An examination of an old essay and apology

This will be an odd essay for me.

This isn't regarding a new topic or breaking headline. This is something I wrote that looking back perhaps I shouldn't have.

In my essay "Politics of Hate" written back in February here, I went on a rant regarding various things that I hated at the time.

I don't know why I decided to look at old essays I had written but I found myself scrolling through them and the posts. Perhaps I should have written this sooner but, well, I'm human.

The essay blew up with quite a lot of comments because of a sentence I threw in at the end. I had mentioned my problems with Boomers and their hold on power.

Many of the posters on this site are Boomers and so it ruffled some feathers. At first, I tried to brush it aside and stay to my point.

And I was wrong. At times I look at events that occurred throughout the 60's, 70's, 80's, and even 90's and wonder how things could happen. How could the populace let that happen? But then it subsides because it seems like regardless of the decade the American people continue to let things happen as an average whole.

There was the imperialism of the 1890's and 1900's, the banker war of WW1 in the 10's, the blindness of the roaring 20's leading to the depression of the 30's, followed by WW2 and the birth of the Cold War in the 40's and on and on.

I'm a millennial who is struggling to survive for reasons not necessary for this essay. I see a grim future, from political to economic to environmental. I'm in a tumultuous period in my life at the moment, so I'm feeling topsy-turvy in my perspectives. I'm not certain where I'm going with this so I'll wrap this up.

In the end it is easy to fall into traps of hate or misdirection. My language at the time towards Boomers might have come across as hate but that's not what I hoped for. My hate wasn't for them, it was for what has happened under their watch. But, as I mentioned above, things happen every decade under the watch of a group of citizens and we wonder why they allowed it to happen.

I wish to apologize. I could delete what I wrote but I did write it so that is reality. In the end, I didn't hope for ill will. I know the essay was several months ago now and probably forgotten, but well, I'm going forward with this anyway.

Anyway, thanks for listening (reading) whatever up to this point.

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Comments

gulfgal98's picture

Reflection is good for the soul. Admitting that one may have made a mistake is often more difficult to do when one has to admit it to him or herself. We all make mistakes but the important part is to learn from them.

The oligarchs that we are going up against are extremely powerful and we must be willing to form alliances with one another, including people that we may not always agree with, if we are to survive. This is why I fight so hard against stereotyping, whether it is by race, religion, age, or even political affiliation. We the 99% have far more in common with one another than we have differences and we cannot allow them to continue to divide us.

If we allow them to divide us, they win and we lose. We cannot afford to lose. It is a matter of life and death for ALL of us.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

mhagle's picture

I don't know what to say . . . we started out on the right track with war protests and earth day. Then we just got sucked up into the greed thing. It is true that the younger generations are suffering from our faults.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

thanatokephaloides's picture

@mhagle

Then we just got sucked up into the greed thing. It is true that the younger generations are suffering from our faults.

"We" didn't "just get sucked up into the greed thing". And the faults involved aren't most of ours, either. Our most corrupt and greedy members did all that, and the faults were theirs and theirs alone. And by the time passed that it always takes to expose that sort of corruption, we and our Millennial children were suffering from it alike.

The distinction where the real breakdown lies is economic class, not birthdate. Same as it ever was.

Don't blame yourself or any other innocent. Remain in solidarity against the genuinely guilty.

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Raggedy Ann's picture

It's easy to place the blame on someone - but it's hard to place the blame on the appropriate party. In this case, so many things were done by the oligarchs that none of us were aware of. Although we didn't trust our government, we thought it worked on our behalf, for the most part. We didn't know oligarchs were in charge, so we thought we had a fighting chance. Remember, the old fuckers were telling the boomers that we couldn't change things from the outside - we had to get into positions where we could change things from the inside. What they didn't tell us is that we had to compromise every value and ethic (become corrupt like them) we had in order to get into the inside. What has been discovered is that change only comes in the form of fatter pocketbooks for those who decided to play (look at the boomers in charge today - am I in that cabal? Hardly).

