People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
This is my generation
This is my generation, baby
Why don’t you all f-fade away (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
And don’t try to dig what we all s-s-say (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
I’m not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
I’m just talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-generation (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
My generation, we were so very special that we thought no one should “put us down”, rain on our parade, establish limits or, in other words, tell us what to do. I mean, because we get around, right?
This was partly due to the Madison Avenue advertising executives who correctly believed that, after the war, the nation will want to pour all their energies into their darling children. We really should be the center of attention. That would sell products for sure.
You can’t argue with success. It worked. Trouble is, we still think we’re pretty special.
My generation wasn’t the first to have access to cars, but we perfected the use of the automobile to get around.
Major actors in the world stage saw how Madison Avenue could lead us around by our noses through simple flattery. And they found ways to build movements to oppose our country’s foreign policy.
Please tell me I don’t have to caption this
We got around: We knew we were clever and smart enough to use recreation drugs and not be harmed or harm others. We also knew how to use sex for pleasure only, and not harm ourselves or harm others. Certainly that’s what self-actualizing means, right?
And we could self-actualize, now that Dr. Maslow had told us we needed to. We could turn on with no ill effects, now that Dr. Leary had shown us how to turn on and tune in. And with The Pill, there were no longer any ill effects from the full incorporation of H.G. Well’s free love.
Then there was the other 50% of the Baby Boomers. That was me.
When some were burning draft cards, we were enlisting. When some were holding a Summer of Love, we looked at that and saw dirty bums in the street. We could party, but we could do it responsibly, unlike Woodstock or countless other media-praised events that left a mess behind.
This made us too straight or square to be cool. If you want to be counter-cultural nowadays, be a conservative.
How could it not be apparent to everyone? We could see our friends going crazy or dying from drugs. We saw criminal activity increasing. We saw troops deployed and then abandoned by their political leaders. We did not want to contribute to that.
That fundamental schism in my g-g-g-generation remains today and still creates problems. We still think we are the most clever people in the room. Yet we mortgage our excesses on the back of our grandchildren.
We want everyone to be the best they can be. Stuffy institutions like religion and marriage just hold you back. So we have almost completed the destruction of the family with the accompanying destruction of child rearing.
We need to save the planet, yet we destroy farmer’s orchards to save the Delta Smelt, We focus our attention on convincing people of man-made global warming (winning!) instead of making progress on those important areas we agree on, like renewable energy sources.
I hope the following generations are paying attention and learning from our goofiness.
Whether you were or are one side or the other of the Baby Boomers, I’d like to hear from you in the comments.