The Baby Boomers at 60 Something

What Did The Baby Boomers Ever Do For Us

Baby Boomers Beatles - Haircuts from 1964

Photograph from Wikimedia Commons
Photograph from Wikimedia Commons

The Beatles - Here Comes the Sun

Twiggy's Legs (and the rest of her)

From Flickr
From Flickr

The Sixties Girls

The Beatles

60 Something?

So, you’re 60 something, and you’re fed up with all the red tape, the inundation of small print, the political correctness, and the kind of people who perpetuate clichés like ‘political correctness’ (sorry).

Poor old sod.

People are always clawing back from you, demanding more from you, and putting more upon you. Your employer thinks your wages are excessive, that employment laws are crippling him, and he, understandably, dreams nightly, of outsourcing to Indonesia. The quality of your working life is perpetually subject to the death of a thousand cuts. Every day you face change. The things you must no longer do and things you now must do, that somehow never needed doing before. Change, for the sake of change, for everyone’s benefit - but yours. You feel like a mad dog, compelled by the demands of others, to chase its own tail. It’s time you retired. Go on; desert the sinking ship - you old bar-steward!

Why not go self-employed?

You could open a shop on the High Street. Ah but, what High Street? That High Street - which is traceable back to the Anglo-Saxons (UK), and beyond - is derelict! The only business done there now is in charity shops. The supermarkets have swallowed up all other business. How did that happen? You wonder; as you turn into the supermarket car park, pick up some diesel-coated exotic fruit. You pick up a book of stamps (nodding to an ex-postie (mailman US), selling the Big Issue). You try on a pair of shoes, (stitched together by the nimble fingers of a distant six year old). You sling the latest 32-inch, widescreen, LCD, HD ready, stereo TV into the trolley - (made in China of course, to where your previous employer sold the factory plant, after sacking you, and stealing your pension). Oh, and don’t forget to fill up with petrol (gasoline US).

The Baby Boomer Inheritance

Anyways, you’d need money to start up in business. You’re in debt - because that’s the done thing. Er, well - it was the done thing. You’re mortgaged up to the eyeballs, because that’s what people do - er, well, did. Some altruistic politician in the 80s said that everyone should enjoy the benefits of home ownership. Do you own your own home? You might, eventually, if you can convince your employer not to out-source to Indonesia - but for goodness sake don’t get old, and need to go into a nursing home. Or, to put it another way, you’d better tell the kids to forget about their inheritance.

Baby Boomers join the pyjamas and slippers brigade

Oh yes, the nursing home. Now there’s a thought. Who’s going to have to bathe your pooh-encrusted buttocks? Think, about what he, or she, is going to be thinking, of you. Might it be? “Look at this pathetic old codger. He was born when all the big wars were over (UK), into an NHS (UK), social security, a state pension, and meaningful employment - for all who wanted it. He lost the NHS for us, and left in its place, a labyrinth of insurance scams, because his illustrious leaders felt compelled (I wonder why) to privatise everything that could have a profit screwed out of it - and nationalise everything they’d botched. The only social help we get now is vaguely traceable, possibly, eventually, to some kind of neo-Dickensian charity. He backbit, and grovelled to scrape together a mortgage under the illusion that he was going to join the ranks of the landed gentry, the proceeds of which don’t even whimper at the cost of his stay here. He let a bunch of gamblers and hoodlums dismantle, and sell off, our entire industrial heritage (after having it handed to him on a plate, by a previous, much more resourceful generation). He let a bunch of economic thugs steal his pension, and sell all the assets and land in the British Isles, to foreigners (or, just anybody with money). We can’t even go back to subsistence farming, now. Now, he’s poohed his py-jams - and he’s left that for us to deal with too.”

Democracy! What democracy?

On the other hand, we Baby Boomers might still have a chance to pull ourselves together - to honour the sacrifices of past generations, to provide for future generations, and sort out the sociological mess, into which we’ve blundered. We might ask ourselves if the democracy those past generations fought so hard for is now little more than a disposable, for personal use. Just something else we can use, then trash, like all the other modern disposables. They’ll pull it from the supermarket shelf, and label it ‘Discontinued’ - just because we’ve allowed it to become undermined, and ineffectual, then deceived into accepting that it’s no longer relevant to our lives - or to the lives of our successors. We, who never asked the serious questions, like “what does ‘small government’ really mean?” Or, “what WMDs - where?” Or, saying, “I don’t remember voting for that prat’s EU Presidency”. We, who opted instead for a lousy deal, which put concisely, some might describe as trading health and happiness, for homeownership; showing the same naivety of Aladdin’s Mum(UK)/Mom(US), when she traded ‘old lamps for new’.

