Here’s what greeted me this morning when I opened the New York Times app. That’s right, the paper that recently shut down its environment desk has a new section just for Boomers, covering hot topics like Why Do My Knees Hurt, Low Rise Jeans and Muffin Tops, and how to keep PETA from splattering you with fake blood when you’re wearing the mink Mumsie left you in her will.
Every time I mention my (entirely rational, well-founded) disgust with the way the concerns of Boomers occupy our media, members of that generation act as if I want to take a steaming dump on their first pressing White Album / Shea Stadium ticket stubs framed collage. Not true–I’m talking about what the media attends to, not whether Boomer culture is any better or worse than what preceded or followed it.
Did you know they had a concert in a field once? They STILL make movies about that.
Oh for christ’s sake–I’m the tail end of the baby boom and I don’t feel that my interests are represented at all in the major media. But if they were I’d hardly be responsible for it anymore than a fish is responsible for the food you throw into its fishtank.
Gin & Tonic
If it annoys you, you don’t have to read it.
Wow–the author of the mink piece “teaches at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.”
We are fucked for at least one more generation.
I think I am watching the television version of this. Chris Matthews has katty kay, chris todd, and joe klein talking about the Beatles. katty actually named her son for the song Hey Jude. Chris Todd says the Beatles are “kinda timeless”.
I think I prefer their political analysis.
c u n d gulag
If you suffer an erection lasting longer than 4 hours, please call a Republican Congressman, or a nearby Evangelical preacher.
Meth & scuba suits – optional.
I can’t blame Boomers for their self-obsession. When you parents are like the Greatest Generation evah, it’s natural to try and seek some attention for your self.
Fine, you aren’t like the Greatest Generation evah, but if you don’t toot your own horn, people’ll just think you coasted on your folks Greatestness and like did nothing and just like hung out and smoked pot and stuff.
News flash: you’re not the demographic that Times advertisers are looking for.
The do this because the younger generation does not pay any attention to them at all, despite the fact that they are not significantly smaller than the boomers. Being ignored for so long, the younger generation has done a complete end-run around traditional media.
I have been watching with fascination the rise of the YouTube channels, particularly the bands that have built (sold out) touring careers with no backing other than their self-made YouTube channel. In an interview with one of these groups, they said that YouTube has more influence on music than MTV ever had.
I am not sure they are wrong.
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal mistermix
@MomSense: Kay and Todd are not boomers but to get ahead they have to venerate boomer culture, so we’re going to have another generation of this crap.
Higgs Boson's Mate
The media takes the easy way out nearly every time. This is another example.
So, why does it hurt when you pee?
Boomers buy. Alot.
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal mistermix
@quannlace: Catholic Girls
Of course you are aware that promoting, supporting and nurturing inter-generational rifts would be consistent with the corporate holders of those media outlets, right? You’re supposed to disgusted. You’d disappoint them if you weren’t.
Interesting that the media venerates the Boomers, yet advertisers covet the 14- to 24-year-old demographic.
And as a tail-end Boomer myself, I have to admit that every last bit of Boomer coverage I’ve ever come across has been as clueless as it could possibly be.
Why focus on the Boomers? There’s only 77 million of ’em. They are the giant bubble of humanity which cannot be ignored. Get over it. Let’s stop with the bigotry of envy already.
Now, now, young person of concern. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Not all boomers are self-absorbed asses. Now, I have to get back to my intense study of coffee-flavored drinks and extreme living on the edge.
Pre-9/11 Christopher Hitchens wrote my favorite fisking of the Boomers in this 1996 Vanity Fair piece.
Never has so much been given to so many . . . and so little came from it.
Give it a rest on the boomer thing, please. Like the kids at the elite universities who got all the media attention in the 60s, the bunch the TImes is aiming for here represents a very tiny segment of the whole cohort. Bad knees or not, most of us are going to have to work till we’re 80, assuming we manage to live that long.
And actually taking that steaming dump is a problem, why?
They always wanted to be the center of everything, and this would give the boomers something else to bitch about.
It’s trite to state, but you had to be there.
Because of the fucked up mess our masters have made of the economy the pattern we have known for many decades where disposable income decreases with age is gone. The day when younger workers saw regular wage increases is gone so they can’t catch up. The boomers that have stable jobs or the few that managed to salvage their retirements have cash to spend so they will be catered to. The rest are just fucked.
As a boomer I hate my generations hypocrisy and the major role we played in the unmooring of the economy from the source of wealth – human labor. If it is any comfort to the following generations many of us are just as fucked with a lot less time on earth to try to fix things.
And they have no idea how to court them. So they keep clinging to their one true demographic as long as they can.
Oh God, he probly got, the gono-coc-coc-coc-us.
He got it from the toilet seat….
NYT is still losing money, if I recall correctly, so it’s more and more desperate to grow ad revenue; if it doesn’t survive as a business, it doesn’t get to survive as a newspaper. It’s like, Fantine has sold her locket with Cosette’s portrait, and now she’s selling her hair. You remember how that one ended.
As I read this, the object of mistermix’s scorn is the NYT for not having resources to maintain their environment desk, but manage to have the resources for boomer-love.
For the record, I am a niche baby. I was born in ’43. Talk about a neglected demographic!
The Other Bob
Considering everyone after the boomers will have less buying power, (partially due to the policies of the boomers in power) I’d say the MSM has nobody else to market to.
@Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal mistermix:
At the CYO….
Media targets demographic that buys shit from advertisers that pay for said media and you act like it’s a generational conspiracy to do what exactly?
Don’t like it, don’t read it.
There’s a reason why Paul Ryan set the Medicare-destruction cutoff at age 55. He’s trying to sell the Boomers on fucking over everyone younger than them. I’m really happy that it seems to be failing so far.