I think about credit cards coming about full force in the 80's. As a woman, I couldn't get credit without a husband or co-signer. The oligarchs found a way to enrich themselves by making credit accessible, cheap, and affordable. I used to buy big items using lay-away. Credit meant I could bring it home right away. Although I did not fall for this scheme, I watched my sister fall right into the trap.

When 9-ll happened, Bush told everyone to go shopping. I don't think only the boomers went shopping.

Obummer didn't do anything for us after the 2008 crash, either.

I'm grateful for Herr Drumpf getting elected. He has pulled back the cover so that we can all see what's going on.

What will the millenials and Gen Z do? Will they be able to do what we couldn't?

I certainly hope so. Pleasantry

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

LeChienHarry's picture

@Raggedy Ann We didn't see the Vietnam War until it was broadcast into our homes at dinner hour. During our time there were civil rights fights for Blacks, women, health care and so much more. There were many actions against the war, and it affected almost every sector of our society.

I didn't understand the Deep State until last year. Only with the release of books, documents, letters and conversations on blogs like this one, could I have even come close.

During any particular time, it is really difficult to understand What Is Going On. Look at our discussions as we try to figure things out.

Even if we have things sorted, then what to do, when those we elect don't carry out our stated wishes. Or we don't have a set of goals and objectives, tactics to make them happen.

Small side bar here: I have the screen shots of Obama's website asking people to write what things they wanted fixed, didn't like about how things were going etc. People wrote in with eloquent requests for his administration, among high hopes that he meant what he said.

Then came the appointments to his cabinet especially the advisors and aids on finance. That was the tip off. Then the web site came down with nary a word. My DH and I were in Austin for that year's South X SW fest, which includes a tech portion. Members of Obama's IT team were there and many of us asked when the website would be back, and when we would get responses. We were all assured "soon, very soon". Nada, zip, nothing like it was ever seen again.

Those same priorities are still on peoples' minds.

During my working years, I saw the price people paid to have and keep jobs: long hours; salaried employees, which meant a cap on wages no matter how many hours a week; loss of dividends and stock purchases for employees; switch to 401k and a sudden need to spend a lot of time we didn't have, watching mutual funds and the stock market; more automation which meant a lot of us did our own copying, secretarial work, filing; loss of those same jobs and engineers spending endless weekly hours writing memos, meeting notes.

Heck my favorite job was as an old cord board operator job at a community college: it allowed me a swing shift job so I could go to school. Hands on, flexible and quick. I watched one of the first big privatization changes, the break up of AT&T, and didn't know what it meant. I hear people of France saying the same thing about the rail system, SNCF. How could they know? It happened to us, and we didn't know. Now it's happening to them and they are falling for the crumbs of problems like extended low fares to families and friends of employees and retire at 50. This is nothing compared to privatization, loss of union rights and privileges.

I still remember Ron Wyden putting his hand on my arm in front of cameras when I spoke about universal access to phone service and how the network is a national asset. He didn't want me to speak out on his panel. I thought I was Bella Abzug and wore a hat.

Boomers were two people working; aging parents, kids, still believing that what the 50s brought were available to us even though imperceptibly, the ground beneath our feet had shifted considerably.

We worked harder, for less; dreamed the same dreams our parents did; worked for our kids; tried to get and keep our homes.

We are still here and need to pass on what we now know. We are the elders. It's our chance.

Some people are at their most productive in their 70s, 80s and 90s. We can aspire the same.

It is difficult during the time we live to see and understand all that is going on; what could be done, and how to execute the changes.

