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(The New York Times)   Don't trust anybody over 70   (nytimes.com) divider line 167
    More: Obvious, Change for America, rights of women, Doobie Brothers, self-pity, Early bird dinner, cessions, happy birthday, barbies  
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16225 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Jan 2011 at 10:11 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-01-01 09:31:14 AM
Boomers Hit New Self-Absorption Milestone: Age 65

::snicker::
 
2011-01-01 10:00:35 AM
Because 70 is over the speed limit.
 
2011-01-01 10:18:00 AM
I'm getting pretty sick of this stupid "boomer" term. First of all, doesn't it cover about 20 years? I have about as much in common with a 65-year-old as I do with a 30-year-old, and I'm supposedly a young Boomer.

Also, I hate it when people are grouped by some arbitrary thing, and then everyone says, "Well, that group is ALL that way." Really? Because of the time someone happened to be born? Do you believe in astrology too?

Because I'm a Gemini, and I feel like I can only really relate to other Geminis. It's nobody's fault--it's in the stars.
 
2011-01-01 10:19:19 AM
Anyone else too lazy to go to bugmenot?
 
2011-01-01 10:19:45 AM
cryinoutloud: I'm getting pretty sick of this stupid "boomer" term. First of all, doesn't it cover about 20 years? I have about as much in common with a 65-year-old as I do with a 30-year-old, and I'm supposedly a young Boomer.

Also, I hate it when people are grouped by some arbitrary thing, and then everyone says, "Well, that group is ALL that way." Really? Because of the time someone happened to be born? Do you believe in astrology too?

Because I'm a Gemini, and I feel like I can only really relate to other Geminis. It's nobody's fault--it's in the stars.


Typical boomer, it's all me, me, me.
 
2011-01-01 10:20:31 AM
this country will look radically different in 10-20 years when they all die off.

can't wait
 
2011-01-01 10:23:00 AM
Another eye injury story! I've read three articles this morning and two of them mentioned eye injuries. I'm scared to go outside.
 
2011-01-01 10:25:07 AM
We can still trust Abe Vigoda, right?

...

RIGHT?!
 
2011-01-01 10:25:40 AM
FROM the moment they entered the workforce in the 1960s, baby-boomers began to shape America's economy and politics. They will do the same as they leave. The first of the estimated 78m Americans born between 1946 and 1964 turn 65 in 2011, the normal age for retirement. As their ranks swell in coming years, the burden of financing their retirement will mount. So will their electoral importance.


AARP and senior interests voting block. Think about it.
 
2011-01-01 10:27:32 AM
 
2011-01-01 10:28:26 AM
Rozinante: cryinoutloud: I'm getting pretty sick of this stupid "boomer" term. First of all, doesn't it cover about 20 years? I have about as much in common with a 65-year-old as I do with a 30-year-old, and I'm supposedly a young Boomer.

Also, I hate it when people are grouped by some arbitrary thing, and then everyone says, "Well, that group is ALL that way." Really? Because of the time someone happened to be born? Do you believe in astrology too?

Because I'm a Gemini, and I feel like I can only really relate to other Geminis. It's nobody's fault--it's in the stars.

Typical boomer, it's all me, me, me.


No shiat, eh. Hey, whining Boomer: Here's a newsflash for you: NO ONE CARES!
 
2011-01-01 10:28:27 AM
low_dazzle: this country will look radically different in 10-20 years when they all die off.

can't wait



I'm making plans for a grave robbing career when they do. You know all these bastards are going to try and take their loot with them.

Already have a furnace ready to melt down all those knee and hip replacements we paid for.
 
2011-01-01 10:29:46 AM
low_dazzle: this country will look radically different in 10-20 years when they all die off.

can't wait


Yeah, everything will be done through Failbook!

/The President is feeling sad today
//Anonymous douchebag like this!
 
2011-01-01 10:31:15 AM
cryinoutloud: I'm getting pretty sick of this stupid "boomer" term. First of all, doesn't it cover about 20 years? I have about as much in common with a 65-year-old as I do with a 30-year-old, and I'm supposedly a young Boomer.

