We edge ever closer to Tuesday's general election and I'm wondering what will be in our newspapers after all the letters to the editor and the multi-column analyses have been printed or on our televisions when the last commercial has faded to black. My interest is more casual than those who own printing presses and broadcast towers but is semi-sincere nevertheless because that's just the kind of guy I am.
Actually, I'm not alone as that guy. Me and my Casual Cohorts are about thisclose to our last hurrah in terms of politics, perhaps, on the national stage. For those of us who put the boom in the term Baby Boomer, the time for surrendering the place of preference in terms of national priorities has arrived in more ways than we may care to think about.
Those born in the nearly two decades spanning 1946 through 1964 have had our moment and more than a little of those who came after us, for quite some time. Despite Andy Warhol, on the night the clocks all quit and the government failed, it turned out the next generation of Americans didn't wear so many of them or wear them so often. I pick up phones to hear my history-I think of all the calls I've missed.
My generation were the folks who got our brains bashed in by Mayor Richard Daley's cops in Chicago in 1968 as we chanted 'the whole world is watching' (but it wasn't). We elevated hallucinogenic drugs to a leisure-time religion (Dear Groucho and Karl, opiates are the opiates of the masses and Catholics go to Mass). It gave us something to do while listening to tens of thousands of folks whose music, politely put, was unlistenable without the assistance of pharmaceuticals.
It was/is my generation who, in a history yet to be written, may be judged guilty of reverse engineering what we once upon a time called the American Way of Life and Values System so that hard work was ridiculed while hedonism became the Greatest Good.
My parents' generation produced Jonas Salk, who found a cure for polio. What should my generation take credit for? Platform shoes, pogs, AIDS and crack? Would seem to be Game, Set, and Match. As we prepare to become the people we strove to avoid for decades and turn over to our children, and theirs, a world so worn that many of its promises have patches on their patches, we'll have the rest of our lives to ponder the gap between the promise and our performance. Hillary or Donald, the lesser of two weasels.
And we'll work to NEVER have to ever answer perhaps the sole remaining question, "did you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?"