I’m a Boomer. Our ubiquity in the media has nothing to do with my cohort’s horn-tooting, obsessive navel-gazing, or anything besides sheer numbers to people who have crap to sell: newspapers, retirement investments, ’60s and ’70s Greatest Hits Collections, limp-dick nostrums, diabetes supplies, new miracle potions for every kind of pain, especially the mental kind, anything that Medicare can be soaked for.
Believe me, I don’t want the attention. You won’t enjoy it when marketers eye you as their prime targets for cancer center and catheter ads while simultaneously demanding that you remain ageless and run a marathon after some extreme snowboarding down Mt. Everest.
David in NY
Let me say it’s annoying for “boomers” (hate the designation) too. As a member of the first wave of the boom, 1946, I’ve grown resigned to the press suddenly chewing over whatever it is my wife and I have just started doing (not getting married in our 20’s, having kids at 38, providing child care for parents with two jobs, getting kids into pre-school, high school, college, getting a hip replacement, etc., etc.), which is weirdly annoying. As if our individual concerns suddenly have some cosmic significance. I wish they’s cut it out too. I must say that there was something different going on in the late 50’s and 60’s that does deserve historical attention, but that was then, and anyway, most of my cohort wasn’t involved in what was new (and really a lot of it was the product of an earlier generation, not ours). The one thing I’ve always felt, though, was that the probably minority who were actually paying attention live in a special time. I’ve always thought that Wordworth’s lines on the French Revolution — “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven” — applied to them. The past was losing its cold grip and the future was wide, wide open.
But not everbody was open by far, so it’s also worth remembering that today’s boomers are also today’s angry old codgers yelling “get off my lawn” and loving the tea party. The best we could do for presidents was Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, a sad legacy. Life is complicated.
@ Cardinal mistermix:
Growing up in a heavily Catholic neighborhood I learned that many are cold, few are frozen.
I was born in 1954, so I’m about as boomer as you can get. But even I can’t stand all the media crap about my generation. Good Lord, all the interesting stuff we did happened 40+ years ago.
And the music? It’s gotten to the point where I can’t stand hearing even most of the good music from the 1960s and 70s yet one more time, unless it’s music that the may-they-burn-in-hell classic rock stations managed to overlook rather than play to death.
And forget advice for boomers dealing with aging. Yeah, there surely will be some corner of the Web for it, and that’s fine. But is there anything on God’s green earth more boring than the ins and outs of dealing with the mundane shit about growing old?
Yeah, my body’s aging too, but that sorta shit was boring when I had to listen to my grandparents talk about it, and it would be just as boring to hear myself talk about it. So I’m damned sure not going to bore anyone else with it.
I’m also at the tail-end of the Boomer generation (1963), but often feel like I have far more in common with Gen X, to be honest, even Gen Y when it comes to a lot of music. As Wikipedia says:
John’s post about Rumours the other day was interesting. For me, it epitomises what my older sister and her friends listened to… and most of my friends are about 10 years younger than I am, still going to raves in their 40s.
Yours, confused at (almost) 50.
He’s counting on them acting true to form, and by constantly pitching it to them, their predisposition to “me, self, I” will take over and completely overwhelm every sense of shame or altruism that they collectively have left.
Between the totebaggers and the teabaggers there is a substantial unity of self-interest that will drive this.
Well, you see, you’re using the NYT mobile app. What do you expect? It’s just possible, maybe, that the NYT has seen some data about its readership. And, by the way, when you get to your early 60’s, you will be looking for a urologist with a sense of humor and your knees will hurt.
David in NY
Let me say it’s annoying for “boomers” (hate the designation), too. As a member of the first wave of the boom, 1946, I’ve grown resigned to the press suddenly chewing over whatever it is my wife and I have just started doing (not getting married in our 20’s, having kids at 38, providing child care for parents with two jobs, getting kids into pre-school, high school, college, getting a hip replacement, etc., etc.), which is weirdly annoying. As if our individual concerns suddenly have some cosmic significance. I wish they’d cut it out too.
I must say, thought, that there was something different going on in the late 50’s and 60’s that does deserve historical attention, but that was then, and anyway, most of my cohort wasn’t involved in what was new (and really a lot of it was the product of an earlier generation, not ours). The one thing I’ve always felt, though, was that the probable minority who were actually paying attention lived in a special time. I’ve always thought that Wordsworth’s lines on the French Revolution — “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven” — applied to them. The past was losing its cold grip and the future was wide, wide open.
But not everybody was open by far, so it’s also worth remembering that today’s boomers are also today’s angry old codgers yelling “get off my lawn” and loving the tea party. The best we could do for presidents was Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, a sad legacy. Life is complicated.
The generation that spent as much time arguing about whether it was ok to laugh at “I saw your boobs” as it did organizing against the gulf war really shouldn’t be derisively trivializing the concerns of their elders.
For me, the quintessential boomer moment was Clinton saying that he didn’t inhale. Not sure why, but it seems to neatly encapsulate the narcissistic hypocrisy of an entire generation.
@Va Highlander: I have to disagree with this. Clinton’s claim always struck me as bizarre, and I’m a first-wave boomer (born in 1948).
@Xecky Gilchrist: I personally am infuriated by Ryan’s assumption (shared by Obama and every other politician out to gut SS and Medicare) that I’m happy to sell out my child and my grandchildren in exchange for leaving my benefits intact. I also resent the straw man argument that says I must choose one or the other when SS is fine for 20 years and fine after that if the raise the income cap on FICA taxes. Nothing’s wrong with Medicare that universal single payer and strict negotiating on pharmaceuticals wouldn’t cure.
This is good. I enjoyed this comment.
I’m talking about what the media attends to
Because the editors and boss people at the besieged large media companies consist of boomers chasing the remaining groups with $CA$HBUX$ – boomers and the wealthy plus whatever remains of the Greatest Generation. Who also happen to be the overwhelming majority of people who read newspapers and watch TV news. Gen X is middle-aged and has no money (never had much to start with) because it’s all going to their kids, and Gen Y has no money in general.
