Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Regarding Old People

Old people these days… By “old” I mean those who act and think old – namely those who think they are young at heart. I’m speaking of Baby boomers – the oldest generation I know of. Their parents (on the other hand) truly are young at heart.

The baby boomers have been dreading old age since they were smoking God knows what at Woodstock. In a strange twist of fate – they have become (as people often do) the very thing which they fear/hate the most: old. I don’t mean just physically old – they’re actually mentally old (not mentally mature) - I mean old as in tired and washed up.

Funny, the generation before them have both the wisdom of age and the spirit of youth. Boomers have neither and never will. Now before I continue – don’t be offended if you’re a baby boomer – this isn’t an exhaustive statement. It is not true (and cannot be) of every single baby boomer. It’s a blanket statement concerning the generation. I know full well that I have (maybe now I should say had) readers in this generation.

Once upon a time, it was considered rude to refer to an older person by their first name. This silly generation whose mantra was “never trust anyone over 30” considers it rude to be addressed politely. How dare you prefix my name with Mr. or Mrs!!!

They don’t want to become what they never respected. The problem lies not with them not wanting to become it, but not having respected it in the first place.

Boomers pretend to envy my generation for being young. What’s funny is that at the same time they make fun of us for being young. They’re not sure now if they want to be young or old. While they were young, they detested their elders for being wise and when they became old they detested the young - not for being foolish (because the boomers never learned the wisdom to recognize foolishness) but for... not knowing a certain tv show (for example) because it was before their time.

Maybe I’m guilty of the same spirit the boomers had in the 60s (never trust anyone over 30)… Well I’m nearly 30 myself now so I don’t think that’s the case. I have a lot to learn from various individual boomers – but as a whole, their generation has as much to learn from mine as mine has from theirs. I think my generation has recognized the folly of their parents and are aiming to remedy it. I hope so anyway. My two cents – for what it’s worth. Boomers – did you feel this way about your preceding generation when you were my age?


Gretchen said...

I was born on the cusp of the next generation, but am still considered a boomer. I can't stand it! lol. Most of us who came of age in the late 70s just abhor being lumped in with the boomers. We saw firsthand (and experienced it, too) the devastation of the boomer way of thinking. A lot of us 'woke up' before succumbing to the brainwashing of that generation, even though we've been scarred by it. I'm convinced that's why there's been a sea change in the undercurrents of society (homeschooling, a return to conservatism and tradition among the young), because there were enough of us who escaped that generation's depredations. You do give a somewhat accurate description of some of the thinking. I blame the lack of emotional and intellectural growth on the enduring emotionalism of that generation. They continue to value feelings over truth, and it seems this type of thinking will not pass until they do. Once the intellectural slide begins, it is very difficult to turn it back.

------- Theo ------- said...

I think my generation has recognized the folly of their parents and are aiming to remedy it. I hope so anyway. ... Did you feel this way about your preceding generation when you were my age?"

Are you kidding? This was the mantra of the 60's. It was so "hip" to be the new generation "with something to say" that just about any young person could say anything and some poor oldster would "amen" it just to avoid being thought "uncool."

And what was our great contribution to society? "If it feels good, do it." It's no wonder ours is the generation that brought about both the "sexual revolution" and "partial birth abortion" without blushing.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Theo - I think I didn't make myself clear on that question.

I know it was hip to be the new generation in the 60s I think that was their problem. I don't think I'm saying it's hip to be my generation or that my generation has all the answers (or even most of them). My generation would be much better off if the boomers had been better equipped to teach us something. They would have been equipped if they hadn't thought themselves too "hip" to learn from their parents.

I don't think my generation thinks we're too hip to learn from our parents (I mean to be sure, some of us do that's the spirit of the 60s living on). I think Gretchen is right in pointing out that there are some undercurrents in society that point to a very different feeling of what needs to be done about this generation gap.

We long for a generation to teach us as opposed to (and because) our parents longed not to be taught but to teach themselves as if they had something to say when they were 18 and smoking dope at Woodstock. Oh foolish generation!!!

Charlie said...

I think a lot of young people my age are really hungering for truth and fulfillment. We don't find that in the cultural revolution of the 1960's, and it's postmodern fallout.