Why the Boomer-bashing? For one, that’s how anger works itself out. To a Boomer commenter at Chateau Heartiste named Jim (not the NRx blogger known by that name), whose motivational speech begins with “I don’t owe young men anything” and includes a boast about his divorce, a Millennial reader replies:
There’s a lot to unpack here and I haven’t read all the comments or the root of this comment from Jim but I’ll give a dissident millennials retort.
I doubt you do owe us anything Jim, and some of your fellow boomers to add, who very well represent the best of their generation. However, I owe you nothing and can comfortably toss the failures of my generation at your generation’s feet. Let’s not forget, dad, you are the ones who raised us. You stood idly by while Ted Kennedy, his minions, and their scum successors undid the world you were allowed to be born and raised in. Your observations are accurate and the shortcomings you recognize are aptly noted. However, your last paragraph needs to be crux of your thought, not a final, passing notion.
[Jim’s last paragraph: “But then, we didn’t have ‘smart phones’, liberal-based CATV and 16 years of SJW training, K-12 and 4 at college like a Millennial. Maybe that’s where they’re hamstrung and THAT I can’t help them with other than to say to throw off the yoke, don’t get married and get a motorcycle. That would at least be a start.”]
The Stephen Paddocks of the world are the ones who allowed for the monstrosities of today to be born and reared. Boomers have been busy fattening their defined benefit plans on my generations back, buying up all the prime properties so that my generation must live in cubicle size rentables owned by foreign interests, and chasing waifus from distant lands while your ex-wives brow beat and torment us. You forgot to keep your home, our home, in order. It’s not YOUR fault, but it’s not MINE either. We are victims of our existence. Born at the worst time under the worst conditions. Generation Z has protection, in the form of Donald Trump and the vanguard of the Alt-Right, which as I’m sure you are aware of, is made up of yes, you guessed it mostly millennials. Millennials didn’t have that; we had to navigate the world on our own with no guidance and boomers like you telling us to get off our ass and do something in a world that hates us and actively works against us.
You aren’t wrong when you say many of us have no accomplishments nor care to seek any; but there are among us many eager to earn such accolades, to make up for lost time, to live in a way that wasn’t allotted to us. Millennials like myself have lived in a world with no peace, we have been guilty from birth of our heritage and our mere existence as true heritage Americans makes us enemies of the state. We have been in a state of war all our life, a cultural war, where no one like Trump stood up for us. We were truly on our own. And you are surprised we turned to video games and iphones? We can’t even go to Starbucks or look on our iphones without being exposed to the world’s contempt for our existence. Yes, the worst of the world is among us, but just by chance maybe the best of the world is also among us as well, lying beneath our shamed exteriors desperately waiting for an opportunity to act and earn those accomplishments you talk about.
Before you lose hope in us millennials let me say that the world’s contempt, in addition to apathy, laziness, and weakness, is creating other traits in millennials like anger, which leads to hate, which leads to violence (taking action). I think you will be surprised who steps up from my generation when the time comes and what that looks like. No one thought Octavian would become Caesar Augustus. He, like us was a sickly youth, who in time took action and created the greatest civilization the world had known.
Yes, Generation Z will be the shock troops, however, don’t be surprised if they are led by people from my generation. We have the most to prove, and I believe, the most to gain, a world we heard about and saw in a not so distant past. There are ones among us who have had experiences like yours and aren’t just finger pointing do nothings.
I’m prepared to accept my generations faults and shortcomings, but honestly it seems boomers refuse to accept theirs.
Back to me, PA. Once Boomers pass, the wrath of the young may well turn toward us, GenX. That’s how anger works itself out. But we will accept their scorn because unlike Boomers, we accept our part of the blame. We saw evil, we flinched, we never forgave ourselves for that. We have none of the arrogance of our parents’ generation. And pretty much by the time we turned twenty, we abandoned our expectations of ‘having it all’ that Boomers will cleave on to to their last day.
Economically, we’ll be in the same boat as the maturing Generation Zyklon and their children, no damning appearance of burning through their inheritance. So I don’t foresee a similar kind of Xer-bashing or even Millennial-bashing when our respective generations become old.
PS: Is there a word for nostalgia for things that are still here? Part of me will miss Boomers when they are gone. The heart softens when recalling long-ago images of when they were young and vigorous, we trusted them, and their undying cheerfulness wasn’t out of sync with the world around us.