others who formerly lived only in the tropics or subtropics.

Also, antibiotic-resistant diseases keep cropping up that will finish off Boomers as well as those in other age groups.

Why don’t Baby Boomers care about Millennials”?

People who ask that are confusing SOME boomers—specifically the 1%, the very wealthy, usually Republican, and maybe their parents—with all boomers. As one of the latter, and a lifelong activist, also the parent of a Millennial, I care very much what will happen to them, but I have very little political power because I’m not wealthy. I’m tired of protesting (been doing it since I was 14!) and frankly, they don’t care (the Powers That Be) what we do. Even the power of the vote is gone; look at how many votes Hillary got and yet Trump is president.

It’s up to Millennials to be their own advocates, the activists now. But they may need to take more extreme measures, such as hassling their elected officials (going on NOW, as Congressmen take yet another break–didn’t they just take one?!) and boycotting large corporations. Get angry…but not at Boomers. More to the point, get angry at the right ones and do something.

Here are some interesting questions from Quora:

Have your ever felt outsmarted by your juniors ? Have you ever oversmarted any senior

Has there been any instance in your life when somebody didn’t understand you because of age difference?

Of course I’ve felt that someone didn’t understand me due to the values of their age group: namely my parents and some teachers in high school. Since I didn’t have any money or legal power, I felt oppressed by their attitudes, which I saw as provincial. There were lots of loud, angry arguments at home, which didn’t help our relationships. I’d say that was pretty common for the Boomers vs. “the Greatest Generation”. Some call them the “Silent Generation” but my parents were anything but silent. I suppose it was easy to confuse the folks with their whole generation…but if I did a survey, I bet that would be accurate.

As for being outsmarted or outsmarting, I’d say I knew more about politics and society than my parents, and early on, than our son. Later, the kid outsmarted me by hooking up our DSL connection while I took a nap! He was 11. Now he has more access to news because he can use  a smart phone (I can’t see the screen).  He updates me and then I research analyze things on my laptop and update him. It works out well and usually with no adversarial stuff.

Why are Millennials perceived as lazy?

From what I’ve observed, both Millennials and Boomers took longer to get into “work mode” than the Gen X-ers or, don’t forget, the “Greatest Generation”. Millennials and Boomers tend to be more informed about society and politics and prone to wanting fun to last longer—even if the definition of fun differs greatly.

Once they do or did begin working, I don’t think either Millennials or Boomers have worked less hard. I fail to see any fault in that. The common myth that work is a virtue or that it’s “everything” is idiotic. Why? It only serves those in power, except for the few rewards thrown to the workers–the toys, clothes, cars, vacations–all are meaningless and ephemeral. Boomers and Millennials, unlike other generations, “get” this. If they do crave “stuff”, isn’t that little enough reward for work that is itself ephemeral and unrewarding in deeper ways?

The two generations also seem to choose less visible careers, such as human resources and social services. Sadly, many Millennials who didn’t go into jobs like engineering or IT are left with low-paying jobs …that is, if those aren’t occupied by Boomers who were laid off after their companies got outsourced. They don’t do it out of choice but necessity. The human services jobs are fewer and usually not well-paid or secure.

I think both generations got shafted and will continue to be, the way our government is going, coddling the super-rich more and handing them almost all the keys to the kingdom. The rest of us are left out in the cold and we are all in it together. We just need to stop pointing the finger at one another and instead, cast blame where it really lies: at the top.

As for political action, I would repeat Elliot Alderson/Mr. Robot’s question: Are you a one or a zero? If you’ve watched the show, you know what the answer “One” means!


Track Review | Howlie – Emptiness Again

Source: Track Review | Howlie – Emptiness Again

I have known the creator and sole member of Howlie–a “man and his guitar”, for years. It’s been great watching his substantial musical talent develop, coalesce and see him put it out for others to listen. I must admit that I don’t understand the depressive elements in much of his music., mostly the lyrics. Rather than reviewing the music (I’ll let you do that), I’d like to talk about the overall feel of worry, loneliness and eventual hopelessness. The suicide in this song seems to be just part of an overall sense of depression and anomie. Don’t worry, however, about Evan, the man behind Howlie, will succumb to such a fate. His position on depression is to accept it and learn to live with it. I’m glad this works for him, but I’m fairly sure it’s an unusual approach. Maybe it’s my personality–very non-depressed–and truth be told, rather afraid of it. It’s fair to say that I will do almost anything not to feel depression, which doesn’t happen often, luckily.

Actually, I don’t think it’s really luck. Depression was not unknown in my generation, unlike today’s youth, but it seemed rare. I would chalk it up to many factors, such as the difference in upbringing between Millennials and Boomers. It’s often said that the latter had a “cushy” lifestyle and it’s true, at least for whites. This allowed them to reject the 50’s regimentation and choose a lifestyle and philosophy invented by them, not their parents, a religion or the government. Suddenly their protests counted to presidents and politicians, so much so that Nixon wandered out into the crowd of demonstrators to talk. It was said that he babbled incoherently, which is not surprising; he had no idea what was happening. Most of his generation didn’t either.

When it came our (the Boomers) turn to take the reins, we were just as confused, but there was always a reservoir of joy, hope and a sense of the possible. Compare the relaxed exuberance of President Clinton’s inauguration to that of those that followed. Compare his ability to casually deal with a hostile Congress while creating the largest surplus in U.S. history.

With both Bushes, we saw bragging, chest-thumping and after 9/11, vague, macho promises to get” people (usually middle eastern terrorists. Other than the pathetic capture of Saddam Hussein, who had nothing to do with 9/11, the braggadocio and militarism was empty.

Then came the promise of Hope and tons of social reforms with President Obama, not to mention the sense of history-making wonder that a Black president was indeed possible. Shortly after that, however, the fury against terrorists–and the rampant fear–turned against almost everyone. When the absurd Trump ran for office, he used that fear to snake into the White House. Not just fear of terrorism, but of unemployment, immigrants stealing jobs and committing crimes, even fear of universal healthcare! He preyed on the poor, uneducated, prejudiced “victims” of right-wing propaganda and anti-government hysteria, among other fears.

A surprising thing happened. Millennials, whom almost everyone thought would slack off in their parents’ basements and play video-games while Washington burned, rose up instead and rallied behind the improbable candidate, Bernie Sanders, an old, Socialist curmudgeon now living in Vermont. If a Boomer could have hand-picked a candidate for their child, like choosing a date, it would have been Bernie…except for one thing: our experience had taught us what radicals like John Reed, back in the 1910’s had known: a Socialist won’t get elected in the United States. If it was highly unlikely a few months ago, it is now in the realm of fantasy, given the horror that Trump is actually president.