Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

It's time to rechristen the baby boom generation

Its one thing to hedge, lie, to shave a few years off your age. It's quite another for an entire generation to live in a state of Peter Pan/Benjamin Button delusional suspension.

This widespread "Forever Young" attachment is irresponsible. It comes in no small part from the lingering use of that accursed "Baby Boom Generation" misnomer.

It's an impractical badge to call anyone past the age of 60 a baby. Really. Unless we're thinking of adult diapers.

So without "baby," we're left with "boomer." Stacked up against cooler identifications like "the Me Gen" and "GenZero," it doesn't cut much colloquial mustard. It strikes oddly, sounding as though a quarter of America's population is being introduced at a Texas high school football game. "Please welcome . . . the battling Boomers!"

The (Fill-in-the-Blank) Generation's motto needs enough gravitas to step into rank between "The Greatest Generation" and "Gen X."

There is movement among some toward reinvoking "Golden" or "Golden Age" status, and though either "the Golden Arches Generation" or "Gold Card Carriers" would assert historic continuity and convenient corporate sponsorship, there's still that tricky Bea Arthur/Estelle Getty issue to resolve.

Admittedly, none of these suggested appellations truly capture the rollicking self-absorption of the generation that saw the moon landing at Woodstock, followed Jane Fonda into Lycra and today dreams of escaping foreclosure. Something like "That Oh So SPECIAL! Generation" perhaps?

Or given that so many are still among or re-entering the workforce, perhaps "the Geri-Actives Generation"?

Whatever we choose, it must inspire. It must serve as springboard, must adhere to the present day's "No Senior Left Behind Or Insulted" sensitivities.

For that, we need an acceptable model. A fashionable template. Thankfully, we have this generation's one indelible legacy — televised sports — from which to draw inspiration. From Gillette's Friday Night Boxing to the Super Bowl's extravaganza and endless cable "sports" for really bored viewers, we've a plethora of ideally suited terms.

Think of it. When asked their age, this sports-oriented crowd will warm instantly to describing themselves as "Marathoning the Years."

Why confess to being a porch rocker when it sounds so much more exciting to be "Entering the Third Quarter"? Or "Living Out That Seventh Inning Stretch"?

And, isn't there dramatic frisson in telling your Denny's server to expedite that Grand Slam because you're already "Playing In Overtime"?

Peter Mikelbank is a freelance writer living in Paris.

It's time to rechristen the baby boom generation 12/22/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 1:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries

    Blogs

    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  3. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.
  5. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.