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Sunday, January 21, 2007

In Canada: new book blasts boomer self-obsession

We all know who they are: the Baby Boomers, the Woodstock Generation, the Yuppies. Bywater, a boomer himself, is out to deflate whatever helium is left in his generation's Zeppelinesque self-regard, and he does so by attacking his fellow boomers' inability to grow up and behave like proper adults.

What is a proper adult, according to Bywater? The short answer is everything that boomers aren't: responsible, autonomous, well mannered, politically and culturally engaged, distrustful but not disrespectful of authority – and able to delay gratification to achieve short- and long-term goals. Bywater locates this ideal adult in the figures of his parents and grandparents and the other adults – teachers, tradesmen, housewives, shopkeepers, cops – he modelled himself after as a child.

"We Are a Bunch of Babies"
Toronto Star

Obama: boomers hurting political process

Mr. Obama calculates that Americans of all ages are sick of the feuding boomers and ready to turn to the generation that came of age after Vietnam, after the campus culture wars between freaks and straights, and after young people had given up on what überboomer Hillary Rodham Clinton (who made her own announcement on the Web yesterday) called in a 1969 commencement address a search for “a more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating mode of living.”

In his second book, “The Audacity of Hope,” Mr. Obama is critical of the style and the politics of the 60s, when the psyches of most of his potential rivals for the White House were formed. He writes that the politics of that era were highly personal, burrowing into every interaction between youth and authority and among peers. The battles moved to Washington in the 1990s and endure today, he says...

"Shushing the Baby Boomers"
New York Times

While war rages in Iraq, boomers take it easy...

My entire generation of baby boomers, I fear, has become lazy and lame in the protest department. A good number of us voted for Democrats in the last election, hoping they might be able to end the madness in Iraq. This was action of some sort, but nothing like the marches we did in the past.

The Vietnam protests were numerous and vigorous, because we were young and filled with righteous energy. Now we protest-generation boomers are in our 50s and 60s. We take naps on weekends and brag about it.

"Boomers Don't Protest Too Much"
Spokesman Review (Idaho)

If hypocrisy is the single defining trait of the baby boomer generation, I wouldn't put it past them to "protest" a war they helped start...