While there are many modern trends that are worthy of our contempt, I am singling out the nasty habit of generation wars that I encounter so often, particularly on social media.
It’s been said that somebody out there wants to keep us fighting with each other so we don’t turn our negative energy against the tiny minority that actually holds the power. It’s the old “divide and conquer” approach to staying in power.
It’s bad enough that the few powerful wealthy owners have us riff-raff battling each other over things on things for which we should seek agreement. Good examples are turning poor white folks against blacks, or turning middle class whites against the LGBTQ community.
But I fail to see any kind of wisdom in all in supposed wars among Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, Generation Z and so forth.
One of the worst things these wars does is stereotype members of group of people, based on when they were born. Much resentment and ill feelings are stirred up unnecessarily against other groups who actually do not think and act so different than the rest.
I suppose a very common fight is the use of the phrase “OK Boomer,” which in itself means virtually nothing.
Regardless, I object to anyone who notices that I am a Boomer, therefore I am rich and greedy and look down on clothing, music and social habits of the younger crowds. I suspect the truth is that we essentially are individuals who can’t be placed neatly in little boxes all the same.
To be sure, I prefer the popular music of the 1960s and ‘70s, but that’s only because I grew up with it. My parents, members of what has been called “The Greatest Generation,” preferred swing, jazz and lounge lizard music.
I hereby confront that that attitude with Duke Ellington’s immortal, “If it sounds good… it is good.”
I don’t like rap or hip hop, but I recognize this is the same game we Boomers played with our parents, who told us a half century ago they couldn’t understand how we could like the noise of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and even the Eagles.
And we Boomers these days object to the fashion trend of teens wearing jeans clearly showing tears and cuts.
Sorry, folks, but there are much more important issues we need to be aware of, things such as climate change, continued racism, gun deaths and viruses.
I remember only too well the days of the 1960s and ‘70s when we were told all about the “generation gap,” prompting me to suspect that somebody out there was working overtime to keep us fighting with each other, against opponents who don’t actually exist.
Yes, I blame the media, and yet I have been a member of the media for more than 50 years. I am ashamed of my brethren in the business for promoting and pouring gas on the flames of useless and pointless battles.
And I still wonder why someone out there wants us to keep fighting with each other. What’s in it for them?
“Pay attention… Connect the dots… Follow the money.”