Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Boomer bambooz'l'n

When I heard Brokaw's interview on what I think was Dennis Miller's radio show or Pragar's I'm not sure, about his new book Boom! Voices of the Sixties, he made a comment like this that made me cock my head a bit.
There is certainly greatness in the '60s generation. They changed our attitudes about race in America, which was long overdue.
I didn't pen a response when I heard that, but Bill Kristol over at The Weekly Standard took care of that for me just fine.
Whoa! The '60s generation changed our attitudes about race in America? Rosa Parks, Bayard Rustin, and Martin Luther King Jr.--were they from the Vietnam war generation? Earl Warren, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Hubert Humphrey? For that matter, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman, murdered on June 21, 1964, in Mississippi? None of these was a member of the " '60s generation." None was a boomer.

There really was greatness in the "greatest generation." It fought and won World War II, then came home to achieve widespread prosperity and overcome segregation while seeing the Cold War through to a successful conclusion. But the greatest generation had one flaw, its greatest flaw, you might say: It begat the baby boomers.

The most prominent of the boomers spent their youth scorning those of their compatriots who fought communism, while moralizing and posturing at no cost to themselves. They went on to enjoy the benefits of their parents' labors, sacrificed little, and produced nothing particularly notable. But the boomers were unparalleled when it came to self-glorification, a talent they began developing as teenagers and have continued to improve
up to this day. They were also good at bamboozling their parents, and members of the "silent generation" like Tom Brokaw, to be overly deferential to them--even to the point of giving them credit for things they didn't do.

Now the first boomers are applying for Social Security. Their time is passing--without eliciting any discernible consternation among their successors. It's not that every last one is unworthy. But for each David Petraeus or Ray Odierno (two very impressive members), there are countless posturers and blowhards who have received wildly disproportionate attention.
'Nuff said.

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