OK millennial, you don’t care for us Baby Boomers. …
So, of course you don’t like us. We were carefree and exuberant, while you are dour and anxious. We had Woodstock; you have safe spaces. …
What we find missing in your generation, more than anything, is laughter. We grew up on Mad magazine, which taught us to appreciate great literature (“By the shores of Gitche-Gumee / Out near Feldman’s Bagel Factory”) and prepared us for Watergate and the Clintons. When we were a little older, we subscribed to National Lampoon, a magazine that knew nothing is funny unless someone is offended, and the more they’re offended, the funnier it is. We laughed at “Blazing Saddles” and “Animal House,” films you aren’t permitted to see unless you download them when no one is looking.
The last time we saw anything funny on late-night television was Norm Macdonald’s news updates on “Saturday Night Live” in the 1990s. Now we’ll marvel at how anything resembling humor has been surgically removed from “SNL” and the talk shows. Sneering at people you despise isn’t an amusing diversion.
The generation before us used to be called the silent generation. But they weren’t silent. They invented rock ’n’ roll, the music of our time, but a genre you’ve permitted to die. And they didn’t try to cancel anyone the way you do. You are the silencing generation.
The only thing we wanted to ban was banning itself. And if ever we seemed to have gone too far, if ever we had a momentary regret, we called for madder music and stronger wine. That rubbed our elders the wrong way. We offended people. You are perpetually offended. We were John Belushi’s Bluto; you are Dean Wormer.
Me? I am sitting between those generations. No dog in that fight.