Also, I hate it when people are grouped by some arbitrary thing, and then everyone says, "Well, that group is ALL that way." Really? Because of the time someone happened to be born? Do you believe in astrology too?

Because I'm a Gemini, and I feel like I can only really relate to other Geminis. It's nobody's fault--it's in the stars.


This. My mother was born in 1943. I was born 12/29/64. so technically I'm a boomer and my mother is not. But she sure the hell acts like it.

/proud capricorn
 
2011-01-01 10:32:34 AM
Nocens: low_dazzle: this country will look radically different in 10-20 years when they all die off.

can't wait


I'm making plans for a grave robbing career when they do. You know all these bastards are going to try and take their loot with them.

Already have a furnace ready to melt down all those knee and hip replacements we paid for.


Boomers have no loot, friend. Their savings were wiped out in the Bush recession, their investment in their houses was likewise wiped out, and their lazy-ass whiny gen x/y/z kids still live at home because THEY can't find a job.

You'll be lucky to get their half-empty shampoo bottles when they die.
 
2011-01-01 10:32:56 AM
Article author Dan Berry seems to be filled with a lot of hate
 
2011-01-01 10:33:33 AM
Why all the hate for Baby Boomers? Why do all these Gen Xers and Yers think they are hot shait?

Yeah, I'm one of the them.
 
2011-01-01 10:33:54 AM
Saved from someone who posted it long ago:

"....that labour spent the first half of the nineteenth century learning the rules of the capitalist game and the second half applying them, then the first half of the twentieth century saw the apparently irresistible triumph of labour, and the second half its eclipse and fall - or almost."
--Eric Hobsbawm


60 years ago an entire generation of working class men returned from the most traumatizing conflict in human history and practically demanded a better life for themselves and their children. They felt they had earned it. The political and economic nerves of our society could not agree more. This generation, they felt, which had endured nothing but turmoil, hardship, poverty, economic ruin and the horrors of mass-mechanized war, had deserved to live the rest of their lives in comfort and stability.

So the war generation moved to the peace and quiet of suburban housing divisions around the cities. Everything the war generation asked for, they got. They wanted nothing like the Great Depression to ever happen again. An international system called the Bretton Woods was set up to safeguard this. They wanted affordable housing. They got it. They wanted stable incomes, with stable companies that valued their position, their work and their contribution. They got it. They even wanted their children to be smarter and better educated than they were--they wanted to send them all to college. From a generation where most did not have much beyond a grade 8 education, this was unheard of. Yet they got it. Most of the Universities, in fact, were brand new at the time, and needed to fill their halls with students. They would take anyone who applied.

All the concessions delivered to the average joe gave strength to a burgeoning new population demographic: the middle class.

The children of the middle class--the boomers--ended up becoming the whiniest, most spoiled, most self-absorbed generation on the face of the earth, because they grew up in this post-war period where everything was literally given to them on a silver platter. Life, they were constantly told, was going to be different. It was going to be better from then on. And they were the chosen generation, growing up with this sense of entitlement.

Most economists pinpoint the exact year when things began to change to be 1973--also known as the year when the middle class was the largest, and had the most power. Many things happened that year all at once that shook world economies and society in general, which had been relatively firm and stable since the Second World War, including:

1) The dissolution of the Bretton Woods financial contract
2) The removal of the Gold Standard in the World Bank (actually 1971)
3) OPEC flexes its muscle
4) The number of union workers reached its peak, and has been steadily declining ever since
5) Women's Liberation Movement was at its height. Title IX enacted (actually 1972)
6) Leo Strauss died

A lot of these things actually freed up corporations and made global trade more laissez-faire, which is what they wanted. The war generation desired world economic policy that deliberately prevented Depressions, so it was relatively benign, safe, and steady (and crash-proof)....forever moving slowly forward, with everyone on board. Like a bus. But 1973 is heralded as the year that Boomers suddenly started moving into positions in power en masse, and a revolution in economic thinking occurred: to them, global markets should move faster and quicker, like a race car.

