Boomers and Blogging

President Obama is a Boomer. Let that sink in young, ageist death-wish folks. Yesterday on Twitter a journalist wrote something about his shock at the ageism that’s emerged from the COVID-19 virus fear. The resulting thread was full of “death to boomers.” Then some politician from Texas said he was sure that every 80 year old grandmother would be willing to die so her grandchildren could have a good economy. What?

The virus has brought some dark reality to the fore. In Spain and Italy there are not enough ventilators for all the desperately ill people so they’ve had to decide to ventilate younger people and the the elders die (or not). I see the logic, but I also think that has got to be excruciating for doctors who’ve vowed to preserve life. But such decisions are not new to human existence.

Narayama: Death Mountain — fantastic film, but harrowing

As a result of this, I’m going to attempt a social media “diet” as it’s called. I’m not optimistic of success, but I’m going to give it a shot. The main challenge is that I’m kind of hooked. I thank WP for that and a contest I found myself entered in (it was an honor). You might have noticed a “badge” on my page, “Annual Blogger Bash Nominated Blog 2018 — Best Overall Blog.”

It was the strangest thing. I was (as always) minding my own business and I got a notification that I’d been nominated for this award. What? If you won you got a prize and you could take yourself to a party in England. It was very cool because it had come out of nowhere. So, I followed them on Facebook and did all the other things I was supposed to. The contest was very active on Twitter so I became more active on Twitter, a strange, nasty, evil place — but addictive. I followed some blogs, voted for some blogs, and NEVER found whoever it was had nominated me. In the process I “met” two women I like very much. Erin who writes Unbound Roots and Shannon of Must Hike, Must Eat.

I learned a lot from the experience. I didn’t win, but it was fun being nominated. The next year I was contacted about participating, but the contest had changed. The blogs were separated into categories — cooking, the outdoors, child-raising — stuff like that. My blog doesn’t fit any category (that I can see).

As for Boomers — where I live Boomers keep everything going. There’s not much work here, so many young people (who aren’t farming) have to leave. There would be no food bank, no after-school programs, no museums if retired people didn’t step up to do those things. If the 80 year old who runs the Rio Grande County museum weren’t there, there would be no internship for the high school kid who LOVES history, the museum, and the chance to set up exhibits. What training that 17 year old is getting! The local food bank is begging for volunteers right now because it doesn’t think that the elderly people who do 90% of the work should be working now because of the danger of all that public contact. The quilt guilds (we have them here) have mobilized to sew masks and they are, yep, run by boomers.

The niche filled by boomers in my little world is very important yet delicate.
Many boomers are raising their grandkids. Some are substitute teaching. All over the place, they’re stepping in where someone needs it. Maybe we should all be sitting in our rockers on our porches, but we’re not. Well I am, but I figure after 35 yers teaching 10,000 people to write and think, helping save 5800 acres of chaparral wilderness from developers, working to raise funds for a mental health facility for Asian refugees, etc. it’s OK for me to savor the passing parade. My life has been — and is — so far from the stereotype as are the lives of most of the “Boomers” I know.

Featured photo: me walking down a hill at Penetente Canyon, 2017

31 thoughts on “Boomers and Blogging

  1. I am sitting (note sitting) on my porch blogging in the sun. I am a boomer and am will remain a boomer for the future and am proud to be a boomer. Sounds almost like an addiction.

  2. Aren’t humans an interesting species? We hate our ‘own kind’, we kill or maim and bully to death, we torture, deny the most basic needs of others so opulence can be obtained by the few. We are the only ‘animal’ in the world-wide kingdom to behave so.

  3. This whole boomer thing is a bit odd. For those too young to recall, there was a “post-war baby boom” after WWII ended. That’s where “boomer” came from. Back then it referred to babies born in the first few years after the war. I generally see the boomer generation advertised as 1946-1964. Think of the absurdity of a post-war boom still occurring in 1964. (Yeah, like my parents were still having make-up sex 20 years after my dad’s return from the South Pacific.) Plus, if my sister had been born just months later, she and her daughter would both be boomers. As it is, my family of origin has 6 kids. By this arbitrary definition we are split into 2 different generations.

    • At the end of my teaching career I was dealing with students who, by virtue of my white hair and age, believed I couldn’t operate a DVD player or use a computer but I had been the person who TAUGHT them that. Not them specifically, but others of their ilk AND their tech-savvy younger parents. At the end of my career, I no longer liked or respected my students (time to quit…) because of their lack of curiosity and attitude. They really thought that anything I had to teach them was irrelevant. I remember the generation gap back in the 60s/70s but, hostile as it was, it wasn’t dismissive of older people in that way. I understand that each generation has the task of defining itself and I think part of that is biological and we can’t escape it. As for the labels? I don’t think they fit anyone very well unless that person accepts them and then attempt to live up to them. IMO that person is an idiot.

  4. We are an agile bunch of oldies. I know more about computers than most of the younger people who are buying them. They didn’t learn from the beginning how they work. As far as they are concerned, it’s like electricity. Push the button and it works. This is fine — until something needs fixing.

    No one in my family thinks they know more about computers than I do, but everyone knows more about printers and copy machines. I have a mental block about them.

  5. Frankly, it annoys the hell out of me that “bombers” get blamed for everything, and yes I’ve seen the “death to the boomers” mentality. We didn’t create the circumstances any more than the “gen x” or whatever generation is titled at the moment are creating this disaster. For the most part, look to the 1% or whatever it is that is the richest and are controlling not only the purse string, but the politics of the world, for their own greedy benefit. Then grow up!

  6. My town is such a mix. Heck, my neighborhood is such a mix. There are people who have lived here forever, people who choose to retire here (mine is a Navy town, so people are stationed here, leave, and decide to return) and younger people who either never left town or left and returned. Why is our generation so bashed? I don’t like to show my age and say this younger generation needs to look around and get over themselves, but geez….

