Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Boomers Or Bummers?

Boomers Or Bummers?

I must admit that I have to laugh when someone says that they are middle-aged, and when I ask just how old he or she is, the reply is, "Just 65."

Sixty-five? Sixty-five? And you think you're middle-aged?

Here's a wake-up call for those kinds of people. You are NOT middle-aged. You are old, a senior. You get that special discount on Senior's Day at the drug store and the thrift shop. You are no closer to middle-age than my ninety-year-old friend, Moanin' Mona.

"But, but ..." some will babble, "My mind, my mind is 21."

Uh, no it's not. Your mind is 65. You may wish that you thought like a twenty-one-year-old, but you don't. Try talking to a person who is really 21, and I'm certain that you will quickly see the difference.

Ah, old age. It sneaks up on us like a five-year-old who wants to see how high you'll jump out of your porch rocker when the little bugger turns the garden hose on you.

My advice to the senior set, the baby boomers from the late 40's and the 50's, is not to try to journey back in time and try, instead, to leave some kind of legacy before you drift off with the smoke in the crematorium.

I suspect, however, that most "boomers" will simply be forgotten. Baby boomers were always so preoccupied with their own generation that they simply missed out on all the advances — the social, economic, scientific, and technological changes — that were evolving as they paraded in the streets while carrying signs admonishing the government's involvement in the war in Viet Nam.

For example, as computers found their way into every household, many boomers couldn't, and some still can't, put together an email. After all, isn't it much nicer to receive a handwritten letter in an envelope with a classy looking John Lennon stamp?

Introduce a boomer to a live chat format, and they become totally confused. Send? Where is send? What do these little faces mean? Why is it beeping? After all, why not simply use the telephone?

Suggest shopping online, and the typical response of a boomer is to bail out as soon as a site asks for any personal information. Your name? Your address? Credit card numbers? Goodness no. Boomers simply don't trust the grid. After years of being self-absorbed, they treat their personal information as the centrepiece jewel of their entire being. After all, couldn't one just go to Target?

Try to show a boomer the virtues and expedience of online banking, and once again, they simply can't fathom how money, the old standby paper bills and brass coins, can become simply numbers. After all, what is one to do with the thousand cheques in the desk drawer?

So, what will the baby boomer legacy be? How will future generations judge such a huge group of people who once saw themselves as the architects of a brave new world?

Well, social prejudice and gender discrimination is as virulent as ever. The economic reality of their passage through time is that it will take another four generations to pay off their debt ridden ways. Their advancements in science have been self-serving, designed to prolong life instead of enhancing the quality of life for future generations. Their hesitancy and distrust of technology is Orwellian in nature, and instead of embracing technological advancements, they resist and inhibit it.

Baby boomers became the consumer generation, when what the world needed was a conserver generation. At best, they can claim to have left behind a multitude of Classic Rock radio stations, which will certainly disappear along with them.

The sad truth may be that their legacy may be the dispensation of failure. If the credo of the baby boomer generation is to be believed, they had a chance to change the world.

They didn't.




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