Economic inertia is akin to a big hulking ocean liner, not a speedboat. Just as a big boat takes several miles and hours to turn on the high seas, when a gigantic change is made, it often takes years to manifest. Such it was that the world-sweeping policies in 1973 really started coming into play in the 80s, where it started behaving exactly like it was up until the 30s: big gains, but also big lows. Dow jumping and falling hundreds of points all the time (something that wasn't really a regular occurance until Reagan took office).

The Women's Liberation movement probably had the largest effect in the early 70s. Boomer women were the first generation that not only wanted to work the same jobs and positions as men, but felt they deserved equal pay and power for it as well. Suddenly, a whole generation of families had instantly doubled their income! When such a radical revolution occurs in an economic system, it immediately tries to right itself to cope with the influx of new capital, beginning with the first and most expensive commodity humans can buy, which sets the standard for every other purchasable thing on the planet: real estate. In the span of 18 months, houses tripled in value. This resulted in MASSIVE inflation.

1973 changed everything, though no one really noticed for several years. The 80s is when people started noticing that the middle class was shrinking, unions were evaporating and corporations were making more money than ever. Because the new school of boomer companies realized that the true secret to riches wasn't steady, productive growth like their parents corporations of the 50s and 60s, but rapid, massive growth very quickly. The way to do this, of course, is via venture capital and the stock market. But it wasn't foolproof. The Savings & Loan scandal, the crash of 87, and the cutthroat acquisition, merging and selling of companies popularized in films like Wall Street highlighted the decade's economic excess. A lot of people at the top made a lot of money really quickly, but as any economics 101 student can tell you, that means a lot more people at the bottom lost a lot of money as well.

The mid-90s tech-boom carried this new math to logical extremes. Companies moved so fast, they were not stable (and not intended to be). Rather than settling down and consolidating their gains, corporations used their income to create more companies. A lot of them were created, made money, and dissolved in a matter of months when funding ceased. Whole divisions and departments of corporations were created to service specific tasks, and then discontinued and dissolved as soon as they outgrew their usefulness.

This makes sense from a corporate standpoint, and is all well and good in the name of business to maximize profit. But think of the people employed by these "flash companies". When a job of that nature is so uncertain.....how can you even plan for yourself, much less your future or your family's future.

In addition to that is the magical world of outsourcing. America used to be one of the industrial and manufacturing giants of the world. Then in the 70s and 80s, manufacturers moved their jobs overseas. Phil Knight even told Michael Moore one time that the reason why he didn't have any Nike factories in America is because Americans aren't interested in making shoes.

But maybe he's right. Maybe that kind of work is beneath the average American. That they are too good for that. America doesn't want to be a manufacturing-based economy anymore. No, it wants to be a SERVICE-based economy. So all the Americans who previously filled up manufacturing employment stats then started filling up service employment stats.

Now America is outsourcing its service sector jobs overseas. Why? Because Americans don't want to serve people. That's for immigrants and poor people. Americans are much better than that.

No, what America wants to be instead now is a management-based economy. Yes. A whole country of people who's sole purpose is to telling other people what to do. Like, well......like Americans. Americans don't want to work, they want to run, own, operate and control companies that make other people work. Like Gekko said: I create nothing. I own.

A person with an MBA who goes from a $40,000 Marketing Supervisor to a $18,000 short-order cook is still counted as gainfully employed, but is it actually better for the economy? Do you think they're going to lower their standard of living and stop buying $7 coffee at their bohemian coffee house because they can't afford it? ......to today's consumer, not being able to afford something is not the same as not deserving that lifestyle.

So in effect, all the concessions given to the war generation to live comfortably were taken away from them when they died. The pendulum took a hard swing to the left after the war, as an apology to the generation that had to live through it and the Depression, and since 1973 has been swinging back to the right. Today, what do we have?

Double-income families that can't seem to make ends meet.

College tuitions that no one but the privileged can afford. Students in debt are practically indentured servants for several years, paying off a degree that guarantees them no job. Working class families can barely afford them.

As a result of the above: graduate students working minimum wage.

A public education system that is currently #18 in the world, with horrid reading and mathematics levels, understaffed, underfunded, and not preparing students for their futures.

Because of the failure of the above, the rise of private schooling and homeschooling for the privileged.

