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P. J. O’Rourke on the Boomers

Written by Gary North on February 11, 2014

This man is funny.  He is also a very astute observer.

We are the generation that changed everything. Of all the eras and epochs of Americans, ours is the one that made the biggest impression—on ourselves. That’s an important accomplishment, because we’re the generation that created the self, made the firmament of the self, divided the light of the self from the darkness of the self, and said, “Let there be self.” If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you may have noticed this yourself.

That’s not to say we’re a selfish generation. Selfish means “too concerned with the self,” and we’re not. Self isn’t something we’re just, you know, concerned with. We are self.

Before us, self was without form and void, like our parents in their dumpy clothes and vague ideas. Then we came along. Now the personal is the political. The personal is the socioeconomic. The personal is the religious and the secular, science and the arts. The personal is everything that creepeth upon the earth after his (and, let us hasten to add, her) kind. If the baby boom has done one thing, it’s to beget a personal universe. (Our apologies for anyone who personally happens to be a jerk.)

Self is like fish, proverbially speaking. Give a man a fish and you’ve fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and, if he turns into a dry-fly catch-and-release angling fanatic up to his liver in icy water wearing ridiculous waders and an absurd hat, pestering trout with 3-pound test line on a $1,000 graphite rod, and going on endlessly about Royal Coachman lures that he tied himself using muskrat fur and partridge feathers…well, at least his life partner is glad to have him out of the house.

So here we are in the baby-boom cosmos, formed in our image, personally tailored to our individual needs, and predetermined to be eternally fresh and novel. And we saw that it was good. Or pretty good.

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3 thoughts on “P. J. O’Rourke on the Boomers

  1. WhiteFalcon says:

    People like to pick on the baby boomers, but they don't want to admit that the standard of living that we have today, even though it has deminished under Ovomit, has been without any doubt the highest standard of living ever achieved in the world. When you think of what has been created by that generation, it is astounding. The majority of all the things that we enjoy today have been either created by the boomers or they have been greatly improved by the boomers. The field of medicine and health care in general for the most part didn't even exist when I was a young child. Something as common today as IVs in the hospital or even in surgery didn't exist before WWII. About the only medicines we had then were Quinine and Sulfa, and I was lucky to be allergic to both. It is time to quit bashing the boomers. They are getting old now and are on Social Security, and the morons that we have in our Government cry and whine that they are having to write SS checks to these people now. If it weren't for the boomers, we would be a third world country compared to where we are now. That, of course, is what Ovomit wants for us.

  2. with Obama in the oval office for 3 more years–his dictatorship will be fully entrenched and he can then deprive the boomers. Obama will be nudging the elderly into earlier graves as his author of obamacare–cass sunstein who has written a book called nudge, besides obamacare–he wants to nudge the elderly into oblivion. decent medical care– keep int. rates so low that retirees will have a very tough time just meeting their daily needs…..voila–Obama will have nudged the elderly into an early death….. each day that passes Obama becomes more and more bold as he usurps powers he was never given by the voters of the usa. he is now behaving as though he were royalty. he must be stopped. once he takes complete charge of the usa–he has already taken any power from the military and congress to become an imperial dictator

  3. It was the first Boomer president, Clinton, and "Boom-Boom" Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who emptied the Social Security surplus that was going to cover the Boomers' retirement. It was actually our parents' generation that had the foresight to increase the SS withholdings to build up the surplus that was squandered in the "balanced budget" deal of 1996. So I don't blame the post-Boomer generations for feeling just a little bloody minded towards us.