Funny how the people with all the money are same old people who want to cut the deficit to protect the supposed collective inheritances of people who don’t have any money and won’t inherit anything because we waged war on wages and government spending to… cut the deficit.
members of that generation act as if I want to take a steaming dump on their first pressing White Album / Shea Stadium ticket stubs framed collage
It’s just been Big Troll Weekend, hasn’t it?
Meanwhile while we buried under the avalanche of turds from CPAC:
I saw the first bit about shifting interceptors to Alaska, but missed the part about dumping the interceptor site in Poland. (Ostensibly intended to protect… somebody… from supposed Iranian missiles.) So, yay. About goddamn time. Not going to bait the Russians into WWIII to ‘protect’ the Poles from Belarus and/or give the neocons a stiffy. Awesome. Best news I’ve heard all month.
[‘Speaking of baby boomers with ego issues.’]
This is an important point. This particular mid-point Boomer is not wealthy, not powerful, not a significant consumer, and not expecting (or feeling automatically entitled to) any Golden Retirement. I also care very much about people who would be my children’s or grandchildrens’ ages (I don’t have any kids of my own), and am very concerned about stuff that will happen (like climate change) long after I am dead. This is a generational thing, for sure, but it is also a class issue: the haves, the have-mores, and the rest of us.
I’d never tell anyone to shut up about Boomers. Say what you want. Just remember that conflict lines are malleable, and we should distrust any entity’s exhortation (like the Times) of “Let’s you and them fight”.
(Also, I don’t have a nostalgic bone in my body. Arthritic maybe, but not nostalgic. I like my past in the past.)
There is something really wrong going on there.
Some boomers still have money and still read newspapers. So The Times targets them. A newspaper targeting a young demographic makes about as much sense as running the ads in Cyrillic script. I just treat that sort of thing the same way I treat other ads from product categories I don’t use.
Gawd. The proliferation of self-loathing boomers makes me puke. And the youngsters who see no exponential narcissism amongst their peers, as though Boomers have a lock on selfish opportunism, can go bargle. In fact this post is extra-typical of the myopic direction of Millennial perspectives looking for someone to blame. IOW, go fish, whippersnappers.
@Todd: Ryan is indeed being much more explicit about it than anyone else has been.
And right on cue, a cranky codger stops by to shake his cane at the whippersnappers.
David in NY
I think that if you look at what boomers actually get credit for, it’s stuff done by, or prepared by, people of the age cohort between 1930 and ’45, of which you’re a part. This is less true of pop culture, but what year was Mick Jagger born, anyway? 1943.
OT because generational wars bore me: Cypriot depositors have 6.75% or more of their accounts seized in a bail-in deal to “save” Cypriot banks.
I have the absolute hots for Rula Jebreal.
Hope that wasn’t too sexist in this New Era of Civility ™.
I’m curious what you think the traditional media should do to market to younger generations.
@PeakVT: I read the couple links about that Atrios put up, and followed up at a couple of financial sites I monitor.
This looks like it could get interesting, in a kind of micro way.
David in NY
I see I somehow managed a double post above (and still didn’t correct all the typos). Sorry about that.
The man knows his audience better than a Borscht Belt lounge singer.
The aggregate desires of the collective of teabaggers and totebaggers are as predictable as Sol rising in the East.
Great job of trolling MM. As an early boomer (1948) I seem to remember a certain amount of pissing and moaning about the older generation. You will get your chance to be reviled by the younger generation in time.
@Baud: maybe put out a movie or tv show every once in awhile that young people might like.
@PeakVT: See Felix Salmon on this:
It’s a debacle. Would anyone, now, keep their savings in a eurozone bank?
I was born in the worst year, 1945, just ahead of the boomers. Plenty of half-day school while new schools were being built for the tide of triple the students the following year, plenty of flunk-them-out college classes because too many were enrolled in state schools and then overcrowded classes and classrooms anyhow, no affordable housing available for young couples like my parents so much crowding.
Just in time for the Vietnam War, a pointless war like so many to follow but with a draft.
Too late to benefit from any women’s rights, stuck with male and female help-wanted pages and more than once told to my face that a job opening wasn’t for “girls.”
But, hey, at least I wasn’t stuck with the label “boomer” and could always deny it.
I think it’s a cultural thing. I’ve lived over half my life in the Netherlands and London.
The electronic dance music thing took off in the very early 90s over here and didn’t spread globally at first until the web came along, together with those of us who trekked to Ibiza, Berlin and Thailand. That’s my hunch, anyway.
Hey, you kids! Get off my social security/medicare!
Speaking of the Booming column (which has been around for a while now) and sex, I loved this article — and I’m not a Boomer (though I have the White Album, which I stole from my mom, and would prefer it if you didn’t take a dump on it, thank you).
OT: The two boys charged with raping an unconscious 16-year-old in Ohio were found guilty this morning. They’ve been sentenced to one year in juvenile prison. This sums it up for me:
I can’t believe how much the defence relied on tearing down the victim in the sleaziest of ways, even using the “everyone knows she’s a liar and a drunk” defence.
You don’t realize that the Times writes for an insular, incestual audience? Namely New York society? Pity.
Fuck all ya’ll.
Technically categorized as Boomers, those of us at the tail end aren’t anything like our older brothers and sisters. Our experiences are quite different. For instance, we got to see our older brothers and sisters go through what is characterized as the typical Boomer experience. But, depending on our economic class and the educations they attained, even that experience shows that the media and younger generations don’t seem to understand that it was a minority who were into SDS and Woodstock and the Haight. Most people who grew up in our working class neighborhood ended up in Vietnam and/or a steel mill. They are rarely mentioned or catered to in the media and have never been a coveted advertiser demographic because they are and always have beeb barely getting by, let alone worrying about plastic surgery and boner pills. Sadly, the only media who have even tried to engage this group is FOX. Perhaps all you youngs who have such contempt for that generation would make better of their time engaging these people instead of grumbling about how their generation isn’t catered to by a media they disdain and don’t pay attention to anyway.
