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Back to the gardening

June 01, 2008

Re "Why don't you all f-fade away?," Opinion, May 25

I turn 60 this year. I had a wonderful time when I was younger, but I don't pine for Woodstock, nor for my few years of commune life, nor for the pot plants I tried to sneakily grow on a back porch.

I do not celebrate silly memorials like Jim Morrison's death. He was just a singer.

I never thought my generation was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Only the media said that. I know our sheer numbers fascinated people following World War II. We did influence things during that economic boom. So what? Every generation changes things.

Life is a wild and wonderful ride. It is made more interesting because we are not all the same. I hope Meghan Daum gets over her anger at all of us old folks. We think all of you are pretty cool. Peace.

B.J. Barrett

Los Angeles

Daum does not get it. The problem with the boomers' struggle is that we lost. We tried in vain to change the world.

Before you snicker, remember that our friends and classmates were being drafted and killed in Vietnam. Virtually no one went to a high school reunion without learning about kids who had died in the war.

Daum is correct that all this anniversary stuff is nonsense, or nostalgic puffery at best. What isn't nonsense is that the forces we hoped to defeat -- unnecessary wars, the power of big corporations, the ravaging of the planet, etc. -- have prevailed. I hope we -- Daum included -- make it to the 2050 anniversary date she teases about. I think it will take some luck.

One more thing: Our music is much better than your music.

Fred Belinsky

San Diego

It is too bad that Daum is so bored with 1968. Maybe if we were less dismissive of our history, we would not be in the mess we are in now.

Daum and her ilk grew up with the rights for which the boomers busted their behinds. If it wasn't for the activism of the boomers, Daum would be a secretary, not a writer, which was usually considered a man's job. She would be told what to wear to work, and sexual harassment would be merely the price of continued employment.

Her male children would be drafted into military service when they turned 18. Not only would abortion be illegal, so would birth control.

The foot soldiers for civil rights were baby boomer college students who spent their vacations registering African American voters and were thrown into Southern jails for their efforts. They took to the streets to protest the war in Vietnam and ended it.

We boomers are baffled by the inactivity of younger generations that have done nothing while this country engages in an unnecessary war, erodes our civil rights and saddles their children with debt.

Equally baffling is why people who are so complacent would refer to those who worked so hard and risked so much as self-indulgent.

Frances Longmire

Los Angeles

Generation X (as per Meghan Daum)

Requires a bit more Lebensraum!

With poisoned pen (and little humor,)

She blames it all upon the boomer!

What a pity: she's annoyed. Uh ...

Ha! ha! ha! (That's schadenfreude!)

Kevin Hoggard


Yes, it is cliche for Daum and Gen Xers to criticize the previous generation. Every generation has, probably going back forever. To assume that Gen Xers are the first to do so makes her as self-centered as she makes boomers out to be.

I just hope that Daum has a sense of humor when some Millennium Generation blogger writes the same piece on Gen Xers 15 years from now.

Tom van Otteren

Studio City

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