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Noonan Takes On The Boomer Class

While Peggy Noonan is normally Dan’s territory, I hope he will indulge me on this one.  Reason being is that I’m now a self-created student of the “American Generations” after reading “The Fourth Turning“.

Noonan’s column today sums up exactly why, as a Gen X’er, I hold the Baby Boomers in such disdain and long for the day that they have exited our political structure.  Noonan also echoes a lot of what Strauss and Howe said about the Boomers in “The Fourth Turning”.

Her column title sums it up nicely: We’re Governed by Callous Children.

And her last paragraph fits the Boomer Class like a glove:

We are governed at all levels by America’s luckiest children, sons and daughters of the abundance, and they call themselves optimists but they’re not optimists—they’re unimaginative. They don’t have faith, they’ve just never been foreclosed on. They are stupid and they are callous, and they don’t mind it when people become disheartened. They don’t even notice.

As Strauss and Howe noted in 1997, it is now our time.  The practical Gen Xers & The Millenials have to rescue America from the Baby Boomers who lived their entire adult lives wishing for the ideals of America to end; and are now in the middle of fulfilling those goals.

It is time to take America back from these callous children.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from Dan):  Bruce, of course, I’ll indulge you on this one. 🙂

I agree that the column you cite was particularly insightful.  And do hope you’ll indulge me by according me the privilege of writing a followup.

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19 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, though, the “callous children” bred. They teach they’re own kids that everything is about them and constantly rewards their failure.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 31, 2009 @ 6:37 pm - October 31, 2009

  2. Sadly, though, the Millenials are the Boomers 100 times magnified.

    An excellent op-ed on the Boomers’ perpetual Peter Pan Sydrome,and how it is in the “blood” of the Xers and Millenials, is “Blame Michael Jackson” in The Complete Spengler section of the Asia Times Online (www.atimes.com/atimes/others/spengler).

    Comment by Occamsrazor7 — October 31, 2009 @ 7:39 pm - October 31, 2009

  3. This reminds me of a song by the late great Kevin Gilbert called Goodness Gracious. Here’s the song. Here’s the lyrics:

    Goodness gracious, is there nothing left to say?
    When the ones that get to keep looking are the ones that look away
    It’s pabulum for the sleepers in the cult of brighter days

    Goodness gracious, at the mercy of the crooks
    We’re broke and stroking vegetables and there’s way too many cooks
    In every pot a pink slip, in every mouth a hook

    Goodness gracious, i’m not listening anymore
    ‘Cause the spooks are in the white house and they’ve justified a war
    So wake me when they notify we’re gonna fight some more

    Goodness gracious, not many people care
    Concern is getting scarcer, true compassion really rare
    I can see it on our faces, i can feel it in the air
    Goodness gracious me

    Goodness gracious, my generation’s lost
    They burned down all our bridges before we had a chance to cross
    Is it the winter of our discontent or just an early frost?

    Goodness gracious, of apathy i sing
    The babyboomers had it all and wasted everything
    Now recess is almost over and they won’t get off the swing

    Goodness gracious, we came in at the end
    No sex that isn’t dangerous, no money left to spend
    We’re the cleanup crew for parties we were too young to attend
    Goodness gracious me [repeat]

    Goodness gracious my grandma used to say
    The world’s a scary place now, things were different in her day
    What horrors will be commonplace when my hair starts to grey?

    Comment by Sonicfrog — October 31, 2009 @ 8:32 pm - October 31, 2009

  4. Now recess is almost over and they won’t get off the swing

    Literally.

    I fall on the tail-end of the “boomer generation” and, while only an accident of birth, it’s nothing to be proud of. Just a look at the 50 and 60-somethings still trying to act and dress like teenagers.

    The consequences are dire (see Diana West’s Death of the Grown-Up).

