April 13, 2008

The last boomer competition

"Between what your parents gave you to start with—genetically or culturally or financially—and pure luck, you play a small role in determining how long you live. And even if you add a few years through your own initiative, by doing all the right things in terms of diet, exercise, sleep, vitamins, and so on, why is that to your moral credit? Extending your own life expectancy is the most selfish motive imaginable for doing anything. Do it, by all means. I do. But for heaven’s sake don’t take a bow and expect applause.


The last boomer competition is not just about how long you live. It is also about how you die. This one is a “Mine is shorter than yours”: you want a death that is painless and quick. Even here there are choices. What is “quick”? You might prefer something instantaneous, like walking down Fifth Avenue and being hit by a flower pot that falls off an upper-story windowsill. Or, if you’re the orderly type, you might prefer a brisk but not sudden slide into oblivion. Take a couple of months, pain-free but weakening in some vague nineteenth-century way. You can use the time to make your farewells, plan your funeral, cut people out of your will, finish that fat nineteenth-century novel that you’ve been lugging around since the twentieth century, and generally tidy up."
Mine is longer than yours ...


  1. Being a Christian Caz, I would not, for example want to be hit by a bus and killed instantly. I would rather be around to say my thankyou's and goodbyes.To reflect upon my life. Maybe to make peace with someone I may have quarrelled with.....
    God willing of course!

    I'll probably get hit by a bus tomorrrow....*sighs*

  2. Anonymous5:41 PM

    All sounds like a mixture of the ususal boomer narcissim and the normal human process where one realises life is short; which in itself fuels further narcissim, for boomers at least.

    We boomers should just get over it and simply die.

    But not today.

  3. I'd be mortified if I was caught out and wasn't up to date with the house cleaning Kath. :-)

    Thing is Justin, the never ending crap about the boomers intrigues me.

    Gen's X, Y and Millennium have appropriated every worst aspect of the boomers, and added a whole pile of entitlements and pretensions without so much as batting an eye, yet it's the boomers who continue to cop the crap.

    There is none so narcissistic and vapid as the Ys, and the Millenniums will almost certainly turn out to be worse.

    At least the boomers can spell and write a grammatically correct sentence and express a coherent thought without resorting to decayed cliches. Most of them have held real jobs their entire lives too, never considering that being "famous" or a "model" or a "poll dancer" was a genuine life-time option (a big "hello" to all the British girls who rank those "jobs" amongst their preferred options when leaving school).

    Hey, I for one will miss the likes of Richard Neville and Philip Adams when they're gone - they are symbolic, even if you don't agree with them. There will be no replacements. The next "thinkers" have not yet begun to think for themselves and if they ever do we can be almost 100% sure they will bring forth bilge and aphorisms sufficient to kill us all - of enui, despair, or existential hysteria.

  4. Anonymous8:17 PM


    Thanks Caz, I was wondering what we were going to call the next litter of the human species

    Millennium - how did I miss that.

    Nah kids are kids, x, y, z, or Millennium.

    Nuffin much changes if one observes. I'm in and out of offices all over Sydney connecting with kids. I love it and we have lots of fun together.

    They don't appear at all unlike the bunch of kids I grew up with in the 50/60s.

    I will agree they do at times have difficulty doing sums and things but hey it was the boomers who were teaching them.

    Maybe we did not do such a good job, but with all those electronic thingo's (designed and marketed by us boomers)it was so easy to make money and have something else think for our kids.

    It also gave us ample time to spend working for the house extension or the investment property.

    We boomers who did not pay shit for an education now happily put our kids into debt for the luxury of an education.

    Then we make sure when they get outa that debt they can hock the rest of their lives for a home.

    Kids are kids and don't change all that much; it's the opportunities that changing times present which make them appear different.

    Had we baby boomers had the same opportunities or lack there of back in the 60s then we would behave in a similar manner.

    But many things never change as far as kids go.

    We all know these things for once we were kids too.

    A loving parent should never forget that.

    I've got one X and two Y's. They can read write and add equally as good as me.

    Together we can count to nine- err nine + three er whatever that is.

    I'd use a calculator but none of the kids are around to get it working for me.

    Now 123 + 123 + 123 + 123 = 123 three time + one more time which equals err um...

    Help Caz.

    BTW, do you have kids Caz?

  5. Anonymous8:20 PM

    BTW had I had a computer and mobile phone back in those days I may well have ended up in.....

    The mind boggles..

  6. Have you read anything written by a "graduate" employee lately Justin?

    Frightening. I don't say that lightly.

    Not all, there are exceptions, some remarkably brilliant young things, but alas, they really are the exceptions.

    Yep, mine's a Gen Y, but she had the benefit of being raised in Canberra, which has the highest per capita education and income, so she was in a good environment.

    She and the son-in-law are both enthusiastic gamers, but equally likely to use a computer (one each, of course, in the two corners of the lounge room) to research what car to buy or what breed of dog to get.

    Oh, if you click on "Avatar Brieflets" The Princess has briefly come out of hiding to post on her entirely neglected blog. You'll see why ...

    In many regards, I agree with you on the "kids are kids" thing, particularly when I read of their thoughts or letters in newspapers insisting the old boomers don't understand about drugs and binge drinking ... sheesh, every generation thinks they invented drugs and drink and music, hey?

    It would be funny if it didn't show such a deep ignorance of anything beyond their own noses.

    Hell, even Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra sang about drink and drugs and sex.

    Nothin' new under the sun.

    Can't keep blaming the baby boomers for educating them badly though - but yes, they have to take a big part of the blame, especially for carrying on extreme left ideology long after it was useful to anyone - but more and more it's Gen X teaching them, and alas, it's the illiterate teaching the illiterate.

  7. "it's the illiterate teaching the illiterate."Perceptive as ever Caz!

    I get no kick from champagne (okay I lie!)
    Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all(fibbing again)
    So tell me why should it be true.
    That I get a kick out of you, Caz!

    Some get a kick from cocaine.. (not me!)..
    I'm sure that if, I took even one sniff
    That would bore me terrifically, too.
    Yet, I get a kick out of you, Caz!