Talkin’ bout…

My Generation, The Baby Boomers, is the best-documented generation in history. We are the visible evidence of the outburst of Loving, an affirmation of living, which greeted the end of darkness and inhumanity of WWII. We, the Baby Boomers, are our parents saying yes to life. Our stories are varied, yet a thread of commonality runs through them all. A thread that seems to show a force at work on us; the tidal pull of a third wave building.

My Generation has changed the face of our culture with its every permutation, if only by sheer numbers. We are the generation of Rock N’ Roll, the Love generation of Vietnam, the generation of Disco, the Computer generation; and who knows what changes we will go through before we become the largest geriatric population the world has ever known. And with all the piercings and tattoos, there are going to be some UNIQUE old folks.

Too much of history becomes sanitized until we have a feeling of inadequacy to stand our lives against the giants that lived during former ages. From the pasteurized accounts of their times, we perceive them as purer than ourselves.  We picture everyone alive during the Revolutionary War period as being a brave patriot consumed with a desire for Independence; we tend to lose the Loyalists, profiteers, and indifferents.

Or worse a period or a people undergoes a form of cultural censorship that decides to delete certain “unpleasant ” details to keep from giving an “inaccurate” picture, i.e. one that would be embarrassing in later ages that did not share similar cultural norms.  We know Sir Isaac Newton the scientist and mathematician, but we don’t teach about his works in alchemy any more. We tend to picture all ages as being our own with minor changes in costume, only somehow more elevated from the human condition while maintaining our prejudices and attitudes.

   God cannot alter the past but historians can.   –Samuel Butler

  Truth exists; only falsehood has to be invented.  –Georges Braque

 Unfailingly, humans pity their ancestors for being so ignorant and forget that their descendants will pity them for the same thing.  – Edward Harrison

  Seeing is deceiving.  It’s eating that’s believing.  –James Thurber

Great changes happened when My Generation came onto the stage in force; yet already as I peruse the information on the generation that generated the Information Age, little I see fits the story of the changes as I knew them.  My proposal is to tell the story of a small sliver of My Generation as it was experienced by myself. Make of it what you will.

Patrick Edmondson 1996

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