Streams

P.J. O'Rourke's Generation

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In his new book,The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way (And It Wasn’t My Fault) (And I’ll Never Do It Again) , author P.J. O'Rourke turns his scathing wit on himself and his demographic cohort -- boomers.

 

Comments [22]

thatgirl from chelsea

Forget social media, Boomers are the only generation who'd want to read about themselves--and the only ones amused by anything within it.

Aug. 29 2014 11:33 AM
thatgirl from Chelsea

If "Baby Boomers" as a name isn't snappy enough for O'Rourke, how about "The Generation That Got All the Stuff?"

Aug. 29 2014 11:30 AM
Bruce

STILL No imagination or maturity from the likes of yuppie O'Rourke; we're too elderly to be "baby" 'boomers'. Try Eternal Flamers, henceforth!

Jan. 19 2014 10:34 AM

@Elsie from Brooklyn

"Considering the world that the Boomers are leaving behind, you'd think they would stop talking about themselves and just quietly disappear out of shame. But then again, narcissistic Boomers don't appear to have any shame. "

Whoa there! There are some narcissistic Boomers but there are even more narcissistic Millennials and GenXers! How else can you explain that nobody noticed that a commuter train was going 50 mph faster than normal around a dangerous curve. Why weren't folks pounding on the door to get the conductor's attention!

"The whole Boomer cry "You missed the good times" - meaning drugs and meaningless sex rings so incredibly hollow now as the generations after them have no access to affordable housing, education, or health care.

As I have posted elsewhere, let me point out that the theft of incomes that represents the modern American economy began over forty years ago. This would mean that it pre-dates Bush II's surplus swallowing tax cuts, Clinton's globalizations, Reagan's trickle down, Ford's Whip Inflation Now and started when the UNPAID FOR Vietnam War showed politicians a path to robbing the treasury and not being called a thief. It was Boomers who made it difficult for Nixon to stay and impossible for Ford to re-enter Vietnam, so you could go a little softer on your criticisms. Some Boomers are greedy and screwed up the game for those that came after, is as far as I'll go. Some of all of the generations are greedy. It wasn't until Reagan that tax policy was so clearly on the side of the greedy. But the politicians who changed those tax laws weren't boomers.

I agree that too many parts of modern life are out of reach that were not out of reach before we piled so much of the country's GDP in to so few pockets. But we're not going get there by pointing fingers and saying those folks that came before me sure were greedy.

@Ray from Amherst, Mass

"Why has the Baby Boomer generation given us so few great political and social leaders?"

Because the Greatest Generation took advantage of modern medicine, lived longer and refused to give up the reins. Clinton and Bush II were the first of the Boomer presidents. Hillary (if elected) will probably be the last. [Don't forget that LOTS of us were seriously disaffected with public service after watching how Nixon played the game.]

Jan. 14 2014 06:03 PM

I'm a late-Boomer (1956). Sometimes sub-labelled as a 'Joneser'. Over my lifetime, I have noticed that the general level of possibility has been decreasing in our nation. The line between 'rich' and 'middle' has become far more distinct. Enough is very often no longer enough.

Trickle down. Wall St. greed. Anti-Unionism. Recovery is going to take more than one generation.

For me, Boomers represent the last gasp of WWII exuberance - The War is Over! Let's make kids!! - and the final thing for us Boomers to do is to die (preferably cheaply) - and leave some money to the kids (if we have it).

Kinda dark...but pretty close to the way I see it.

Jan. 14 2014 11:45 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

Considering the world that the Boomers are leaving behind, you'd think they would stop talking about themselves and just quietly disappear out of shame. But then again, narcissistic Boomers don't appear to have any shame.

The whole Boomer cry "You missed the good times" - meaning drugs and meaningless sex rings so incredibly hollow now as the generations after them have no access to affordable housing, education, or health care. Boomers seem to think that anyone who cares about these things is "missing the point" but can you imagine Boomers living the life they did if they had 50K in student loan debt, no health care and no real job? The Boomers took for themselves and left nothing for those that came after. I guess now they are trying to save face, but it's really all for naught. History will not be kind to Boomers, and nor should it.

Jan. 14 2014 11:44 AM

You can smell the cheap coffee on every hot, exaggerated, pompous breath.

Jan. 14 2014 11:43 AM
Ray from Amherst, Mass

Why has the Baby Boomer generation given us so few great political and social leaders?

Jan. 14 2014 11:41 AM
Robert from NYC

To jgarbuz you can watch Amos and Andy online. There are plenty of shows there just google it and up they pop. I believe they even include the original air date of each particular show.
Actually it was the radio show by the same name that was racist as it's cast was all white. But the tv series was really an excellent show with great actors and stories.

Jan. 14 2014 11:41 AM
cervantes

i won't be offensive and PC... Jgarbuz is not a one man uprising,he's a one man riot...

Jan. 14 2014 11:40 AM
Frank from Brooklyn

I'm not apologizing for being born in 1957. What O'Rourke and so many others describe is nothing like the life I lived (or anyone else my age in my family and community). So the generations after ours are poorer; after 35 years of dismantling the New Deal, the Virtue of Selfishness, and Trickle Down economics, what a surprise! I'm grateful that I grew up in a time when being middle class was considered an advantage as opposed to now where it's all or nothing and to the victor go the spoils. "Spoiled brats?" Tell it to my out of work 54 year old brother.

Jan. 14 2014 11:39 AM
J from NJ

Question: Why does the cut-off for the category "baby boomer" occur at 1964?

Jan. 14 2014 11:38 AM
Maria from Queens

I'm wary of any generation who thinks they are unique. O'Rourke
thinks his generation ' used up weird'.; when in reality new circumstances in the following decades create 'new histories' and weirdness is easily found; e.g, due to media, the internet, etc. The constant is man's rebelliousness and curiosity.

Jan. 14 2014 11:37 AM
cervantes

No, Jgarbuz- no show is funnier than you.

Jan. 14 2014 11:37 AM
Andrea from NYC

Just tuned in.
Question: what is considered the cut-off birth year for Baby Boomers?

Jan. 14 2014 11:36 AM
Babyboomer

agree with dboy. Really, who cares?

Jan. 14 2014 11:35 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

My favorite TV show from the '50s was Amos & Andy. It was genuinely funny, but later they deemed it "politically incorrect" and racist. I just thought it was one of the funniest shows on TV.

Jan. 14 2014 11:33 AM
cervantes

what of the "greatest generations" compliance [passive and active],with all sorts of nasty little cultural/societal conventions? let's please get off of the Brokaw/McCullough/PJ, historic navel gazing fetish..

Jan. 14 2014 11:33 AM
Karen from nyc

Please thank Mr. O'Rourke and the rest of the gang for the Harvard Lampoon. I still have a copy of Psychopathia Cheesialis! And now you know how old I am.

Jan. 14 2014 11:32 AM

Hate to break it to you, guys, but the Baby Boom follow-ons ARE NOT the first generation to live less well than the one before. The low point of the GINI coefficient was in the late 60's. Though the economy has been growing - roughly 6.5% for the last 50 years, incomes have kept up with the CPI - roughly 4.2% over the same period. We are all growing broke has FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OUR HISTORY the pie has been growing faster than its slices.

Jan. 14 2014 11:32 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Nonsense, I'm a baby boomer born in '46 and I've been on computers since 1979 and am an avid videogamer. What boomers should do is learn to play video games and enjoy the few years they have left doing something interesting that doesn't bother anybody else.

Jan. 14 2014 11:31 AM

…"humorist"???

zzz.

Jan. 14 2014 11:25 AM

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