The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ecclesiastes tells us everything we need to know about life, except how to cure the common cold

First, I want to make clear that this is not the piece that I promised to post in the previous post; the material is still fighting me and yes, it is getting more than a little annoying at this point, but things are what they are and when the thing finally gels I will put it up here PDQ, as my grandmother used to say, may she rest in peace. No, this thing is just a screed about adult coloring books. Now, you may not believe this—I know I didn’t when I first heard about them—but adult coloring books are a thing nowadays. I have seen them. They exist. They do; I am not kidding. The adult coloring book is not terribly different from the coloring book we all knew and loved when we were all about five years old and going to kindergarten.  The outlines in the book are a bit more complex than the ones we filled in when we were kids; there are no happy little bunnies or cute little kitty kats in the adult coloring books; and instead of using crayons to fill in the blanks one uses colored pencils (isn’t that racist? Shouldn’t it be pencils of color?), which allow, I would imagine, a much finer degree of control over where the color goes than a crayon or a magic marker can. The principle, however, is the same: it is a coloring book.

In related news, and I will tell you how this news is related in just a moment, the Census Bureau announced recently that the Millennials have finally passed in absolute numbers the great bulge in the American demographic python that is the Baby Boom Generation.  In addition, the number of Generation Xers will pass the Boomers sometime in 2028, proving yet again, as if the fact needed proving, what a bunch of slackers the Gen Xers are.  The Boomers will not go quietly—there will be plenty of kicking and screaming; the one thing that the Boomers could always do well is throw a magnificent tantrum—but The Preacher tells us in Ecclesiastes that one generation passeth and another generation cometh, and there will be no exception for the Boomers, no matter how much the spoiled senile delinquents insist on staying.

In short, the Boomers are entering their second childhoods, assuming, of course, that they ever left their first childhoods. With Boomers, this can be hard to tell. One would think that it would be impossible to generalize specific characteristics across an entire generation; some members of the Greatest Generation were not so great, some members of the Silent Generation were not so silent, and not every Millennial is an ill-informed doofus…well, maybe that’s a bad example; but most Boomers (specifically the Boomer I cohort of 1946 to 1955) are self-absorbed, egocentric dolts that never grew up (I blame drugs for this, especially weed). If you are one of these Boomers and you feel that this description does not describe you, that you are a functioning adult that long ago left the 1960’s behind and have moved on into the broad sunlit uplands of adulthood, then I apologize to you for the insulting description and I congratulate you for your acceptance that being a mature human being is not a fate worse than death, but let’s face reality: you’re a freak. 

So, we have adult coloring books and cable channels catering to the Leave it to Beaver nook in every Boomer’s soul and now dating sites on the Internet where the Boomers can go and find other Boomers with whom they can relive the happy years of tuning in, turning on, and dropping out without all the teenaged angst. We must endure commercials for CD collections of the Boomers’ favorite music, followed by equally endless commercials for prescription drugs that promise to keep the Boomers reasonably healthy in their second childhoods. Frankly, it all gets to be a bit much after a while.  Is it too much to ask some people to just grow up already and act their ages?  

Apparently, it is, and I am sure that because it is, somewhere in the deepest recesses of the Census Bureau there is joy abounding and happiness without limit, as the numbers finally show, after more than seventy years, that the most egocentric and annoying of American generations is finally beginning to go away.  I would imagine that the Census Bureau already has several cases of champagne on ice in the basement of its Maryland headquarters, stored there to help their long-overworked staff celebrate the happy day when the last Boomer hops into the celestial VW Bus and heads off towards the empyrean Woodstock with his doobie in hand and Saint Wolfman Jack blasting the Rolling Stones’ Can’t get no satisfaction on the radio.  Then the Census Bureau will party like it’s 2099, or, better yet, like it’s 2199, the latter date guaranteeing that there will be no Boomers left holding out on tropic atolls like stranded Japanese soldiers awaiting the return of the Imperial fleet.  And the girl that Mick is trying to make in Can’t get no satisfaction: she’s probably a grandmother now.  

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