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You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

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Wink's picture

Millennials would wonder how we Boomers so obviously dropped the ball on our watch. But what's not so obvious, behind the curtain, is how subtle and under the radar the Corporate coup was (and still is). Remember this soft coup had been going on since before FDR died. We Boomers were Very Lucky to have grown up in the prosperous '50s and '60s, but as "we" were growing up it all just seemed so normal. All the "modern day" tv shows of the time depicted exactly what "we" were experiencing, so why wouldn't we think "this is normal, how America is s'posed to be." Be it Andy of Mayberry or Leave it to Beaver or Captain Kangaroo... it all seemed a reflection of what we were experiencing growing up. Then, of course, The Beatles arrived, which literally changed everything. Not overnight, as is often written, but by 1969 Vietnam was in our consciousness, if not our face; we landed on the moon in July, then Woodstock happened a month later. Not a bad summer (except for the Vietnam part)! So, in the six short years since the JFK assassination America had transformed from the Leave it to Beaver '50s to the hippie dippy '60s. "We" slowly left the '50s in the dust as every three or four months the rock'n'roll records kept evolving. From Little Deuce Coupe (talking about a '32 Ford) to 2525 and Fortunate Son and Purple Haze. In the summer of '67 they were playing the hit, Carrie Ann at the local stock car race track on Sat. night. All summer long. Just a great '60s pop song! Quintessential 1967! Just two years later Graham Nash had teamed with Crosby and Stills (and Neil Young) and played Suite: Judy Blue Eyes at Woodstock. Point being, both music and pop culture quickly evolved throughout the '60s, and we Boomers were just riding that wave, along for the ride. The only thing that maybe seemed unusual was how quickly it was unfolding, but that even seemed "normal." We were 12, going on 13 when The Beatles arrived in '64. By the summer of '69 we were graduating from H.S., spending our last summer before college and, lucky us, all this stuff was going on! (alas, the bad stuff of Vietnam, too). So it all just seemed normal. The Stones' Brown Sugar blasting away on campus. What's more normal than that?! We somehow survived the '70s and by the '80s had kids in school. Yes, Reagan had somehow gotten himself elected - and maybe that in itself should have been a clue - but we were busy raising kids and climbing that mythical corporate ladder. I went from making a lowly (even for its day) $6 an hour in '78 to a respectable $15 an hour ten years later. Enough to afford a decent car, decent apartment, yada yada. But, yeah, Reagan maybe should have gotten our attention. But by 1992 Bubba emerged to save the day! Or so we thought. I damn near wet my pants on the way home from work when they announced on the radio that Bubba had won! I was literally jumping for joy inside my Honda Civic going 65 mph down the Interstate! Couldn't Wait to get home - just 8, 9 mins. away - to turn on the teevee! And, yeah, Bubba's "Welfare Reform" should have been another clue. Was a clue we missed. But it was like O'bummer's eleven dimensional chess. Just a bone to throw the Repubs to get even better stuff! Except "better stuff" never happened. And, later, the Repubs took up Bubba's second term with Monicagate. So, yeah, we missed some clues. But, truly, there's not a Boomer alive that saw this $h!t coming we're experiencing today! Nobody saw this coming. It wasn't until G. Dubya unfurled "Homeland Security" on our Boomer asses that we started to get a clue. I mean, how Nazi sounding is Homeland Security for gawds sake?! So, that, really, was maybe the first clue we actually picked up on, went hmmmm... Not that the other clues weren't there. Just that none of us expected anything as sinister as what we're experiencing now, becuz everything we'd experienced up to Bubba (and even during Bubba) appeared "normal," what we had known for 40, 45 years. Then Dubya hits us right between the eyes with this $h!t. Dubya's "War on Terra" the moment we knew we were being played, that America wasn't what it seemed. So, yeah, we Boomers are guilty of missing the clues. But none of us expected this $h!t, where even the M$M we had grown up with, with Walter Cronkite et al, were now betraying America, and "Liberals" like Rachel Madcow were selling us down the river. No, none of us saw this coming. We grew up when everything we saw on teevee and pop culture confirmed what we knew to be true in America. 9/11 changed all that, but it still took some time to come to the conclusion, "they're all out to fuck the 99%," every last one of us! A brilliant stealth campaign by the 1% !

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Wink

The way you wove the music through the times was especially interesting.

The only thing that maybe seemed unusual was how quickly it was unfolding, but that even seemed "normal." Then, of course, The Beatles arrived, which literally changed everything.
....Nobody expected anything as sinister as what we're experiencing now.... None of us expected this $h!t....

