I was listening to talk radio this morning over a steamy cup of coffee. The host was interviewing a guest who was speaking about the Baby Boom, X, and Y generations and how each was affecting the work place. That is when it hit me-the frustration I have felt toward the Boomers erupted to the surface. Like the Ghost of Christmas Past in “A Christmas Carol”, I feel summoned to show the generation before me the error of their ways before they lose their collective soul.
Christmas past-born in October of 1969, at the end of the “Summer of Love” , I am the child of Baby Boomers. I am the child born after my father returned home from Vietnam. Happily, my parents were not radical boomers, still, I am the heir of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s. My generation has been dubbed “Generation X”- a term given to us by Douglas Copland in his 1991 book by the same title. Copland based his book on Jane Deverson’s study of British teenagers for “Women’s Own” Magazine. The study showed the teens to be the amoral children of their spiritually “enlightened” parents. We were said to have loose morals and a disregard for God and Country. (I wonder why?) Hence the term is one of disrespect and not of endearment. We are also called the “Baby Bust” due to our low numbers, and “The 13th Generation”, a number which is associated with evil. (Thanks a lot!)
Now that I have shaken the bed covers, let me take the Boomers back to the scene of the collective childhood of the X’ers. We are the first generation of children to have our mother’s choose to abandon us to the work place. Our mother’s were also the first generation to “choose” whether we lived or died- it was HER body after all ( Who knows what kind of force we could be if our parents had not practiced generational genocide on us). After we survived birth control or abortion, we were summarily parked in front of T.V. screens waiting for our parents to return home from work. We are the latch-key kids who fell in love with “The Brady Bunch”. We are the forgotten generation who raised ourselves.
There was no institution left untouched by the Boomers “Cultural” Revolution. It was not cool or enough for Boomers to do as their parents had done; they wanted a revolution. We are all familiar with the lyrics from The Beatles song. Boomers destroyed all of the cultural institutions that they grew up with- the Church, the government, the family, education- I could go on. They were very busy making sure that our generation did not inherit one scrap of the past. Even gender roles were questioned during our childhood. Our generation does not have a natural connection to the past. We don’t identify with our historical relatives- all that we know of the past is what we have dug up in pre 1960’s books; after which history was rewritten so as not to offend anyone.
It is time for the ghost of Christmas future to show its face. The current state of affairs is a sorry one- we are Tiny Tim and our future looks grim. The Boomers are faced with another mighty decision that will forever affect their children and grandchildren. Will they allow the government, which they never trusted in their youth, to continue to claim ownership of our lives? Will they allow their desire for subsidized Health Care and Social Security to enslave the other generations? Their numbers ensure that this decision rests with them. I hope that we find the prize-winning goose at our table next Christmas and not just the bill.