Or, we could see it as the most precious inheritance, of all - for all - and fight to achieve a better legacy, for ourselves.

We won’t. I’ll just retire, like all the rest of the proverbially deserting rats. I’ll sit here grumping, and moaning, as usual, until it’s time to go into the nursing home - where the fabric of the building is, no doubt, in a worse state than the inside of my py-jams. (My long-suffering wife - God bless her little orthopaedic stockings - will demand to go into the one at the other end of town, even if it’s just a wigwam). There, the ever-absent owner of the ‘charity’ will be exploiting, and stressing-out some fresh faced lass, who has to do pole dancing in her spare time, to make ends meet. She’ll have us all singing ‘Wake up Sleepy Jean’, doing hula-hoop demonstrations, and giving talks, about Twiggy’s legs, and Beatles’ haircuts.

However, I’m sure my cheerful disposition, will see me through to peaceful oblivion.

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Comments 32 comments

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

Amillar, you nailed it! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Born in the 60s, I'm a little younger than you, but I'm still painfully aware of just how much has been lost, tossed aside and discarded for short term gain. The Internet is a wonderful thing, but the global village? Not so great. It's all the tiny things that multiply and cause disasters. The imported strawberries (can't we just wait 'til June?), the plastic toys in the MacDonalds Happy Meals (they're mostly headed for landfill, so why not just spend the money on better quality ingredients?) and the constantly evolving gadgets (does my phone really need to access the internet/ play music/ make mini movies?) The world as we once knew it is rapidly turning into something we dont recognise, and can't identify with.

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi Amanda, I was having a rant - again. Thank you for indulging me - again; I’m not sure you ought to. When we were teenagers, the older generation described us as ‘crazy mixed up kids’ More recent generations will probably see us as crazy, mixed up, and grumpy (which, is traditionally an entitlement, at my age), old wasters. Ah, wasters! I’ve just remembered another thing I used to be called. (Not a lot has changed really.)

Yes, I can wait till June for my strawberries - and, I suspect the people who’re happiest about MacDonalds Happy Meals, complete, only, with plastic toys, are the shareholders. (Do you think the CEO would appreciate a plastic toy, instead of his bonus? Careful - they litigate.) Mind you, I don’t think there’s a lot you can do to adulterate caviar, other than serve it with a plastic spoon.

Thanks to HubPages, and your good self. I get to do what I do best - which is grumble, obviously. (You didn’t expect me to say write, did you?) Instead of getting the standard response, ‘SHUT UP YOU SILLY OLD GOAT’ - someone reads the rant, agrees somewhat, sometimes - then is gracious enough to comment. Maybe things aren’t so bad, after all.

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

Amillar, it's always a pleasure to read your hubs. I like to have a moan myself from time to time!

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Slangevar, Amanda.

Madame X 7 years ago

I love it! We can either grow old like this - or not. I don't plan on it but I'm still not going to give up my right to grumble:)

On a brighter note - a small groundswell has started (here in California anyway) where more and more people are waiting till May (we have a long growing season:) for their strawberries. And it's spreading to other areas too.

Hang in there (but don't stop grumbling - it keeps one young)!

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi Madame X, thanks for the encouragement. The trouble is I don’t need much encouragement, when it comes to moaning.

We get a lot of rain here in Scotland, so we could easily grow our own food - pesticide free. I always say if slugs and bugs can’t survive on pesticides, it can’t be doing me much good either. Anyways, I don’t mind sharing my food with my fellow creatures. I was born just after World War II. The war generation (my parent’s contemporaries - that’s what I call them) were encouraged to grow their own food - because of the blockade. We learned to make do and mend; I was taught to darn - I don’t think the young folks know what that means, they’d have to look it up in Wiki-history (if such a thing exists). Now, a small piece of darning wool would cost more to buy than half dozen pairs of socks - made in China, of course.