White Trash Liberal
Back in my day articles are trite, absurd and unctuous.
He might as well have said he had to walk three miles to school in the snow uphill both ways AND HE LIKED IT.
Pretty much all of the great Boomer cultural icons were actually Silents.
I was born late in ’62 and feel much the same.
It’s as if folks my age never really had a culture of our own, just hand-me-downs. We didn’t get to grow up and sit at the table with the big kids, because when we got there they’d consumed everything, sold the table, and moved-on to the next Greatest Thing Evah!
I fully expect them to ban pen1s pills 10 minutes before the last boomer dies.
@Barbara: sorry for the blockquote confusion. I don’t have it down and my request for deletion is also an error. Oh, 1958, why you do me like that?
@MattF: Um, I just posted that link. Pay attention! :)
@Alexandra: Well, the whole concept of a generation is kinda silly anyway. It’s useful for those who want engage in pop-cultural speculation, but otherwise it really has no basis. For instance, does someone who was born in, say, Brookline in 1950 have more or less in common with someone else born in Brookline in 1970, or with someone born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1950 (of any race)?
I don’t consume much media. Very little appeals to me anymore, regardless of the demographic they are trying to target.
This thread should die –DNR
@PeakVT: I’m getting so absent-minded these days.
ETA: And I suppose I should add, on topic, that if it hurts when you pee, you may have bladder stones. Ha ha.
@PeakVT: ETA: Maybe “no basis” is going too far, as there are common historical events shared by all. But I think the diversity within any age cohort is more important that the changes between cohorts. Internal diversity has become less important over time as communications have improved, but certainly hasn’t gone away.
1947 here. I never bought into the Greatest Generation label; that was book marketing.
Those were our parents. It was that generation that raised us to have two great cultural goals for human life: Having tons of things and and never having to do anything by hand. (Oh, and various social facts like “fossil fuels are harmless, plentiful, and will always be cheap.”)
They did great things and some bad things. So did we. So will the generations after us. I love them all, pre- and post- Boomers.
@PeakVT: The ever-more-tortured measures that financial regulators take (to the extent action is taken at all) to impose pain on everybody except those who caused the ongoing economic disaster continues to astound me.
Villago Delenda Est
This isn’t really about boomers; it’s about the usual ivy league legacy “educated” vermin that have inherited their positions in the media, who are not there on any conventional basis of “merit” other than who their parents are.
1% parasites. Wipe them out. All of them.
I was born in 1956 and black to boot. Talk about an invisible demographic. Black boomers for the most part regardless of age are completely ignored (except for some Motown tributes. I wonder why?
I already don’t enjoy the catheter ads! They’re everywhere; they seem to be the sorta-post-recession replacement for the “own gold” ads.
Some things I’d rather not know about unless I have to.
Villago Delenda Est
It’s a tacit admission that banksters are thieves.
@PeakVT: Hear, hear. I always laugh when a new “what all the kids are doing” story comes on the news (or on the Fox station “the dangerous/disgusting/horrifying thing ALL THE KIDS ARE DOING!”), because I know it’s no more true than such tales were when I was that age.
Yup, I’m a ’62 as well, and this describes my thinking on this.
This won’t be over until the last pair of boomers (one a totebagger and one a teabagger) crack open the piggybanks of all of their great grandchildren in order to scrape the change in order to buy something useless. The teabagger will use it for her 18th trip to Branson and the fine buffets of Americana, the totebagger to buy this really awesome and hugely expensive bottle of vintage wine he read about in Bon Appetit. They’re entitled to one last great experience, y’know.
@Va Highlander: As a formerly dope-smoking boomer, may I invite you to go boil your bottom. Clinton’s infamous remark was a testament to the narcissistic hypocrisy, moral bankruptcy and utter dysfunction of the American political system and the American electorate, to whom language is foreign and the taste of truth like that of thousand angry wasps. A certain lack of courage on Clinton’s part we shown, perhaps, but not wot you said just now.
At this point, why would anyone keep their money in any bank anywhere? Just as a theoretical exercise.
If the state is saying your previously “guaranteed” deposits are really as much ours as yours, then what can they not take.
I am neither. I simply have very little tolerance for mistermix’ particular band of stupid.
@Ben Franklin: Look, not that I’m all that keen on this post myself, but I am a little confused by something: since you seem to hate everything that goes on here, why do you keep hanging around?
‘Cuz I amma narcisisistic, diaper wearing, entitlement mongering Boomer, who constantly forgets which bookmark I am clicking. Now, what was your question?
@PIGL: So, you see your generation differently? Never saw that coming.
Hmm. I’m a ’61, and I’ve rarely felt that way. I get annoyed at being labeled a “boomer,” because most of their cultural touchstones, other than the Apollo program, were things I saw in movies or retrospective TV shows after they were over. But I’ve never felt tied to it either. I (thankfully) escaped from feeling that my high school music (late 70’s) was “my” music, with the help of a spouse who’s a couple of years younger, and have been swimming the cultural tides ever since.
We shoulda let Stalin take all Germany and let him do whatever he wanted. The Hun is at your heel or at your throat – Deutsche bankers have upended Europe.
@Corner Stone: Indeed, why put money in a bank? They’re not paying any interest anyway.
All I need is a good hiding place that no thief can find but that I won’t forget where I put it.
Oh but our generation is soooo different! We are going to refuse to age! We’ll work out and have surgeries and just keep going and going forever and ever amen!
