Wed Jul 24 2002
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A site for the Real Baby Boom -- Second Wave Boomers, Trailing Edge Boomers, call us what you will, who were the punks, folkies, freaks, and MBAs of the Reagan-era world.

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War and Late-Boomers
Which war, conflict or international tantrum (besides Afghanistan) do you believe had the most impact on the Late Boomer psyche?
The 6 Day War
Central American conflicts
Iranian hostage taking
U.S. Attack on Libya
Desert Storm

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Questions and Answers:
Q:Do you think the bitterness and anger from Late Boomers will occur with Late Xers? Hi, I've been reading up on generational sites for the last couple of years, and one thing I have noticed repeatedly is a lot of intense bitterness and boiling anger from those born in the "late Boomer" years. I was born in 1975, so I am not a Boomer, though I think I can understand the bitterness that Late Boomers have, it's something that the typical early and middle Boomer doesn't seem to display. I don't know if I'm a middle of the pack Xer, or a late Xer, but do you guys think this same thing will happen to late Xers? Often times I find myself disliking these kids born in the '80s. Many of them, especially those born in the early '80s, are my peers, but talking to them it feels like I'm 20 years older then them, not 4-7 years older. They feel like another generation to me, and I suspect when the term "Generation Xer" becomes more of an insult refering to anyone over 35, rather then a cool label, many Late Xers will develop the same bitterness that Late Boomers have. Heck, I even had an argument with a guy just 4 years younger then me, maybey even less about when the '80s ended and the '90s began. It could easily have been an argument between some born in 1959 and 1955 about the '60s-'70s. More things change, the more they stay the same it appears.
John M
A:John, You've made an astute observation. I personally believe that the rift you describe within "generations" comes from having labels affixed to groups by outside parties that would not self identify as a cohesive generation or cohort. Identity is psychologically important as the most intimate of constructs to the individual. Identity is a similary personal conscept for social groups. To have identity forced upon one is distressing and possibly harmfully. This probably speaks to why some of the later born in generations become angry or bitter. I hope that with this site some of the bitterness will dissipate and we can just be proud of who we are, confront unfair stereotypes, and celebrate out achievements. Thanks for an excellent question John. Nancy
Q:I was born in 1967, am I a boomer?
A:Hi Jim, "Officially" you are not a Boomer, I'm sorry to have to break such sad news to you. According to the U.S Government the Baby Boom began in 1946 and ended in 1964. But you are more than welcome to join the ranks of Honorary Late Boomers and Late Boomer Lovers! Like all else in life... it is mostly attitude. Nancy
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Vinegar Visions: On the Bashing of Boomers, Joe Queenen, and Mid-life Crises
by Nancy Hill

Being a Boomer is not about having a mid-life crisis. Joe Queenen apparently does not understand this. I'm sitting in a Borders Books drinking a regular coffee and not a decaf latte, thank you very much, and skimming through a copy of Balsamic Dreams, Joe's most recent book. I refuse to even contemplate purchase of a copy as I will in no way financially support cynicism. It is not an art form. Not only is the book whiney, it is falsely based and offensive to the majority of the Baby Boomers, not so much because of the characteristics he chooses to lampoon, but because he didn't even bother to do his research to find out who the Boomers really are.

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I hate to shatter JQ's (rhymes with GQ... yawn) dreams, and he is dreaming, but his cohort does not typify and never has typified the Boomers. I am a typical Boomer. Born in 1957 the modal height of the Post War Baby Boom. Female… females always make up the majority of a generation by adulthood. White/Anglo/vanilla... double yawn. Didn't go to Woodstock -- too young. None of the boys I dated had to worry about getting drafted or going to Vietnam. We do, howeve,r remember Kennedy being killed - in the kitchen after a political rally. And Elvis was a fat old man in a silly fringed suit who died in a toilet.

Joe makes many outrageous claims but the most uninformed one is his assertion that Boomers are convinced of their uniqueness as a generation. Get real. We from the height and end of the boom didn't get the cutesy wootsey post war baby treatment that apparently the older boomers did. By the time we came around it was obvious to our parents generation and the government that had to plan for us that there were a whole lot of us and we were going to be a handful, so to speak. We got the 11th pup treatment so to speak... the first few to pop out evoke "oohs" and "ahhs" then they keep coming and there is back slapping and jokes about healthy reproductive stock, then the few prompt worried looks and by the time the last of the group pops out there is talk euthanizing techniques.