Gawd, now you’ve me started off again. See - I don’t need much encouraging.

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Brilliant rant, Amillar! I'm just a bit older than you - born in 1943 while me old dad was in the SA Navy stationed on Robben Island and mum was staying with friends in Cape Town. I too hate the consumerisation of everything - and wonder about the globalisation thing. I bought a jar of marmalade at our local supermarket (hate those things too!) which had the supermarket's house-brand label on and only noticed when I got home that the label at the back of the jar stated that the marmalade was a "Product of Denmark"! Now we grow our own organges and have a huge sugar industry not to mention the glass and tin and paper producers we have - but we have to import glass jars of marmalade from Denmark? It's just crazy!

I will refrain from commenting on the Macdonalds and their extremely inaccurately-named "Happy meals" which are anything but.

It reminds of the saying about people who know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

Keep grumbling - and I'll maybe join you from time to time with a grumble or two of my own.

Love and peace


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Cape Town

Very good rant, I too am a child from the sixties.

Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

I can sooooo relate to this rant. I find myself wanting to smoke a joint, put on a Stones record and start all over. Lately I have asked myself....why do I need to own a house...why do I need to own anything?

We just die and leave all of our crap to our kids. turn...bitch and moan about having to get rid of our crap. If we leave them money...they blow it on crap to leave their kids. Maybe ...the only good part of the so called American Dream is waking up and getting rid of all your in peace.

Great hub amillar! Thanks! :)

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Tony, when people used the old expression, ‘like selling coal to Newcastle’ they were being ironic - because of the amount of coal underneath Northumbria - and the stupidity of transporting it there. A lot of coal’s still there, under the ground, but they closed the pits in the Eighties and Nineties because the miners upset a bunch of control freaks in the seventies - you’ll be able to work out the rest… Next thing we’ll see, is the Saudis selling water to the Scots, and one of cindyvine’s geckos (see above) dropping onto an Eskimo’s shoulder and saying, “Do ya’ wanna buy a glacier?” (Although it’ll have to be quick, with all this ‘global warming’.) However, ‘leave it to the market’.

It would be even more ironic, if the oranges in your marmalade actually came from South Africa, in the first place - but, not entirely unlikely.

One day somebody will open up a bottling plan on the Moon - and here’s how it makes sense. What’ll happen is - just as in the 18th Century, all the convicts were sent to Australia, our 21st Century’s undesirables, will be sent to the Moon. Now - I think you’ll have worked out what I’m going to say next - because that’s where all the cheep labour will be… We have to get our priorities right.

Thanks cindyvine, a good rant is all I have to look forward to now:)

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Tom, I think that succeeding generations will reject the so-called values we’ve adopted in recent decades. They’ll see how vacuous the whole philosophy is. I could have bought this flat I’ve lived in for the last thirty-three years, for half the price I was paying for the car I drove at the time. Local governments were so desperate to sell off the ‘family silver’. We can only guess at what sort of incentives were flying around under the table in brown paper envelopes. The selling price doubled the moment the housing association muscled in. I was always suspicious of the big sell-off.

Now, I feel vindicated, somewhat; governments don’t sell assets, but they do responsibility-dump - whilst they allow assets to be stripped. The people all around me now have to deal with maintenance costs - I just pick up the phone.

Here’s a slogan from the 30s. ‘Debt incumbent homeowners don’t go on strike’. It was a pretty cynical way to pursue social stability - and as reliable as a chocolate teapot.

someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Most of us in America at least as a culture are spoiled to the point of discust by some of the less fortunate in our own country.People,seem to live in a world of their own choosing where some things are expected to be frozen in time never to change for the worse at least for the few years in between recessions throughout the last half century.Then when it happens again,on we go to even worse recessions.Oblivious as to why we had the last one.Our money has become worthless as time goes on,and all we think about is how much more money we have,and the supposed increase in value of our houses,cars and other goods ,almost all of which are now produced outside our oountry.Considering the adjustment for inflation,that thought reminds me of the word oximoron.Our money would be worth more if,we could buy more with less money,not just making more money thinking that it is worth more,just because we have more of it as we have been fooling ourselves into believing,and with everything,slowly being manufactured elsewhere at artifically low prices,and being sold locally at retails that are overinflated considering how much the wholesalers,or in the case of wallmart which buys direct from manufacturers have decimated the small local retailers businesses.We have too many dollar stores that sell for less.Local manufactures can't compete,because of so-called free trade,which cost us manufacturing jobs,and eventually destroying our manufacturing economy.Our Service economy has been going down with it to some extent.

