A GenX apology to the Baby Boom?

You got to be fucking kidding me?

But no, it is true. That is the form that this article about election night from salon.com takes, beginning thus:

Dear boomers: We’re sorry for rolling our eyes at you all these years. We apologize for scoffing at your earnestness, your lack of self-deprecation, your tendency to take yourselves a little too seriously. We can go ahead and admit now that we grew tired of hearing about the ’60s and the peace movement, as if you had to live through those times to understand anything at all. It’s true, we didn’t completely partake of your idealism and your notions about community. Frankly, it looked gray and saggy in your hands, these many decades later. Chanting “What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!” at that rally against the Iraq war made us feel self-conscious in spite of ourselves. We felt like clichés. We wondered why someone couldn’t come up with a newer, catchier, pro-peace slogan over the course of 40 years of protests. We knew we shouldn’t care that some of you were wearing socks with sandals and smelled like you’d been on the bus with Wavy Gravy for the last three decades, but we cared anyway. We couldn’t help it. It’s just who we are

Read full article here.

I have to say that I’m not so sure that I am ready to apologize for rolling my eyes, but then that’s just the kind of little prick that I am. And it’s really not the point. The point is that the tone of this piece I think captures what is perhaps the epitome of the GenX Journey (yes, I know. that is a real eye-rolling phrase, but I can’t help it) from cynicism to idealism, which of course is symbolized in the path of Barack Obama, as detailed in his autobiography for anyone who cares to read it, resulting in his rise to the most powerful position in the country if not the world.

But when we watched Barack Obama’s victory speech on Tuesday night, we looked into the eyes of a real leader, and decades of cynicism about politics and grass-roots movements and community melted away in a single moment. We heard the voice of a man who can inspire with his words, who’s unashamed of his own intelligence, who’s willing to treat the citizens of this country like smart, capable people, worthy of respect. For the first time in some of our lifetimes, we believed.

And I got to say, it’s a little scary, even while it is astoundingly joyful at the same time. To believe, I mean. Multiple times a day I will just stop and realize again what has happened and my chest swells and my eyes tear up, and I think, no, this can’t be real, I’m dreaming, but of course I am not. I have to remind myself to dig in, it wasn’t a dream, Barack Obama really is the the 44th President of the United State of America, or at least he will be, officially, on Jan 20th.

I’m reminded of the Christian Slater line in the Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie, when he launches Costner and Morgan Freeman over the wall on the giant catapult, amazed that it actually works, he says: “Fuck me, he cleared it!



3 responses to “A GenX apology to the Baby Boom?

  1. I know. Wonder how long it will last.

    Of course, there are people out there already pissing on the parade. Not yet two weeks since the election and you got people on the radio calling people excited by Obama’s election “starry eyed dreams.” So what? We don’t get to enjoy it a little.

    Plus, all the Republicans who refuse to admit that the Obama campaign and other Dems outdid them. They’re jumping on the Palin Drone train, saying it was because of Washington Republicans who started acting like Democrats blah blah blah. Yeah, Sarah Palin is a star you want to hitch your wagon too. I mean, if you for some reason enjoy the agony of defeat. She’ll never be a serious contender for President.

    But hey, let em continue to delude themselves. They underestimate Barack Obama and a new Democratic Part at their peril.

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