'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
BOOMERS EXCLAIM: ‘WATCH ME GET OLD!’
On behalf of my fellow Baby Boomers, I’d like to say something: I am truly sorry.
I’m sorry that all you’ve been hearing about for more than half a century now is whatever the Baby Boom generation thinks is important.
A recent cover story in PARADE magazine discussed the fact that members of the Baby Boom generation—the 77 million of us born between 1946 and 1964—will begin turning 60 in the year 2006. The magazine cover proclaimed, “Life begins at 60!” (And this from a generation that once proudly declared, “Don’t trust anyone over 30!”)
By the way, this was not a one-time story. The article stated, “These aging Boomers have an unprecedented capacity to do, to enjoy and to influence the world around them, as PARADE will explore in our Live Longer, Better, Wiser™ series.”
Oh great. We’re going to be bombarded for years to
come with countless tales of narcissistic Boomers sharing insight and
wisdom about getting old. In typical Boomer style, I’m sure these stories
will be written as if we alone were the first people in history ever to
confront the aging process.
No, we sure do not. We Boomers have been convinced that we are the center of the universe ever since we appeared in record numbers during the peace and prosperity era right after WWII. When we wore Davey Crockett hats and played with our Hula Hoops, we demanded that everyone pay attention.
When we started listening to rock n’ roll music, we insisted it was the ONLY kind of music worth listening to. When we were old enough to reproduce, we demanded to have fun without any responsibility, and so was born the Sexual Revolution with birth control, abortion on demand, and no-fault divorce.
When it was time to defend our country, the vast majority of Boomers said, “Let someone else do it,” and the military draft was promptly eliminated. When we entered the workforce, becoming a highly paid yuppie was all the rage. When we decided to start our own families, minivans, SUVs, and “Baby on Board” signs were everywhere.
When Boomers moved into the middle-age years, suddenly you couldn’t go more than 30 seconds without hearing about the terrible scourges of breast cancer, prostate problems, and the long lines at Starbucks.
And now the Boomer generation begins to join the ranks of senior citizens. Oh brother, just wait, we soon will be insisting that cataracts, walkers, and artificial hips are “cool.”
When you take what is the most self-indulgent generation in American history and combine it with what is arguably the most self-indulgent organization in American history, the A.A.R.P., all I can say is, “God help us.”
So that is why I’m apologizing on behalf of my generation, the self-absorbed, look-at-me, I’m-the-center-of-the-universe Baby Boom generation. (Although if you think about it, taking it upon oneself to speak for 77 million other people might be construed as the height of self-importance. Guilty as charged. Typical Boomer arrogance.)
I apologize to our parents’ generation, the generation to whom we did not listen when they tried to teach us some humility. And I apologize to the generations younger than we, the generations that will be sucked dry as the Social Security and Medicare programs first teeter, and then topple, under our weight.
Try not to celebrate too much when the last Boomer is dead and buried.
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