Mine was a generation beset by the woes of our parents winning WWII then thinking we had the moral obligation to right all wrongs. The problem of Kennedy saying we would fight any foe of democracy is we thought we could, should and did in VietNam. Some learned the limits of power and went on to build the Internet. Some believed we lost because we didn't use our power and went on to launch a war in the Middle East disguising lust for power with lost ambitions of Camelot. We learned out politics from MAD magazine and our religion from pop music. "What me worry?" and "We are all outlaws in the eyes of America" colluded in a mash-up of sentiment, carelessness, and greed.
Today we stand at the front window of our homes watching for our children to return from wherever they have gone just as they once watched at the window for us to return from work. We are burying our parents and their friends and watching our 401ks wishing we had bought Microsoft in the 1980s and sold Digital at the same time. Black music is considered the only American music just as black music has become a cesspool of racism and sexual violence so we turn to country music, a music we used to laugh at, just as it became the cesspool of bigotry and stupidity.
All sides are angry and no one trusts a generation who tells them they might want to trade the SUV in for a hybrid while that generation pursues office politics through affairs designed to get rid of the starter spouse and move up to the two decades older but much richer target on the radar. The ownership society stripped the middle class and emerged triumphant from the Reagan-you-are-American-you-deserve-to-be-rich years to give Mafia funeral retirements to the generation of peace-and-love-and-CafeOle-with-a-gin-chaser geezers. We are beset by gay tastes and gay politics with which we may say we are comfortable but we aren't and never will be. We've watched the front office emptied of competent if out of style men only to be replaced by incompetent women in comfortable shoes and told to make them look smarter than they are even as they tell us we must step aside while they take their turn at corrupting the new hired kids with illusions of responsibility masking opportunities for predation.
We became our parents as they watched and now we try to make sure our children don't become us just as they are buying Pink Floyd and Beatles t-shirts because 'you had better music than us'. Maybe the music IS the legacy of my generation that counts and remembering who the Hudson Brothers were is one way to mark the point when it all went downhill to a disco thump with white line fever. I hope it is enough.
We discovered too late that peace is the time between wars and that we can't trust those who want to fight them for ideals or those who want to fight them for profit. In the end, we see how little difference we actually made except to notice we haven't blown up the world yet.
"Peace and love and all good things have a price, I know that's so.
But I didn't know how bad I'd feel now it's my son's time to go."