Divide & Conquer, Part 2: Boomers v. The Youngs

What was then called the Generation Gap was a feature of my own youth. Was it driven by mainstream media? Hard to say for certain, but we experienced it viscerally as a culture gap with our WW2 or Korean war veteran fathers and our housewife mothers. The draft that condemned 58,000 young men to die and thousands more to suffer a lifetime of moral injury over terrorizing and slaughtering millions in Vietnam drove the disconnect between our generation and theirs. This spilled over into negative attitudes toward “the Establishment” in general and the government in particular (which attitudes, incidentally, eliminated the viability of the draft in the U.S.).

Today’s Boomer v. Zoomer, or Millennial, or Gen X, is a different divide. Mostly, it’s economic.

For example, a poverty draft is what replaced the “universal” draft, and the desire to pay for a college education is a very common reason young people give for enlisting in the military today.

The boomers who tuned in, turned on, and dropped out often did so cushioned by family money. I’ll always be grateful to an artist friend who heard my millennial teenager say he wanted to live like the artists who moved to the country and spent all day in their studios. Friend to my son: “We had trust funds.”

Other boomers invented the derivatives they used to get rich while crashing the housing market in 2008. Some become obscenely wealthy investing in information technology that drove the boom that preceded the bust. 

Boomers got college educations with loans we could easily pay off, we bought houses with incomes from full time jobs with lavish perks and benefits, and younger generations got the crumbs of that. They are often disparaged by oldsters because they evince no loyalty to the corporations who exploit them and toss them aside. Retiring after decades of service with a comfortable pension is rare nowadays outside the upper echelons of management.

Most working families today have two full time jobs, astronomic child care costs, and a rent or mortgage payment that is staggering. Add health care that is unaffordably out of reach for many youngs, plus a climate emergency rampaging out of control, and its easy to see why respecting their elders is not in the cards for young people today.

Today, boomers are generally considered to be more racist, more selfish, and ruder than everyone else. 

Some of this is undoubtedly true, while some of it is perception. I remember a family dinner where the millennials were unpacking #MeToo and one of the males opined that it was payback for boomers being dicks and proud of it. His wife responded, “You think I’ve never been sexually harrassed by someone our age?”

How much generational conflict is driven by mass media in 2022? Quite a lot. Type in the search term “boomers v.” and get 15 million hits.

The oligarchs who own and operate corporate media would far rather have young people resenting the boomers as a group than eating the specifically rich ones. 

Did I mention that slogans like “eat the rich,” and images like guillotines, are common in spaces where younger people congregate?

A very interesting generational divide has been the steady movement away from binary gender identification. My grandmother bemoaned the fact that hippy long hairs made it so her generation couldn’t tell the boys from the girls (really? I could). Now, boomers crack jokes like the one above. But younger generations are on to something: the need to reject the mind control of false dichotomies that begin at birth with gender assignment.

Ultimately, the U.S. war of generations reflects the absurd situation families are in: it takes a village to raise a child, and the nuclear family is no substitute. After covid took an ax to already inadequate child care structures, working mothers especially are struggling.

Who can blame them if many don’t want to have children at all?

Boomers, that’s who.

U.S. Empire Rapidly Losing Consent Of The Governed

Let’s start by admitting that the U.S. empire never had the consent of the governed in places like OkinawaRamsteinManagua, or Vicenza

What it did have: imperial servants who made possible the soft and hard coups that enabled 800+ military bases in other nations. Also, a rapidly metastisizing NATO.

Such is the nature of empires. Or, as the State Department weasel word experts would have it, “The U.S. government works to advance U.S. interests in Nicaragua by helping the country increase its prosperity, security, and democratic governance.” Uh huh.

The U.S. used to have the consent of most of the white people it governed in North America. This was back when home ownership and health care were not out of reach for full time workers.

But, while WW3 looms as the military-industrial complex “solution” to eroding U.S. hegemony, the Biden administration is rapidly losing that consent on several fronts.

Losing the consent of the governed, health care dept.

For-profit health care is an oxymoron and millions have died too young as a result of the greedy medical profiteers who own and operate the U.S. government. 

The architect of U.S. failure to contain a pandemic still killing 400 people a day just announced he is retiring at 81 — with a net worth of about $10 million. From a career in public service? Give me a break. 

A subscriber-only piece on Patreon by Jack Mirkinson, “Good Riddance to Anthony Fauci,” argues convincingly that, “The worship of Fauci feels like the ultimate triumph of vibes over reality.” Because all the blather about how we had to vote blue no matter who to get a bad, science-denying president out of office had Democrats rejoicing that now the U.S. would “follow the science” and, with Fauci able to lead, get our deadly pandemic mismanagement under control.

We see how well that has worked out.

Number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths worldwide as of August 15, 2022, by country 



Find more statistics at Statista

Or maybe you prefer to compare per capita rates, which take into account total population? The U.S. has 10.37 deaths per million residents. By contrast, Japan, another capitalist state that miraculously also maintains a robust public health system, has 0.94 covid deaths per million. Canada, with demographics and culture more comparable to the U.S., has a rate of 4.03.

But statistics can lie, so what about the anecdotal evidence my Twitter feed is chock full of? So many posts noting that, where public health and commerce are in conflict, commerce prevails. And when it comes to commerce, Weapons R U.S.!

As the next pandemic looms, we hear that tiny and heavily sanctioned Cuba — which has one of the most successful public health programs on the planet — already has measures in place to protect its people from simian smallpox (aka monkey pox). The U.S. has a few vaccines and not much else.

Back to Fauci-land:

Losing the consent of the governed, economic dept.

Medical debt in the U.S. is a huge factor detrimental to personal wealth. It’s part of what makes us so exceptional. You think Japanese and Canadian people lose their homes to mortgage default when they can’t pay for cancer treatments?

That’s been the sad case for decades now, but recently the Biden administration’s sanctions on any country not helping with the proxy war on Russia have taken an ax to global economic structures.

This has Europe reeling from double digit inflation, only kept below 10% in the U.S. by a gas tax holiday contributing mightily to the hottest northern hemisphere summer ever.

It has also led to to a stampede away from the dollar as a medium of global exchange. Maybe the warhawks who love to wield economic sanctions didn’t really think this one through?

Meanwhile the Biden administration is roundly scorned for failing to pass universal health care or even Build Back Better, failing to forgive student loans as promised, and passing a climate bill that benefits fossil fuel and electric car corporations. Oh, and a rider extended the Unaffordable Care Act and will allow Medicare to negotiate prices of a paltry ten medicines several years from now. Too little, too late.

All the puff piece journalism lauding this “win” for Democrats — who won’t even protect the most basic medical rights of those of childbearing age elected them for — exemplifies why the U.S. public is also rapidly losing the last shreds of trust in corporate media.

Losing the consent of the governed, police state dept.

Forget the FBI at Mar-a-Lago. The loss of faith in police nationwide is accelerating steadily. Evidence? Search on Twitter for the term “suspended” and see what pops up. The recent worst in a sea of brutality:

People of color knew all along that this shit happened to their loved ones with little accountability. Now, because phone videos are everywhere, white people know it too.

Cue the Biden administration’s budget requests for FY23: $37 billion for 100,000 additional police officers, and even more transfers of used military equipment from the Pentagon to municipal police departments.

“New York police officers beating protesters with batons on May 30 [2020].¬† Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images” Source:¬†Vox.com

Because when you’re rapidly losing the consent of the governed, who you gonna call?