Tag Archive: Greatest Generation


“When the war was over, the men and women who had been involved … joined in joyous and short-lived celebrations, then immediately began the task of rebuilding their lives and the world they wanted … They married in record numbers and gave birth to another distinctive generation, the Baby Boomers. They stayed true to their values of personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith.” – Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, The Greatest Generation 

“Tom Brokaw once wrote a book about the greatest generation, those brave people who survived the depression and fought in World War II. Unfortunately that great generation spawned a generation of narcissists: the baby boomers.” – Huffington Post blogger Gene Marks

The Baby Boomers are inevitably moving day-by-day toward the ash heap of recorded history … and not a moment too soon.woodstock

USA Today last week reported for the first time ever, the number of Millennials exceeds the population of Baby Boomers by an 83.1 million to 75.4 million count, according to the 2014 U.S. Census.

Poor Millennials and X-Gens. They will be the first generations in American history to have a worse standard of living than the preceding generation … that would be the Baby Boomers.

Many Millennials are going to college, graduating with oppressive student loan debt or for the lucky few, no debt, and settling for a job that once did not require a degree, and pays $10,000 less now than it did in the 1980s.

“Will that be a latte, cappuccino or mocha, sir (or madam)?”

And as a result of this economic dilemma, many Millennials particularly those saddled with an average of $40,000 in college loan debt, are being forced to … yes, move back into a parent’s or parents’ home.

Where will the “Hello Kitty” poster go?millennials

Can Millennials buy a house, even with near-record, low-interest rates averaging 4.19 percent this week? The author of Almost DailyBrett remembers buying his first house for $120,000 in Sacramento in 1984 at a 30-year fixed rate of 14.25 percent, paying two points for the privilege. Two years later, your blogger refinanced the loan down to 10.25 percent, once again paying two points.

Do you think Millennials can find any house in California for $120,000 that will not come with meth- lab neighbors, who will soon be auditioning for The Jerry Springer Show?

Brokaw wrote about “personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith” in describing the virtues of the Silent Generation, born between 1925-1945, which stared down the Global Depression and won World War II on two theatres of combat.

Do you think anyone would ascribe any of these Silent Generation virtues – personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith — to the hedonistic Baby Boomers? Seems like a silly question.

The Entitlement Generation 

“The selfishness that has been a hallmark of the Boomers will continue right up to the very end, as they force millions of younger Americans to devote an inordinate amount of time and resources to their care, bankrupting the Social Security system in the process. In their old age, the Boomers will actually take as much from the next generation as they did from the previous one, which fought WW II.” – The Onion, January 20, 1999

“But you know nowadays
It’s the old man,
He’s got all the money
And a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
I said nothing” — The Who, Young Man Blues

If it feels good; do it.

Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.

Almost DailyBrett refrains for the most part in making absolute predictions, but will do so in this case:

Someone, someday will write an epic tome glorying the “Me, Me, Me” generation, and will attempt to be the Tom Brokaw of the Baby Boomers. It will be a pathetic effort that will nonetheless be coffee-table book lucrative because there will be some in the born-between-1946-1964 crowd, who will want to desperately justify their sorry existence on the planet.

They will point to the end of the Vietnam War. They will direct attention to the campaign for the equal rights for women. They will wax nostalgic about the civil rights marches. There are already plenty of revisionist Oliver Stone movies that make these very same points.

But weren’t all of these crusades … sorry bad word with religious overtones for some Baby Boomers … weren’t all of these movements mounted back in the 1960s? What have you done for us since then? Legalized marijuana?

The same-sex marriage victory? That achievement must be shared with Millennials and X-Gens.

Baby Boomers burned the flag, staged Woodstock and Altamont, the latter came with Hells Angels and bloody pool cues. Many against-the-war-in-Vietnam types still don’t like America very much,  bitching and moaning, while not even considering moving anywhere else.

Way too many Baby Boomers made lifestyle choices, which contributed to a nearly four-times increase of former workers on disability from 2.8 million in 1981 to 8.5 million in 2011. Guess who is and who will be paying the bill for these Americans, most of whom will never work again?

The federal deficit was $2.8 trillion in 1989. Thanks mainly to the explosion of growing entitlements for Baby Boomers and some others; the red ink now stands at $18.1 trillion last month … another bi-product of the Baby Boomer generation.

Many Baby Boomers, including those who decried the “Military-Industrial Complex,” became very wealthy during the Internet boom (e.g. Yuppies), buying every McMansion in sight and driving up prices, until (you knew it had to happen) the Bubble burst, and their expensive cars were repossessed.

While markets were recovering, far too many Baby Boomers drove up their plastic debt, and then turned to real estate and refinanced to the max to keep up their spending habits until (once again: you knew it had to happen) … the real estate Bubble burst. Many were left with underwater mortgages … and simply walked away from their houses.

What was left for the Millennials, holding the bag? A rotten economy. Overpriced real estate, transforming the American Dream of home ownership into a pipe dream. Soaring tuition at colleges and universities and with it, $1.2 trillion in cumulative student loan debt.