I am only beginning to see how powerful the forces were that suppressed the truth from reaching the people about what the US was really doing to seize power and control over the entire planet. Because that manipulation of the people's awareness and the impoverishing spending of the people's money for use in creating global conflicts as cause for attacking other nations is at the root of all of our problems.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@Pluto's Republic

but then I have never fitted into any generational mold or markers. I woke up sometime during the Carter years, I think. I knew Reagan was trouble and I did not vote for him. Tried the "lesser evil" thing until it became obvious that only meant more and worse evil. Never really appreciated the Beatles or rock & roll or any of that (to my ears) raucous noise - at least, I didn't appreciate the Beatles until the Boston Pops reorchestrated some of their hits in the style of Mozart and I could hear they knew what they were doing. (Currently I'm trying to teach myself to appreciate Philip Glass, and that's about as avant-garde as I really want to go.)

Not a success, not a failure, just a muddler-through and that's the best I can say for my (ha ha) "career".

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven try his "Low Symphonies" and the sound track to Anima Mundi

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Azazello's picture

@Wink

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Wink's picture

get your brain cells
@Azazello
ready for a 9 o'clock chemistry class nothing would.
Just a great tune to get the feet moving on campus!

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

snoopydawg's picture

I saw an excellent piece of how corrupt the political system is here and how so many others refuse to see it. At the end you brought attention type how bad things are for your generation. I thought the essay got derailed by the last part on who was to blame for the world millennials are living in while ignoring the main topic of it as you stated in one of your comments. Things are bad for your generation that's for sure. When you graduate and are saddled with enormous debts it's difficult to get your life started. Then there's the difficulty of finding a job that you took on the debt in the first place. Add in all the crap that the PTB have continued to do every generation then people are trying to climb out of a bottomless hole.

What stemmed from one sentence in this essay has then spawned all future comments to revolve around that sentence, which wasn't the point of the essay at all. The essay itself actually had nothing to do with Boomers; it was a throw-in sentence at the end of a rant. That throw-in sentence was regarding current power dynamics. The essay itself was structured around specified terms: "Democrats", "Republicans", "Christians and Capitalists", "American public", etc.

Again this is a rant so I don't have an eloquent and elegant ending. It seems that we are resigned to just watch the world burn around us.

That was an excellent rant and it's too bad that part of it wasn't addressed.

JtC's comment was brilliant and showed how hard his generation tried to change things and after they had made some progress, the overlords came back with a new strategy to keep us down. They haven't let up and they won't unless we can find a way to take their power from them. I hope that you write about that topic again. You write well.

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The Democratic Party under Bill Clinton transformed itself into the traditional Republican Party, and the Republican Party moved, was pushed, so far to the right it became insane

Strife Delivery's picture

@snoopydawg

Things are bad for your generation that's for sure. When you graduate and are saddled with enormous debts it's difficult to get your life started. Then there's the difficulty of finding a job that you took on the debt in the first place

I'm about to start graduate school here in like a month so the concerns about debt are there.

My undegraduate I didn't have too much debt because I qualified for a lot of grants since I'm from a poor family. Of course, that doesn't matter in grad school so I have that fear regarding the loans I'm taking.

I hope that you write about that topic again.

That topic? My concerns as a millennial or? I guess I'm having a dense moment ha.

You write well.

Make a guy blush ha.

But regarding the topic with Boomers, I think it is simpler to point towards people in similar groupings as you.

For instance:
The topic of immigration is always prickly. There are concerns of how you might be a programmer and suddenly you're fired because an H1-B1 would do it for less. Or, a carpenter losing out because someone will do it for less. People then begin to lash out at those who took away their livelihood. That's anger; that's real. We lash at a similar group instead of going for different. Put another way, we lash out horizontally at our fellow peers while ignoring vertically those who are making the decision. Our anger should be towards say Disney who replaced people with H1-B1 not the person coming in, or the capitalist who gave your carpentry job to someone who would do it for 50% less. Those workers have far more in common with the new worker than their corporate overlord.

