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New at Reason: Peter Bagge looks back on more than three decades under the yoke of the baby boomers.

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  1. I have often wondered about this very issue. Anecdotes fly around all the time about X person did this or that during the 60s but has now taken a hard line against the same practice. I have always had difficulty understanding how this could happen. Maybe its my youth (28) and the fact that I am not a parent yet that makes it difficult to understand.

    I have always reasoned that the hippies are still hippies, they just are not the policy makers, who have pretty much always been the way they are. I always figured that people like Tipper Gore and Joe Libberman were those kids you knew in school that you could never hang out with, in fear that they would snitch on the slightest violation of rule. The kids that said things like, gosh darnet, and heck all the time and would never be caught dead at a social event that involved the slightest bit of alcohol, pot or the opposite sex. I have a hard time believing that Tipper or Joe ever toked a joint, or enjoyed youthfull rebellion.

    Perhaps Im wrong???

  2. or perhaps the sinner in youth becomes the penitent in adulthood?

    there’s a lot of weird guilt which goes with behavior which isn’t socially approved – “deviant” sex, occasional drug use, drifting away from the religious and moral instructions received as children and so on. it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to imagine formerly whacky kids – some of whom were no doubt the straight arrows you describe above, at least at some point in their lives – feeling regretful for all the humping and doping and other fun stuff.

    where the asshole gene comes in that translates “i don’t want to do this” to “no one should be allowed to do this” is another question entirely.

  3. Sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll.

    Some oppression.

    In addition by oppressing the current group of young ‘uns the boomers are giving them the opportunity to rebel as well.

    So what are the youngsters doing? Whining.

    I’d like to see some real action in the streets. Marches against the war. On drugs. etc.

    Kids today got no street creds. All they can do is break windows. We used to break governments.

    On the personal side I still favor sex, drugs, and rock. And I’m 59. Todays crop should be so with it as they turn 60.

    Aside: I have gone from anarcho-communism to libertarian war monger so a few changes have been made.

  4. “We used to break governments.”

    “Used to?” You people are still doing a damn fine job of it.

  5. I will be 40 next week, and even though my birthdate (12/1963) slips me into the last few weeks of the official Baby Boomer demographic, I’m not one. I think that in order to be a Boomer you have to at least have been alive when JFK was killed, and, actually, you should have some memory of it.

    All of which is to say: I am so freaking sick and tired of that whole solipsistic,
    narcissistic generation. I could go on for PAGES about all the ways they chafe and annoy, but I won’t. Anyone read “Balsamic Dreams” by Joe Queenan? He does a great job of it – I guess it takes one to skewer one.

    And you know what, M. Simon? I’m sure you’re a very nice person, and I (honestly) mean no offense, but your post is a perfect example of what makes Boomers so annoying. Unless it’s actually a parody of typical Boomer thought, in which case – well done, sir or madam.

  6. One of Bagge’s better works. But he forgot to add a segment where a tie-die wearing Jefferson Airplane fan screams “Don’t trust anyone over 30!” in 1968, and grows up to become a card-carrying AARP member demanding that younger Americans be milked for trillions in Social Security and Medicare payments.

  7. What a drag it is getting old.

  8. We used to break governments.

    Thus Richard Nixon’s election in 1968 and re-election in 1972. Way to influence an election, boomer-boy. Or was Nixon the preferred choice of the anarcho-communists in both elections?

  9. Holly,

    I too am technically one of the boomers (Baby Boomer, that is, not a nuclear missile armed submarine!), being a few years older than you (1960). I even have a vague recollection of what was probably the JFK assassination. However, I think you have to be old enough to have been draft eligible by 1974 or so (putting the end of that generation at about 1956 or so) to qualify as a boomer. I have never identified with that group, either.

  10. I usually critique Bagge with venom-laden snarkyness.

    This week I give him an unconditional thumbs up. Good job Peter.

    Glad to see you taking heed of all my previous sage counsel ;^P

  11. Heh… I’ve had the exact reverse life journey. In my teens I was an overbearing, utra-conservative, ultra catholic, nerd who thought that gays, OB/GYNs, and anyone who voted for Clinton in 1992 should have been thrown in prison.

    Today, at 29, I’m an atheist, sex-drugs-and-rock-&-roll, libertarian. Go figure.

  12. I’m with Holly! Born in 64, I say fuck the boomers! And fuck the whiny little bastards that came next. People like myself and Holly, who straddle the border of two demographics, need to have our own cute title. That way we can whine our way to entitlement after entitlement. I’m not old! I’m not young! But someone damn sure better gimme gimme gimme!

  13. Oh, screw it! I’m too busy being a productive human being to care about this nonsense. Now let me get back to work.

  14. Ok, Doug Fletcher’s post is the one I wish I’d written.

  15. Jeez, we’re getting slammed from the left (Atrios), right (Sullivan), and the Randians (Bagge)! Call us The Most Hated Generation, I guess. Folks, please try to grasp that that not _every_ b-boomer is an entitlement-grabbing hypocritical peace-and-love throwback.

  16. “I’d like to see some real action in the streets. Marches against the war. On drugs. etc.”

    You old fart. Real tough duty lighting a joint and walking down Pennsylvania Avenue with a piece of posterboard on a stick. Gee, man, they ought to have a memorial down there in DC for all the suffering you guys went through saving democracy.

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