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Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,696
Registered: ‎01-19-2015

"Why Are the Baby Boomers in Such a Bad Mood?"

[ Edited ]

This short "opinion" piece from Sunday's NY Times is amusing, and worth reading. It was written by Marilyn Suzanne Miller, who used to write for Saturday Night Live:

 

 

"Starting sometime in the mid-1950s, baby boomers became the center of American cultural attention. Toni Home Permanents, cap guns, Hostess cupcakes, “American Bandstand,” lovingly packed lunches, the Beatles, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” Motown, Madras shorts, the SATs, undoing Nixon, the civil rights movement, ending the Vietnam War — all came into existence just at the time we, age-appropriately, could ingest, wear or wallop them.


True, our timely presence enriched record and lingerie companies, but we also caused great political change. Later came grad school, Sweet ’n Low, Datsun 240Zs, Tab, thong underpants and free love — it was clear: Life had been lovingly fashioned around us.


Cut to: The Present.


I recently asked a neighbor how old she was: Nervous, reluctant, she said, “Oh, 60 or 61.”


This conveys the ennui of today’s “new middle age” baby boomers, immersed as a group suddenly in retirement, the loss of parents, the start of Medicare, the end of daily routine, the start of your husband’s affair, the sudden, urgent need to grapple for assets for the rest of life and to guess at its length while enduring rash-raising reactions to the word “Kardashian” (for which no prescription creams exist at present). Or all of the above plus no retirement and no assets because of no job! This produces “artisanal stress” (created, by hand, by individual boomers for themselves).


To those of us in it, the new middle age in America is the most despised age ever, right up there with “stillborn” and “dead.” No lovely, leafy glade — just a hazy, terrifying landscape of crepey cleavage, popping veins, trifocals and sagging breasts strewn across a lifeless vista. (And the one for women is just as bad.) This new middle age does not describe the lithe, the sexual, the hip or the cool — especially hard on baby boomers, the actual inventors (see above) of both “hip” and “cool.”


The fact is, the culture ignores us. Baby boomers — a “niche” group of 74.9 million — are snubbed by the movie industry, TV, jeans designers, the music business, everything, in favor of Gen X, Gen Y and the millennials (who sound like a sad, droopy human bouquet).


For years, we were the largest demographic (the millennials recently surpassed us), but we’ve got the bucks — the experience, the drive — and not a few of those millennials get their bucks from our wallets. Clothes, social media, TV shows like “Entertainment This Second!” and “Famous People Who Are Thin” are all aimed at them. Ever hear anyone say, “I think I’ll go watch that great new show ‘Trapped Between Killingly Costly Kids in College and Heartbreakingly Aging Parents in Assisted Living’?” No. But that show would be a hit! It would resonate for at least 35 million of the 74.9 million mentioned above!

 

Other possible boomer TV hits: “What Do You Think This Lump Is?” (quiz show), “We’d Like to See the Dessert Menu” (sitcom about dating in midlife), “Panic Investing in Midlife” (Sunday a.m., with expert panel: Warren Buffett, Ben and Jerry, Beyoncé and that cartoon fish, Dory), “Hip and Knee Replacements for $100” (the new “Mature Jeopardy”). And re: social media — emojis (cute, emotion-bearing symbols) once O.K., but under this president, it could engender fun, fast and goofy nuclear war. Homeland Security should manage.


No other generation deserves this. Gen X, the first latchkey kids (working moms/divorced parents), whose TV babysitters (Peter Jennings, John Dean, Richard Nixon) provided a lovely background visual as “My Sharona” played a million times on the stereo. Millennials are determined, driven and tech-savvy, and will one day know how to easily erase a prenuptial agreement from their spouse’s hard drive in the dark. Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation” — through the Depression and World War II, had the faith, drive and love for Betty Grable (see film, “Stalag 17”) to save the free world and have us! Amazing!


Thus, slathered with their postwar affection, we became the behavioral template for younger generations: for political activism, for the right to wear insane clothes and crazily short skirts, for the right to get married outside and for the fact that all we were saying was give peace a chance.


