Sunday, December 27, 2009

Half a Shit Sandwich is Better than None?

My political thinking was influenced, to a large degree, by the Baby Boomers a half-step ahead of me on the generational ladder. That influence was profound. And it has, to a large degree, affected my thinking -- though this effect has been both positive and negative.

Because of the active efforts of many in that generation, my life is not the shit sandwich it might have otherwise been. I know what sort of a life I would have had, as a lesbian, had none of the changes initiated by the Sixties and Seventies occurred.

But I'm getting a little tired of genuflecting to these people. They never tire of reminding me -- ungrateful whippersnapper that I am -- of all they've done for me.

I'd like to ask them a question: Was it all about the ideas that surfaced in those decades -- or was it all about you?

Ideas have legs. Truth has a life all its own. The Boomers invented absolutely nothing. They discovered quite a bit (or rediscovered some of it). Many seem not to understand the difference.

Ever since the Seventies, many Boomers have tried to make it all about themselves. THEY were wonderful...THEY were wise...THEY were courageous, and enlightened, and far-thinking and heroic.

Putting the focus on them is unwise not only because it deemphasizes the very ideas for which we're supposed to be so grateful to them. It also ties the Me Generation, like a millstone, around the neck of everyone who might benefit from those ideas.

As a result of how utterly, insufferably obnoxious that generation has made itself in many ways, many people refuse to deal, today, with women's issues, gay/lesbian issues, issues of economic fairness or any other issues in any way not colored by how tired they are of Baby Boomers.

As a lesbian, I am doubly perceived by Boomers and anti-Boomers alike as one of that generation's little pets. I live on their plantation. They discovered me, so I am theirs. Some of those who dislike me, simply because of my association with the Boomers, would go so far as to say that they INVENTED me.

I'm through genuflecting. I'm off the plantation. I'm a runaway pet. Nobody invented me but God. And all of God's inventions are available for the discovery of anyone.

Thanks, Boomers, that because of you I don't have to eat a whole shit sandwich. Thanks as well, I guess, that I have to eat half of one instead of none.

My generation, and the ones that come after, must do away with the other half of the sandwich. That yours eliminated the first half was a stellar accomplishment. Be happy with that, take one last bow, and then surrender the stage to those who have to finish the work you started.

Could you have finished it yourselves? Who the hell knows. You've been too busy taking bows to try.



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