Criminal imprisonment of an entire class of people who hurt no one but themselves.

Healthcare no one but the privileged can afford.

The most inequitable distribution of affluence and the flaunting of this inequitable distribution of affluence (thanks to media) in human history.

I don't know about you, but I don't know a single person under 30 who reasonably expects to collect social security.

Companies that hire you for so long as is needed, and then discard you. Contract and temporary employment is cheaper than full-time. No one can gain a line of credit, because there are no stable jobs that last more than a year or so before they're moved, changed, dropped, outsourced or laid off.

A system of employment that favours quotas, equalization, parity, and maximizing stock dividends rather than actually hiring competent people to put out a decent product that people will buy.

Unions that--while once championing the power of labour and the spirit of the people--are now shunned, ostracised, spit on, and betrayed by their fellow workers.

A middle class that is being squeezed by the government and corporations alike, sponsoring a trend that, in 100 years, should see the annihilation of middle America altogether.

Credit card companies so voracious that they occasionally hand out cards to pets and children. People, incapable of saying no to credit they are awarded but don't actually have, are racking up record amounts of consumer debt and have resorted to begging for money on the internet to finance their habit.

You can probably think of many more.
 
2011-01-01 10:36:09 AM
Interesting if this is a switch up, it's usually the newest generation that's ruining everything. Then again, maybe it's the meddling kids of the "not me" generation earning their moniker.
 
2011-01-01 10:36:48 AM
The best parts are the long, self-justifying, non-paragraphed comments from butt-hurt boomers.
 
2011-01-01 10:39:27 AM
Savoir-Faire: Saved from someone who posted it long ago:

Bunch of unsubstatiated ramblings


Look, it SOUNDS very good, but none of it has any basis in fact.
 
2011-01-01 10:39:32 AM
I like how they wrote a two-page article describing boomers, with a couple of disclaimers of ".....now we can't go around generalizing about such a large group", then go right on generalizing about them.

Party Boy: source
No matter how old I get, I'll never vote Republican. And my mother, who is too old to even be a Boomer, is not a Republican either, despite her many flaws. We never got rich enough to want to grind everybody else into the dirt.

low_dazzle: this country will look radically different in 10-20 years when they all die off.
can't wait


I'm not going to be dead in 20 years, Junior. And neither are my brother and sister. Don't forget, everybody gets to live to be 80 or 90 now.
 
2011-01-01 10:40:59 AM
Sobrrr: Interesting if this is a switch up, it's usually the newest generation that's ruining everything. Then again, maybe it's the meddling kids of the "not me" generation earning their moniker.

Every generation blames the one before. Every generation blames the one after.

This has been going on since, oh, about 10000 years ago at least.
 
2011-01-01 10:44:15 AM
The entire concept of "generations" is stupid.
People are born every year, all year long. Not in waves of 20-year periods.
 
2011-01-01 10:45:40 AM
Pick: Why all the hate for Baby Boomers? Why do all these Gen Xers and Yers think they are hot shait?

Yeah, I'm one of the them.



We just want to see the assholes die who tripled housing prices and quadrupled tuition fees but wouldn't raise wages. So now we can get an education and a home while becoming indentured servants to a bank for the rest of our lives.
 
2011-01-01 10:49:16 AM
Hey Pick - Yeah, there's always a lotta hate in any thread that mentions the "boomers". Granted, the world would be a lot better place if more of them had used contraception.
 
2011-01-01 10:49:23 AM
cryinoutloud: I'm not going to be dead in 20 years, Junior. And neither are my brother and sister. Don't forget, everybody gets to live to be 80 or 90 now.


The killer heartache which preys on white men in their 60's is still very much in play. If you make it past that hurdle then you'll get to 80 or 90.
 
2011-01-01 10:52:32 AM
Nocens: cryinoutloud: I'm not going to be dead in 20 years, Junior. And neither are my brother and sister. Don't forget, everybody gets to live to be 80 or 90 now.


The killer heartache which preys on white men in their 60's is still very much in play. If you make it past that hurdle then you'll get to 80 or 90.


i don't want to make it that long if it means rotting away in a nursing home, I'd prefer the heart attack.
 
