The Long, Meaningless Shadow of the 60′s

From Huffington Post:

It’s standard operating procedure, practically a rite of passage, for each new generation to fiercely rebel against the one that preceded it … But for anyone unlucky enough to follow those who came of age in the 1960s, defiance to some extent has felt all but impossible. This is because, quite frankly, the 60s marked a high point in the evolution of American society as a whole and set an inapproachable standard across so many aspects of our culture — music, art, political activism, even the act of defiance itself — and it did this despite being one of the most turbulent periods in our nation’s history.

And how do we know this?

Because for 40-some-odd years, the ****ing Baby Boomers have never stopped reminding us.

The article has lots of swears, but oh my lord, it’s awesome. Go read it here.

22 thoughts on “The Long, Meaningless Shadow of the 60′s

  1. Chad

    Love it. Love it, love it, love it.

    I think the Boomers have a rude awakening coming as their generation enters it’s final act, and it’s gonna come from their kids and grandkids. We’re here, we’re annoyed at you, and we think your revolution was lame.

    Oh, and on the Christian side, I feel the SAME THING. Boomers who allegedly revolutionized church who are almost chronically incapable of allowing the next generation to actually lead. I think, since so much of the Jesus movement iconography and philosophy is rooted in the insistence that we are in the end times, that their generation is subconsciously incredulous that it may not go down just like Hal Lindsay said it would.

    Sorry.

    Rant over.

    Love you, mom and dad.

  2. michael Post author

    I was a guest panelist at a round-table discussion on “Music and Ethics” last year, except it wasn’t actually about music and ethics. It was a 90-minute rant by the other panelists about how awesome the 1960′s were, and why didn’t the kids these days write any good protest music, which changed the world, don’t you know, and that’s why we were awesome.

    When I suggested that many of today’s music fans found the idea of political music paternalistic and pointless, they stared at me as if I had just spit on Dylan’s grave (Because the real Dylan is dead man, and the guy walking around is his clothes has totally sold out!).

  3. aly hawkins

    The weirdest part for me is the similarity between the generation before us and the generation after. I’m a stereotypical Gen-X navel-gazing ball of anxiety, and I find their unflappable self-confidence mystifying. I just think, Are you sure? Because you seem awfully sure. Don’t you want to think about it for a minute, maybe wait for the insecurity to kick in? I think a little insecurity would be just the thing. Less dangerous than your terrifying certainty.

  4. michael Post author

    Dan and Christy, you need to sit down together and sort out your online avatar issues. I don’t wanna have to slap down a road-ban.

  5. sharolyn

    Now, I don’t have a problem with anything that has been said, but I’ll try to keep this a “round table discussion” and not merely the opposite rant of what Mike experienced.

    I confess that I am hopelessly myopic in my evaluation of things, so I’ll observe what I know. The teachers on my staff who could be classified as ex-hippies are the most open-minded to new teaching methods, the most constructivist (I interpret that as child-centered) in their approach, and openly love students who act and think “outside the box”, because they themselves have and do.

    The article’s author referenced “Thirtysomething”. While that show does not have all the answers, I would classify it as more “real” than its predecessors, such as Ozzie and Harriett. “Real” is something our generation claims to want, and that was the first generation who achieved a depth in television by talking about cancer, affairs, whether or not moms should have jobs, etc. I saw an interview with the writers of “Thirtysomething” and they said they humbly said they are not all that creative in their plots, they would simply go around the table and say what was going on in their own real lives. That is a far cry from Donna Reed.

    And Joan Baez is a far cry from lyrics such as “Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh, Lolly Lolly…”

    While not a perfect generation, I don’t want to generalize them too much because I believe ALL generalizations are bad. (Kidding.) It seems our biggest gripe is that they will not let go – which has its problems – but I can’t be mad at them for having a time they loved so much and there really are worse faults to have.

    Now I’ll duck and you can throw tomatoes. :)

  6. aly hawkins

    I hear you, Shar. On some level, demonizing the Boomers is just as silly as them demonizing the Builders (or “the Greatest Generation,” no pressure!). Ash & I talked long and hard about this topic last night — we know some truly kickass Boomers, and would not want to lump them in with “The Boomers” who make our lives so very difficult, *sniff*. We also know some get-up-and-go Gen-Xers (like yourself, for instance), who don’t at all fit the stereotype.

    All that said, I still think it can be useful to make broad generalizations, when everyone agrees on the limitations of doing so. Here’s one: Waxing romantic about “the good ol’ days” does more harm than good. People seem to easily forget the negatives of particular eras and zero-in on the positives. I’m all for learning from the past, gleaning what good we can from that which has gone before, but I think it’s folly to live in the soft-focus of nostalgia. We can’t go back to “the good ol’ days,” because the truth is, they never existed.

    I think this ended up as a tangent to your comments. Oops.

  7. Leonard

    Is there room for an old guy to chime in? It may not matter much about this post since, after a thorough study of the book of Revelation, (read the whole left behind series 2x) Jesus decided to come back in 2012 because the Mayans forgot to add more to their calendar.

    Here is a struggle I have. The boomers, gen x, gen y, Millennial’s… we have made each other the enemy. The article says F the boomers and their ideas and Joan too. We could easilly write a scathing response to the flaws of the Gen X crowd, the flaws of my Grand parents generation and so on and so on. It is not that we shouldn’t examine such flaws but boomers are not our enemies. Genexers are not our enemies.

    Somebody once wrote – “we wrestle not with flesh and blood but against powers, principalities and spiritual forces of wickedness in high places.” But for some reason we keep wrestling with flesh and blood.

    Maybe it is easier. Maybe it feeds our egos because we can say… Ha, sure showed them… Maybe we are pissed off and people are easier to fight. But for some reason we make people our enemies. Maybe it is because the tools for fighting a spiritual battle don’t fit in our hands as well as sarcasm, anger, bickering and the likes.

    WE make culture our enemy too. It is not.We make politician Our enemy, they are not. It is true that people can be enemies to our ideas, but that does not make them our enemy.

    Got to go now, I am buying extra supplies in prep for the Apocalypse.

  8. sharolyn

    Perhaps related to our dislike of “those” Boomers is the fear of becoming like them for the next generation.

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