1952 here and all I have to say is if you or someone you love is thinking about a career in nursing care DON’T! The whining and crying ‘poor me’ will be deafening
Re Cyprus savings bank levy
Because I am contractually obligated to do so, here is a clear and comprehensive article on the matter from the Guardian, “Cyprus savings levy: questions and answers”:
Also too, since this subject will probably come up later: “Guilty verdict in Ohio rape trial”:
Also three, @Larkspur: a shrewd and poignant comment, each and every word of which describes my own thoughts and experience on/of the subject. Thanks!
Villago Delenda Est
Obviously that hiding place is NOT in a Eurozone bank! The thieves have the keys!
White Trash Liberal
If the NY Times wants to attract readers from a broad spectrum, they should return to actual journalism. I know, I know, crazy. But real investigative journalism, you know, those things that newspapers used to do before it became conventional wisdom distribution and event analysis.
Getting rid of the environmental desk while creating a Boomer section only speeds along the decline, turning the newspaper of record into Reader’s Digest for people who think the height of intellect is completing the crossword puzzle in ink.
But OMG doing our job is expensive! Better to pay Friedman and Brooks six figure incomes to barf out odes to Common Sense.
@MomSense: My new motto is “The Beetles Suck!”
@PeakVT: Not to derail but I have to concur on the whole “shared historical events”. I’m 28, and in that time I’ve witnessed Newt’s impeachment crusade against a competent president with fidelity issues, 9/11 and the rise of the Cheney ‘presidency’, and the nearly complete collapse of the idea that my generation will have a better life than my parents.
At the same time I’ve had to listen to the rise of Fox News and witness the complete intellectual collapse of the GOP into a cesspool of con artists and theocratic/racist rubes. Truth be told it wasn’t that far of a fall to begin with but that faction of the party went from “dirty secret” to kingmaker in the last decade. I don’t blame the boomers for fucking over my generation because they’re just as the fools on tier up on the Ponzi scheme. They’re not the ones responsible for screwing the country, not really.
On the plus side while the economy may be collapsed and in the gutter at least in my part of the country I don’t have to worry too much about being attacked for being an open gay atheist, so it’s not all bad ;-)
Born in ’50. Out of work for past two years. Wonder if I’ll ever have a ‘job’ again, have ‘financial assets’ numbered in more than four digits (before the decimal point), or be able to say I’m ‘retired’? Have five browsers – CE, Chrome, SeaMonkey, Firefox, and Opera – on this secondhand computer – so I can mooch on whatever interesting stuff the NY Times has, whether they want me as a reader or not.
I’ve lived in interesting times, and it’s been a heckova ride. If I could be young again, knowing what I know now … well, the air pollution, outside and in, is much less today.
Not long ago, I’d have disagreed.
I thought the EU seemed like a good idea but it looks like the Fourth Reich is going to join its predecessor in the great dustbin of fail. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.
@Villago Delenda Est:
What I find veddy interesting is the supposition that all the “Russian depositors” who are the ones taking the bath in the Cypriot bail-in are actually KGB black money depositors.
And since this probably really pisses off a lot of close friends to Mr. Putin, I’m wondering about retaliation.
If this theory is indeed factual to any degree.
@Va Highlander: No, I don’t think “my generation” really exists as an identifiable target for your misdirected scorn. I didn’t say it was different, I said your charge was unfounded, at least in that instance.
If I were to call you a “self-satisfied, priggish, judgmental asshole whose moral fiber has never been, and probably never will be tested in the white heat of a national spotlight”, to offer but one example, it would be aimed at you personally, for your published remarks. I would not presume to tar all millennials or whatevs with your faulty target acquisition.
The Times lame-ass marketing speaks to issues of economic class and social status on Manhattan Island and its leafy summer colonies. It has only a superficial relationship to age-class. You should save your scorn for your actual enemies…because you will be 30 years older before you fucking know what hits you.
My parents are boomers, and I think their worries right now go beyond muffin tops, the political correctness of inherited minks, or even aching knees. They’re worrying about their lack of a retirement fund thanks to the realities of life sucking it up, finding long-term sustainability in the workforce, and having decent healthcare both with and without Medicare. All this while watching their friends and family members of the same age going through the same thing. On top o all that, they still worry about their children’s and grandchildren’s lives!
They should’ve hung Hjalmar Schacht at Nuremburg – Funk and Krupps deserved it too.
By letting them live, no example was set, and German bankers continued to be raging assholes.
Ted & Hellen
Get off my gay lawn.
Probably is. Financial services there are 8 times larger than the economy.
@Ted & Hellen: So the grass is having a party? Damn, I gotta get your fertilizer mix formula.
I am proud to know that most medications designed for what ails people of my approximate age will allow me once again to get me out to the band shell where geezer rock is played. I am smart enough to choose it because I cherish my old car and afternoons in separate outdoor footed bathtubs despite the fact I was warned these medicines cause multiple other diseases and “even death.”
Those who group based on decades long dates of birth are
either stupid old fools or still wet behind the ears.
“I don’t have to worry too much about being attacked for being an open gay atheist…”
So I gather you’re not planning to run for higher political office in this country anytime soon. :)
Arizona may just have elected the nation’s first openly bisexual member of Congress (Krysten Sinema), but is there a single “openly” declared atheist now serving there (or a governor’s mansion or for that matter, a senior position in the federal judiciary or Executive branch)? A broad search may find discover one, but none that I can think of.
I’ve got it! How about someplace guarded and secured. Like, a bank vault?
I was told that women do repetitive work tasks better than men. The pay was lower, of course.
The Moar You Know
Totally missing the mark. The problem has never been the boomers, or the Xers, or the Millenials, or any other demographic. We are, after all, every one of us regardless of age all being raped by the same group of 1%ers.
The problem is that the New York Times still exists, and people still pay attention to it, instead of pointing and laughing at its mouldering corpse as they ought to do.
