When I feel like some one had wrenched a thought out of my brain and shown it for the world to see…..
And this is one of those times. While the folks at Fark are trying to defend the hippies vs the rich folks in the 80s… many of them were former hippies… the narcissistic cultural values were far more universal and far closer to a generalization.
The ferment of the ’60s and ’70s — when boomers changed the world, or thought they did — faded long ago. Nostalgic pride in the achievements of that era now mixes with skepticism: Have the boomers collectively betrayed their youthful idealism? Have they been self-centered to the point of shortchanging their children?
this of course implies the 60s were idealistic at all…..
the article showcases two schools of thought internal to the boomers that really runs the gambit
here is one
“There’s a fear that there’s going to be nothing left — that they’re going to be picking up the pieces for this six-decade party we had, cleaning up the mess,” said DeCurtis, 54. “There’s some truth to that, I guess.”
and here is the other
Unlike some of his contemporaries, Kovic sees no reason for guilt or embarrassment as boomers take stock. “We have every reason to be proud,” he said. “We were brash and bold and beautiful.”
which of those two sounds like a more adult measurement of 40+ years of your life. Which one sounds like an adult and which one sounds like the creepy 40 year old guy who is still hanging out with college freshmen.
but a farker ishkur summs it up real good here.
You see, 60 years ago an entire generation of working class men returned from the most traumatizing conflict in human history and practically demanded a better life for themselves and their children. They felt they had earned it. They fought and won a war in which millions had died. The political and economic nerves of our society could not agree more. This generation, called The Greatest Generation, they felt had deserved to live the rest of their lives in comfort and stability. And peace.
Everything the war generation asked for, they got. They wanted nothing like the Great Depression to ever happen again. An international system called the Bretton Woods was set up to safeguard this. They wanted affordable housing. They got it. The rise of suburbanization in the 50s was a direct result of the war generation demanding to live the rest of their lives away from the horrors they experienced. The suburbs was really nothing but a gigantic, continent-wide boring, quiet nursing home for a generation too nerve-wracked to have much excitement in their lives anymore. They wanted stable incomes, with stable companies that valued their position, their work and their contribution. They got it. Companies were more generous and helpful towards their employees during the 50s then at any point in history.
But most importantly, they wanted to send all of their children to higher education! From a generation where most did not have much beyond a grade 8 education and public education was not something required, mandatory, or even enjoyed by the balance of the population, this was unheard of. Yet they got it. My father told me that in 1963, nearly everyone who applied for a university got in. Everyone. All you needed was a C-average and a pulse, and you were admitted. And college back then was fairly affordable. Most of the Universities, in fact, were brand new, built specifically to fill their halls with the new boomer class. They would take anyone who applied.
He speaks of spoiled privilege and goes into a left good right bad argument later on which I don’t agree with. I don’t think you can argue effectively that the “liberal” and “conservative” voices in America are so far apart to hold that kind of value judgement myself.
but in the end I’m just like Eric Cartman… I hate hippies. It wasn’t that they thought the vietnam war was wrong, it was that they didn’t want to go. They wanted to feel the drugs… they wanted to have the sex
and their wants and drives along with the rapid advance of medical technology is going to keep the whole culture screwed up for a while…..
but the folks my age will get a crack at things sooner rather then later.