    And TGC has a point: Obama was boomer-spawn.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — October 31, 2009 @ 9:35 pm - October 31, 2009

  5. I feel like running out and a kicking a boomer right in the nuts.

    Comment by mattm — October 31, 2009 @ 9:46 pm - October 31, 2009

  6. I was born in 1964, so I don’t consider myself a boomer nor a Gen Xer. USA Today had an article a while back that labelled people my age “tweeners”: falling between the boomers & the slackers. The boomers are way too self absorbed for me.

    Comment by Jim Michaud — November 1, 2009 @ 12:13 am - November 1, 2009

  7. The practical Gen Xers & The Millenials have to rescue America from the Baby Boomers who lived their entire adult lives wishing for the ideals of America to end

    Uh, pardon me, but the “Boomers” spent a lot of time insuring that the ideals of America would be lived up to, not ignored.

    What do you think being gay would be like today, if “Boomers” had not been less prejudiced than their parents were, & willing to do something about others’ prejudices?

    You guys might have had to get out & march, or demonstrate, or write angry posts, or send money to candidates, to insure your own safety, a chance to have a job & support yourself, & so on, instead of using your spare time blogging about how awful “boomers” are.

    I know it’s Hallowe’en, & you like to pretend you’re grown-ups, but for you to wander around in costume pretending you’re “practical” & have to rescue America from other Americans is getting dull.

    Not to mention that your first two commenters refute all that crap about how noble you & your generation are because you’re not that old. (Yet.)

    You are the children of the awful “Boomer” people. How do you think you’re going to turn out?

    Comment by M.Bouffant — November 1, 2009 @ 12:38 am - November 1, 2009

  8. #2: “An excellent op-ed on the Boomers’ perpetual Peter Pan Sydrome,and how it is in the “blood” of the Xers and Millenials, is “Blame Michael Jackson” in The Complete Spengler section of the Asia Times Online (www.atimes.com/atimes/others/spengler).”

    In light of the Boomers’ perpetual Peter Pan Syndrome, it makes perfect sense that the Left has now recruited Peter’s sidekick Tinkerbell to teach the kiddie-winks about the looming “crisis” of global climate change.

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=32706&Cr=green&Cr1=

    Aside from the obvious hilarity that the UN chose an imaginary character to promote an imaginary cause (the Left is beyond parody at this point), the thing about it that I find maddening, is that when conservatives accuse the Left of promoting the liberal agenda to children, the response is not to deny the charge. The liberals respond with a nationwide, histrionic, cataclysmic, atom-splitting crescendo of vehement denials and scorch-the-Earth outrage about what you’d expect if Karl Rove ate a fresh, living, human baby whole on live television. They treat the accusation as baseless, unforgivable slander and the accusers as bat-shit, homicidal psychopaths that should be locked up for merely thinking such a thing.

    That’s right. The UN uses a magical, animated fairy to “promote environmental awareness” among children, every couple of weeks another public school gets busted for starting a “Praise Dear Obama” glee club, and now Halloween gets transformed into “reverse canvassing” for Obamacare, yet WE are the ones who are insane. WE are the crazy ones. WE are the ones who don’t know what we’re talking about.

    Comment by Sean A — November 1, 2009 @ 1:43 am - November 1, 2009

  9. Peggy Noonan’s condemnation of the baby boomers is pretty ironic considering that she’s one of them. She was born in 1950.

    Comment by Larry — November 1, 2009 @ 2:42 am - November 1, 2009

  10. It is time to take America back from these callous children.

    I heartily concur.

    Comment by Classical Liberal Dave — November 1, 2009 @ 3:34 am - November 1, 2009

  11. Peggy Noonan’s condemnation of the baby boomers is pretty ironic considering that she’s one of them. She was born in 1950.

    Larry must be a gay liberal, if one has the outside trappings of a group, (age, skin color, sexual orientation) then one must automatically be part of the group think.

    Then again, he doesn’t have to be gay, he simply has to be a lefty. What ever happened to the idea that we as humans have minds of our own and can use them as we please!!!