Other than the writing is better this sounds like me.
Villago Delenda Est
Good, as long as you don’t utter the unforgiveable heresy of “The Beatles suck!” you’ll be OK.
Hi, Boomers are richer than young kids, and therefore have more disposable income as a group. Who do you THINK they’re gonna target ads to?
This is the same NYT who routinely puts up ads for $1m+ apartments and $20m+ homes in their magazine, right?
What on God’s green Earth did you think they were going to target their ad space at? Climate change freaks who dress in Salvation Army castoffs?
I (born 1982) have a hard time distilling the ‘Boomer Essence’. Yes, Nixon won in 1969, but that was not the Boomer’s fault. The cultural idols of the Boomers were not Boomers, neither Lennon nor McCartney or Hendrix, or Martin Luther King etc… And they produced their own idols, David Bowie, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, etc… Not to mention Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, maybe even Obama… I don’t think that there is a real generational effect. Global coincidences are more important I think, the Vietnam War, the pill, the moon landing. It’s not a one after the other, it’s a flow of influences. There are about twenty years of historical drama that probably constitute the Boomer identity, those are the years 1963-1981 (Kennedy assassination-Reagan assassination attempt). But they don’t tell anything in my opinion. The Boomers have a mixed record like almost any other generation. Generation X represents political apathy and an escape into capitalism as well as information technology and increased social tolerance. Each generation has progressive and regressive elements, the luck of the Greatest Generation and probably of my own millenial generation is that in their eyes, the regressive elements are completely discredited (by the Great Depression and the general ineptitude of the Bush government). The Boomers have the misfortune to come into age around the year 1969 which is Nixon’s inauguration and the year of the moon landing. It’s the peak of American power and the beginning of movement conservatism as a dominant political force. None of this was caused by the Boomers, but they just happen to exist at a time that correlates with relative decline. Ok, maybe they shouldn’t have joined Reagan in such force (Reagan Democrats), but who can blame them after Vietnam, Oil shocks, Iran hostage crisis etc…
This. I care about what I care about and I need what I need and have no interest in “Boomer News” as if I can’t use teh Google when it hurts to pee. And if you’re a Teabagger you can bite me whatever your age. Also if you need to whine about “the attention the boomers are getting”.
Villago Delenda Est
A million times, this.
Two things irritate me about that new “area” of the NYT:
a) what the NYT thinks Boomers are interested in. As though there isn’t a single person born in the 50s who lives a well rounded life who might take an interest in things outside of their demographic self-identity and circumstances of their age.
b) the fact that they’re probably not wrong. Especially considering the non-age-related demographic that represents the other circle on the Venn diagram.
@handsmile: My wife and I live in (formerly) progressive Wisconsin. I’ve no illusions that my dedication to the scientific method, unwillingness to coddle alt-med hippies and creationist morons is more guaranteed to keep me out of office than the fact that I’m a lesbian. I’m happy living a quiet life and don’t have any desire for public office, but your point is understood. Maybe if the urge ever hits me I’ll convince the wife to move back home to Seattle and we can make a go at public service. Hell if Wisconsin keeps trying to turn into Northern Texas that might happen sooner than I’d like.
My parents were not Boomers, but lots of my friends’ parents were and, yeah, they were smug and insufferable about the fact that they had gone to Woodstock (here are the pictures! you want to see them again? how about now?) despite the fact that they were now stockbrokers and housewives.
It probably wasn’t that much different than what their own parents had done, but it felt like the full force of popular culture was behind them to tell us all that the 1950s was the greatest time ever — “Happy Days” and all of its spin-offs, anyone? Back to the Future? Ed Debevic’s? Every pronouncement that came out of Ronald Reagan’s mouth?
It’s not so much the Boomers themselves as the cultural nostalgia they brought with them. We can’t look forward anymore because we have to spend all of our time looking at the past and hashing out all of the old battles for the 1,355,356th time. One of the reasons I was so relieved that Obama got the nomination in 2008 was that the right wing was already starting to run fucking Woodstock ads against Hillary. Who the fuck cared about Woodstock in fucking 2008 other than Baby Boomers who were still fighting over who went to it?
Then clearly they have no business reading the New York Times.
The New York Times
As is so often the case, I should have checked Encyclopedia Wikipedia before writing something categorical (#112), sparing others the need to reply (as if).
Accordingly, Congresswoman Sinema is also now the sole atheist in the US Congress as well.
California’s long-serving representative Pete Stark had held that distinction before his retirement from Congress in January. Stark’s own Wiki entry delightfully notes that in February 2011, he introduced a bill to designate February 12 as “Darwin Day” (a host of other controversial statements, positions, and incidents to be found there as well):
But in some vindication, Wiki’s “List of Atheists in Politics and Law” (international) includes no other such individual currently holding prominent elected or appointed office in the US.
Actually, that’s the dirty secret of the Boomers that the media doesn’t like to talk about — Nixon won because of the youth vote. A lot of what we’re having to deal with is intragenerational warfare of Boomers vs. Boomers fighting about the fate of the country. And, unfortunately, they’re such a large demographic cohort that the rest of us ended up standing around waiting to see which Boomer faction is going to win.
Nixon won because of the youth vote.
Was Nixon a Boomer? His campaign platform was getting us out of Viet Nam. Of course, I couldn’t vote, but I would have voted for the only alternative. ‘lesser weevil’ HHH, cuz that would’ve made such a difference.
I certainly hope you and your wife can hold out at least through 2014, adding another two votes to the majority that will oust the execrable Scott Walker from office.
Best wishes for your dedication, your unwillingness, and your quiet life. :)
Now that you say it, I can recall something like that, too, about the youth vote. I guess that this was all about Nixon’s promise to end the war and a few hippies too many who believed it. And the Democratic Convention was about as ugly as it could be. Still, I don’t understand why this should be a cause of intragenerational war. After all, anti-war votes for Nixon should have been discredited after a few years of continued warfare, or at least after Watergate.
