Saturday, August 06, 2005
KABOOM. If there's a single seminal moment for the post-war baby boom that produced the Not-So-Greatest-Generation, it's August 6th, 1945, when the United States unveiled its war-ending technology in Hiroshima, Japan.
The history may not be so important anymore, because nobody cares about history since the baby boomers reduced it to a pulpy list of crimes against political correctness. What is important is what happens now that the most narcissistic and self-indulgent generation in American history embarks on the great adventure of aging. It's not going to be pretty. The same folks who demanded that the world be remade in their image when they got to college in the '60s will insist -- just as they have in every other tedious phase and fad of the past 40 years -- that meeting their needs is all that matters. Look for the country to be transformed into some kind of senior citizen's amusement park, a 50 state implementation of St. Petersburg, Florida, with a wheelchair ramp at every strip club and free bus transportation to every reunion of septuagenarian Deadheads.
As for the rest of you, get ready to pay some real taxes in years to come. The baby boomers' appetite for drugs has always been legendary, and they're going to need pills for blood pressure, and body aches, and the pain of post-cosmetic surgery, and erections, and depression, and all the new syndromes that will be invented by a population of sissies who are growing old without ever having grown up. And they're going to want it all for free.
This is also a special day for the brat kids the baby boomers brought into being without actually raising them. The long cushy ride is over as of now. Your job is to drop whatever you're doing and make sure that mom and dad get the attention they've always always wanted and just can't get anymore from shopping, and showing off, and chasing the coolest new trends. They won't have the energy for all that. So they'll sit there, and complain, and demand something, anything, from you to divert them one more time from the emptiness inside.
But if you want, you can pretend that all this isn't happening, because as they enter their sixties and their seventies, the cleverest of the boomers will be sitting down at their computers to prove they weren't really the worst generation, but the best, because it's so much easier to make it up after the fact than live it for real. Yes, there's an orgy of self-congratulation to come, and you'll all have the unforgettable experience of paying through the nose for the final round of boomer instant gratification while increasingly ancient anchormen and other doddering celebrities exalt the beauty of oldness and demand the respect for elders they scorned throughout their lives.
Has everybody caught the mood? I hope so, because now it's time for all of us to lift our voices in song. Are you ready?
"Happy birthday to you... Happy birthday to you..."
Where is everybody? Why aren't you singing?
You're going to have to do better than that. You really are.