It’s How We Do

So I see that Millennials’ parents–the Boomers–are supposedly disappointed in that new-ish generation. Not sure exactly why, but, uhhh, haven’t the Boomers forgotten something?  Their parents weren’t just disappointed in them, they were aghast at their behavior, their appearance, their wild “drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll” zeitgeist. And, BTW, what about the post-depression generation between the Greatest Generation and the Boomers–the generation which didn’t get a catchy appellation.  Let’s not forget, they put a man on the moon.  Which feat humans have been dreaming about since they looked up into the sky. That quiet, serious group outshone all the other three (greatest generation, boomers, millennials) combined.  Nobody’s talking about them at all. (Say, what ever happened to the Gen-Xers?  They’re not on anyone’s radar screen anymore.)

But let’s get back to the the history of Boomers v. Millennials.  The Greatest Generation men, the Boomers’ dads, having saved Europe from the Nazis in WWII, came home exhausted and ready to resume life as they had expected it to be.  Maybe go fishin’.  Have a brewski and watch the new phenomenon, TV. Then they had to go fight the Korean War and after that they were really worn out.  They just wanted to find their mates, have kids, maybe go to college or get a job in a factory.  Whatever.  Just live a quiet life. So how are we to account for the off-the-rails-to-their-parents’-way-of-thinking Boomers?

Possibly the Greatest Generation wasn’t as strict as their parents had been. Whatever the reason, they thought things would just automatically go back to the way they were before WWII, but somewhere between 1950 and 1968, while the Greats were relaxing, the Boomers slipped their cultural leashes and headed for terra incognita.

Women, having tasted freedom and power–albeit limited–and taken up the slack when the men went overseas for the wars, having built battleships, and everything else needed to prosecute a massive war effort, having become the de facto heads of households for a few years, began questioning their previous second class citizen roles.  (Don’t forget, most of those ladies were born when women couldn’t even vote!)  Then the Boomer kids grew up and went bats–t crazy, according to the way the Greatest Generation looked at it.

What’s with the long hair?  That awful music?  Their sons, as they loudly lamented, looked like girls.  (That’s despite men having worn their hair long for a very significant part of homo sapiens‘ run as the apex of evolution.)  Their daughters were even worse.  Running around with their nips showing.  Ack! Shacking up with those dirty hippy boys that looked like girls.  Playing unladylike sports.  Competing against men for heaven’s sake!  Appalling.  Incomprehensible!

So, compared to how horrified the Greatest Generation was at the booming Boomers, it sure seems like the Millennials have been far less offensive to their parents’ generation than their parents’ generation was to Millennials’ grandparents’ generation.

It’s the job of each younger generation to drag the stodgy, tired,
worn-out-from-raising-their-kids-and-life-in-general generation, forward.  And it’s the stodgy older generation’s job to keep the frisky younger folks from dragging us all over a cliff with their inexperience and forward-thinking, woo hoo, let’s try something new, approach to life.

So, Millennials, just ignore the criticism.  Tell the whining Boomers to zip it. Proceed on your path. All you’ve done is be disappointing. That seems like a huge step up from being appalling as your parents were to their parents.  You go Millennials.  Enjoy your carefree (relative term) time.  Life will smack you in the gut soon enough.  And you, Boomers–give it a rest with the revisionist history wouldja?  You were a royal pain in the ass to your folks too.  That’s just how the world of homo sapiens works.  It’s not new.  As a species, it’s how we do.

What would Jesus say?  Hey, those snowboards and skateboards look like fun! Lemme try one.



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