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Someonewhoknows, yes I think I know what you mean. We don’t seem to learn from history. Succeeding generations might be more resourceful than we’ve been.

But most people try to do the right thing, they trust, and follow others, whom they respect; they go with the flow. So when we’re all encouraged, by interested parties, to spend, spend, spend, we do so in good faith. I understand that. But I believe wastefulness has a high price tag. It robs you of your freedom; for many people, a mathematician might give the equation - goods and property = drudgery, and worry. We should ask ourselves, before we make a purchase, ‘Do I need it; or do I just want it?’

I don’t care whether it’s a Politburo or a multinational, too much unelected power in too few hands, leaves too much to chance - power corrupts…

As for money - it’s just a token that saves bankers the trouble, of dispensing livestock and grain, over their counters.

Thank you, for looking in on me.

Moneylady profile image

Moneylady 7 years ago from Texas

I loved this! I too was born in 1948 and can relate very well!!!! Excellent writing!

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi Moneylady from Texas, 1948 was a very good year. Although, I don't remember much about it. It's he 60s I get my nostalgia from. Here's a poem.

San Antonio Rose,

By the old Alamo,

All suntanned,

From head to toes,

I wish you were here,

And I was there,

'Cause I hate snow!

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

Wow Amillar that was a very impressive rant. You know I was born in 1963 and I have always been confused about who the baby boomers actually were. I know it was after the second WW but what is the cut off date to the baby boomers? Anyway, I agree with everything you said and I too rant and rave sometimes it's good for our souls.

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi ladyjane1, I think we had to be born between 1945 and 1964. You might have just made it as a baby boomer. Many service men and women came home to their wives and lovers after the war, and there was a 'baby boom'. We thought we knew it all in the 60s.

Anyway, nice to hear from you, fellow baby boomer.

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

The 60s / 70s people may be the only ones,in my opinion anyway, willing to fight to the end for what was right, I feel like I should and want to but I don't have the energy now I had then, but still try to get someone to, stand up, start screaming,do something!

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi Pollyannalana, in the 80s we had a Prime Minister who said, "There's no other way". I don't know why, but it seems that the majority of people, including the younger generation, accept that. They seem also, to prefer individualism to teamwork. I happen to believe that we can make just about any system work if we want it enough and that the ways are infinite - and whatever the set-up there's always going to be winners and losers. However, I think that the majority will always benefit most by working together; I was brought up just after a terrible war in which 55 million people died (let's not go into the reasons). In my psyche there's still that post war rebelliousness which, for obvious reasons, the status quo want to eradicate; it just won't leave me, for all the materialistic carrots - in China.

But as long as we can be divided, we can be conquered.

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

I was also one of those "crazy mixed up kids" of the 60's, but I stayed that way. So excuse me if I don't opt in to your jaded and disappointed view. Some of us lived lives of experience not acquisition, of learning before earning and now we sit in our modest little homes without the need for every little gadget ever made. We give of our time and knowledge through volunteer work, and manage somehow to budget our present on what little we have at hand. No -- no matter what new system with which new slogan we've lived through, some of us stayed true to our own spirits. An interesting note -- less than 1% of the population ends up in nursing homes. Being an optimist, I'm betting I'll be of the 99% that does not. Without being dramatic, it has long been my plan to seek my own end before submitting to a life of helplessness and degradation at the hands of an uncaring, impersonal "old-folks" warehouse. The world can do as it wishes, and I will write about it, but I will go my own way as I always have.

P.S. great hub, super writing. Enjoyed immensely.

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi lmmartin,

Who knows what the future has in store for us? I think that if you keep your independent spirit, able to identify what has the true value, as your comment indicates, you should have no regrets whatever befalls. The trouble is that the majority are quite happy to be led, which is all very well, but it depends on the leadership.

