So I was listening to MPR this morning, which I should never do, and there were a couple of disembodied voices wondering why the new generation of African-Americans, essentially the youth, were not as willing to rally behind or be inspired by the graying figures of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and others. To me, this speaks of a fundamental problem in media and culture today, one that I’m planning to take on full force in the coming months, and it can be summed up quite succinctly thus:
Baby Boomers can’t get why we don’t care.
With their swollen numbers and high levels of income, Baby Boomers still exact an amazingly large chunk of influence on the world we live in. Having been the children of the so-called “Greatest Generation” the Boomers naturally grew up with a chip on their shoulders, hearing all the time about how Mom & Dad slapped the Japs and krushed the Krauts, and resenting that they didn’t have the opportunity to have their moment in the sun like that.
And now, for nearly thirty years, they’ve been trying to soak up that sunshine as much as possible. They revel in being in charge, they fetishize their media, their culture, their history as a late salvo in a generational war they’re still fighting with their parents. So, when Boomers on the radio wring their hands and wonder why the youth aren’t following their hallowed examples, the answer is simple:
We don’t care.
This isn’t our fight, and we don’t care to be a part of it. We have other things to worry about, thank you very much. You can hem and haw and rage against the dying of your light as much as you want, but it won’t change the fact that we just don’t, and can’t care about your life as much as you do. Sorry, but if you wanted us to revere you more you shouldn’t have crashed the economy.