While few would argue that boomers discovered fire and invented the wheel and the baby cage, AARP Magazine has a whole new crop of boomer achievements to present in its current issue. In fact, AARP will be devoting an entire year to slobbering over what we boomers have achieved. The first piece is by PJ O’Rourke, titled, “How Boomers Ruined Saved Everything.”
The series is in honor of the youngest boomers turning 50 this year, in spite of 98% of such boomers having clearly stated that they want no part of AARP, Boomerdom, or PJ O’Rourke. A spokesperson for these soon-to-be fifty-year-olds has said, “Why can’t boomers leave us the hell alone? We are perfectly fine, thank you, without being associated with a bunch of people with liver spots, skin tags, and leaky bladders.”
Back to the AARP article: In direct contrast to an odious pile of festering journalism by Gene Marks, whose piece in Philadelphia Magazine trashed boomers within an inch of their enlightened lives, PJ writes “The world is run by irresponsible brats. And yet the world got better as soon as the boomers took over.”
In a nutshell, PJ writes that boomers run the world. But, if Life in the Boomer Lane limited herself to nutshells, there would be nothing left for her to say in her blog posts.
Then Husband, in an attempt to curb LBL’s penchant for drama and overly-long-but-marginally-entertaining stories, would always ask, “Can you say it in one sentence?” LBL couldn’t, and so she decided to find a more receptive ear.
She thought she had found one when Now Husband responded with “I want to hear everything, every detail. Can we do it later when I can give it my full attention?” LBL was thrilled, believing she had found her Prince Charming of the Open Ear. It was only after she realized her stories were piling up, and the “right” time had never come, that she had to reassess her spousal choice, yet again. But, as her years have now placed her beyond any age category given on Match.com, she decided to start a blog instead.
Back to AARP: PJ has a lot of evidence to show that boomers are the cherry on top of the world’s sundae, the pearl in the world’s oyster, the apple in the world’s myopic eye. To prove this, let’s look at the following categories:
Knowing Right From Wrong
PJ writes “Boomers can be scolded for promiscuous sex, profligate use of illegal intoxicants, and other behavior that didn’t turn out to be healthy. But somebody had to do the research.” How true, how true. We sacrificed ourselves in order to show this generation what didn’t work. Nobody ever thanks us for that, either.
World Affairs Stuff
PJ rightfully gives us credit for bringing down the Berlin Wall. We showed the world that being a boomer was a non-stop party, while Communists on the wrong side of the wall had to walk around with dour pasty faces, wearing really dreadful clothes and sweeping sidewalks at dawn. It was only a matter of time before almost all Communist governments would topple. There is, apparently, a huge pent-up demand for automatic lawn-watering systems and iPhone underwear
Political Awareness with Laughs
Can anyone argue that we created political awareness that was also fun to watch? Saturday Night Live and Laugh In paved the way. Now, educated Americans get their awareness of what is going on in the world from The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert, a giant leap up from stupid news shows that were dry and boring. (A special nod must be given here to Fox News, which has also brought a certain degree of hilarity to the news front)
With all due respect to classical music, LBL can’t find anyone to say that they actually like that stuff, let alone that much of a show is put on by the orchestra. Not only did boomers create dynamite music, we created people performing it who were fun to watch.
Before boomers came along there wasn’t much in the way of literature that spoke to real people. It was all about things that either happened thousands of years ago or in places like England. Boring. We put books out there that people could relate to, like teen angst, women’s angst, couples’ angst, and food angst. Even books we wrote for children introduced a lot of pre-pubescent angst.
The world went from black and white to Technicolor when we hit the theaters. And monsters went from men wearing cheesy costumes to totally believable scary things like sharks, aliens, the Vietnam War, and people getting divorced.
Once we stopped marching and cut our hair, boomers have single-handedly done more to promote consumerism than any other generation. According to PJ, the Gross World Product increased fivefold between 1975 and 2012. That’s a lot of trips to Target and whatever the Chinese equivalent is.
Houses got bigger, and boomers needed more bathrooms than bedrooms. Boomers became the #1 purchasers of computers, iPads, and cell phones. And, as soon as Facetime was invented, boomers realized they could hunt down their children and grandchildren faster than their progeny was able to hide.
Sports-wise, we continue to do all the things we used to. Only now, we not only have great fun doing it, we support physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons, and the entire pharmaceutical industry.
LBL could go on and on (just ask Then or Now Husband) . Instead she will stop and await your always-amusing and edifying comments, while she checks for pieces of cookie Santa might have left in front of the fireplace.
Stay tuned for LBL’s take on the next boomer issue of AARP Magazine.