Dead Hippie


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Friday, March 16, 2007

Michael Moore: another boomer hypocrite

To a large degree, "Manufacturing Dissent" covers well-trod ground as it catalogs charges and critiques that have dogged Moore for decades. Even before he broke through with "Roger & Me" (1989), the first of his high-grossing (and highly influential) first-person documentaries, he started burning bridges and making enemies in the aftermath of his firing from Mother Jones magazine. (He claims he was removed as editor for political reasons; testimony here indicates that, no, he simply wasn’t a very good editor.) Later, as "Roger & Me" evolved into a genuine phenomenon, Moore -- mindful of his image as a folksy, working-class maverick flying solo -- allegedly claimed more credit than he was due (and, worse, gave no credit to deserving collaborators).

"Manufacturing Dissent"

In Australia: public at odds with aussie boomer optimism

IT'S a boomer bonanza. With baby boomers sitting on half Australia's household wealth, it is no surprise that the old and hoary are more upbeat than the rest of the population.

Indeed, confidence in your own prospects seems to depend on when you were born. More to the point, things are looking good if you were born between 1946 and 1964.

"Baby, It's Old Out There As the Good Times Roll"
The Age (Australia)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

In search of hippies

Maybe that's the ticket: Community. Most everybody needs a tribe, a place to belong, and as technology ever-further distances people from each other, they reach out with warm, seeking hands. They gather en masse with like-minded comrades, and music festivals are the modern-day magnet that draws old hippies, new hippies, would-be hippies and hippie sympathizers.

It is not all sweetness and light, of course. Hippies are just as prone to judgmental sniffs and the "poseur" accusation. At Langerado, a man wearing a "I love everybody" shirt caused another man walking by to mumble to his friend, "I love everybody more." And, truth be told, there were plenty of the self-consciously grubby, suspected "trustifarians" driving new 4-Runners and wearing $90 Chaco sandals and camping in Gore-Tex tents.

"But Were There Hippies?"
Palm Beach Post (Florida)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tune in, turn on, doze off: the boomer bed obsession

Just when you think baby boomers could not become more self-indulgent comes a trend in high-end beds selling for as much as $50,000.

Hoping to get a good night's rest, wealthy boomers are shelling out thousands of dollars for deluxe mattresses made from latex, flax, silk, cashmere, lambs wool, foam rubber and “hand-tufted horsehair,” according to an AP story.

The Latest Boomer Bauble

A blessed place: Idaho has fewest boomers in US

Boomers are growing in dominance on state-level politics in most of the country. New Jersey is tops with boomer politicians commanding 66 percent of the state lawmaker posts. North Dakota, West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Utah also have high boomer numbers.

Bucking the trends, as usual, is Idaho. According to the Scripps study, Idaho is the single most boomer-free state in the country. Boomers make up only 39 percent of the state’s power. Also relatively boomer-free are Alabama and North Carolina.

"Idaho has Fewest Baby Boomers in Politics"
New West

Note to self: stay out of New Jersey.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Is the Antichrist a boomer?

It was only this year that de Jesus, 60, began calling himself the Antichrist. For the preceding couple of years, he’d been saying he was the Second Coming. In the doctrine of his church, this is not necessarily a contradiction.

Believers admit it’s complicated.

"Followers of the Antichrist"
Metro Spirit (Georgia)

Pot meet kettle: Gen Y the "selfish" generation?

But Twenge and others are wildly mistaken about the Millennial generation – those born since the early 1980s. No matter what teens say on surveys, there is scant evidence that they act more selfishly. In fact, the trends in youth behavior support the opposite conclusion – that Millennials have much greater regard for one another, their parents, and the community than Generation Xers or baby boomers had at the same phase of life.

"Today's Teens Are Less Selfish Than Some Adults Think"
Christian Science Monitor

At least the boomers aren't calling them "superpredators"...yet.

Change unlikely: new Congress, same inept boomers

The average age of senators also drifted upward in 2007 because those replacing senators who retired or were defeated in 2006 were not much younger. Just three of the 10 new senators are more than a decade younger than their predecessors. Seven who left last year were younger than 60, including Missouri Republican Jim Talent, 50, who was defeated by Democrat Claire McCaskill, 53. Virginia Republican George Allen, 54, was beaten by Democrat Jim Webb, 60. Tennessee Republican Bob Corker, 54, is just a few months younger than former Majority Leader Bill Frist.

And while the freshman class is not particularly old — the eldest at 65 is Vermont Independent Bernard Sanders — it does not include a senator younger than 46, as had been the case in each Senate freshman class for decades. (Democrats Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are both 46.)

"Democratic-Led 110th Congress is Old Boys' Club With a Twist, as Women, Blacks Gain Clout"
Congressional Quarterly

Hillary's journey: from boomer idealism to self-serving cynicism

How ironic that, in many ways, Senator Hillary Clinton represents the end of that era. She may just be the baby boomer generation's last hurrah.

Today, the Clintons run the political machine trying to save the status quo in the Democratic Party. Their fundraising operation is notorious for its ruthlessness and elitism. Their circle of advisors and friends are tough and aggressive with anyone who refuses to pledge allegiance. They are surrounded by money collectors like Terry McAuliffe who shakedown donors with warnings that they will be punished if they give to another candidate. Senator Clinton's position on the Iraq War is by far the most calculated of any candidate. And on so many other issues, her positions are measured and break no new ground. Each appearance is predictable and perfectly arranged. Whether by necessity or choice, the spontaneity, exuberance and hope we saw in both of the Clintons in 1992 is gone.

"The Clintons: The Times They Are a Changing"
Huffington Post

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Is misplaced optimism clouding boomer judgement?

If life's like a football game, baby boomers keep trying to push back the goal line.

The boomers, a new survey shows, define old age as beginning at 66. Last year, a similar survey pegged the number at 65. On average, boomers -- the generation whose members were born from 1946 through 1964 -- think they'll live to be 81, but want to live to age 89. Half want to live to be 100.

To put those numbers in perspective, consider that when many boomers' parents were born, average life expectancy was only in the 60s. Forget about the Age of Aquarius; these boomers think it's the Age of Infinity.

"Boomers Reveal Gap Between Beliefs, Behaviors"
Herald Tribune (Florida)

Boomer spending is creating "fiscal time bomb"

If nothing is done to rein in the national debt, all Americans face the prospect of significantly higher taxes to continue meeting our financial obligations.

We also face the prospect of rising interest rates as our profligate ways represent an increasingly greater risk to creditors. Rising rates, in turn, would drive up our annual interest payments, which would require even higher taxes or, more likely, increased borrowing.

And before you know it, rock star Bono will be making the rounds of other countries asking if they'll offer us some debt relief.

"National Debt Load Is a Fiscal Time Bomb"
San Francisco Chronicle

Walter Reed scandal another blow to boomer leadership

Lies from the White House. Incompetence in treating wounded veterans. Irrelevance in Congress. Can't anybody do anything right? It's days like these that turn Americans sour on government, stoking a desire for leaders who actually lead.

Exhibit A is the conviction of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, whose trial cast unflattering light on the White House and the media.

Exhibit B is the shameful treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center, and the likelihood that problems are systemic - a national disgrace.

"Dispirited About Washington? It's a National Epidemic"
St. Petersburg Times (Florida)