Monday, February 01, 2010

Generational Dyfunctions

Over the week-end and prior to that on numerous occasions, I have heard the pejorative, "your generation," as a criticism in general of our alleged intolerance, or hatred for those different than ourselves, etc.

I would like to address some of these things, so as to get a proper perspective. First, this week-end's debate featured many opinions regarding CBS's refusal to accept an ad that promoted gay lifestyles. My response was that television networks are not in the business of social engineering, but entertainment for profit. That means they are not obligated to piss off the majority to cater to a minority.

During this discussion I was branded as an old has been that isn't in touch with today's reality.A suggestion was even made that the world would be much better off without my generation. Perhaps they are right. But on the other hand, the present twenty-somethings did not invent the world, it's morals or it's history. Our country, and for that matter, others as well, build society by tweaking the present but adhering to tradition as well.In the case of the gay discussion, I pointed out that gays have only been out of the closet for about twenty years. That was jumped on as a suggestion that they go back to that place. It would seem that in being defensive, stuff that has never been said, is added to the comments out of a soured memory.

My comments were meant to point out that providing we only go back three or four thousand years, during the Jewish-Christian era, homosexuality was considered less than civilized. Now, suddenly, it's MY generation that is at fault for those social mores that exist. Tradition goes back a long way and to some extent is good. It keeps change at a manageable level while allowing for adjustments from time to time.My advise to those with an alternate life style, is to keep your shirt on. You've made tremendous progress toward legitimizing your sexual orientation, but don't expect that you are so important to the world that a revolution is needed to make these changes right this minute. Overcoming more than 3000 years is not accomplished in a month or three.

Without my generation, first of all, none of you revolutionaries would be born. White people marched in Selma, Alabama in opposition to racial inequality. They were of my generation. Industry and innovation in the last 50 years has been amazing. My generation. The Japanese and Germans, Italians and such were defeated by my father's generation. We managed to feed the world without PETA. My generation. Organized labor came into it's own. My father's generation.

The bottom line, and I could give examples 'till Hell freezes over, is that until you twenty and thirty year olds actually produce or accomplish something in your years on this earth, just be glad that my generation built the bridge to yours. Learn something from history. Yes, history wasn't part of your generation either, was it. Learn better manners. You don't win arguments by running out of ideas, then insulting the other person. In essence, grow up prior to castigating those that came before you. If you're lucky, you to may grow old and become a curmudgeon like me. Earn the right, first.

Just a few reminders of what my generation has accomplished:

When I was born in 1938, most aircraft were bi-planes. They actually had propellers to power them. Then the Jet Plane, also a product of my generation.

Oh, and there were the rockets to the moon, mars expeditions, etc. Also my generation.

When I was born,U.S. military aircraft were held to under 100 mph. Now they fly at 3 times the speed of sound. When I was a student in grade school, and even high school, we had nuclear attack drills in which we had to hide under our desks, like that would have helped. Our generation won the cold war between the Soviet Union and the western world.
When your parents were struggling to get by, they somehow managed to help you get a college education so that you could then belittle their generation. Our generation allowed, because of freedom of speech, Hippies that in many cases were your parents, to shun our own country in favor of "let it all hang out,drop out, get high, and somwhere in that mix, that generation lost track of where and whence they came from.

It just might be of value to those of you that are really thinkers, to go back without your newborn prejudices and look at our evolution as a people, as a country, and as a civilization, without the ever present hindsight, and examine how things happened, when they happened and why they happened, and do so in the context of that generation.

For the rest of you that are too lazy, I call you pissants that make much noise but produce no value in your lives, nor contribute to those that will come later. We can only hope that as I, you will grow, mature and send the next generation into a place where they will ridicule you too.


Bay Views said...

I just rejected a comment from spookeloon because she/he picked up on a minor error in my MPH of U.S. Aircraft, and totally avoided the main topic, which was you have inherited a vast storage of knowledge from previous generations. Don't think you have invented any of it.

Bay Views said...

Oh, and you win the first pissant award given here at Bayviews.

Ric said...

Well put Herb.....too bad it will fall on many a deft ear.

Anonymous said...

Herb, I like the open reality you refer to. As the generations change to much of what we dislike we have to remember that many of us said we will provide and do better for our children so they don't have to endure what we did. That may have hurt us a little because now they want there cake, ice cream and coffee as a right not a privlige as it should be.
I enjoy reading your perspectives on most things and they do show or describe a level of generational understanding that is being forgotten and the fast pace we have evolved.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bay Views said...

The last comment came from Vietnam. I can't read it, but if there are interpreters out there that would like to assist, and especially to make sure the content is polite, I'd like to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

It is about adult videos etc, etc. Probably not pertinent to your site. :)

Bay Views said...

Probably not.