Boomers – One of These Is Not Like the Other
Bill Quick

I May Be 50, but Don’t Call Me a Boomer – NYTimes.com

There is no baby boom generation.

Oh, sure, there was a baby boom: a neatly defined, pig-in-the-python bulge from 1946 to 1964. But the kind of broadly shared cultural experiences that could bind together people across that whole span? That just didn’t happen.

This year the youngest of the baby boomers — the youngest, mind you — turn 50. I hit that milestone a few months back. But we aren’t what people usually have in mind when they talk about boomers. They mean the early boomers, the postwar cohort, most of them now in their 60s —not us later boomers, labeled “Generation Jones” by the writer Jonathan Pontell.

A smart article that says exactly what I’ve been saying for decades now.  Lumping an early Boomer like me (born in 1946) with a late Boomer like Barack Obama (born in 1961) is insane.  We have almost no shared cultural experiences, or, in fact, any of the experiences that usually bind a generation together.

Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

Comments

Boomers – One of These Is Not Like the Other — 6 Comments

  1. I was born in 1963 and have never considered myself a Boomer. I seem to recall as a child that the Boomer period ended around 1961. Somehow, magically, that end date got moved past my birthday, for reasons that escape me.

  2. As I recall, if you go with the Strauss & Howe model of generations the lines are drawn in a slightly different place because they demarcate generations based on experience and not demographic bulges. One of the places this makes a difference is the division between the Boomers and GenX/13ers. Strauss & Howe make 1961 the dividing line, so someone like Physics Geek would be considered a GenXer, not a Boomer.

    I have no generational confusion. I was born in 1971, in the exact middle of GenX. For me, there is no escape.

  3. PG, you’re right. I, too, was born in 1963 and used to be an X-er. Sometime in the mid-1990s I became a boomer. I always assumed it had something to do with marketing or AARP working to boost its political clout.

  4. Anybody born from 1960 onward has no cultural claim to being a Boomer. The primary cultural ties of the generation – Vietnam, sex, drugs, rock, and revolution -(for or against, these were the battle lines) had all been settled or gone well past their sell-by date by 1973, when these “late Boomers” were finally reaching an age where the could participate in any of them.

    • The primary cultural ties of the generation … sex

      The Boomers saw The Pill and its attendant Free Love.

      My generation saw AIDS making the news, and its attendant “keep it in your pants”. I can’t help but feel ripped off.

  5. SteveF and Kyle, I’m glad that I remembered correctly. I distinctly remembered being a Gen-Xer (whatever that means) in the 1980s and then magically becoming a Boomer in the 1990s.

    The Boomers saw The Pill and its attendant Free Love.

    My generation saw AIDS making the news, and its attendant “keep it in your pants”. I can’t help but feel ripped off.

    Dude, I was a physics major. I would have been keeping it in my pants in any generation. And not by choice, I might add. Trust me when I tell you that telling a coed you’re a physics major is better birth control than the pill.