To the editors:
Re: The July 31st article "Boomed Out."
I think the last line in the third paragraph of Julie Phillips's adolescent tirade sums up the author perfectly and I quote: "I know as much as I care to know," and you know it all, don't you Jules?
Your bitter stabs at what people in their thirties and forties look like, your reference to wrinkle creams and jogging, are below the belt remarks aimed at a generation of people of whom you appear to be extremely jealous.
My entire family is comprised of baby-boomer children from my 28-year-old younger brother, a professional newspaper photographer, to my eldest sister, a 41-year-old professional writer. I turned 32 last week. I manage a retail store and I'm an artist and none of us are interested in wrinkle creams, "beemers," or mid-life crises.
When you keep referring to "you" in your article, I can't tell if it's the "editorial you" or the seemingly insufferable jerks you're choosing to hang out with. I know none of my friends drink wine coolers or talk about the nonsense you're moaning about.
If, however, you're referring to a generation that's being represented through commercials and other forms of media--get used to it kiddo, because it's going to be us until the day we die.
Yes, we will be considered the first, last, and only adolescents on the planet and we're going to continue to be talked about, written about, and consulted on everything forever and ever. Why? Because this entire country is controlled by advertising. Advertising is based on the largest market share, i.e., "target group"--and guess what princess--that's us.
There are more of us than any other age group. We buy more in sheer numbers alone, not to mention the jobs we've cleverly created for ourselves and struggle to keep every day. These jobs create the necessary capital to fuel this advertising machine.
The reason there are so many of us is because we represented something to our parents. Our parents fought World War II or stayed home and made airplanes and planted victory gardens. After they won the war, our parents were tired of killing, dying, and death in general--thus, we were created.
Our generation is the phoenix--we rose from the ashes of our parents' war. We represented to them life, creation, and sweet liberty. They fought for freedom, and they created us to bask in it, use it, and protect it. Thanks to them we've been living life to the fullest every minute.
Sure, we did Woodstock, we did drugs, we probably created AIDS, we rebelled, we protested. We made the abhorrence of the Vietnam war so obvious that we ended it. We forced the grand old men of Watergate to appear on television and admit their lies, or look bad hiding them, so that now you're privy to the contra-aid hearings. It's much harder to get away with anything now.
We also elected Reagan--we know now we made a mistake, but at the time we thought Carter was a wimp--and we don't like wimps. Now we're cleaning up after Reagan because our generation has learned to take responsibility for our actions.
You see we take chances--live life--use it, revel in it--whether it's inventing music, art, lifestyles or political events, at least we're rocking the boat and tipping it upright again when it goes over.
If you sense that we hold a certain disdain for you and your generation Julie it's not because of your "kooky" hairstyles, androgynous pallor or penchant for wearing black, it's not because you listen to unbearably mediocre music or even because you still take drugs.
No Julie, it's not because you're so basically boring, it's because your generation is so totally unoriginal. Everything you do is a watered down, surfacey version of what my generation did, but with no substance to back it up.
My generation has taken care of a lot of things for you--we've paved the way for you. We've proven that a number of things are really stupid--taking drugs, indiscriminate unsafe sex, and being dishonest for example. But what you haven't learned is that being a lazy whining complaining brat is not only stupid but very annoying.
Listening to you is like listening to myself when I was 15. Of course when I was 15 I hadn't gleaned the skill of completing a total thought process which is where the word "thoughtless" comes from; a word that seems rather apt in your case.
My advice to you is to stop whining and start living. Think up something new, would you? The strain of being original and doing so much of the thinking and the living is probably why my generation is settling down and having kids of our own. I guess we'll have to teach them to live life and probably to clean up after the mess your generation makes, and of course they'll do it in an original, thoughtful way.
So Julie, I'm sorry you're bored--I know I'm not and I'm very proud to be a member of the generation you so desperately wish you were a part of. It must be terrible to be left out of all the creativity--but then, that's something I can only imagine.
Margi Ann Lake
PS: I haven't a clue as to where I was when JFK was shot--but I'll never forget the picture of his son saluting his father's casket.