And when they graduate? Part-time McJobs with no benefits for far too many. And you wonder why the Millennials are mad at the Baby Boomers?

Before going any further, the author of Almost DailyBrett has a confession to make: Yes, I was born in 1955, and am a card-carrying member of the Baby Boomer generation.dinosaur

Does it seem that I am rooting for my own personal demise as more Baby Boomers pass into the abyss every day? Well, no.

Am I embarrassed to be part of this selfish generation and wished it was different, far different? You bet ya.

Will Steven Spielberg, born 1946, serve as the executive director for “Baby Boomer World,” featuring out-of-control, carnivorous, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dinosaurs?

Be afraid, be very afraid.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/25/millennials-now-outnumber-boomers-census-says/29294241/

http://thoughtcatalog.com/matthew-primeau/2015/01/baby-boomers-ruined-the-world-for-millennials/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gene-marks/this-is-why-the-baby-boom_b_4441735.html

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a1451/worst-generation-0400/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jmaureenhenderson/2013/11/30/millennials-earn-less-than-their-parents-and-the-recession-isnt-to-blame/

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102410254

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/06/generational-decline

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2014/05/20/8-differences-between-boomers-and-millennials

http://apps.npr.org/unfit-for-work/

http://www.theonion.com/article/long-awaited-baby-boomer-die-off-to-begin-soon-exp-647

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/05/why-the-boomers-are-the-most-hated-generation/276368/

http://home.adelphi.edu/sbloch/deficits.html

“I wrote ‘Satisfaction’ in my sleep. I had no idea I’d written it, it’s only thank God for the little Philips cassette player … I pushed rewind and there was ‘Satisfaction.’” – Keith Richards, Life

“’Satisfaction’ changed us from just another band into a huge, monster band.” – Mick Jagger, Old Gods Almost Deadsatisfaction1

This coming Saturday night, the Rolling Stones will play Jerry World, the $1 billion mega-excess stadium built for the Dallas Cowboys by their obnoxious owner in Arlington, Texas.

More importantly, the concert coincides with the exact 50th anniversary June 6 date of the American release of “I Can’t Got No Satisfaction,” arguably the greatest rock n’ roll song of all time. Satisfaction became overnight the No. 1 hit in both the United States and United Kingdom and held that position for months.

Some will contend that “Gimme Shelter” was the best-ever Stones’ song. Some may back “Paint It Black,” “Jumpin Jack Flash,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Brown Sugar” or “Start Me Up.” There are good arguments for all of them, but “Satisfaction” with its unmistakable opening fuzz riff still triggers the same physical result each and every time. The most famous double negative of all time is the hit that put the Stones on the map for good, 50 years ago.

And if it wasn’t for a cheap cassette recorder, the Gulf Motel in Clearwater, Florida and a Gibson fuzz box purchased from Wallach’s Music City in LaLaLand, we may have not attained Satisfaction and would be poorer as a society.fuzzbox

Summer of ‘65

We’re listening to ourselves in Minnesota somewhere on the radio, ‘Hit of the Week,’ and we didn’t even know (Stones manager) Andrew (Oldham) had put the fucking thing out.

“At first I was mortified. As far as I was concerned that was just the dub. Ten days on the road and it’s number one nationally! The record of the summer of ’65. So I’m not arguing. And I learned that lesson – sometimes you can overwork things. Not everything’s designed for your taste and your taste alone.” – Keith Richards, Life

What’s the old saying? If something is not broken, don’t try to fix it.

As the author of Almost DailyBrett has more than one occasion mentioned, he first heard the famous riffs, the incredible beat, the pulsating sound and the rebellious cry of sexual frustration for the first time as a 10-year-old on a Boy Scout campout somewhere in Southern California. The still prim-and-proper Beatles were not Willkommen in my suburban home; you can only imagine the reaction by the Benny Goodman/Frank Sinatra/George Gershwin crowd to the Rolling Stones.

The year 1965 was another transition year from the Greatest Generation that overcame the Global Depression and sent Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo packing before providing the biological seeds and eggs for the Worst Generation, the Baby Boomers.

Otto Preminger’s black-and-white In Harm’s Way with John Wayne may have represented a last gasp of the WWII generation. Two years later came a color film, The Graduate, featuring Dustin Hoffman’s famous line: “Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson?” The movie was shocking back then, but it was only a prelude for The Summer of Love, the fights in the streets of Chicago, Woodstock and Altamont.

The Ultimate Encore

“Jagger and his bandmates staged a high-energy show, with the lead singer a jaw-dropping sight as he strutted, danced, swayed and ran — at one point, late in the show, sprinting the length of what must have been a 60-yard stage. His stamina would dazzle at any age.” – USA Today review of the San Diego opening of the Rolling Stones’ Zip Code Tourmickkeith2

Even though it took four Rolling Stones concerts for yours truly to accomplish personal Satisfaction, that is hearing the song played live and singing the infamous words with tears streaming down my face, there is little doubt that each and every member of the Zip Code tour audience will hear/sing the song.

