Friday, February 06, 2004

Lileks is wrong

I know it doesn't happen often, but it did this week.

Please no. I think I speak for millions when I say that I am deathly sick of the counterculture sixties. The music, the war, the protests, all the hagiography - it's not a reflection of the era’s importance but the self-importance of the generation who hung on the bus as it trundled along down the same old rutted road of history.. I’m tired of hearing about the boomers’ days of whine and neuroses; I’m weary of ritual genuflection to their musical icons; I’m utterly disinterested in most of the pop-cult trivia they hold so dear. We’ll probably be better off when that demographic pig has been excreted from the python so we can see the era clearly without choking on the smoke.

First of all, the 60s had plenty of crap music just like any decade. And plenty of it is over-praised. (Personally, i could live without ever hearing another Beatles song). But Hendrix is the real deal. If he is an icon, he deserves to be. Go pick on a more deserving target.

Second, Lileks is using a pretty broad brush. Yeah, some boomers are nostalgic for the protests. But it is always helps to remember that the guys in the rice paddies were mostly baby boomers. As are most of the generals you see on TV commanding the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. But Abby Hoffman and Jerry Rubin were not boomers.

When all the boomers are dead, Lileks still won't get to see the era clearly. Sixties nostalgia isn't a generational thing; it is also political. If you are anti-military today, you think it is really cool that 500,000 people once marched on the Pentagon. There are millions of boomers who never thought it was cool then.

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