Sunday, 13 July 2014

Demise of the baby boomers

But things of which we have not had a direct intuition, which we have learned only through other people, we have no longer any opportunity, the time has passed in which we could inform our heart of them; its communications with reality are suspended; and so we cannot profit by the discovery, it is too late.
Marcel Proust - À la recherche du temps perdu

Recent deaths among my contemporaries yet again remind me that we baby boomers are on the way out. Not just in terms of mortality because there are a few decades to go yet, but in terms of influence.

So what have we achieved, we baby boomers?

For my part I prefer not to make a list. From the EU to windmills, from house prices to taxes to political liars it’s not likely to be a cheery one. Unfortunately, Proust was right about the value of direct experience too.

As genuine hardship becomes a distant memory, it isn’t easy to see where the vitality to change things will come from. If there is no real need to better oneself, then surely the vitality sags. We see many things in modern Britain, but vitality is not one of them.

So maybe that’s what we’ve done, we baby boomers. We’ve sucked the dear old place dry.


Edward Spalton said...

With regard to influence of the baby boomer generation - I heard this comment at a meeting of a Eurosceptic sort by someone who studies these things in detail.

One of our number had commented on the absence of young people ( it was a weekday meeting during the working day).

Our expert pooh-poohed this. A large proportion of young people do not register to vote and, of those who do, relatively few bother to vote. In his opinion( informed by much stuffy) an older person would have approximately six times the voting weight of a younger one for these reasons.

Courage, mes braves! ( as Wogan might put it), we have the power to decide who rules - provided Lord Falconer's assisted suicide Bill doesn't allow them to kill us off quietly beforehand - before we selfishly spend the children's anticipated inheritance on continued survival.

Demetrius said...

This may be unkind and is certainly not personal, but to us who bred the baby boomers it seems that too many of them never really grew up.

A K Haart said...

Edward - you may be right, but do we make the best use of our greater tendency to vote? I can't see that we do, so what are younger people to make of it?

Maybe they see voting as pointless which isn't an easy standpoint to demolish.

Demetrius - I agree. I've thought that way for ages, but I'm not really sure why it is.

After the war our whole culture seemed to become somewhat infantile, and it wasn't only popular culture, although maybe that led the way.

James Higham said...

Popularized acid?

A K Haart said...

James - the trip seems to have been a long one.