From a choreography standpoint, the Stones begin their encore with a local choir joining them on stage for another 1960s-era classic, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Once completed, Keith will lay his mangled hands on his Fender  Telecaster and pound out those famous Satisfaction riffs.

Your author is over-the-top biased, but there is no song that defines the word crescendo better than Satisfaction. The Stones stretch this one out for the cheering crowd just to make sure that no one leaves unhappy and unsatisfied.

Think of it this way: Satisfaction was an anthem of the times that has stood the test of time.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2015/05/25/rolling-stones-open-north-american-stadium-tour-in-san-diego/27907521/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/lifelong-search-for-satisfaction/

http://www.rockandrollroadmap.com/places/record-stores/los-angeles-area/wallachs-music-city

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwS4-Vn4z_8

http://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/music/50-years-ago-the-rolling-stones-song-satisfaction-was-born-in-clearwater/2227921

http://www.floridahistorynetwork.com/may-6-1965—rolling-stones-play-clearwater-write-satisfaction-riff.html

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9F02E1DC163EE03ABC4F53DFB266838E679EDE

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/crescendo

 

 

 

 

 

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can … get going with life.” – Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin.

It used to be so easy.

Junior or Little Ms. reached his or her 18th birthday and out-the-door he or she went to face the cruel, cruel word.

leavingat18

It’s not so sophisticated today.

One of the more popular features of the unpopular 2,300-page Obamacare is the provision that offspring up to 26-years-old can be covered by their parent’s health insurance. One wonders why the specific age of 26 was chosen? Twenty-five seems like a more natural stopping point. Ah, the mysteries of the infinite-wisdom crowd, residing and regulating from inside the Beltway.

As a parent of a very independent 23-year-old daughter trying to build her life in the über-expensive San Francisco Bay Area, I keep on thinking about “old” 23-year-olds and “young” 23-year-olds (let alone “old” 18-year-olds and “young” 18-year-olds). Not everyone matures and grows up in exactly the same way. One may be ready to conquer the world at 23, while another of the same age may still require the sanctuary of mom and dad’s house.

Was the system that was so prevalent during the era of the so-called “Greatest Generation” the way to go? “Happy Birthday! Out the door you go…!”

This particular practice comes across as rather heartless to the modern ear. At the same time hundreds of thousands succeeded because they had no choice but to swim to avoid sinking. Many of them grew up big time in the fields of Europe or the islands of the Pacific, and came home to a college education paid for by the G.I. Bill.

Fast forwarding to the era of the Millennials one must ask: If we show our kids “tough love” and push our kids out the door, even in the direction of a four-year college, do we run the risk that a “young” 18-year-old is simply too young to survive, let alone succeed?

When is early, too early?

Conversely, if we acquiesce in the face of a rotten economy to offspring in their early 20s to staying at home, are we potentially retarding their independence? Are we fostering a “taker,” when the individual has all the ability to be a “maker?” Do we want our homes to become “crash pads” for our offspring, and quite possibly their live-ins?livingwithparents

When is late, too late?

Confounding this dilemma is an undeniable fact: We are talking about adults here. This is not entirely our decision to make, even though we may pay ze mortgage or ze rent. Do the purse strings control the decision, the heart strings or a combination of many factors?

As I have mentioned before in writing these cyber pages, I have not taken any classes in psychology or sociology and don’t plan to do so. I have taken real world “coursework” in being a parent of an aspiring beauty products marketing Wunderkind.

This issue came to a head three years ago when I was offered a graduate teaching fellowship at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. This was a great opportunity to earn my master’s degree. My basic thought was: “If not now, when?” There was also the question of my then-21-year-old daughter. She always wanted her independence. Beware of what you want.

Let me make an ex-cathedra statement right here: If my daughter was only 18-years-old…and a young 18 at that…I would not have pursued graduate school, particularly at a university located out of state. Three years later, she was old enough to order vodka with a twist. Shouldn’t she be able to pursue her professional dreams with a little help from me…but without me directly providing a roof over her head?

Mumsy and dad-in-law raised some eyebrows, and I listened to their “concerns.” I also contemplated that I was the one that was monetarily assisting my daughter. I made the decision to sell the house, pack-my-bags, and pursue my M.A. I also decided to seek out housing for my daughter, affording her first taste of real independence.

Three years later, my daughter is making a go of it in a corporate setting in downtown San Francisco. She is endeavoring to be a maker, not a taker. She clearly understands “Buy low, Sell high.” That is a great recipe for never starving.

If I had bypassed my pursuit of a master’s degree, I would not have grown the way that I have in the immediate years north of the midpoint of life. And I afraid my daughter would still be at home. Instead of a fading Obama poster, she would be staring at her “Hello Kitty” poster.

She will never be a taker (I told her repeatedly that dad is not the federal government), but I am not convinced she would be as far along in becoming a maker, and applying her Darwin-given talent when it comes to marketing and keeping customers happy. You can make big bucks when you can do that, and maybe give a little back to society.

Here’s to leaving home when it’s time.

 

 

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