Clinton suffers from asthsma.
He literally _cannot_ inhale dope smoke in the way so many of his peers did.
That’s why he laughs when he says it — it’s a joke because it’s a truth that no one will believe.
It’s because you’re vastly overestimating how many Boomers were hippies, or even liberals. George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice are just as representative of the Baby Boom generation as Bill Clinton and Al Gore. (Dick Cheney was born in 1941, which makes him the Paul McCartney of this equation — born slightly before the “real” boom but hugely influential on it).
Conservative Boomers and liberal Boomers have been fighting pretty much since the Summer of Love blew up, and what we’re looking at is the result of that warfare. IMO, intergenerations warfare is much easier for a society to deal with than intragenerational warfare.
I tried to find hard facts about the respective shares of the youth vote but couldn’t find them yet in the last 15-20 minutes, but I’ll keep that perspective in mind if Hillary runs in 2016.
Though I will be happy if the next presidenial election doesn’t mention Vietnam for a change.
@Larkspur: I agree. It’s not a “generational” thing as much as the Times catering to a certain income level, whether it be Gen X or Boomers. I’m too lazy to Google, but anecdotal evidence (people I know) suggests that the Times is very popular with a certain “class” of Boomers.
I found this story from 1972 that said that Nixon was expecting 50% of the youth (under 25) vote, and I don’t think I’ve seen much that contradicts that.
And as I said, anecdotally it seems to me that most of the Baby Boomers I’ve met in my life have split 50/50 between conservative and liberal.
This is something I also suspected but didn’t write in my first comment. Generation Y and the Greatest Generation have weak regressive elements because of the Great Depression and the Bush government. Generation X has weak progressive elements because of Carter’s failures, the decline of Keynesianism and Reagan’s political skills (which is why we had so much deregulation and a revival of political evangelicalism). But with the Boomers, it’s about 50/50 (maybe because the Silent Generation was so…silent.)
maybe if the NYT ran ads for things that ordinary humans, of whatever generation, could actually afford, theyd see better response rates, and their advertisers would be more likely to buy more ads….crazy talk i know!!
NYT front page now, CITI credit card ad & some online savings acct i never heard of, sure gonna put my money there! but the ad was so teensy & uninformative i barely saw it, if i wasnt going out of my way to check all the ads i wdnt have clickd it….click on articles page, house ad for NYT own store, Amica auto ins, and one of those interior design scams where you have to log in before they even let you brouse the site (Fab.com this time, sometimes its another one, but they all want to sell you $1400 coffee tables!!)
….keeping going, got State farm ins, discover card, google ad WAY down the bottom of the page for VA home loans, there is NOTHING on the site that has any relevanc for me….
….but I do click on tons of ads on other sites, for things that interest me….outdoors gear, tech, gadgets, handmade crafts, and tons of books!! amazon loves me, and so do sites that run targeted ads or amazon ads….so why can’t the Gray lady figure it out??
oh and theres a popup warning me that theyre not going to let me read any more of their site this month wo paying for admission….that REALLY adds value to their ad rates!!
also i know the printed NYT has a ton more ads, but every time i open one at the coffee shop, i look at the full page ad & go $1400 for a handbag/briefcase ??Who the Fuck is going to buy a handbag that costs as much as a used car?? and is ugly as fuck too….
i think they call it ‘chasing the carriage trade” but the thing is, EVERYONE cant get rich selling to the 1%, and the ‘fuck everybody else’ mindset means that even les s of us will be buying financial services or new cars or umbrellas with the NYT logo on them in the future…
There is nothing more boring, to me, as a boomer, than boomer-directed media crap.
@CarolDuhart2: Black boomers for the most part regardless of age are completely ignored
Yup, to the point that I don’t even consider the term “Boomer” to include anyone nonwhite. All part of the obnoxiousness of what’s sold as Boomer culture.
By Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal mistermix, the NYT is also the newspapers which regularly has big stories on the difficulties of surviving in Manhattan when you make less than $100K (and by that they mean $99K, not $30K).
One of their stories includes such sad paragraphs such sad elements as a couple having to sell their larger Manhattan apartment to get a smaller one, so that they could keep their country house.
That’s the NYT for you.
Nellie in NZ
@joel hanes: Yep, another asthma sufferer here. I needed to “look” like I was inhaling so that others at the party didn’t think I was a narc, but no, not inhaling. Got good at faking it and they were stoned enough not to notice. But they sure would have noticed if I had tried to inhale.
The one thing I believe about Clinton. Otherwise, time for him to find a quiet life somewhere.
On a different note, my husband (born in ’44) has younger workers trying to shove him off the stage. He may be 69, but his father just died at the age of 98. Husband loves his work (science) and thinks, I may have 30 years left. I love working. Yet, if he continues, the jobs narrow for those younger. I’m trying to guide him into occasional consulting or volunteer for expenses type of work. He still likes to put in 10-11 hour days, six days a week. Sigh. My task for the next decade is to try to teach him how to relax.
dance around in your bones
I’ve always kept my paltry stash of dough in a cookie jar or under the mattress. No interest earned, but never got stolen, either! (No idea why).
@Suffern ACE: Yeah, because it’s so horrible of us to consider cultural misogyny a problem worth arguing about.
I also enjoy how you seem to hold us responsible for a war your generation started.
@Todd: It jumped right up, and grabbed his meat!
As this is clearly a troll thread
I find it interesting that the generation of twitter/facebook/IM/texting considers calling the boomers self-absorbed an insult. Especially as the thrust of the OP is that he is upset because the NYT is starting a section that isn’t about his generation and him.
What % of boomers subscribe to the Times? What % of millennials and such? If you want more stories oriented towards your generation, get your generation to subscribe. If you say your generation will never subscribe because the NYT is an archaic and useless source of information, then, why are you upset about anything it does?
