While I fully expect the boomers' bug-eyed fear of death to sweep all of us to immortality in the next 30 years, they may yet fail (and then of course die), or I could get hit by a bus or keel over before then. I hope I don't, because I want to be one of the people that throws a pile of dirt on the grave of the last of the self-righteous boomers. The ones that take such vocal pride that "their" generation became hippie peacenicks when the vast majority of them were bagging groceries at the Food Lion. Many of these same folks then went and boinked themselves so stupid in the discos of the 70s that entirely new brands of VD had to be invented to slow them down. When that became too tiring or dangerous they then settled down to *become* the establishment in the 80s (remember "yuppies"?), only to bitch about how lazy their own kids were in the 90s. For some reason a metric ton of them have ended up in the media, so they're just that much more prominent. Am I the only one in the world that smiles when Roger Daltry now sings "I hope I die before I get old" and an increasingly gray audience raise their (and now their grandkids') fists? Pretty soon they're all going to be in walkers and wheelchairs swaying to "Purple Haze".
I often wonder just how we got to this point, where stuff is all that matters. Inner-city kids shoot each other over shoes. Suburban kids shoot and blow up whole groups of other kids because they get picked on in school and their parents never paid attention to all the funny smells coming from the basement. My grandparents' generation grew up with infant mortality rates in the teens, a depression that threw a third of their parents out of work, then fought a ragnarok of a war so bloody it bludgeond Europe, which up until that point had made the middle east look positively idyllic, into making peace with itself. For some bizzare reason, the next generation, *their kids*, ended up creating and defining what the world would look like for at least the entire time they were alive, and perhaps forever. While other folks get the blame for the "me" generation, yuppies, and the "greed" of the 90s, each period was ultimately created and defined by boomers for boomers. So, as a generation that I argue can be left with both the credit and the blame for what western culture has become, I ask why do we have to take our stuff to Antinque Road Show to find out how much it is worth? Why do we only think the expensive stuff is interesting? Why do so many people always quote the price of something when they talk about it? Why do so many people rack up huge debts on *credit cards*, which by definition can only be used to buy what are ultimately just life's decorations?
Of course, there are probably dozens (well, probably only one or two) of boomers reading this that say "that's not me, I'm not like that at all". That's right! So who *are* these people that we let define our culture for us? Why did it all turn out this way?