2011-01-01 10:52:46 AM
My prediction: The last Baby Boomer will add $3 trillion to the federal debt to live an extra 8 minutes.
 
2011-01-01 10:53:19 AM
Nocens: Pick: Why all the hate for Baby Boomers? Why do all these Gen Xers and Yers think they are hot shait?

Yeah, I'm one of the them.


We just want to see the assholes die who tripled housing prices and quadrupled tuition fees but wouldn't raise wages. So now we can get an education and a home while becoming indentured servants to a bank for the rest of our lives.


Ah. So there is the butt hurt
/agree with you though
 
2011-01-01 10:55:44 AM
I'm sorry to hear that you hate your parents.
When they die I'm sure you'll be happy.
 
2011-01-01 10:56:46 AM
Wouldn't worry too much about the "boomer" generation: the Great Die-Off has already begun! Those who burned their candles from BOTH ends started dying ten years ago -- and it's accelerating. Five years from now is the biblical "three score and ten." You'll start seeing a whole LOT of funeral processions then!
The GOOD NEWS? There'll be a HUGE number of housing units available as widows find themselves with two (or more!) houses/condos on their hands. Think the housing market is bad now? Wait 'til all those millions of second homes hit the market! AND they'll be cheap! Good times, good times!!! :)
 
2011-01-01 10:57:50 AM
Dan Barry "is a 1980 graduate of St. Bonaventure University." [Wikipedia]

That would place him in the first few years after the nominal end of the so-called "baby boom". So it frees him up to write a lot of self-satisfied nonsense about how selfish the "baby boomers" supposedly are. And even he admits "Ascribing personality traits to a bloc of 79 million people is a fool's endeavor." Then like a fool he goes ahead and does just that.

As Savoir-Faire points out, 1973 is a pivotal year: a year in which the oldest "baby boomers" reached the ripe old age of 27 and began to demolish all that was good and stable in the world. Really! They had that much clout at age 27 and younger.

So of course the "greatest generation", who really were in charge at the time, get off without any blame or rebuke, and get to retire at age 60 on Social Security paid for by their selfish children.

So blame away, youngsters. But know that time will come when everything is YOUR fault.
 
2011-01-01 11:02:08 AM
In other news, everyone hates everyone and everything is the other guy's fault.

More at 11. Unless those other guys get greedy and preempt the broadcast with one of those shows they like and everybody else hates. You know the ones I mean.
 
2011-01-01 11:02:10 AM
ghare: Nocens: cryinoutloud: I'm not going to be dead in 20 years, Junior. And neither are my brother and sister. Don't forget, everybody gets to live to be 80 or 90 now.


The killer heartache which preys on white men in their 60's is still very much in play. If you make it past that hurdle then you'll get to 80 or 90.

i don't want to make it that long if it means rotting away in a nursing home, I'd prefer the heart attack.


My doctor told me - "The first thing that is going to kill you is your heart, we can fix that. the second thing that is going to kill you is colon cancer. We can watch for that too. You make it past those two, then that heart thing will come back to bite you when your 85 and farking a 25 year old. that is my goal for you".

/cool doctor
 
2011-01-01 11:06:51 AM
It's asking me to log in. I thought registration links were banned?
 
2011-01-01 11:09:01 AM
cryinoutloud: I'm getting pretty sick of this stupid "boomer" term. First of all, doesn't it cover about 20 years? I have about as much in common with a 65-year-old as I do with a 30-year-old, and I'm supposedly a young Boomer.

Also, I hate it when people are grouped by some arbitrary thing, and then everyone says, "Well, that group is ALL that way." Really? Because of the time someone happened to be born? Do you believe in astrology too?

Because I'm a Gemini, and I feel like I can only really relate to other Geminis. It's nobody's fault--it's in the stars.


But you comfortably put all men in the same basket, yes?
 
2011-01-01 11:09:23 AM
Wow, one day he was the most important guy that ever lived, the next day he's some shmoe working in a box factory.
 
2011-01-01 11:10:37 AM
cryinoutloud: I'm getting pretty sick of this stupid "boomer" term. First of all, doesn't it cover about 20 years? I have about as much in common with a 65-year-old as I do with a 30-year-old, and I'm supposedly a young Boomer.