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

We hand everything over to everyone else, we pay for everyone elses crisis, yea throw a few million there but not for us.. all the jobs that have gone abroad and bring in immigrants(legal,illegal,what does it matter,it hurts us) to take many here and we take care of them, educate their young, we pay for the extra of building schools and educating them, my mother was the widow of a WWII Vet and her medicine took all but a few dollars of her money but they said,,,sorry...just to find out years later she was eligible..she should have gotten help..well they said no..why? Someone has got to take a stand somewhere, a lot of someones and as long as I have been alive the ones of the 60's and 70's have been the only ones brave enough to stand up to the government and protest and be killed doing it? I tell you right now I buy nothing that says made in China on it, at least I can do that much! Might live longer too.

amillar profile image

amillar 7 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Yes Pollyannalana, I agree that young people in the 60s and 70s seemed to behave more rebelliously. However, I don't think that we were more willing to protest to the death for our convictions. We simply have to read our history books to be aware of the sacrifices our predecessors made. It's more likely a case of the elite - after coming so close to losing everything - being duly humbled by the efforts of ‘the people’ for whom they usually have so much contempt. Their arrogance soon returned, and the counter-revolution came in the 80s.

I don't blame foreign workers for undercutting our workers. I don't even blame the avaricious elite for exploiting the majority's inability to work together. We've inherited democracy of sorts, we 'The People' have a responsibility to use it or lose it; to strengthen, and hand it on to future generations in even better condition than we had it bequeathed to us. I believe we're selling ourselves, our past and future generations short - and that we should be ashamed.

Thanks for looking in on me.

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

You are welcome and I am not blaming foreign workers either I am blaming our government who have a plan we none are realizing and what is happening will not be stopped, there will be a highway from Mexico straight to Canada, we will see a "one world government" if we live that long, I still want to scream wake up, but it is too late. I am a peaceful quiet person and prefer it that way but some things make me wish I could get someone to listen,open their eyes,stomp their feet,at least let the leaders know they are not fooling anyone even if we are like sheep coming to slaughter. Sorry, I will not comment further. This is why I mostly stick to my sweet little stories, politics make my blood pressure shoot up. Very good hub.

zzron profile image

zzron 6 years ago from Houston, TX.

There must be some good baby boomers out there somewhere. LOL.

amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi zzron,they say there's good and bad in all of us. We should never give up hope.

Thanks for looking in on me.

maria 6 years ago

Oh, come on - please don't keep big-noting yourselves! And the '60s AND '70s now? This mythical era keeps extending doesn't it? And pollyanna, I don't understand this:

"...and as long as I have been alive the ones of the 60's and 70's have been the only ones brave enough to stand up to the government and protest and be killed doing so"...

What about the students in Tiananmen Square in 1989?

And, amilar, what about the riots of the '80s, Greenham Common, Red Wedge, the Clause 28 protests?

What does come across from some baby boomers is not a peace and love attitude, but an "I Love Myself, Who Do You Love?" mindset - and a wilful rewriting of history!

amillar profile image

amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Well Maria I pride myself in contrariness, but there' not much in your comment that I'd argue against - except that I’ve often (in the 60s) been told to get knotted, but I’ve never been told not to get “big-noted.”. I don’t even know what it means. But thanks for commenting.

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

Just looking over this and laughing..I was hard to get rid of huh? I don't even remember it!

amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hiya Polly I think I decided not to respond to your previous to last comment on this hub in case I made your 'blood pressure shoot up'. When I joined the RAF many years ago, I remember I was advised by the recruiting officer that the three things I should not to argue about were politics, religion and women. There were times when I forgot that - then wished I hadn't.

Anyway - nice to see you again.

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

I think I was mad about everything when I first got here, now I just don't give a dam. That's why Jackie has to be the nice one and put her name on all the books, odd too, since Pollyanna is a goody two shoes name. The Disney movie? lol I tried for Pollyanna and couldn't get it but haven't found Pollyanna yet.

amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK Author

Hi Polly,

I think I saw a TV series about Pollyanna many years ago. It was very American - (the accents etc) about a girl who always looked on the bright side, and always looking for the best in people. So she's not a bad character to want to emulate. On the other hand, the internet's a good place to vent.

When I want to complain about things I try to remember the poem ‘Solitude’ by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, but that doesn’t stop me moaning.

Thanks for dropping by again:)

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