While they were babies of the post war boom -- emphasis on the cute and cuddly part, we later born were "Baby Boomers" a named and identifiable threat. Our childhood memories are filled with images of overcrowded, underequipped classrooms, multiple choice tests, stampede prevention societal training. We were never treated as individuals. We got reamed by Reaganomics in early adulthood, then got the quality shaft from forced team built, impersonalized TQM corporate nonsense that was usually followed by being shipped out the door on several occasions due to downsizing. What world does Joe live in that he thinks Boomers believe they are unique?

The second majorly silly notion that Joe entertains and attempts to pass off as humorous truth is that we are preoccupied with youth. Here he is simply confusing his midlife crisis with being a Boomer. Youth has always sold well. He's confusing marketing with consumption. In successful campaigns the two are linked, but there is no guarantee that they are. "Face lifts" have been around for a long while. Diet pills aka speed and "the mothers little helpers" of our youth, and to which our mothers often became addicted, have been replaced by the more intelligent mid-life strategy of exercise. Every generation goes through an adjustment period when they realize they have less than half their total life span left to live in a best case scenario. That's simple mid-life angst. We saw it in the clubs when we were young when geezers in their 40s and 50s donned leisure suits and gold chains and hit on us. Every generation has a few painfully obvious idiots who simply cannot age gracefully. Joe, you are looking dangerously like one of these types.

I think you get my drift. I'm not going to belabor the point that Queenen is off base, but... I am going to briefly debunk a few other myths, stereotypes and misconceptions that he promotes in this book.

He says that Boomers destroyed the future. Phooey. Ward and June Cleever destroyed the future, if indeed it has been destroyed which I seriously doubt, with all the non-biodegradable tupperware they purchased and the petroleum based hair products they used that were eventually deposited in landfills and aquifers.

We aren't the spiritually handicapped sucker mystic seekers that JQ makes us out to be either. His cohort got confused and strayed down that path when they confused getting high with personal epiphanies and spiritual enlightenment. By the time we were old enough to do drugs, we knew that drug use was purely a recreational sport.

Neither do we "take credit" for all the good things in life as he accuses. We weren't in Selma (we were in diapers) and know we didn't participate in the early 60s civil rights movement. We didn't burn our bras (in fact this whole phenomenon is urban folklore - we were still girls at the time and we hoping we'd develop enough to have something to put into bras.) And we read Silent Spring in grade school and stake no claim on early environmentalism. I could go on and on, but what's the use. These silly elder Boomers will veer off course down obscure avenues another time or two before they are gone; they've been doing it all their lives and are fairly predictable in their supposed eccentricities. I have decided that while I will challenge their off base assertions about Boomers I will also see the good in the whole process that Joe's Boomer bashing typifies. It is good that they finally got around to mocking themselves. We've been doing it for decades. So give the next old hippie you see your biggest Mike Myers "Groovy Baby" grin and go on your merry way... or flash 'em a saggy nipple that was pierced with a safety pin in 1978... whatever... just think twice or more before purchasing his book!

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Recommended Resources see all items...
Drag Racing Funny Cars of the 1970s
Wallace A. Wyss and Louis Hart's new book will be coming out in April 2002. Vroom. Vroom. For all the Late-Boomer Gear Heads.
The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society & Politics
A few world altering events from 1969 - 1984 are glaringly absent, but this is the current must read history of the decade that changed the world.
The Pro- crastinator's Guide to Financial Security
David F. Teitelbaum, a financial analyst for the federal government sets out concrete guidelines and strategies for mid-lifers who got a late start planning for retirement.
The Trial of Henry Kissinger
Christopher Hitchens forwards the premise that Henry Kissinger should be tried for war crimes for his part in the bombing of Cambodian and Laotian civilians and for his role in political assasinations in Chile and East Timor.
By Ronald Radosh. Scathing view of the old left in which we grew up from an insider who has done an about face.
100 Greatest Boomer Toys
Great photos that are sure to evoke memories of 50s and 60s toys such as: Thingmakers, Spirographs, Colorforms, Life-Size Kitchens, and Easy-Bake Ovens. Also excellent thought-provoking essays.

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Jul 24 2002, 14:19:49
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