For reasons we cannot explain here, we found ourselves on New Years Day, in, of all establishments, a McDonalds, in a bland mid-western state.
A woman with a shock of white hair who was in her mid-sixties greeted us. Behind her, a stooped, old man ran the French-fryer. When we sat down (we didn't eat any food- pure poison) an old woman, bent over with gnarled hands was running a mop on the floor in desolate strokes.
What happened to high-school students getting their first job at McDonalds? Now it seems that seniors are turning to McDonalds to survive, and not just for meals.
Their parents were the greatest generation, and their children are the baby-boomers and gen-X and Gen-Y'ers. .
The greatest generation fought and won two world wars and twice saved Europe.
Their grandchildren- the Baby Boomers, were born into a world that would soon see men on the moon. Boomers grew up watching the world explode in civil rights marches, the deaths of John and Martin and Bobby. Their parents might have caught the Korean war or the Vietnam war, and neither resulted in a victory. Baby-Boomers went to college in droves and became doctors and lawyers and financiers, and their children and grandchildren ushered in the communication and tech age-financed by the Boomers. Sandwiched in-between the success of two world wars and the micro-chips and digital technology, the lost generation struggled to what now seems an inglorious end.
Does greatness skip a generation?
It's not fair to disparage a generation, and in fact we aren't disparaging our parents generation. What we are doing is recognizing that they are they people left standing without a chair when the music stopped. Their generation killed two Kennedys and MLK. They elected Nixon and re-elected him, although his hands were caught in the Watergate till, and then they dumped Ford for Carter, and that's where it stood until the majority of Baby-Boomers came of age and dumped Carter for Reagan.
They smoked and drank and ushered in fast food, diet soda, and became the sickest generation, as their health care costs are partly responsible for sinking them into poverty.
You can start the emails with their accomplishments- and we won't deny them. But overall, and maybe it's just the start of the New Year blues in a cold, desolate environment- but this generation seems lost and sad.
The saddest generation?
Court starts anew Monday, and if you have listened to our warnings over the years, you will remain safely ensconced in your office. Trials on the first week are a no-no.
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