The Greatest Generation is a hard act to follow, as the name implies. They beat Hitler and the Great Depression. We Baby Boomers aren’t given a superlative like “next greatest,” “second best,” or even “distant third best.”
Based on our generation’s title, we aren’t noteworthy because of anything we’ve done, but only because our parents did us the favor of conceiving us, in the biological sense. I will not elaborate on this selfless act because: Eeeww.
They call us a “disillusioned” generation, which sounds like an insult, as in, “So, Boomer, what did your generation do, other than screw everything up?” I take “disillusioned” as a compliment. We gave up our illusions, so are dis-illusioned. By and large, we shed the illusions that “separate but equal” is fair, that race or gender can measure the value of a soul, and that the world’s resources are infinite. Also, in the plus column: rock ’n’ roll, SNL, and Monty Python.
Are you a Boomer, either by birth or inclination? Just as Jeff Foxworthy defined the criteria for being a redneck, there are subtle clues whether you are, or should have been, a Boomer:
If you get a response, “TMI,” to a text you sent, and you think, “What the heck does Three Mile Island have to do with this,” you might be a Boomer.
If you know the middle names of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter, without looking them up online, you might be a Boomer.
If you hear the advertising jingle, “I’d like to teach the world to sing” and picture a group of people on a hill, you might be a Boomer.
If you think of “avocado” as a color of cookware rather than something to spread on toast, you might be a Boomer.
If you see a James Dean movie and think, “He sure looks like James Franco,” you may not be a Boomer. But if you watch a James Franco movie and think, “He sure looks like James Dean,” you might be a Boomer.
If you saw a double feature movie at a drive-in, you’re probably a Boomer, or were taken there by a Boomer.
If, when you hear the 1812 Overture you think of breakfast cereal being shot out of cannons, you might be a Boomer.
If you saw the first Apollo moon landing live on TV, you’re almost certainly a Boomer. If you don’t believe it really happened, you are also almost certainly a Boomer.
If you still have Disney movies on VHS tapes, it’s quite likely you’re a Boomer, or got them from one.
Speaking of tapes, if you don’t know what an eight-track tape looks like, you’re probably not a Boomer, but don’t worry, you didn’t miss much.
If you can remember a world without Count Chocula, you’re a Boomer.
Are you a Boomer? Maybe a Pepper? Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?
For those stuck on the middle names, Louie@hmbreview.com reminds the reader: Baines, Milhous, Rudolph, and Earl.