Also, I hate it when people are grouped by some arbitrary thing, and then everyone says, "Well, that group is ALL that way." Really? Because of the time someone happened to be born? Do you believe in astrology too?

Because I'm a Gemini, and I feel like I can only really relate to other Geminis. It's nobody's fault--it's in the stars.


THIS.
Seriously, I'm in the same bracket. And this grouping is retarded, as you say. Furthermore, in the late '60's for every boomer getting stoned in college, experimenting with communal living, growing magic 'shrooms, trying to freak out their parents, there were about a hundred if not more who couldn't afford college or could at best afford auto repair, machinist or photography courses at community college, were just hoping to try and get a decent job, and might have toked up a few times at parties but would no more shoot something into their veins than they would jump into a cesspool for thrills. The only thing they might have shared with the former group was possibly a liking for the Beatles or Rolling Stones.
And us folks born 1960 or later have next to nothing in common with the first boomers, as you say. Our scene wasn't peace and love- our scene was Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson.
 
2011-01-01 11:12:53 AM
Savoir-Faire: But 1973 is heralded as the year that Boomers suddenly started moving into positions in power en masse, and a revolution in economic thinking occurred: to them, global markets should move faster and quicker, like a race car.

Given that the very oldest of the boomers, who turn 65 today, turned 27 in 1973, and the youngest would have been all of nine years old, I doubt that boomers moved "en masse" into positions of power in that year. A lot of things did change in 1973, and it marked the turning point as a lot of post-war trends failed and turned into new trends, but you can't lay that at the feet of the boomers in any meaningful sense. The war generation (and some stragglers from the previous one) still firmly held the reins of power in their hands.
 
2011-01-01 11:13:55 AM
ghare: Every generation blames the one before. Every generation blames the one after.

No. Most generations blame the one after. This is the first that I can think of that has had such a bunch of incompetent, self-interested and greedy predecessors.
 
2011-01-01 11:15:51 AM
Quantum Apostrophe:
But you comfortably put all men in the same basket, yes?


Uh no. Not at all. Why don't you go talk about atoms or something?
 
2011-01-01 11:16:14 AM
fulltext
Boomers Hit New Self-Absorption Milestone: Age 65
By DAN BARRY

In keeping with a generation's fascination with itself, the time has come to note the passing of another milestone: On New Year's Day, the oldest members of the Baby Boom Generation will turn 65, the age once linked to retirement, early bird specials and gray Velcro shoes that go with everything.

Though other generations, from the Greatest to the Millennial, may mutter that it's time to get over yourselves, this birthday actually matters. According to the Pew Research Center, for the next 19 years, about 10,000 people "will cross that threshold" every day - and many of them, whether through exercise or Botox, have no intention of ceding to others what they consider rightfully theirs: youth.

This means that the 79 million baby boomers, about 26 percent of this country's population, will be redefining what it means to be older, and placing greater demands on the social safety net. They are living longer, working longer and, researchers say, nursing some disappointment about how their lives have turned out. The self-aware, or self-absorbed, feel less self-fulfilled, and thus are racked with self-pity.

So, then, to those who once never trusted anyone over 30: Raise that bowl of high-fiber granola, antioxidant-rich blueberries and skim milk and give yourself a Happy Birthday toast.

"The stork's 1946 diaper derby left a controversy today that rocked the cradles from coast to coast," The Associated Press reported 65 years ago. "The maternal question of the moment was: Who was the first baby born in the new year?"

The wire service named several contenders, from a newborn girl named Darleen in Los Angeles to a baby boy named James in St. Louis - to the infant identified only as "the son of Mr. and Mrs. Aloysius Nachreiner, of Buffalo." Readers of that news item could not help wondering:

What is to come of this son of Buffalo? Who will he be?

The Nachreiner boy, along with these other bundles of innocence, were the very first of what has come to be known, rather graphically, as the "pig in the python." After the travails and absences of the Depression and World War II flattened the birthrate, the promise and prosperity of the postwar years created a sharp rise in births that lasted from 1946 until 1964, when the popularity of birth control pills helped stem the tide.

