Exploring the Eclipse of Equality

Posts Tagged ‘globalization’

Talking ‘bout the g-g-g-g-grasshopper generation: Mourning in America or liberal malaise?

In Domestic Politics on February 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm

It may be appropriate that this year’s super bowl show featured The Who for it half time show. There may be no other pop cultural symbol of the exciting idealism of the generation of the 1960s than this band with the boundless energy represented by songs like “My Generation” and the footage of Pete Townsend’s smashing his guitar in expressive rebellion. It may be one of those ironies of history that the boomer youth riot has opened a space in which Americans can age with dignity and live out their later lives with a kind of vigor that was previously unimaginable. It is another less sanguine irony that the children who were born to the age of affluence may be best remembered for their being the only generation to fully enjoy the fruits of that affluence.

What do I mean? The easiest way to get a sense of this perspective is the read the New York Times with some consistency. Just today, you can find a op-ed from a fairly young man who worked hard and played by the rules and who now has no net worth. You can find pessimistic editorials and sardonic columns. Perhaps the most penetrating piece of pessimism one kind find is Thomas Friedman’s column called The Fat Lady has Sung. Friedman here does what he does best, he uses a simple idea, places in into a larger narrative and beats us over the head with it. The raw material for this column came from a Time magazine article that I had missed that builds on the old Aesop fable of the ant and the grasshopper.

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