“Nothing has prepared us for the baby boomers’ return to infancy.”


I’m leading with this photo of Luna because communing with our three cats is much more fun than contemplating my status as a baby boomer. It annoys me tremendously to belong to this cohort, but if the youngest of the boomers are 54 and I’m 59, nothing much can be done about it apart from my ongoing efforts to stay out of simplistic boxes.

Consequently for some boomers, this opinion piece might seem overly harsh. Unfortunately for them (for us), it’s largely spot-on. Scrooge-like deathbed conversions, anyone?

What the Hell Are We Going to Do About the Boomers?, by Bernie Bleske (Medium)

Nothing has prepared us for the baby boomers’ return to infancy

… The boomer generation’s youngest member is now 54, and as a group, they are 65 million strong, the largest generation in U.S. history. They are the children of the late 1940s, the ’50s, and the early ’60s, who came of age in an era of unprecedented prosperity and hard-earned luxury. No wars, no famines, no economic disasters occurred their entire lives. (The hardships they endured pale to what had come before.) The one great threat, the fall of capitalism to communism, never happened. (Like almost everything else in their lives, they exported the violent part of that conflict to Asia and South America and other places where the people weren’t white, even in their own country.)

They grew up with massive infrastructure projects — the U.S. interstate highway system, the power grid, and the water supply — which were all completed while they were still young. Their parents were forged in a time that saw two world wars, the Great Depression, and pandemic disease; a generation who vowed that their children, the boomers, would never suffer as they had. Hardened like steel by their experiences, the Greatest Generation succeeded. Universities were state-funded. The government was greatly expanded to include Medicaid and Social Security. Peace was built through diplomacy and U.S. dollars. The environment was protected. Parks were built and waterways cleaned.

So, what have the boomers done as they have aged?