    • I think they need to step back and imagine their world without the changes our generation brought — not the BS of Trump and his minions (whom I’m ashamed to share my generation with) but the other things, the things many of us gave our lives to.

  7. Seems to me that lumping people together people by any standard (age, religion, race, sexual orientation, or anything else) is thoughtless and just plain lazy. Where do the kids/younger adults of today think they’d be if we (boomers) hadn’t burned our draftcards & bras, clamored for reproductive rights, and challenged discrimination in all its forms? We fought hard so their generations could have it better, but now we’re expendable? I can’t help but wonder what they’re learning in history class these days.

    • They’re not learning much. The last class I taught — Intro to Literature — college level, sophomore level — only the students over 30 knew what MLK had actually DONE. They knew he was “great” but not why and not what it entailed and they had no interest. I showed videos of the race riots of the time and I got stuff like this: “This is depressing.” “I didn’t know white guys had anything to do with that. Is that real?” It was the NBC News for the love of god…

      I agree that lumping people together is lazy and facile. We did fight so subsequent generations wouldn’t have to deal with some of the ugly stuff that was part of our world. We even built the EPA!

  8. As a proud boomer, I try to ignore the condescending attitude of those in younger generations. Not all of them, but more than I’d like to see. We used to say “don’t trust anyone over 30” and that was that…until we were over 30 ourselves. There wasn’t the nastiness I see now. Although, perhaps social media just makes it more obvious. To be dismissed because of your age is humiliating and unfair. Everybody loses. After all, they also forget we are the ones who wiped their butts and then showed them how to do it themselves.

  9. I was told that I don’t qualify as a Baby Boomer. They’ve redefined that to end with birthdays in 1954. Later birthdays make one a “Late Boomer” which is now a different generation. The dividing line was whether you had to worry about being drafted. Vietnam was the signature issue of B Boomers. But then the B Boomers took all the credit for everything in the 70s 80s and 90s and 2000s as well. L Boomers never had a lot to hang their hook on.

    Everything skipped us. President Obama was the only Late Boomer president in the mix. And then we revert to the previous generation again with Trump v. Biden.

    As epidemics go, I’d rather have one that took out the oldest rather than youngsters. Being an oldster myself, I’m not exactly being self-serving here. But I’d rather see a country that thought about such things as public health in advance of a crisis so that epidemics were caught early and didn’t get far but that horse has left the barn.

    America is terrible as averting crises but I think we’re pretty good at responding to one – once we’ve gotten our collective peepee whacked. Then we rise to the occasion like no other. The idiot in the White House is what’s holding us back.

    • It’s true that early boomers got the best jobs, and the fact there were so many of us made us easy to exploit. I was born in 52 and already by the time I was out of grad school I could kiss the possibility of tenure good-bye.
      As for taking credit? 1) who cares and 2) our generation accomplished a lot. I think the generation stuff is arbitrary and unjust, but no one’s really asked me. 🙂

  10. To the boomers~firstly you have the utmost respect from me. I was born right after the late bloomers in ’70 and fall in the “middle” of the 20 year span. Ironically, I have always felt “in the middle”. By year 20 teaching students I was shocked at the shift in attitudes. Ironically, a head injury got me out just before I was literally losing my mind. Generations, in general, appear to have misunderstandings of one another. All the technology advances that have taken place is just one factor. In my experience, and what burns my buns more than anything, is the respect for values between generations. I wanna stick rabbit ears on every “younger” person I know~listen, listen, listen~wait, think, respond, and cooperate. Say thank you to an elder. Heck, say “thank you” to ANYONE! I was born at the wrong time. My 74 year old mom called me this morning to tell me that Wal-Mart opened up at 6 a.m. for the “elderly” to come shop. Swore she’d never do it again. Of course I told her the only reason they set that time was because all the younger people wouldn’t get up that early anyway. Boomers! we’re losing the best generations~you, your parents, and your grandparents. God help me, the Millennials, the post-Millennials, Generation Z, and A, B, C. To note, my two sons serving in the Air Force (who knew the value of hard work because I come from a family that values basic core principles) would’ve had their Millennial fannies flogged if they even thought they could be lazy, disrespectful, uncaring, and the list goes on. I end my rant of my own generation with this: you can have my ventilator. I wanna be just like you. Well, some of you. 😏🤗💚

    • No. Keep the ventilator. Just give me a humane death. And take my dogs and give them a loving home. 😉 Your generation was the first I taught after my own. I loved it. You’re why I fell in love with teaching. I guess as teachers we have a close contact with the evolution of generations of kids — first my own, then yours, then the Millennials (who were really OK), and then whatever these young people are now — Google driven. They’re in for a rude awakening. We so did NOT “Steal their childhood.” 😀

      • I took an acting class. Most of the students are 20 somethings. (There’s a couple of older ladies who hang out together but tend not to mix.) They are great kids.

        Not a trace of racism or misogyny or discomfort with alternate sexualities. It is like those divides don’t exist for them. I felt more welcome there than at any gathering of my own age.

        Actors and artsy people are special people. Not every group of millennials and gen y people would be the same. But I am pretty sure it is a generational shift and not dumb luck. My daughter fits the pattern.

        Not interested in grey-bearding them. Being with young people makes me feel younger.

      • Ok. Deal. And you’re the teacher that inspired me. And if you wore bellbottoms, I did too. I looked up to you. Thank you for inspiring me and a generation of “information junkies” (I mean those who liked learning from conversation, encyclopedias, reel to reel documentaries, and actual books lol).

      • I taught my first class as a Teaching Assistant in 1976. I was 24. My students were 18 – 19. I loved it, but I thought they were so much younger than I was! 😀

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