P.J. O'Rourke for The Wall Street Journal: The Boomer Bust

December 1st, 2013

BN-AP241_boomer_G_20131129114404
The Wall Street Journal
by P.J. O’Rourke
December 1, 2013

We are the generation that changed everything. Of all the eras and epochs of Americans, ours is the one that made the biggest impression—on ourselves. That’s an important accomplishment, because we’re the generation that created the self, made the firmament of the self, divided the light of the self from the darkness of the self, and said, “Let there be self.” If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you may have noticed this self.

That’s not to say we’re a selfish generation. Selfish means “too concerned with the self,” and we’re not. Self isn’t something we’re just, you know, concerned with. We are self.

Before us, self was without form and void, like our parents in their dumpy clothes and vague ideas. Then we came along. Now the personal is the political. The personal is the socioeconomic. The personal is the religious and the secular, science and the arts. The personal is everything that creepeth upon the earth after his (and, let us hasten to add, her) kind. If the baby boom has done one thing, it’s to beget a personal universe. (Our apologies for anyone who personally happens to be a jerk.)

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