I sat smoking---considering---pontificating---caffeinating----pondering--my generation, the boomers, into the late last night. I began to consider the positive and the negative of what we have created, destroyed or sidestepped...as a hivemind. Of what i was proud and of what i am ashamed....both lists were absurdly long---i was disturbed to find that many items on the list were of both categories----we both produced John Lennon and we killed him? The lists were simply too long to bring into any type of proper channel for effective consideration as a whole. This project became sort of the chain link death match hillbilly wrestling event for my brain....back and forth and back and forth---i ran mentally-----therefore i picked two items positive and negative that i think (this is of course totally personal and not subject to any type of science whatsoever) are the single most important success and failure of my generation. Although viewed as a simple requirement this created a complete brainpan reboot...i had to remove items that i felt may have naturally occurred with or without-- the unskilled labor in the dark--production of we boomers---and narrow down the possibilities to those two that would have the greatest impact on both the world platform and our specific national society. so here we stand........
As always the human animal requires that we observe failure first...Winston Churchill said that "the American people can be counted on to do right, once every other alternative has been attempted..." So failure first....There was a brief moment during my generation's youth movement...when the possibility of actually reshaping American society and the effects of capitalism on it were possible. My generation in it's youth wanted to eliminate the accepted, work at any and all personal costs philosophy----demanded viable, creative work----demanded peace---demanded a government responsible to provide real, true social services instead of weapons development....we took a stab at communal living within a rather large back to the land movement....made the first stab at solar power, responsible architecture, permaculture, human crafting, free knowledge, and governing by consensus. Most of all let us not forget that marijuana was really, really OK within our boomer philosophy.....The most frightening thing, in my opinion, to the government as a whole, both parties, the status quo, in regards to the changes demanded by the baby boomers in the 60's and 70's was this wish to reshape society and government ---killing off the "man in the gray flannel suit' concept of life. This simply could not be allowed to happen--in the eyes of those who controlled our society....We were required as human tools----not human beings----so they bought us off with the gordon gecko, greed is good, the late 70's and early 80's generational bribe was offered to us...and the greatest failure of my generation is that we agreed...to accept this bribe..... we were easily purchased into wasting our lives and destroying our society by assisting through any means necessary, and actively pursuing, cannibalistic capitalism at any and all costs. We went from moon baby to soccer mom....artist to advertising---from dormitory dealers to voters demanding urine testing for 7-11 clerks----like an immoral customs inspector we continued to allow bad fruit into our home markets and we accepted this bribe with a smile on our face...we built McMansions instead of viable housing, SUV's instead of trains, walmarts instead of community markets...we failed miserably at building a mature, humanistic society to pass along to those who follow. This is especially painful due to the fact that we had the chance both as youths and then again when we came to power as adults....twice the failure, twice the shame. Please consider the multiple, multiple spin-off failures from our singular failure on this issue---Just consider that we, my generation, once we attained maturity, chose George Bush II as our leader and shudder at the thought----these spin offs are literally frightening when one begins to list the results---we could have done great things within our society, we could had done great things for our people and--we failed. I apologize.
The concept of the greatest success in regards to the future, the world and the best result of the actions of the 76 million members of my generation was very,very tough to settle on.....(please check the disclaimers) A huge number of possibles were on my mental checklist--but i made myself push only one button....and that is simply: the acceptance of the personal computer.
Pause for a moment and consider that the boomers embraced the personal computer....oh computing would have survived within the government and science...great huge machines crunching numbers for purposes known only to the Dr.Strangelove's of the world....but our success as a generation was accepting the possibility of the personal computer and the enormous change cycles which spun out of this acceptance....from changing access to information, to gaming,to the cellphone, to laptops to smartphones, to smart mobs, to the future of implanted human computing capability....The embrace of computing by baby boomers with their purchasing power, insured success, growth and experimentation of personal computing power throughout the world. Without the boomer embrace of personal computing global warming would still be hidden from us...other cultures would not have been able to leapfrog old tech to new tech--simply think of the expanse of knowledge you personally own thanks to individual computing and then pause, for this expansion of personal knowledge could easily not have happened... many of the great minds who created personal computing were of my fathers generation, yet it was the baby boom geeks,nerds,hackers, the gates's--the job's, phone phreaks, outcasts, stewart brand hanger-oners----who turned personal computing into a world wide institution against all actual odds and then were followed by the power of 76 million people wanting simply connection and expansion of knowledge---the great masses of boomers could have said 'so what' about personal computing---but did not. The mass culture of the previous generation did not grab onto computing thinking it fit only for science and geniuses.....my generation said that we wanted personal computing for the freedom, for the communication, for the fun, for the power, for the sheer uselessness of it, and truthfully to lose ourselves in the embrace of the net after a hard day of selling out based on our failure discussed above....my belief is that if my generation did one thing that changed the world totally and forever---it was the embrace of personal computing power and the refusal of the refusal of the unknown.If i asked this question to all 76 million baby boomers--- name the greatest success and greatest failure of our generation----- i would get 76 million differing answers....all probably based on personality....for we are a personality based generation. I'll say i tried to keep my personality out of my answers but without a doubt i failed....you must know however it is not too late to correct any failure we might list out---it's never too late to make things right---it's never to late to say we were wrong---it's never too late until we are gone------