The case against Baby Boomers

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a good screed against Baby Boomers so today Canada’s Maclean’s magazine takes care of that with an essay by “former diplomat and social entrepreneur” Scott Gilmore, who writes that it’s the one group that people should feel OK to revile.

“I find it hard to understand how we’ve managed to stomach them for as long as we have,” he writes in the satirical essay. ” Sometimes, tolerance can go too far.”

Has there ever been a more cynical, hypocritical, and destructive generation? It’s hard to know where to begin. How about with the fact that they are such utterly self-absorbed asses? There has never been a generation so fixated on itself. Right from the moment they bought their first Beach Boys album, they’ve being telling everyone in earshot how unique and important they are, these vanguards of a new century.

The audacity of this narcissism is awesome to behold. These are the sons and daughters of veterans of the Second World War, a generation of people who sacrificed everything and literally saved the world. They are even called the “Greatest Generation”! But the baby boomer response was, “Sure, but we invented tie-dye and disco.”

They are surely the most destructive generation in history. Their cult of consumerism has left our climate in tatters. And, staying true to their hypocritical routes, they are the first to complain about a carbon tax. In fact, while they drove our national debt into the stratosphere, they can’t abide even the smallest tax. As Maclean’s recently reported, in Vancouver, millionaire boomers couldn’t even stomach a reduction of their $570 home owners grants. Their greed is mythical in its proportions. After having accumulated more wealth than any other generation ever, and poised to inherit billions more from their elderly parents, they are still refusing to retire, keeping other generations out of the workforce.

But their hypocrisy is surely their greatest crime. This is the generation that cut its teeth protesting civil rights and Vietnam, who never stops talking about the Summer of Love, then gave us Iraq, Afghanistan and Donald Trump. They know all of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar solos, but are twice as likely to oppose a mixed marriage. These are the people who built massive, bankrupting pensions and social safety nets to coddle their own aging butts, and then are the first to roll their eyes when millennials complain a bachelor’s degree now requires $50,000 of debt.

He found believers online. You know, where the kids hang out.

  • rover27

    I’m a boomer, but the opposite of what this man describes. I’ve held my social justice values my whole life. They’re stronger than ever now. But there are apparently more of the greedy, heartless Reagan-types than my kind.

  • Vince Tuss

    Not the Maclean’s of old (Joke intended)

    • Rob

      Don McLean?

  • tboom

    So many inaccuracies, like those “bankrupting pensions”, sorry they were in place and mostly pulled out from under us mid-career.

    Boomers aren’t a single group, we’ve been divided our entire lives. In the 60’s it was doves and hawks today liberals and conservatives. It is true that we’ve never been very good at listening to each other.

    • Will

      My boomer parents worked in the private sector their entire lives, they never had a promise of a pension and will receive one. My dad has been retired for a few years and my mom is about retire in a few months and they still have 2 mortgages and don’t have a whole lot in their savings/investments. They worked hard all their lives, never had a chance to save all that much. They went to get an estimate on building a house on a piece of land they bought a dozen years ago or so; it’s going to cost twice as much to build on it than they have saved. I’m not really sure what they’re going to do but I can tell you one thing for sure, they had nothing to do bankrupting any pensions.

    • jon

      Yeah, I’m sure Boomers aren’t a single cohesive organization with an agenda.

      But then neither are millennials, and as a millennial with my own house, mortgage, a annual household income above 6 figures, and never received a trophy for participation, I still get to hear how terrible and lazy my generation is from, usually, boomers.

      All statements about an entire generation need to be generalities, and I get it I can’t hold you responsible personally for the actions of your peers, but a bit of introspection to both the generalities of groups we are a member of and ourselves as individuals shouldn’t hurt, it might even give us some perspective on how others view us and allow us to either change that perception or embrace it….

  • Veronica

    I’m in the middle of fighting my boomer aunts and uncles for the ongoing care of their Greatest Generation mom….and good grief, the boomers are self-absorbed.

    • Rob

      Huh. I took care of my aged and infirm parents for the last several years of their lives. Both lived through the Depression; my dad was a Korean War vet and suffered with MS most of his adult life. My mom developed a COPD in her late sixties. I administered their modest estate, and felt nothing but gratitude about doing it. And you know what? I don’t recall the Gen X rellies clamoring to help out.

  • dave

    WHEN the national debt gets paid back by people who work hard but got zero benefit from running up all the deficits…….the question will come “What happened???”…..The honest answer is we spent it all on ourselves and gave you the bill.

  • Bob Sinclair

    So was this article satirical or just acting like it was? Seems to me that he is partially right. (oh… i get it – stereotyping!) Never mind!

    Of course when Mr Gilmore acknowledges that others think that this is entirely true, then we’ll have others that will make fun of/ revile/pick your own adjective this particular generation.

    And finally it seems to me that this is n’t the first time that boomers have been ridiculed. And thats ok. If we can’t laugh at ourselves and our foibles/idiosyncrasies, then we’ve lost something greater.

  • Maximus Meridius

    Gilmore’s childhood. How sad. The poor man was obviously abused on many fronts by his boomer parents. You can’t help but feel compassion for the man, but a balanced perspective from the offspring of normal boomers is missing. BTW Scott, satire crosses generational boundaries.

  • Scruffles Von Fluffington

    I agree with Gilmore’s article except that, even as a 38-yr-old, I enjoy the sweet sounds of Anne Murray and I don’t want all of her records buried.