Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Ils ont changé ma chanson Ma

Look what they've done to my song, Ma
Look what they've done to my song
Well they tied it up in a plastic bag
And turned it upside down
Look what they've done to my song

The Milwaukee Journal's lead article today is The Millenials, an attempt to lump everyone into one generation or another and assign some types of global cultural attributes to these generations that magically appear and disappear according to upon which side of some as yet undefined set of timeline points one's birth lands.

A principal source for this article was Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, by Neil Howe and William Strauss. These guys have taken this process to absurd lengths, coming up with this bit of glorious over-simplification:



Famous man

Famous woman

Puritan1588-1617John WinthropAnne Hutchinson
Cavalier1618-1647Nathaniel BaconMary Dyer
Glorious1648-1673Cotton MatherHannah Dustin
Enlightenment1674-1700Peter ZengerMary Musgrove
Awakening1701-1723Benjamin FranklinEliza Pinckney
Liberty1724-1741George WashingtonMercy Warren
Republican1742-1766Thomas JeffersonAbigail Adams
Compromise1767-1791Andrew JacksonDolley Madison
Transcendental1792-1821Abraham LincolnSusan B. Anthony
Gilded1822-1842Ulysses GrantLouisa May Alcott
Progressive1842-1859Woodrow WilsonMary Cassatt
Missionary1860-1882Franklin RooseveltEmma Goldman
Lost1883-1900Dwight EisenhowerDorothy Parker
G.I.1901-1924John KennedyClare Boothe Luce
Silent1925-1942Colin PowellGloria Steinem
Boomer1943-1960Steven SpielbergOprah Winfrey
Gen-X1961-1981Michael JordanJodie Foster
Millennials1982-2002?Frankie MunizMandy Moore

The bold-face denotes "heroic generations".

So just how have we "self-indulgent" boomers done at raising our children? The article portrays us as overbearing, hovering, controlling parents who tend to over-talk everything. Kissinger quotes a Thomas Mintz, author of Huck's Raft;

...It's as if the baby boomers set out to create a generation of "Mini-me's", children who will not only complete them but improve on their own record.

Whoa, what were we thinking!

By the end of the article the impression is that we have a generation in opposition to the "meism" of their parents spending much more time communicating with their parents; a generation bent on achievement encouraged by a generation of dropouts; a generation of "conformists" reared by a generation of "radicals"!

Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Sunday June 05, 2005

To The Editor (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

I find Meg Kissinger’s article, “The Millenials”, to be the latest disturbing example of a trend of revisionist historians labeling the “boomer generation” as “nihilistic”, “excessive”, “meist”, etc.

There are, of course, no generational boundaries, and the enthusiasm to lump classes of folk into some presentation friendly format necessitates such oversights as referring to the Sixties supposed “tune in, turn on, drop out” culture as influencing the pool of 1975’s eighteen year olds.

Nobody took Tim Leary very seriously in 1970, let alone by 1975, nor was our world accurately portrayed by Laugh In; Bob and Carol, Ted and Alice or all the other faux-hippie nonsense.

As to we being the “me first” generation and they out to “make a better world”, it is they who stand idly by while the less fortunate of their peers are enticed into service and dispatched to be picked off one by one in a foreign war of domestic political design.



At 8:16 AM, Blogger JD said...

I've yet to figure out if I'm Gen X, Gen Y, or Gen who the fuck cares.

I vote for #3.

It's all a bit silly this generational thing. As far as I can tell there are little to no simularities between my peers and I that can be attributed to the time we were born. Except that maybe we are all addicted to salt.


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