Generational War, Blogging the Future From The Battle Lines

Warning: Sleep deprived rambling rant below, proceed at your own risk!

My friend pinche, in his essay below this one, threatens Generational War. Okay he doesn’t threaten, he observes, or projects, or is thinking wishfully. But we have all seen the Boomer Bashing on the Blogs, and it can be upsetting … to Boomers! It naturally brings out the old reptilian brains fight or flight reflex when stumbled upon. Self-identification is part of being human and having any of your self-identifications threatened brings at least an initial emotional response.

That being said….bring it on, punks!

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As a part of the tail end of the last generational war, I have been waiting for the next one for years. because at the end of the day…it is a natural cycle, and a very necessary one. It is one of the best things about Obama’s candidacy, imo.

The balance between youthful passion and rebelliousness and the wisdom of The Elders is an eternal theme. Without each, where would we be? And, fellow venerable sages….guess who it is incumbent upon to make the balance work?

Harken back to the days of thine youth and remember what it is to be young, to see the problems of the world, to feel helpless and powerless to change them….and so…. to look for someone to blame! Who is to blame? Why, the same entity that every generation blames…the establishment, who unsurprisingly enough is made up of previous generations.

Think back to the glorious discovery phase of your life when your still developing intellect became aware of all the problems of the world and of human nature, before the complexities and limitations of change became fully apparent, before the (absolutely necessary!) process of compromise with the world began.

The Glory Days!

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The energy of youth is driven by the Life Force. It is the energy of Life renewing itself, the species renewing itself….and of evolution! Life trying to create a better environment for itself to thrive in, to adapt the environment to itself. It IS change. Revolution specifically incarnate.

On the other side of the Yin Yang is the wisdom of the Elders. Those who have lived through…and survived…that phase of the cycle of life, who survived the mistakes of youth. From our perspective we see the ‘kids’ of today and instead of recognizing in them the aspects of ourselves that we valued, we all too often see their callowness and naivete and, most annoyingly, their obstreperous impudence and …disrespect.

Frankly, I am…or could be said to be…just as pissed at the Youth Of Today as they are at me, at the Boomers. Where the fuck have they been? The rallying of youth around Obama gives us a clue….they have been waiting for a leader. Something we were fortunate to have a plethora of….until they were all shot. Which MAY just have had a bit of an effect on any up and coming leaders eagerness to be out front, lol. They have also been provided with an amazing panoply (when I am sleep deprived my vocabulary expands!) of diversions and distractions and shiny playthings hitherto unseen. Iow…the majority of them have fallen into the same trap as the Boomers they decry, the trap of the material over the idealistic!

But here is the secret of the balance, that I alluded to earlier….(don’t TELL them this, btw!) it is up to the Elders to harness and direct the energy of youth. It is up to us to strike the balance of respect for their new ideas and their passion with the tempering of our wisdom and experience. To ignore their taunts and japes at us and to embrace their change causing exuberance. The more we resist, the more they are forced to rebel. The more we embrace and find ways to work with them, the more powerful we ALL become. It is WE who make it into a war, instead of finding the balance between youth and experience. Our parents rejected our ideas and ideals and caused a generational war. It is up to us to use our (alleged) wisdom to avoid the new incarnation of that war. Because…if you can remember back that far you old farts…we were, and are Anti-War, bless our dentures and Depends!

Conclusion of rant:

Reach out to the youth of today as YOU would have wanted to be reached out to. Do not dismiss them, listen to them…….and help them to find ways to direct all those raging hormones and all of that passion into useful channels….then and only then will they listen to us…and hear our hard won wisdom….and just maybe….avoid making the same mistakes we did!  

28 comments

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  1. Photobucket

  2. completely sleep deprived. I am getting old. I really need six to function or have coherent conversation and I had three.

    I struggle with this being a middle aged person who supervises primarily young people in their 20’s. It has taken much effort and patience for me to arrive where I am.