Ascribing personality traits to a bloc of 79 million people is a fool's endeavor. For one thing, people born in 1964 wouldn't know the once-ubiquitous television hero Sky King if he landed his trusty Songbird on their front lawns, just as people born in 1946 wouldn't quite know what to make of one of Sky King's successors, the big-headed H. R. Pufnstuf.

For another, the never-ending celebration of the hippie contingent of boomers tends to overshadow the Young Americans for Freedom contingent. After all, while some boomers were trying to "levitate" the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War, other boomers were fighting in that war.

Steven M. Gillon, the author of "Boomer Nation: The Largest and Richest Generation Ever and How It Changed America" (Simon & Shuster, 2004), warns against generalizing about baby boomers, especially when it concerns politics. Still, he says, the boomer generation, of which he is a member, clearly changed our world. Here's a simple generalization - that is, explanation - of how:

Previous generations were raised to speak only when spoken to, and to endure in self-denying silence. But baby boomers were raised on the more nurturing, child-as-individual teachings of Dr. Benjamin Spock, and then placed under the spell of television, whose advertisers marketed their wares directly to children. Parents were cut out of the sale - except, of course, for the actual purchase of that coonskin cap or Barbie doll.

"It created a sense of entitlement that had not existed before," Mr. Gillon said. "We became more concerned with our own emotional well-being, whereas to older generations that was considered soft and fluffy."

The boomers may not have created rock 'n' roll, but they certainly capitalized on its potential to revolt against parents. And they may not have led the civil rights movement, but they embraced it - at least, many of them did - and applied its principles to fighting for the rights of women and gay men and lesbians. They came to expect, even demand, freedom of choice; options in life.

"But the pig has moved through the python, and is moving to the final stage," Mr. Gillon said. "And we won't describe what that stage is."

Here is an attempt: retirement, old age, then a release to a place where the celestial Muzak plays a never-ending loop of the Doobie Brothers.

About 13 percent of the population today is 65 or older; by 2030, when the last of the baby boomers are 65, that rate will have grown to 18 percent. In addition to testing the sustainability of entitlement programs like Social Security, this wholesale redefinition of old age may also include a pervading sense that life has been what might technically be called a "bummer."

A study by two sociologists, Julie Phillips of Rutgers University and Ellen Idler of Emory University, indicates that the suicide rate for middle-aged people, notably baby boomers without college degrees, rose from 1999 to 2005. And Paul Taylor, the executive vice president of the Pew Center, summed up a recent survey of his generation this way:

"We're pretty glum."

This gloominess appears to be linked to the struggling economy, the demands of middle age and a general sense of lofty goals not met by the generation that once sang of teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony, and then buying it a Coke.

No one person can represent all 79 million members of a generation. But perhaps one person can remind us of the small epiphanies and private pains that define all generations.

Remember the son of Mr. and Mrs. Aloysius Nachreiner, the first baby born in Buffalo in 1946, thus making him one of the country's first baby boomers? Well, his parents named him Aloysius, too - though he was often called Butch.

His father was a bagger at a feed mill; his mother raised their three children in the first floor of a rented duplex. When he was 5 years old, he was blinded in his left eye during a snowball fight with his friend Billy. He liked watching Roy Rogers and Howdy Doody on the family's round, black-and-white television, and rooted hard for Mickey Mantle.

Al, or Butch, graduated from a vocational school with plans to become an auto mechanic, but that never happened. He wound up making his career as a setup man and press operator for a folding box company.

He married an older woman named Alice, a widow with seven children who loved Elvis Presley. They had two daughters, but one died of crib death. They bought a house in a Buffalo neighborhood nicknamed Iron Island because it was surrounded by railroad tracks.

He played fast-pitch softball for many years, pitching for who knows how many bars and taverns, but gave it up a few years ago because his knees would hurt for days after a game.

Two years ago, two days after their 40th wedding anniversary, his Alice died, after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease. She left him with two dozen grandchildren and a half-dozen or so great-grandchildren. "As long as they all don't come over at once, it's all right," he says, laughing.