So, the point is that it's easy to look at Boomers. I know I did. I looked at their time, their dominance. But that means I'm going horizontally. Perhaps my problem really has been the American people throughout the ages; here in America we had very few moments of resistance against power. The rest of the time power was able to do whatever it wanted to do. I think that was something that slowly started my shift in perspective.

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@Strife Delivery blame my Greatest Gen Repugnant parents, I have for a while and still do at times. At least both are dead now, thank God with Trump in office, although that pisses me off as well that they aren't here to see what they voted FOR all those years come to fruition.... But then I read history and realize how they too were brainwashed so well by our owners. Horizontal vs Vertical blame, perfect encapsulation of the problem. And gee, both sides do it so well but it takes a good while to not only see that, but admit it as well.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Strife Delivery

This is what I thought you could continue writing about. You made some excellent points. Those points weren't really addressed in the comments.

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The Democratic Party under Bill Clinton transformed itself into the traditional Republican Party, and the Republican Party moved, was pushed, so far to the right it became insane

dkmich's picture

The 24 yo graduated with a masters degree in environmental science about a year ago. He got free tuition and a stipend for teaching from Colorado University so he paid for 99% of his degree and living expenses. I paid for his undergrad and housing, and he worked to earn what he could. He's currently working in his field in Stockholm, traveling absolutely everywhere on every continent on their dime, likely to get a free Ph.D. through his job, and happy in his new socialist home even if he is somewhat house poor. Stockholm is an expensive place to live, and a Research Associate doesn't make a lot of money.

The 22 yo flunked out of college with zero debt and is managing a pizza place. He just got $15/hr and 40 hours. He's a good kid but sort of artsy and sort of lost. He has no realistic career interests and is not currently interested in school or training one bit. He shares an apt with a guy that used to be one of his good friends, but the friendship hit the rocks because he hates "living with him". Since he can't afford an apartment without a roommate, he appears to be stuck where he is for a while. My big worry is what about later if he's barely making it now? Everyone tells me to be patient and not to worry about him because 26 usually brings about big change.

The 20 yo will graduate with a BA next year and also with zero debt. He just changed career goals from astrophysics to actuary. He loves math and excels at it. He is the only one with a special girl in his life, and if things continue to work out for them, they will probably get jobs in the same city and live together after graduation. Unlike the other two, he is interested in earning big money.

I worry about each and every one of my grandsons. The middle one the most because he doesn't have a college degree. I know it doesn't guarantee a damn thing, but it at least checks off that box. To give them every advantage I could, I made damn sure that none of them would graduate with college debt and that predatory bank vultures would never get their hooks into my boys for student loans. Last but not least, I also got them (and me) dual Italian citizenship jus sanguinis. I wanted them to have an underground railroad just in case, and I wanted to preserve our family heritage before it was lost forever to the sands of time.

I did all of this for them because I'm an early boomer, and I/we never had it so good. My mom and dad wanted me to have a better life than they did, and I did. In turn, I want to do the same for my daughter and her sons, and I did. What we boomers had is what ALL Americans should have. The fact that they don't is criminal. Thugs like the Kochs, Trump, Gates, and Obama should be in jail for feathering their own nests at everyone else's expense.

So please, I don't want or need an apology from you or any other young person. If I were one of the young people so thoroughly screwed by events, I would be really pissed off too. In fact, I am so appalled at what happened to future generations that I wouldn't be a part of your generation for all the tea in China. A free education and a good job with a living wage on a healthy planet should be everyone's right.

Please know that this boomer never sold you out, so I took no offense. As I said, I have three grandsons and I care deeply about the future. I hope yours is as bright as it should be.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@dkmich

We are in the US now because a relative of theirs had the courage to make the leap to a new country when times were bad or threatening. That's how it is supposed to work. They didn't waste their lives lingering to fight overwhelming times and forces. They jumped for the sake of their young people.

You gave that amazing option to your grandchildren. You are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your story.

