Sunday Night Journal — April 29, 2007
Music of the Week — May 6, 2007

More Boomer Bashing

Some financial planning company is running commercials directed at soon-to-be-retiring baby boomers. I've seen them, and they make me want to throw something at the tv: they're all about how you, the coolest people that ever were, are not about to settle for some stodgy rocking-chair retirement. Grainy clips of protest marchers and flower children give way to images of handsome and very affluent-looking gray-haired people hang-gliding and whatnot.

Apparently I'm not the only one irritated. Here's Florence King (who's older than us) in the April 30 National Review (not online):

Speechifying politicians have always raised hosannas to “our children,” but in the last few years something new has been added. Now they say “our children and grandchildren.” They make such a point of this that you would think someone was holding a gun to their heads.

Someone is. The addition cropped up when aging Baby Boomers started becoming grandparents and wanted this great feat officially recognized as yet another unique contribution of their fabulous generation. Captives of their own gargantuan narcissism, they firmly believe they are the first generation to get old in new, trend-setting ways, which is why ads for financial planning show them on beaches tossing dictionaries away in the sand because they contain unflattering synonyms for “retirement.”

And Mark Goldblatt at National Review Online (age unknown but I'll guess he's younger) has a a clip of one of the commercials to accompany his rant, if you want to punish yourself. He's pretty harsh and I don't necessarily agree with his views on the old arguments about Vietnam and environmentalism, but the endless self-congratulation of some boomers pretty much invites such treatment.



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