I don’t feel quite as strongly as mistermix here but I do get pretty tired of the artificial distinctions that people put up to convince themselves they’re more important, accomplished, or etc. than the out-group. I remember reading about the time when America rose up as one to defend Europe and the World Itself against Nazi aggression simply because it was the right thing to do. We didn’t argue with each other for years about whether or not providing arms was sufficient support; we simply jumped right in with both feet–and not coincidentally they happened to land on Hitler’s nuts–guns ablaze and all that. Oh wait, I’m sorry; what I meant to say is that if I remembered reading that all the ass-kissing might make more sense.
Seriously though: I’m not trying to denigrate their sacrifices, but glossing over the ugly details serves to benefit nothing other than our national ego and I sorta resent the implication that the current generation pales in comparison. Really, old-timers? Even though we continue to have a viable all-volunteer army pushing a decade after we went to war for no reason whatsoever* while we were already in the middle of fighting another unwinnable war? Don’t give me that shit. Thanks for your service Gramps, don’t get me wrong; just please don’t go trying to look down your nose at my generation.
One of the most interesting turnarounds in media attitudes in the last couple of decades is their take on the role of the elderly. In the sixties and seventies, newspapers and magazines churned out endless thumbsuckers about “The Generation Gap”, which was a major divide and challenge for our nation, existing as it did between the Baby Boomers’ enlightened views on a new, freer society and the stodgy, grey and stifling world of their parents. The Gap was the reason that kids had taken to the streets to protest, and unless those old people got out of the fucking way, man, America was in danger of being torn apart by generational conflict.
As the Boomers aged and became parents, the Gap magically disappeared. Instead of being The Man always keeping the Boomers down, their parents became the venerated Greatest Generation. Without their wholesome values of hard work and sacrifice, we’d have never been able to crush Hitler or nuke Tojo, and the post-war boom that they singlehandedly created is a halcyon time the likes of which this country will never see again.
These are probably just the bitter words of someone who grew up immediately after the Boomers and is sick of their constant and excessive self-regard, but I think this Greatest Generation horseshit is just another Boomer tactic for remaining the center of attention. It’s no coincidence that the older generation has gone from an impediment to a subject of irrational worship just as the Boomers have gotten old.