So, America, undo the hurt of TV no longer ruthlessly profiteering from baby boomers! Renew boomer music — maybe Bruce Springsteen, Paul Shaffer, Wynton Marsalis could do some hip, new chamber music thing! And basic science — perhaps the development of some new carbs, carbohydrates that fatten hair from within, fill in facial lines, even lubricate all personal spots that require lubrication! Thus we’d cheer up all Americans, which other generations can’t. The fact is, we should be the cultural leading edge. Like, look at Billy Joel’s stomach — it sticks out. And just everyone looks at it. That should be us."

 

~~Be careful when you follow the masses. Sometimes the 'm' is silent.~~
Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,504
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

Re: "Why Are The Baby Boomers In Such a Bad Mood?"

Waiting for the indignant posts from those incapable of comprehending humor, or those unable to laugh at themselves, to respond in righteous indignation as to why they're not like "that."

Life without Mexican food is no life at all
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,204
Registered: ‎04-04-2015

Re: "Why Are The Baby Boomers In Such a Bad Mood?"

No indignation here, but if this is what passes for elite, intellectual "humor,"  I see why those baby boomers might be depressed.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,671
Registered: ‎05-13-2017

Re: "Why Are The Baby Boomers In Such a Bad Mood?"

@handygal2 thanks for the very funny read!!!Woman LOL

Honored Contributor
Posts: 24,740
Registered: ‎05-22-2016

Re: "Why Are The Baby Boomers In Such a Bad Mood?"

I'm a boomer but don't feel like one really. I simply don't want to be put in a mold and I certainly don't compare myself to other generations. I'm definitely a nonconformist.Woman Very Happy ..a happy one.Woman Happy

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,005
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Re: "Why Are The Baby Boomers In Such a Bad Mood?"

I'm a baby boomer.  I'm relieved to not be in the spotlight "as a group" any more.  It's nice not to be the subject of so much speculation, wonder, and undeserved attention, frankly, for something so stereotypical as "when you were born".

 

Not that age groups don't generally tend to have some characteristics in common.  But all the lumping together seemed to first go overboard with the boomers, and continues with each succeeding generation...

 

I remember in class, college professors pandering to us, saying we "kids" were the most fantastic generation, earth-shaking, wise beyond our years, gack.  That annoyed me.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,120
Registered: ‎04-17-2015

Re: "Why Are The Baby Boomers In Such a Bad Mood?"

I don't see it as humorous -- I see it as the truth.

 

One thing's for sure, though. I wouldn't trade my place in this life at this time for Gen X'ers, Millenials, or any other group that is younger. Sadly, nothing to be envious of IMO.... and not much to hope for the way things are looking.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,504
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

Re: "Why Are The Baby Boomers In Such a Bad Mood?"


@Oznell wrote:

I'm a baby boomer.  I'm relieved to not be in the spotlight "as a group" any more.  It's nice not to be the subject of so much speculation, wonder, and undeserved attention, frankly, for something so stereotypical as "when you were born".

 

Not that age groups don't generally tend to have some characteristics in common.  But all the lumping together seemed to first go overboard with the boomers, and continues with each succeeding generation...

 

I remember in class, college professors pandering to us, saying we "kids" were the most fantastic generation, earth-shaking, wise beyond our years, gack.  That annoyed me.


 

 

What I see a lot (especially on these forums) is baby boomers assuming/expecting to be catered to, because they have been for so long as a financial and sociological bloc. They can't seem to conceive of the idea that they aren't the "It Generation", the one everyone has to pay attenton to and cater to because they have up to now.

 

We are no longer the targeted demographic. And going forward we will be less and less. It is what it is. You can rail against it but you can't stop it.

Life without Mexican food is no life at all
Valued Contributor
Posts: 816
Registered: ‎06-04-2017

Re: "Why Are The Baby Boomers In Such a Bad Mood?"

~Sic friar crustulum...~ (that's how the cookie crumbles).

Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see. It is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly "You Got This - Keep Going"
Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,752
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: "Why Are The Baby Boomers In Such a Bad Mood?"

Actually, Baby Boomers ARE a targeted demographic.  Baby Boomers have most of the money.

 

I don't think there is any IT generation, but indeed, most generations have been identified in some way.

 

A lot of the more "mature" people complained about Gen X and now it's the millennials.