    Comment by Leah — November 1, 2009 @ 11:35 am - November 1, 2009

  12. M. you say:

    Uh, pardon me, but the “Boomers” spent a lot of time insuring that the ideals of America would be lived up to, not ignored.

    .. and you list exactly on benefit. What are all the others?

    Plus, those who resisted and fought the efforts of “liberating” gays from their shackles were….. Baby Boomers!

    Who wrote and passed DOMA – Baby Boomers.

    Who wrote and enforced DADT – Baby Boomers.

    Who partied their little hearts out when they were young, getting stoned and dropping acid till the cows came home, yet increased prohibition on all the stuff they used to do… yep. Baby Boomers. And of course, when they passed a law requiring us blue collar plebs be drug tested, they gave an exception to themselves. The Baby Boomer ruling class? Take drug tests? Why, how ludicrous.

    Comment by sonicfrog — November 1, 2009 @ 12:07 pm - November 1, 2009

  13. Wow. I am baffled by this post. Do you think it is proper to make such a broad generalization about baby boomers? And I do not even agree with the generalization…….You are simply wrong here. In education we are constantly barraged by similar descriptions of the generations. Invariably my colleagues look at each other in disbelief at what the speaker is saying. There is, of course, never any evidence to back up any of the assertions. It is all total conjecture, and it is insulting and demeaning to label a group in such a fashion. It would be too easy to respond in a way that would disparage your own Generation X. But as a Baby Boomer myself, I do have optimism that those younger than me will grow, and learn, and understand, and realize that to be so broadly judgmental was never a good idea or solution to anything. Do you want us to just go away, or die? Maybe just stop voting? Maybe the public option would be a good thing. Then you could just put us at the end of the line and counsel us that death is preferable to treatment. Do you understand that it is your generation, X, that is in the White House now? Do you think they are doing a good job? Do you like their policies? Time for some more self-reflection I think…..…Meanwhile, my generation will work to keep your generation from being too creative.
    I am sorry to be so emotional about your post……but it is all very insulting.

    Comment by Scott Lassiter — November 1, 2009 @ 12:37 pm - November 1, 2009

  14. Scott-

    Read the book yourself and decide: “The Fourth Turning”

    Then come back and tell me I’m wrong…

    Comment by GayPatriot — November 1, 2009 @ 5:47 pm - November 1, 2009

  15. PS – Obama is a Baby Boomer.

    Comment by GayPatriot — November 1, 2009 @ 5:47 pm - November 1, 2009

  16. […] Noonan Takes On The Boomer Class […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » The Day Obama Became “Old News” — November 2, 2009 @ 1:46 am - November 2, 2009

  17. I’ll be glad to read the book, however it won’t change the unnecessary insults to an entire generation of people. I would also guess that I have read much more on this topic in my own discipline. The ‘let’s just be rid of them’ attitude could be said about your own generation. And 1961 is not necessarily a Baby Boomer and many experts would not categorize him that way. It is not simply a dividing line between generations suggested by a particular author. I would contend that his somewhat complicated upbringing, in and out of the country, does not put place him as a Baby Boomer at all, but clearly an X. There are many more psychological considerations to be made when dealing with labels.

    Comment by Scott Lassiter — November 2, 2009 @ 5:46 am - November 2, 2009

  18. “Gen X-er” doesn’t invalidate the proposed notion that the baby Boomers sucked!. That said, I will in the end have to agree with you that Gen X hasn’t shown much in the way of leadership either, but their tenure on the platform is short. So I guess we’ll just have to sit back and see how this all plays out.

    PS. Where and what subject do you teach? I got my social science and science cred here in CA, Hope to have a teaching job this spring.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — November 2, 2009 @ 11:27 am - November 2, 2009

  19. […] 2, 2009 by irreconcilableideas I was reading this over at GayPatriot the other day and felt compelled to leave a comment regarding the Baby Boomers […]

    Pingback by Obama & Gen X – In Need of Supervision « Irreconcilable Ideas — November 2, 2009 @ 2:30 pm - November 2, 2009

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