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America's Financial Crisis... It's the Hippies' Fault!

In case you were wondering (and I know you were...), the great financial meltdown that began in America and rippled around the world in 2008 has its roots in the hippie movement of the 1960's and its birth can be traced directly to that horrific cauldron of wanton immorality that would forever be known simply as Woodstock. At least, such is the premise of an upcoming "documentary" film called Generation Zero from producer David Bossie. The Christian Science Monitor's Mark Guarino reported that according to Bossie, "generational narcissism, as represented by the 1969 Woodstock Festival, is responsible for the excessive spending, mortgage crisis, and recklessness on Wall Street."

Bossie's money quote:

"The people who were at Woodstock turned into the yuppies of the '80s and the junk bond traders of the '90s and the Wall Street executives of the 2000s," he says. "They went from Woodstock to driving a Jaguar."

Really? The people? All of them? Nobody who attended Woodstock chose a different path in life? I guess I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them did wind up on Wall Street later in life. I'm sure that some of the 10,000 people who were at the Billy Squier concert that I attended in 1984 went on to do great things. No word yet on what a monumental event that turned out to be...

Every generation celebrates itself in some fashion. For years we have been listening to our elders describe themselves as The Greatest Generation (see Tom Brokaw's book entitled The Greatest Generation). People like to tell themselves that they are important. But, as the film's trailer informs us, there are four "turnings" in history. Yes, four (4): The Crisis, The High, The Awakening, and The Unravelling. The trailer reminds us that, "history repeats itself," before devolving into what looks like a promo for Shark Week. Never mind that if one believes that history repeats itself, then it makes no sense to declare the cause of one specific event to be one other specific event because, presumably, events repeat themselves and, thus, there really is no beginning and no end to the cycle. But I digress...

I wonder if Bossie's accusation of "generational narcissism" is really a veiled attack on the larger civil rights movement of the 1960's. I mean, before the moral meltdown of the 1960's, women, blacks, furriners, and homosexuals sure knew their places and all was white, um, I mean right with the world.

And if the name David Bossie strikes a bell, perhaps it is because Bossie is the president of Citizens United, an ultra right-wing organization that, according to its website, "seeks to reassert the traditional American values of limited government, freedom of enterprise, strong families, and national sovereignty and security." (Reassert sovereignty? - I thought we settled that like 230 some odd years ago when we kicked England in the balls.) Bossie and Citizens United released Hillary, The Movie in 2008 and Bossie was the lead investigator in the Clinton / Whitewater investigation in the 1990's.

The idea that the social movements of the 1960's are the beginning of the end of a previously more perfect America has become central to modern conservative mythology. Everything is always somebody else's fault. We can't possibly hold the captains of American free market loving capitalism responsible for themselves.

Coming soon to a Tea Party event near you...



Interesting blog you’ve got here. To understand the arguments put forth by the “Generation Zero” documentary, it is crucial to distinguish between the actual Baby Boom Generation (born 1942-1954) vs. Generation Jones (1954-1965). GenJones was originally lumped in with the Boomers, but is now generally seen by experts as a separate generation. Understanding the differences between these two generations is central to comprehending this documentary.

The post-WWII demographic boom in births is one thing, the cultural generations born during that era is another. Generations are a function of the common formative experiences of its members, not the fertility rates of its parents. And most analysts now see generations as getting shorter (usually 10-15 years now), partly because of the acceleration of culture. Many experts now believe it breaks down more or less this way:

DEMOGRAPHIC boom in babies: 1946-1964
Baby Boom GENERATION: 1942-1953
Generation Jones: 1954-1965
Generation X: 1966-1978
Generation Y/Millennials: 1979-1993

Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten lots of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press' annual Trend Report chose the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009. Here's a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones: http://generationjones.com/2009latest.html

Gotta admit that this is the first I've heard of "Generation Jones." Thanks for your input.

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