I would argue that the Times dropped its environmental section, not because it prefers catering to boomers, but, because younger readers ignored the Times when it did have the environmental section. If the younger generations are increasingly dropping print media as a regular source of information or simple time-killing, then, it seems to me that the slow death of the print media as a viable news source is on them.
I still subscribe to my local paper and to Time Magazine. Not because they are especially wonderful but because they are capable of producing important stories that no other form of media can do. Time recently had a long and excellent series on health care, for example. As long as it is capable of doing things like that a few times a year, I will continue to subscribe.
My siblings and I were born in:
1948, 49, 50, 52, 56, 59, 61, and 63.
1948 has morbid obesity and diabetes. Spent a year in Vietnam. Didn’t finish high school.
1949 died recently after sustaining a head injury while drunk. Spent a year in Vietnam. Barely finished high school.
1950 lives in a trailer and plays online poker. Spent his army year in Germany. Works as a house painter.
I am 1952. Still kicking! Two grown daughters, one disabled husband, masters degree.
1956 went to a shooting range last year and shot himself in the chest. Barely finished high school. Never had a real job.
1959 put herself through college and raised a son by herself. Works and lives alone. Has attempted suicide twice.
1961 is another house painter; once arrested for dealing drugs.
1963 delivers mail and messes around with local theater. Raised one kid alone.
I’m really enjoying the bitter commentary about how smug, entitled, tea-bagging, tote-bagging, Woodstock obsessed, selfish we definitely are. For Fck’s sake, the media has been making caricatures out of people who happened to be born in our decade all my life, and I expect they’ll keep doing it no matter what relationship their blabbing has to reality.
So the eff what.
There’s an easy solution, just change the demography of our society. Like you I am sick and tired of ads for prescription drugs and would much rather have wall-to-wall beer commercials.
@Xecky Gilchrist: And how, exactly, it it failing? Boomers have yet to be asked to contribute anything.
Uninsightful and overstated, as usual. This has not been one of your better days.
I know it’s not a popular byline in these parts, but Sully’s Goodbye to All That is an interesting reflection on Boomer intragenerational conflict. Unfortunately, his expectation that Senator Obama’s election could break that conflict was hopelessly naïve (as was I at the time, truth to tell). It turns out that the white Boomer right could easily be manipulated into apeshit fear of a black president.
P Joe Brown
We’ll all have plenty to answer for to the next generations. That’s just the way it is.
See: Douglas Coupland his own self (December 30, 1961). In Canada, 1961 doesn’t count as Boomer (Generation X runs from 1961-1981). But some people try to call the 1954-1965 cohort Generation Jones.
dance around in your bones
I just think (as I have always done) that painting broad brushes over entire generations is a fool’s mission.
I can’t stand this naming of blocks of people who are unlikely to be blocks of people. We are all individuals despite the year of our birth. Who started this shit, anyway? Time magazine? Consider the source.
Well I’m a true boomer – 1946 – 9 months after the pater returned from war. I spent 15 years helping out the parents before they were entitled to government assistance – and I now have a 30 year old daughter with 6 month old grandbabe & I help support them. Damned if I know where all the talk about boomers having it all came from.
I would also rather read about the environment than whatever the newspapers think I should be reading – so like younger generations – I just don’t go there.
Yeah. Fuck you, too, shitheel.
That’s what I’m talking about. Spread the spite.
Fuck each and everyone of you. Especially the whiners who prove the point in their self-righteous indignation.
@The Moar You Know:
Uh, wow. I thought that was the whole point of the post.
But rather than take a minute to think that through, lots of nice people born before 1960 decided to stamp their proverbial blog-commenting feet and get righteous at the NERVE of that mistermix.
Too uppity, son. You’re only 40-ish. Shut up and sit down.
Bullshit. Defining the Boomers demographically (born 1946-1964), most were not even old enough to vote in 1968. Defining them culturally as per Strauss and Howe (born 1942-1960) that would still be the case, as the peak of births was back-weighted even in this group. This generation was not the swing group in the 1968 election, especially assuming your later claim that it split 50-50 is correct.
@Bill D.: D’you know how much Nixon won by in 1968? 0.7%. The youth vote sure as shit put him over the top.
@hitchhiker: I know this thread is just about over now, but I wanted to be sure you know that what you wrote was moving and reflects a reality that goes mostly unrecognized. I’d like to say more, but it would lead to an autobiography, and this isn’t the place. Thanks.
@Nick: Oh yeah. That was my very first opportunity to vote. I waited six hours in line to vote against Nixon. (But I did not walk uphill four miles in a blizzard to get to the polls, so there’s that.)
1. You might want to review the U.S. Constitution for starters. The president is not elected by the popular vote total. Remember the 2000 election where Al Gore won a majority of votes? In 1968, Nixon won 301 electoral votes to 191 for Democrat Hubert Humphrey; the rest went to George Wallace in southern states. So Humphrey only won 36% of the electoral votes.
2. In 1968 the voting age in federal elections was still 21. That meant that only a fraction of boomers could even vote, those born 1947 or earlier.
3. I’m heading off to work here in a moment so I don’t have time to keep looking, but in a quick search I could not find any age breakdown for the 1968 presidential election. Assuming for the moment that Mnemosyne is correct that the youth vote split 50/50 in the 1968 election, adding in a some 50/50 votes to the overall totals for the top two candidate is mathematically incapable of putting someone “over the top”. That is basic mathematical comprehension.
Now if you still want to claim that the youth vote put Nixon over the top, you’d have to show that it was in his favor in enough states that he won to have tipped those states over to his column to give him the winning margin in electoral votes. Also, for this to be true older voters would have had to have gone for Humphrey in those states, such that adding in the youth vote made *the* difference.