Boomers: Stop pining for the '90s

Recently, someone I know spoke to someone else I know about various socio-political issues.  As the conversation reached its climax, the latter person involved (an older Gen X person), realizing the state of things, moaned how he wished it was still the '90s.  I have heard variations of this refrain for some time now.  To those who utter it, the '90s made for an age of relative live and let live, reasonable conversation, and at least some commonality of discussion at the ideological divide.

Such people are Boomers in the Matrix.

When I say "Boomer," I don't necessarily mean someone literally born during the Baby Boom era (generally stated as 1946 to 1964).  It could mean someone from an older or younger generation.  In addition, many who are of that Boomer era aren't always "Boomers," at least in their thinking; they have become realists who've moved past that '90s mindset.  This is the key: the mindset.

As one who lived through the '90s, I know full well what these people mean when they pine for that era, but I also know that it is mostly a lie.  Yes, compared to today, it was more "sane" (for lack of a better term), but these Boomers have clearly forgotten that it was then that the culture wars were truly fought — and mostly lost, by the right side of the political spectrum, anyway.  It was also the age of political correctness and postmodern thinking, before ostensibly being vanquished by the end of that fabled decade, only to re-emerge in a more powerful form over a decade later.  Sure, a greater emphasis on "free markets" and, at least superficially, "the end of big government" was won by conservatives, but it was mostly window dressing relative to the larger cultural and demographic shifts that were happening — the sad, all too typical "conservatives winning the battle but losing the war" scenario.

Not only is the joy of the '90s a rose-tinged lie, but it is also very much something in the past.  Whatever relative peace we thought existed then is coming to a close (in some ways, it's already here) and not something we will return to (and I'm not really sure we want to), but this is the mentality of what is broadly termed "the Boomer."  Boomers are living in a perpetual, relatively safe, seemingly tolerant, and still more hopeful '90s, but it's all false.  They need to be unplugged and shaken out of their stupor.

The '90s are over, and one should thank God for that.  It's time to embrace reality and prepare for what may come.  It may not be terribly pleasant, but better to prepare for the worst and hope for the best than this ongoing sleepwalking in the Matrix.

So as a closing statement, maybe stop listening as closely to Boomers, regardless of their political persuasion.  And stop being a Boomer in the Matrix.

Cam's a married father of three.  Born and raised in Canada, he currently lives on the country's left coast, notorious for its milder winters and liberal thinking.  He's a university-educated educator, blogger, former generally indifferent employee within the financial sector, and failed musician.  A Christian of what has usually been termed politically conservative leanings, he prefers to be labeled a realist at this time, mostly for lack of a better term, as too often conservatives have been little more than slow-motion liberals.

Image: Paulo O via Flickr.