Saturday, February 27, 2010

Woodstock : A Disturbing Truth

Well that remains to be proven, but it does point to something that I have been contemplating for a while. In the 60s and 70s, the then young baby-boomers provided this country with an idyllic explosion potentially leading to utopian future. The 60s and the 70s brought us an artistic renaissance, Woodstock, the hippie movement, flower power, Peace and Love, massive public involvement against the Vietnam War, and seminal books such as a Stranger in a Strange Land. The future looked bright and promising.

Forty years later, the baby-boom generation has emerged as the population segment in charge of this country. Instead of bringing a utopian society of love and peace we have become an ethically challenged society with a dysfunctional political system, out-of-control deficit spending, Bread and Circuses, continued war, loss of personal freedoms for national security, and "Greed is Good". So what happened to the baby boomers and their ideals?

Not unexpectedly, this thought has occurred to others. So I was amazed when I heard on the Hannity show of the documentary Generation Zero, were he interviewed David N. Bossie (the producer) and Steve K. Bannon (the Director). Regretfully, the Hannity interview, from my point of view, was garbage since Hannity only wanted to spew his anti-liberal agenda rather than present to the audience an understanding of why the baby-boomer generation went "bad".

Of course, it should be pointed out that this documentary was unveiled at the recently convened Tea Party/CPAC convention, which implies that it is unabashedly "right wing". Nevertheless, it raises the legitimate question, why and how did the baby-boomer generation loose the ideals of the 60s and the 70s and go "bad".

Generation Zero – Movie Review. According to the Generation Zero website:

"The current economic crisis is not a failure of capitalism, but a failure of culture. Generation Zero explores the cultural roots of the global financial meltdown - beginning with the narcissism of the 1960's, spreading like a virus through the self-indulgent 90's, and exploding across the world in the present economic cataclysm.

Generation Zero goes beneath the shallow media headlines and talking head sound bites to get to the source of today's economic nightmare. With a cutting edge style and haunting imagery, this must see documentary will change everything you thought you knew about Wall Street and Washington.

Featuring experts, authors, and pundits from across the political spectrum, Generation Zero exposes the little told story of how the mindset of the baby boomers sowed the seeds of economic disaster that will be reaped by coming generations."

Interestingly and also unexplored, why haven't any of the Vietnam War combat veterans risen to be elected president? We have a long history of electing presidents who were war heroes, such as Grant and Eisenhower. Instead we have elected Clinton, Bush, and Obama. The "natural" order of political progression seems to have skipped-a-beat?

I have not seen the full documentary, only the clips. The important point is the question of why the baby-boomer generation has apparently gone "bad". It is a critically important concern that must be explored. It is time for some serious self-examination.

Hopefully I will have an opportunity to view Generation Zero. I also hope to see Michael Moore's documentary "Capitalism: A Love Story". Between these two documentaries, I hope one can begin to understand how and why the baby-boomers became lost.

UPDATE: hetyd4580 provided a link a Generation Jones video. Very interesting and very applicable. The "good" news with the creation of Generation Jones, Obama is no longer a baby boomer! On the sad side, the generational leadership "torch" (with the election of Obama) is being passed from the baby boomers to Generation Jones. Please read hetyd4580 comments.


hetyd4580 said...

Interesting blog you’ve got here, Steve. To understand the arguments put forth by the “Generation Zero” documentary, it is crucial to distinguish between the actual Baby Boom Generation (born 1942-1954) vs. Generation Jones (1954-1965). GenJones was originally lumped in with the Boomers, but is now generally seen by experts as a separate generation. Understanding the differences between these two generations is central to comprehending this documentary.

The post-WWII demographic boom in births is one thing, the cultural generations born during that era is another. Generations are a function of the common formative experiences of its members, not the fertility rates of its parents. And most analysts now see generations as getting shorter (usually 10-15 years now), partly because of the acceleration of culture. Many experts now believe it breaks down more or less this way:

DEMOGRAPHIC boom in babies: 1946-1964
Baby Boom GENERATION: 1942-1953
Generation Jones: 1954-1965
Generation X: 1966-1978
Generation Y/Millennials: 1979-1993

Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten lots of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press' annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009. Here's a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones:

Steve R. said...

Great comments. More to consider. I was unaware of Generation Jones. Now if I can just find a way to put the blame on Generation Jones! :)