Talkin’ ’bout my G-g-generation

Why is it that people getting together at the office and talking about space exploration bothers me? It really pisses me off when they say things like “we” went to the moon or “we” won World War Two.

What I think bothers me is if that stuff is so important to them why don’t they go do it?  Why don’t they go work for NASA?  Like they’re going to solve some great mystery that makes space colonization possible or something.

I’m cynical.  I’m skeptical.  The last time I registered to vote I wrote “Cynic” as my party affiliation. The Cynic Party would have a national convention, but to quote the by-laws: “what’s the fucking point?”

My generation is all talk and no do.  We watch idiotic television like “Star Trek” and “The X-Files” and we think that we understand the mysteries of life.  We’re just silly enough to hold out hope that that stuff is true.

My father’s generation did not talk about going to the moon, they did it.  My grandfather’s generation did not talk about building the most impressive building achievements ever produced—they did it and they kicked Hitler’s ass for an encore.  What are we focusing on?  Better 3-D resolution so that we can make the “Holo-Deck” a reality.

We talk about righting the world’s evils.  We talk about going to Mars.  We talk about eradicating hunger.  We talk the talk.  We don’t even walk, let alone walk the walk.

Our folks walked the walk.  They had integrity—what they did matched what they said come hell or high water, and a lot of the time hell or high water is what did come.  But consequences be damned!  They did what they wanted when they said they would.  Maybe no 100% integrity, but somewhere around 80%– which is pretty damned good.

What’s really sad is that our kids aren’t even excited about talking about anything other than sports and entertainment.  I sound like some old fart here, but we have been such money-grubbing dolts that our kids think that cash is the answer.  Achievement for the sake of achievement is a non-existent goal—and there’s no one to blame but us.

We’ve never picked a mountain and climbed it.  The older boomers than myself accomplished nothing and left us with a no legacy to live up to.

I look with utter disdain on the 60’s.  What has been depicted as a noble gesture to stop an unnecessary war in southeast Asia was to my mind nothing more than a means of escaping personal responsibility.  A lot of people claiming to be fighting against social injustice just look to me now to have been a bunch of selfish teenage brats throwing a fit because they weren’t ready for the responsibility that was their lot in the world.

Much if not most of the anti-war movement of the 1960’s was really an anti-draft movement.  Did those high morals that made the anti-war movement so pervasive in the 1960’s translate into, as it turns out, a justified opposition to our war in Iraq?

There were some noble causes, many true souls; but the counter-culture of the 1960’s was neither—it wasn’t really counter to anything in the long run and it certainly wasn’t a culture.  It was a bunch of selfish brats hoping to spend just one more day as irresponsible louts.  Look what they’ve done since then—moved from hippies to yuppies to minivan drivers– and now ‘tea-partiers’.  I have a new name for them—“The Locust Generation”.

More than anyone else that whole “culture” has led to people having a cynicism that keeps them from doing anything—a sense of futility, of anger, of hopelessness and frustration.  That’s what we’re left with now—because those freaks back then weren’t sincere or committed to making this a better world, nobody now thinks that change is possible.  Thanks a lot you hollow, selfish, spoiled, 1950’s brats.  Go fucking die.

I guess we can blame “the Greatest Generation” somewhat.  They forgot that mankind is supposed to struggle, so they went about spoiling their kids—saying “no kid of mine will go without.”  Now we’re not prepared to face the almost certain catastrophes that await us in the future.

But some of us from that time are utter freaks– we live in the shadow of the greatest generation.  World War II and the space race make us all weak-kneed.  We long to have our walk on the moon.  We long to sink the Kaga, Akagi, and Soryu at Midway, to storm the beaches at Omaha, to make a stand at Arnhem, to fly the Atlantic solo, but that time is gone.  We are not understood by generation X or Y, because we speak of the things we wish to attain but never can.  We are given the tasks of the computer and Internet age and ask, “is that all?  Aren’t we going to Mars?  Can’t we do something meaningful?”

Not all of us are lame, and we can’t even begin to explain to those younger than us how meaningless their goals are.  Twitter?  What a waste of time.  Facebook?  You have got to be kidding.   Is this what it means to stand on the shoulders of giants?  And “apps”? Just the basis for another bubble. It’s going to happen because the only thing that people want who are producing apps (nothing more than glorified browsers) is an exit strategy. Producing something of value? Fuck that. I worked for an app company and to be honest, it did not make a product that anyone in their right mind would claim to need. People’s smartphones are jam packed with apps they never use, because they are un-useful.

For fuck sake.

I want to make a mark.  I don’t care if I’m remembered, I just want to make a difference, hailed or not– who gives a shit.  If I’m the only one who knows, I’m OK with that, but why the low standards of excellence that pass for today’s achievements?  Why do we go through bubble 1 (2001) and bubble 2 (real estate) and bubble 3 (apps!)?  Where is the urge to have something to show?

Since when did mediocrity become a goal?  Since when did posting some idiotic junk on GitHub make for a career?  Lame, lame, lame.

I never feel challenged.  I just do what I do, but people feel like I really do things.  What the fuck is up with THAT?

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