Mr. Nachreiner still works, making boxes from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., five days a week. In his free time, he roots for the hapless Buffalo Bills, uses his computer - "though I'm not very good at it" - and, when not visiting family, relaxes at home with his Jack Russell terrier, Trixie, where a portrait of Elvis hangs on the wall.

He does not devote much time to pondering the traits of his generation, or his status as an early baby boomer, or even the fact that come New Year's Day he will turn 65. What he says of it all is what all those baby boomers behind him hope to say one day:

"I made it."

Jack Begg contributed research.
 
2011-01-01 11:17:24 AM
cynicalbastard: Seriously, I'm in the same bracket. And this grouping is retarded, as you say.

Not every boomer acts the same, and the ones who didn't experience the flower children crap of the 60's will, by nature, be of a slightly different culture.

However, having said that, the baby-boomers/the worst generation have set records in narcissism and there are cultural traits which span a generation. Just as "everybody" wants to get a bean-bag chair when they were in style, "everybody" in that generation followed the lead of betraying a bunch of false values, worshiping greed, incurring massive debts, sacrificing community and being narcissistic.
 
2011-01-01 11:17:38 AM
cynicalbastard: cryinoutloud: I'm getting pretty sick of this stupid "boomer" term. First of all, doesn't it cover about 20 years? I have about as much in common with a 65-year-old as I do with a 30-year-old, and I'm supposedly a young Boomer.

Also, I hate it when people are grouped by some arbitrary thing, and then everyone says, "Well, that group is ALL that way." Really? Because of the time someone happened to be born? Do you believe in astrology too?

Because I'm a Gemini, and I feel like I can only really relate to other Geminis. It's nobody's fault--it's in the stars.

THIS.
Seriously, I'm in the same bracket. And this grouping is retarded, as you say. Furthermore, in the late '60's for every boomer getting stoned in college, experimenting with communal living, growing magic 'shrooms, trying to freak out their parents, there were about a hundred if not more who couldn't afford college or could at best afford auto repair, machinist or photography courses at community college, were just hoping to try and get a decent job, and might have toked up a few times at parties but would no more shoot something into their veins than they would jump into a cesspool for thrills. The only thing they might have shared with the former group was possibly a liking for the Beatles or Rolling Stones.
And us folks born 1960 or later have next to nothing in common with the first boomers, as you say. Our scene wasn't peace and love- our scene was Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson.


And the sex pistols and the Ramones... and Abba - scratch that one.
 
2011-01-01 11:18:53 AM
It is a great milestone. It means that soon we will have a world without Boomers aka The Wost Generation.

Here's a song you might remember: Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye
 
2011-01-01 11:19:13 AM
Walker: It's asking me to log in. I thought registration links were banned?

You don't have to register to view the article.
 
2011-01-01 11:19:23 AM
BokerBill: So of course the "greatest generation", who really were in charge at the time, get off without any blame or rebuke, and get to retire at age 60 on Social Security paid for by their selfish children.

So blame away, youngsters. But know that time will come when everything is YOUR fault.


Mark another worst-generationer down for a "waah."
 
2011-01-01 11:19:23 AM
Rozinante: cryinoutloud: I'm getting pretty sick of this stupid "boomer" term. First of all, doesn't it cover about 20 years? I have about as much in common with a 65-year-old as I do with a 30-year-old, and I'm supposedly a young Boomer.

Also, I hate it when people are grouped by some arbitrary thing, and then everyone says, "Well, that group is ALL that way." Really? Because of the time someone happened to be born? Do you believe in astrology too?

Because I'm a Gemini, and I feel like I can only really relate to other Geminis. It's nobody's fault--it's in the stars.

Typical boomer, it's all me, me, me.


To be fair, there were several "I"s in there too.
 
2011-01-01 11:21:28 AM
riverwalk barfly:
And the sex pistols and the Ramones... and Abba - scratch that one.

It's alright to admit to liking the odd ABBA tune...just don't do it too often. That's an admission you can hear that ol'Grim Reaper whistling as he heads up your street with a cholesterol-lined invite.
/Can you hear the drums, Fernando?
 
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