Boom Busted

I too am a boomer. We were the first generation to grow up watching TV. We watched TV before we could walk, or talk. TV created a horizontal connection within our generation that was stronger than the vertical connection with family. Imagine what the endless hours of watching Cats chase Mice, Dogs chase Cats Merry Melodies did. We discovered we had far more in common with a kid from across the country than with parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents etc.
Each generation since has emulated us. We have the “distinction” of defining what was and is Cool. Our generation and younger grew up in a more and more horizontally linked age bracket. In this manner we have been stripped of a sense of nation. Nations have histories. Histories are vertically transmitted. Our generation thought we knew all that was worth knowing, because we all knew what each other knew, because we all swaddled by Television. And drugs. And the birth control pill and the combination of the two: Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. Those of us who landed on our feet, and many did not, made sure their kids were totally regimented. Not one moment of their days is unscripted and scheduled. They are chauffeured from one activity to another. Bike-riding is a scheduled activity. We used bikes as transportation. Growing up on Long Island, our Ten Speed bikes opened far horizons filled with other kids just like us. So of course we all went to Woodstock. And of course we steer clear of certain stories.
We initially were LIBERTARIAN. “Do your own thing man”. I recall marching against the War (Viet Nam, of course). We’d hitch or crowd into a car and party down to Washington. We’d party at the Monuments during the night times of the Moratoriums. One night I was at some smaller monument, with Grecian Columns and statue of something, with a fed head, and someone had gotten into the lights and was flashing them on and off. The crowds swelled and appeared as barbarians, with hair and beards and scarves, pouring through Rome. And the lights were flashing.
But later on, I began to notice and become angry at The Marshals. These were Leaders, who appointed them?; I don;’t know. But they served to direct us on our appointed march and our designated route. Their eyes were hard. They did not smile. They were serious. I thought you gotta be kidding! “Don’t follow leaders and watch the parkin’ meters”. These were the same sort who mutated from Peace to pro-Viet Cong. Peace, I was cool with. But even then, siding with the enemy seemed bad. “Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh NLF is gonna win.” No thanks! Way too dictatorial. I actually read the Communist Manifesto and was disgusted. But with the Yippies, at Nixon’s 2nd Inaugural “Four More Beers”, that was more like it, mocking the power hungry form all sides.
Anti-War became Anti-Americanism, became Anti-God. Just as Saul Alinsky wrote in his tribute, to Lucifer the first revolutionary. I watched all this. I was gone to Mexico for awhile When I was back Disco was in and every other kid was suddenly going to Law School. Last one off the Magic Bus is a rotten egg. Lawyas, Environ-dementialists, MBA’s, money was cool. Just pull back the pony tail and pierce an ear and sell out but be cool. Talkin bout ma ma gegegeneration./

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