    My take is that if the folks I supervise are at all a representative sample and frankly I have no way to confirm that, they are over confident, they wish to be praised for every single thing they do, and challenge authority just because they feel like it. Once I can got past having people in my face yelling or explicitly telling me how to do my job and having to pet them on the head every two seconds we achieved some understanding. I now actually have them ask me for my advice/opinion on a regular basis. When I am off they tell me they miss me and I laugh in their face and say ,”no you didn’t.”

    Most of the young people I supervise are very, accomplished and much smarter than I. Their attitude is that their loyalty comes with a high price tag and I don’t blame them. Why should they be good little worker bees when the corporate world considers even young, aggressive, and well educated workers to be disposable. They saw how Mom and Dad got shoved aside.

    If we look for easy answers in order to deal with inter-generational conflict we will end up with what appears to be easy solutions ( blame one another ) that actually yield no result. Swallowing our egos, being prepared for difficulties, and diving in together to combat the real structural oppressors is the way to go.

  3. and agree with you 100%.

    It also makes me think of one of my favorite diaries of all time by leftvet titled On Moderates and Radicals. He’s talking about the forces of moderation that set in with age and the need to remain radical.  

  4. again. Right here is why you are the Budhy! Even though a boomer I’ve always been as my friend calls it ‘severely materialistically handicapped’. Now by default I have ‘assets’ material. Do these supersede my responsibility as a human. Do I alien myself  with the con men (and women) that seek to  tell my this is my life’s goal?

    To screw or not to screw that seems to be the question, when in actuality your screwed even if you ‘end up with all the toys’ at any price. Not by boomers not by youth or in between but by the real villains of the piece that 1% that pulls the strings of all wars generational, global, hot and cold, the ones who promote them the gangsters, the beasts.

    Every movement is reactionary, and it’s about time the  warriors with energy came front and center. My thought that give me hope is that they are not counterculture but in the mainstream and using the sick system which holds us all. It’s never all or nothing it’s always a step at a time,a lesson I learned. I know where I stand here. Be true to your school, sometimes means looking to where your school really is and realizing that alumni need to let the next wave shake it up and lead us to victory.              

  5. Let these kids get out and march, and we will join them and end this war and Impeach Bush and his ilk in the WH. We need them to have a taste of freedom, before they to get bogged down in the rigors of Life.  Supporting a candidate is they easy part. Putting your but on the line for your beliefs is harder. Lets see them all at the rallys this summer, and bring Bush down.

    • Robyn on March 13, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    …of the lumping together of my generation as an entity…which it never was, and charging us as the perpetrators of misdeeds which were actually perpetrated by our elders.

    And I get tired of the accusation that somehow we feel special entitlement, almost always unspecified, when there has never been a generation I have seen which felt more entitled to everything than our children…unless maybe it is their children.

  6. Bring it on!  Get radical.  The most depressing thing I saw about the tasing incident was the other students looking on with that odd sense of detachment.  My husband and I both had the same thought that when we were in college, we would have all gone to jail had a cop dared to lay hands on us like that.  

    I hope the youth do get totally involved.  And I will march with them.  In fact, I will Saturday.  

  7. Years ago I went to DC for an annual conference of runaway and homeless youth programs. One of the traditions of this conference was to include young people who had been runaways and homeless as participants.

    Another tradition was to take a day to visit on the Hill to advocate for continued federal funding of these programs. In between visits I was chatting with one of the wonderful young men who was a participant.

    He noticed that I had removed the button from my purse that contained a hanger with the red line through it and asked me why. I told him that I was about to go visit a strong anti-choice Republican Senator and I didn’t want that button to get in the way of what we were advocating for.

    He called me on the carpet and said, “NL, NEVER compromise your values for anyone” and proceeded to open his jacket and show me his t-shirt that said “Pro-choice, pro-family, pro-children.”

    I needed to hear that from him that day. And I thanked him for the challenge.

    In the end, I still decided to leave the button off my purse.

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