I sometimes get confused when reading articles that starts with generation names. Articles like “Gen Z Found To Contain Twice as Many Nincompoops As Millenials.” My problem is remembering who is in which. So when I went looking for definitions and found this swell graphic I was a happy man. For instance, this way I can tell who is a nincompoop without needing to listen to them at all. This saves me an enormous amount of time.
A couple of evenings ago when a man who according to the table is clearly in Gen X was complaining about “boomers” … if I’d had this graphic handy I could have asked him to clarify … are you talking about Boomers I or Boomers II as being the cause of all the misfortunes of the world going back to the Pleistocene and beyond?
The particular rant that my friend was on had to do with two things, the creation of the phenomenon we refer to as “the suburbs” and the huge mega-homes build by “boomers” that sucked up too much of the world’s resources when they were built and may now be headed for the real estate dust-heap.
I could have mentioned to him that those McMansions he was incensed about were built by the the five percenters and above, and those folks really have historically never been members of any generation but themselves. They were neither “Boomers” nor “Gen Z-ers” but very wealthy people doing their own unconscious thing, as always. But I didn’t. I know how much I hate to be interrupted by someone with facts in their hand when I am enjoying a good rant.
The creation of the suburbs may have been one of the worst ideas of the past hundred years, I don’t know. They made necessary the profusion of cars which now contribute so much to climate change. Necessary in that when we began to live farther from where we worked and shopped than we could get to easily by walking or bicycle or mass transit, we set ourselves up for many of the problems we are living with today.
Personally I don’t see so much difference between a person born in 1980 and 1981. Or 1946, for that matter. Oh there are huge differences in mores and fashions and familiarity with technology. But underlying it all we are still the same species that seems incapable of making constructive long-term decisions that will allow Earth, our only home, time to recover from our egregious mistakes. Succeeding generations keep on making their own errors all the while bemoaning what their elders have done.
I fully admit that writing this blog-thing is in some ways my substitute for being on a perpetual rant. I’ve been enabled in this by members of my species who come up to me from time to time and imply that what I have to say on any subject at all is more valuable because I can legally append the letters M.D. after my name if I choose. Each time this happens I think – of course you are right in my case, but if you only knew the number of dimbulbs that there are in medicine … .
Whenever I have to shop personally for medical care, I am reminded of an acquaintance who used to inspect restaurants for the Department of Health of the City of Minneapolis. One evening after he had shared some horror stories dealing with kitchens in eating establishments, I asked him:
“Walter, knowing what you do, where do you go out to eat?”
His answer was chilling:
“I don’t go out to eat.”
Something very ominous happened this morning. When I went to the New Yorker to browse their cartoon archive, they had removed the link to it from their website. Searching through this excellent storehouse of drawings has provided so many gems over the years that now to be denied access … what to do?
I suspect strongly that there is a multitude of petty criminals like myself that have been pilfering from the New Yorker over the years, and that the magazine is trying at long last to find a way to monetize this.
In the meantime, I must keep calm and carry on. Frankly, if it weren’t for the cartoons, I’m not sure that even I would read this blog.
Recently a friend asked me why I so rarely put any classical musical selections on my blog. The answer is quite simple, actually. Ignorance.
First of all, I am a musical parasite. I don’t play an instrument, don’t read music, and have no skills in this area than those required to turn knobs and flick switches. But at least in genres like pop music, rock, and the blues I have a rudimentary knowledge of the subject.
When it comes to classical music, there is only the most pathetic handful of pieces that I recognize, mostly those on the dramatic side. I know that Beethoven went deaf, that Bach could have used some help from a family planning clinic, and that Mozart was writing concertos with one hand while still breast feeding with the other. Other than that … a vacuum.
Keeping this disclaimer in mind, here is one of those classical musical pieces that I enjoy. From an opera, no less.
From The New Yorker
I live with the Queen of Peeps. When I saw the following cartoon I had to post it.
The wind continues to dominate our local weather picture. That, and the drought. We lost a few shingles from our home a few days back to a gust, and yesterday the air was a sort of light tan color because of the dust it contained. Last night some raindrops fell, so little moisture that if you were writing a letter outdoors you could easily have shielded it with your hand until the “storm” passed.
You probably read that this past week the water level in Lake Mead fell so low that barrel containing a murder victim was revealed. The interesting thing was that an official was quoted as saying that they expected more of these unfortunates to surface as the lake continues to decline. Not the sort of thing you want to find on the beach when you’re on vacation, n’est-ce pas?
Mother shouting to children from her cabana: “Kids, don’t play with that barrel. You don’t know where it’s been … or who might be in there.”