Dead Hippie


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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Wanna buy a "People's Temple" shirt?

Rather than trade, they want to possess.

The phenomenon is most visible in demand for items that reflect the interests and experiences of the Baby Boom generation, those born between 1946 and 1966. Rock, film and sports memorabilia have been commanding heady prices as the boomers reach their peak earning years. Many have finished with their family obligations and find themselves with plenty of discretionary income, and they are bidding up items that remind them of their youth.

"Collectibles March To The Baby Boomers' Tune"
International Herald Tribune

Friday, May 18, 2007

The real boomer legacy: failed war, foreign debt

Debt to foreign governments is rising by roughly $700-800 billion annually. These governments for the moment are content to lend the U.S these lofty sums at reasonable interest rates, but that could change by, for instance, an act of terrorism that would shake foreign confidence in the U.S., cause the budget deficit to increase due to a drop in revenues and an increase in spending for reconstruction and retaliation; together these might cause foreigners to cut back on capital flows to the U.S. and given our enormous dependence would cause the dollar to plummet and interest rates to rise.

"10 Questions: Who's Paying for The War"
CBS News

The cure for restless leg syndrome: separate bedrooms

A lot of happily married couples, partners for 30 years or more, are no longer sleeping together. Why? There are snoring problems, restless leg syndrome or other sleep issues. The need for sleep is fueling a new housing trend for baby boomers.

Danny Utterbeck has been in housing construction for years. Lately he's noticing some differences in his customer's requests. The baby boomers are dictating style; one of those changes is to have two separate master bedrooms.

"A New Trend In The Way Baby Boomers Sleep"
ABC News (Idaho)

Boomers fight senility with quackery and snake oil

Gerry Stride cracks wise jokes about having a senior moment when she forgets a name. But this baby boomer's fear of succumbing to dementia or Alzheimer's disease is no joke.

That's why Stride, 57, is a regular at the new "brain gym" of the Medford Leas retirement campus in Medford, N.J., where she works as director of community life.

"Baby Boomers Explore Ways To Avoid Senility"
Clarion Ledger (Mississippi)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

No room for minority youth in the "Age of Aquarius"

With the number of nonwhite Americans above 100 million for the first time, demographers are identifying an emerging racial generation gap.

That development may portend a nation split between an older, whiter electorate and a younger overall population that is more Hispanic, black and Asian and that presses sometimes competing agendas and priorities.

"Minority Population Surpasses 100 Million"
Tampa Tribune

A warning to grabby boomers

And so that leaves us with only one option -- to default. (We certainly mimic our parents when it comes to our comfort with bad credit.) We're not going to kill you off, Boomers, as much as we'd like to sometimes, but we're not going to pay for your old age, either. All the more reason to not only accept but lobby for cuts in benefits now -- before you turn to younger workers for a handout, and realize that we've fled for higher ground.

"There's Only One Option"
San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tune in, turn on and drop dead!

Memo to Baby Boomers: An Apple a day might keep the doctor away, but your iPod might send you to the emergency room. On Thursday, a 17-year-old Michigan high school student named Jay Thaker presented a paper on iPod and pacemaker interference to the 2007 annual meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society in Denver, Colorado. His study concluded that iPods caused various types of interference in pacemakers in 50 percent of the patients tested.

"Pacemakers Threatened by iPod Interference"

Rise of the machines: a robotic future for boomers?

But then there is the other thing....Will it be the Bicentennial Man? Which I actually think was one of the better science fiction movies. It's schmaltzy, but underneath what's going on, there are some interesting questions. Robin Williams is a robot who wants to become the human, a common theme. He starts replacing his parts with biologically motivated parts, and at the same time those biologically motivated parts become good replacements for people who are decrepit. And so the people and he are sharing the same sorts of parts. And especially as I say, us, my generation, as baby boomers get older, we're gonna want everything--and we've always gotten what we wanted, dammit.

"The Robots Are Coming"

Historian: modern religious conservatism emerged in 60's counterculture

The author, a historian at Southeast Community College, considers links between evangelicalism and 1960s youth culture and shows how a mixing of the two in the "Jesus movement" went on to influence the "biblically grounded politics" of a force most historians describe as "purely reactionary." Yet, "if it had not been for the counterculture," he says, "there may never have been a Christian Right." It was the counterculture that gave evangelicals "the rebellious spirit, the youthful activists, and the committed voters it so needed."

"Hippies of The Religious Right"
Chronicle of Higher Education (pass required)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

'Hippie' author slams documentary

If you are going to do a balanced job of reporting, you have to present that first part of the picture. With mostly no coverage of it, and just the barest fleeting mention of part of it, the producers of the Sunday night farce filled their two-hour butchery with tales of drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, violence, and crime. Thus, as usual, what viewers were given was a one-sided picture that wound up as a distortion of history. And what could be expected if you are going to use, as one of your key analysts, the editor of that periodical of conformist, fascistic thought, The National Review?

"The Non-History Channel Butchers 'The Hippies'"
Atlantic Free Press

The new boomer, sorry... age discrimination industry

The large number of baby boomers in the work force is helping to drive what some lawyers see as a steady rise in the number of age-bias complaints.

According to the Census Bureau, there were 78.2 million baby boomers as of July 1, 2005. Many boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, have fought for civil rights, are bolder than the previous generation, and will stand up for themselves when they fall victim to what they see as unfair treatment.

"Baby Boomers Fight Back Over Age Discrimination"
Star News On-Line (North Carolina)

"Hippies": far from flattering

It's depressing enough to see your high school and college years show up on the History Channel. But it got much worse when they interviewed former hippies who now look like Granny Clampett or shuffleboard supervisors at Seizure World Retirement Village, waxing nostalgic about their glory days sleeping with 60 other unwashed flower children in a commune.
"All of our money went into the pot," one said, "welfare checks, everything."

