Lately it’s been hard to remain upbeat and to focus on anything hopeful or ‘positive’, so I’m afraid I don’t have any sunshiny platitudes to offer. And it’s hard not to notice a lot of anger and vitriol on most ‘right-wing’ blogs, in addition to the usual nastiness and hostility from the loathsome left.
So while I am loath to post a ‘rant’, here it comes. This is not personal towards any of you because I don’t know most of you. And if what follows does not pertain to you, just pay it no mind; if the shoe does not fit then no need to wear it.
It is sad that even after years of the self-hating tropes that go around the right-wing internet, the ”Boomer-hate” enterprise is still thriving and refuses to go away. When I describe that bitterness as ‘self-hating’, what else is it when it is one’s own parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles, etc.? They are ”bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh’ even when we declare them ”fat” and ”stupid” and ”greedy” and as one (right-wing) commenter said, ”wicked”.
There is a truism that as we age, we tend to resemble our parents, physically and in other ways. It happens.
Those older are not always sainted and loveable all the time but I find it hard, in the extreme, to believe that one becomes evil with aging, and one has no redeeming virtues when one is no longer young. According to the Boomer-phobics, or the gerontophobes, older people have no justification to go on living. Yet the young folk who despise their elders will soon enough lose their youth and attractiveness. And people tend to reap what they sow.
And the people who are typing out their rage toward their ”fat, stupid, wicked, greedy” parents and grandparents don’t even know who exactly to hate; some young folk believe that people in their fifties (yes, 50s) are ”boomers” while some include even people in their 80s and 90s. But the following is the generations by date of birth:
The ‘Generations’ by date of birth:
Greatest — 1901-1924
Silent — 1925-1945
Baby Boomer — 1946-1964
X — 1965-1984
Millennial — 1985-2000
Do these generational dividing lines, which are, granted, arbitrary, really make us who we are, or determine our character? If so, it’s like astrology, which is a pseudo-science. Some people believe numbers determine our character and our fate. I believe most people with a brain will not give credence to things like horoscopes or numerology or Chinese astrology. “Our fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.”
True, the circumstances in which we grow up and come of age, the ideals of the time and place in which we are born, the people around us, all of it has some effect. But the time or ‘generation’ into which we are born is not an absolute determinant of how good or bad we are as people. It’s neither intelligent nor convincing to make it an absolute that ”Boomers”, whoever people think they are, are congenitally ”stupid” or ”greedy” or ‘evil’. And then how can one make a blanket condemnation of people who were simply born in the same time period? This attitude nullifies individual variation and differences based on the region one grew up in (South vs North, for example, or religious and ethnic differences) — this generation theory implies that one’s ‘generation’ is the biggest influence. Life experience says otherwise.
Are older people “evil, greedy, and wicked?” as so many young people insist? We can measure things like that; are they more criminally prone or antisocial? Doubtful; most crimes are by younger cohorts. That’s a matter of statistics. Real-life experience tends to belie those fanciful allegations anyway. And are older age groups ”stupid”, as compared to the younger age groups? Test scores say no. Even when academic tests were dumbed down to make it easier for the young, there was and is a disparity in academic testing. Generation by generation there is a gap in favor of the older age groups. I acknowledge that my elders were better educated, some with only a high-school education, than my age group. It does not hurt me in the least to say that. They had better schools and teachers, higher standards, a better environment. I don’t resent that at all. And I see no sense in blaming others for the disparity. And it does seem that the older generations were more intelligent and above all, they had more common sense than their descendants.
So the ugly caricature of the old is based on some kind of weird resentment that many of the young bear against their elders, and it appears to be subjective, based on what the bitter younger generation members feel is ‘unfair’ to them. ”They stole my inheritance!” “It isn’t fair that they had it easier than I do.” Hello? Are we Communists? I don’t believe that life gives everyone an equal chance; circumstances vary; the world changes. There is no mechanism that guarantees anyone exactly the same ‘deal’ that their elders got, or that their neighbors are now getting. The cry of ”it isn’t fair!!” is one we hear all the time from leftists. It’s always what they resort to; ”it isn’t fair that The Rich live easier lives!” or that ”White privilege” keeps others from getting a fair shake” and so on, ad infinitum.
The older generations may or may not have had it easier. Poverty, as it existed 50 years or more ago was of a much more stark kind; nowadays the supposed ‘poor’ have far more conveniences and comforts than the poor in the Depression years, or even the poor of the supposedly prosperous 1950s.
As the old saying goes, life is not ‘fair’. What do the bitter and envious ”they stole my inheritance” crowd propose to do about it? Redistribute wealth? Bring back the ‘workhouse’ or the ‘poorhouse’ for the old folk so the young can inherit their possessions and be shut of their elders? It seems this is where we’re going if we see the generations as mutual enemies and competitors for money and property. And it seems as if the main complaint of the grudge-bearing young is the financial issue: the $$$.
This is all part of the plan by the left — to sow division, resentment, envy, and to break up the family structure, which is the basis for our society. They are succeeding by appealing to selfish and atomistic attitudes: every man for himself. In troubled times family ties should become stronger, not weaker. No man is an island, as John Donne wrote, though it appears this is no longer true; we are becoming isolated.
I truly do feel sad about those who don’t know any love for their elders, especially family members. Those who really do have ”stupid, evil, greedy, wicked” elders or teachers must be very unfortunate, lost people; sometimes it seems as if they simply wish for a world in which only their age group exists; they want to know only others who are more or less on the same wavelength. If there were not older people in the world it would be a very narrow sort of society, with no perspective on the past — “What’s past is prologue.”
Mature people, realistic people, don’t look for scapegoats; we cannot ‘fix’ other people, and maybe, just maybe, the fault lies in ourselves now and then; it can’t always be everyone else’s fault — even those evil, villainous old folk.
And the bloggers and other self-invented internet ‘personalities’ who fostered the ”boomer” trope know who they are. I suppose it’s fun to spread a trope and see it catch on, and to stoke the flames of resentment via ghoulish and callous hints about ‘the day of the pillow’. Even having to read the constant barrage of what passes for “jokes” about the old folk is bothersome; it more than coarsens the discourse. It poisons the conversation. It leaves me with a distaste for the people who say these things — or tolerate them.
It is uncivilized.
It should not exist in a ‘Christian’ country. It seemingly thrives in a ‘Christian-in-name-only’ environment. That seems to be us, since we are no longer Christendom.
How and why in a (once) Christian country, is it OK to joke, or worse , to speak seriously about taking human lives? Is parricide considered an acceptable subject? Please justify it to me it’s possible, but as a Christian I can find no justification for it. No Christian should be going along with this, though surprisingly I have had ”Christians” (sic) argue with me about how it’s justified.
All I can say to that is that those self-described Christians need to get acquainted with their Bibles, or re-acquainted. The Bible has not changed in the thousands of years it’s existed and it contains no justification for hating elders. The old Christian code of Chivalry protected the weak, including the old. Attacking an old person was seen as low and cowardly. The important point is that most Christians will say they believe in the value of human life — yet some people proceed to wish for the demise of certain people.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, give some thought to this. Even if you don’t justify this attitude, you probably encounter it, and yet is nobody willing to speak out? Or are we all just followers of trends, sheep who stick with the herd?