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Thursday, January 01, 2015

THE LOST GENERATION

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.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

All trials in the first two weeks of January result in convictions. I agree.

Anonymous said...

Happy Meal Toys are the greatest as are their fries.

Anonymous said...

I think you have your generation labeling a bit screwed-up. I'm in my early 60's, and my parents helped win WWII, not my grandparents.

Baby Boomers are the children of the so-called "Greatest Generation," not their grandchildren.

Anonymous said...

what about motions in the first two weeks of january?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like what Rumpole is saying is that Baby Boomers are not taking care of their elderly parents.

Anonymous said...

If you go to many places where people are required to work on holidays (firefighters, hospitals, etc) you find the 'family' people working on New Years Day. That's so they can be at home on Christmas with their family. The young single people, high school/college kids want New Years Day off to recover from the partying but don't mind as much working Christmas so they can actually get away from family for a bit.

The older family people are usually not out partying all night for New Year's so will trade to work Jan 1 in order be home for Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Great post, provocative , insightful and stirring.

Anonymous said...

As for 10:18's "Insights" regarding Sr. Citizens dropping fries to make ends meet on New Years Day:

Dear God - please tell me this isn't the thought process of the new generation gracing our hallways.



Anonymous said...

Zzzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

No playoff post? WTF...

Anonymous said...

Goodbye Steelers. Go Ravens. Beat the Pats.

Anonymous said...

Woohoo, It's 10:18 here, I'm 52 years old and I've just been called part of the 'new' generation!

Oh, and 11:54, my 78 year old mother, who has more money than you and me and Rumpole combined, worked New Years day at her job as a cashier at a local diner because she wakes up early anyway and had no reason not to go to work.
She lives in a place similar to The Palace down here, and lots of her friends and neighbors have jobs that you would probably consider beneath you. And they don't do it for the money.

Anonymous said...

Hey 10:18 --
11:54 here....
I stand corrected. Yes I ASSumed incorrectly - that your explanations were merely the product of youthful, privileged ignorance. I was wrong, at least for the "youthful" part.

Your assertion that Mom's pals enjoy hourly wages that I must consider "beneath me" is curious. I scrubbed toilets at midnite to pay for law school (yes, while employed as a lawyer in the REGB)
News flash - Santa isn't real & Mom might just be trying to soften the blow a bit (like good Moms always do).

Jefferson Knight said...

Very simple. The economy stinks, and has stunk for years. The president's economic policies are miserable failures. Zero interest rates prop up a segment of the economy, but also mean nobody can retire. Not (at all) long ago if you had a million bucks you could live quite comfortably on the interest. Not now, and not for a few years now. Ergo, people gotta keep working.