I don't know what kind of pot she was buying. But the hypocrisy was more revealing than naked mud dancers at Woodstock. "Welfare checks"?

So the hippies who moved to communes to reject "the system" didn't mind feeding at the system's welfare trough, even though they were all able-bodied and healthy? How embarrassing.

"Cappies Puts The 'We Generation' On Stage"
Cincinnati Enquirer

A hard sell: boomer nudists target younger demographic

Here's the naked truth about nude recreation: The people who practice it aren't getting any younger.

To draw 20- and 30-somethings, nudist groups and camps are trying everything from deep discounts on membership fees to a young ambassador program that encourages college and graduate students to talk to their peers about having fun in the buff.

"Nudists Try to Attract Younger Following"

Monday, May 14, 2007

Boomer spending a non-issue for candidates

The nation, already wallowing in debt, has no plan to cope with the tsunami of new costs that will arrive as baby boomers begin to retire. Instead of contributing to Social Security, the boomers will draw from it and as waves of boomers join the Medicare rolls, the program's costs will swell, swamping the ability of younger Americans to pay for them, says USA Today.

The first surge is now within sight:

In 2010, the annual Social Security surplus, used to mask the size of the already-massive federal budget deficit, begins to shrink, according to the trustees report, forcing the next president and future Congresses to raise taxes or borrow more.

This would crimp living standards, either by taking money away from people, or by boosting interest rates, making everything from homes to college educations more expensive. In 2016, the surplus, currently $68 billion, turns to a deficit, further compounding the problem.

"On US Debt , It's All Quiet On the Presidential Trail"
National Center for Policy Analysis

Open borders for boomers!

Immigrants and baby boomers are two groups whose destinies are converging in the next 20 years,'' says Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California. ''Baby boomers will surrender their economic role to this generation of immigrants and their children,'' who will evolve into a critical pool of laborers and taxpayers, he says.

"Boomers' Fates Are Tied To Immigrants"
Salt Lake Tribune

Canadian boomers keep it rockin'

The spectre of old-age homes filling with pot smokers and crack heads is daunting for the scant few organizations in the country devoted to treating addictions among seniors.

"We're seeing a huge jump," said Marilyn White-Campbell, who works with addicted seniors through Ontario's Community Outreach Programs in Addictions. "It used to be just alcohol was a problem. Now we're seeing seniors using marijuana, heroin, crack cocaine, OxyContin. There's even quite a few on methadone maintenance. I'd only seen three of those in the previous 20 years."'

"Number of Drug-Addicted Seniors to Surge As Boomers Retire"
Globe and Mail (Canada)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Poll: students weary of boomer leaders

College students apparently are fed up with the job being done by today's leaders.

That's the gist of a new survey completed for the Panetta Institute for Public Policy at Cal State Monterey Bay.

Like the rest of Americans, they've about had it with the Iraq war: about 73 percent supported a timetable for American troops to leave. Only 22 percent support keeping troops there "as long as necessary," says the report.

"As We See It: College Students Want Change"
Santa Cruz Sentinel (California)

Reader assails aussie boomers

As an example, look at those heroic baby boomers who would have us believe they brought us into a golden age of enlightenment, happiness and progressive thinking.

For all the stories of their wild challenges to authority and traditional thinking, I'm willing to bet that most did nothing more politically active than get stoned, sleep around, wear stupid headbands and sway their heads to trite and shallow rock anthems about bullfrogs and other nonsense.

After clamoring for free education, they got jobs, cut their hair and started yapping about "uers pays" and "economic rationalism," retreating to their new suburban compounds and reverting to the traditional adult behavior of trying to impress their friends with silverware and tut-tutting about the imminent collapse of society.

"The Children of the Revolution Have Taken a Wrong Turn"
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

In NZ: from "People Power" to elitism

Because the Baby Boomers are the establishment now. We are the oldies. We've become the people we marched against. This is the world our revolution has created.

And it's every bit as flawed and dysfunctional, as failed and unjust as it ever was. The flaws and the failings may be new, they may be different but that's all. Their effect is every bit as sad and serious as anything the stuffy old codgers who once insisted we cut our hair and pull our socks up and stand on our own two feet ever inflicted on the world.

"The Hipsters' Revolution Didn't Change The World"
NZ Herald (New Zealand)

History we'd soon forget: 'Hippies'

In the film, former hippie activist Roz Payne, now a gray-haired grandmotherly figure living in New Hampshire, talks about Woodstock and how she and others sneaked up to the security fence on Yasgur's Farm and cut it so thousands could get into the concert grounds without paying.

She notes that she still has the original blueprints of the site. Oddly enough, she looks into the camera and says, "I'll sell them to you for $100."

Express-Times (New Jersey)

Just in case anyone missed Boomer Century...

New fiction: overcoming hippie parents

The true test for the hippie kids of Flower Children is not their parents' divorce, nor is it dealing with the string of short-term boyfriends and girlfriends who woo their folks.

It's junior high.

Raised in a cartoonish house with four rooms stacked one atop another, a dirt floor in the kitchen and a swing dangling from the living room ceiling, the children in Maxine Swann's novel want nothing more than to fit in with their peers.

"Flower Children Face Life Among Non-Hippies"
Courier News (Illinois)

Tony Blair: typical selfish boomer

For the boomer generation may be well educated, but they are at heart uncivilised. On average, they read much less than their parents did. Their taste in music remains largely mired in the comforting rhythms of their youth. "I feel I should graduate to classical music," Tony Blair said just a few weeks before his 50th birthday. "But the truth is, I'm more likely to listen to rock music. I listen to what the kids play." It's a typical boomer confession, delivered, of course, with a distinct pride.

"He Should Be So Lucky"

The Scotsman