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dkmich's picture

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic

Staying here to fight a losing battle is ridiculous. As Italian citizens, we are also citizens of the EU. There is a big world out there, and it is nowhere near as ugly as the one we currently live in. I am so happy that I could give each a choice.

I'm going to Stockholm this summer to visit my grandson's new home, and I'm going to Italy next year to visit my homeland. My first trip to Europe and I'm really looking forward to it.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

@dkmich @dkmich We're all related to someone of another generation, and we have to do what we can to support each other, no one else will. What generation do we blame HER and Trump for? Boomers aren't the biggest generation anymore. The answer is...that's the wrong question.

EDIT: meant for Strife Delivery

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snoopydawg's picture

@dkmich

Your grandkids are lucky to have you for what you have done for them.

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The Democratic Party under Bill Clinton transformed itself into the traditional Republican Party, and the Republican Party moved, was pushed, so far to the right it became insane

dkmich's picture

@snoopydawg

It is what my family did for me, and it is my heritage to pay it forward. We have a group WhatsApp, and it is called LaFamiglia. Our children are our future, and I sure as hell hope they do a better job than those that went before them. It is time to pry leadership from the cold geriatric hands of those in power, or say fuck it and leave to live a life in a more civilized place.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

I probably hit on that remark. The biggest problem I have with that particular label of it being all the Boomers' fault is how it will be used to cut SS and Medicare, especially right now, and the way the PTB will use that to divide and conquer across generations. The damage those kind of cuts will do to our overall shitty economy will be a big deal, for everyone - not just seniors. And so that remark brought up the emotional reaction from me, just what the owners want.

I am beyond scared for your generation, my niece and nephew are 30 and 28 respectively and I worry about them a lot. My niece is in the Air Force, so while she's doing OK now, I hate what she's doing and so does she. Not the job per se, but what that job really is about. My nephew refuses college and really, I can no longer tell either of them that will bring them "success" whatever that really means now. I got extremely lucky, I was able to finance my college through GI Bill and some credit card use, but I did not come out with any debt.

Dkmich is right, we should all expect to be able to go to school or get a good job, but we are now told future generations will just have to work harder and longer and to accept that. I am sorry I did not fully wake up sooner, although I have a real hard time thinking that would have really made a difference unless everyone had been able to do that, most are simply too busy trying to survive, a feature, not a bug.

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strollingone's picture

I find that you have nothing to apologize for. I, among many other Boomers, cursed the use of power by the hands of my parents' generation. I also agree that it is probably too late too repair the social construct that we have now and I say "good riddance". Your comment was, of course, directed towards many millions more people than those who responded to you. Including all of those people, we must absolutely accept not only what happened on our watch, but what we actively (and passively) participated in. This may be the one thing that differentiates us from our parent's generation.

With that in mind and distilling the other responses to this essay here presented, I offer the following ditty:

The Boomers Lament

(all together now)
Kumbaya, Lord, kumbaya
We were good, Lord, they were bad.
They did Viet Nam, made us sad.

Took to the streets, Lord,
Waved the signs of our time.
Sang “Won’t Get Fool’d Again”
Like a nurs’ry rhyme.

Stuck our heads, Lord,
In a wishing well.
Followed our dreams
And down we fell.

Kumbaya, Lord, kumbaya.
Fell asleep, Lord, truth to tell.
Followed ol’ Jody straight to hell.

Did Afghanistan, Lord,
Then we did Iraq.
Wasn’t no way, Lord,
To us hold back.

Gave our kids war, Lord,
Without end.
Not our fault,
Happens time and again.

Kumbaya, Lord, kumbaya
Not our fault, Lord, nay non nix.
Blame it on the French and the Dixie Chicks.

Kumbaya, Lord, kumbaya
We’re just human, Lord, did our best.
Erred in ignorance like all the rest.

Kept their secrets,
Believed their lies.
Ignored the truth
Right before our eyes.

Can’t come back, Lord,
Can’t come back.
Full speed ahead
On a dead end track.

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