Monday, December 12, 2011

Get your boomenfreude on!

So, remember the baby boomers? Maybe you've heard of them by their other name, the Most Self-Important Generation. They're the ones who think that just because they brought you Hendrix, now they get to bring you an Orwellian police state, and you should just shut up and thank them.

Well, here are two things that made me smile this week, both of which are a form of response to the way in which a demographically very narrow experience has been defined as the essence of "American," (and, in related news, "American" as the essence of "right").

The first is from xkcd, and the second is from community, which is one of the smartest shows on television, which is probably why the baby-boomer executives have placed it on indefinite hiatus.

Finally, because I think it fits in nicely, I have included an excerpt from a letter written by Thomas Day in the wake of the Penn State scandal (read the whole thing here).

So, sit back and get your boomenfreude on!

Think of the world our parents’ generation inherited. They inherited a country of boundless economic prosperity and the highest admiration overseas, produced by the hands of their mothers and fathers. They were safe. For most, they were endowed opportunities to succeed, to prosper, and build on their parents’ work.
For those of us in our 20s and early 30s, this is not the world we are inheriting.
We looked to Washington to lead us after September 11th. I remember telling my college roommates, in a spate of emotion, that I was thinking of enlisting in the military in the days after the attacks. I expected legions of us -- at the orders of our leader -- to do the same. But nobody asked us. Instead we were told to go shopping.
The times following September 11th called for leadership, not reckless, gluttonous tax cuts. But our leaders then, as now, seemed more concerned with flattery. Then -House Majority Leader and now-convicted felon Tom Delay told us, “nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes.” Not exactly Churchillian stuff.
Those of us who did enlist were ordered into Iraq on the promise of being “greeted as liberators,” in the words of our then-vice president. Several thousand of us are dead from that false promise.
We looked for leadership from our churches, and were told to fight not poverty or injustice, but gay marriage. In the Catholic Church, we were told to blame the media, not the abusive priests, not the bishops, not the Vatican, for making us feel that our church has failed us in its sex abuse scandal and cover-up.
Our parents’ generation has balked at the tough decisions required to preserve our country’s sacred entitlements, leaving us to clean up the mess. They let the infrastructure built with their fathers’ hands crumble like a stale cookie. They downgraded our nation’s credit rating. They seem content to hand us a debt exceeding the size of our entire economy, rather than brave a fight against the fortunate and entrenched interests on K Street and Wall Street.

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