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Generational astrology

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, March 25th, 2020 - 25 comments
Categories: class, covid-19 - Tags: , , , ,

There are still a few people around playing the inter-generational blame game, although I am relieved to see it has dropped way down. The horrendous ‘bye-boomer’ meme earlier in the pandemic seems to have disappeared, and I’m not seeing regular ok boomer dismissals online. 

There are a few people who don’t seem to get it, including one prominent left wing blogger I am not linking to but the gist of which is that millennials and younger are locked down with severe restrictions to save boomer lives and given how boomers have fucked everything up, they should remember this when it’s all over. Assuming they’re not dead I guess. Reading accounts from medical staff in Italy and the US of the conditions under which people are dying tells me immediately that we have to stop giving older people grief.

It’s not hard to react and counter with tales of all the stupid shit some young people are doing right now or how millennials don’t vote out austerity goverments, but that just keeps us in the cul de sac of political impotence against neoliberalism. 



Recently I tweeted this,

I miss my old people something fierce. When I was growing up I spent a lot of time around old people, my grandparents and their friends and extended family. They weren’t boomers of course, the boomers were still in their 20s and 30s, millennial-esque. All those old people are gone now and the boomers have taken their place. The first boomers are in their mid-70s, and I am going to miss them something fierce when they are gone too.

Mainstream society treats old people pretty badly in many ways. Ageism is real, and institutional ageism is not well discussed in political circles. I contrast this with Māori and other cultures who value their old people highly, because aroha, and because older people hold institutional wisdom that cultures need to survive and be well. Part of how humans evolved was because we had older people to help with raising kids and tending to the tribe.

For many of us it is clear that there is no going back to how things were, the coronavirus has changed everything. Neoliberalism has been momentarily stopped in its tracks, and we just demonstrated in a few short months that if we want to, when it’s actually important to us, we can drastically reduce GHG emissions.

What we do next matters. We’re not going back, but what we are going forward into isn’t set in stone. We have some choices here, and I’m hoping that over the next four weeks we can have a wide discussion about what those choices are and where we want to go. The potential for change is here, in our hands, in a way I’ve not experienced in 50 odd years. 

How do we want to function collectively as a society? If socialists, progressives, left wingers want to talk about how our values and politics are good and useful right now, then we have to get this stuff right. Practice what we preach and actively create the society based in kindness and connection we say we want, here and now. This is no longer theoretical nor political aspiration. We are in the time when we get to make it real.

25 comments on “Generational astrology ”

  1. Carolyn_Nth 1

    Thanks weka. I posted a reply to that elder-bashing blog post that you are not linking to. I thought it was a very mean-spirited comment for that blogger to make at a time when we should all be pulling together.

    I have gotta say I have had nothing but kindness, friendliness and support from my millennial nephews. The one who is currently living in Auckland reached out to me last week to offer to do anything for me that I need. He was the one came to collect me from hospital after a minor sinus operation a couple of years back – always cheerful and sociable.

    I suspect, like his parents, he is more likely to vote National than Labour. I have always been the known leftie in a more neoliberal family (socially liberal, economically conservative).

    That post that shall not be linked, followed the line that all us boomers are selfish right wing voters – in keeping with the line that we are all property hoarding, property owners who have left nothing for subsequent generations . Well, my millennial nephew and his partner have bought a house & section in recent years (with a bit of help from boomer parents), and I am the lifetime renter.

    But still the stereotype prevails! In all generations, it is the low income people who suffer most. I am financially better off than most renters – unless the banks crash!

    When you look at the NZ stats so far, it's mainly people in their 40s, 50s and 60s that have tested positive to Covid-19, with very few people in their 70s and 80s. There are more people in their 20s that have tested positive than the 70 & 80 yr olds; more positives in their teens than in their 80s. This is probably because they are still mostly related to overseas travellers.

    And if there is an increase in severe cases, likely mostly but not exclusively older people, this will overload out health system, and cause problems for people of all ages in need of health or injury care.

    • weka 1.1

      So glad I haven't seen the post, I just saw the tweet which was bad enough.

      It's so horrible seeing people shitting on old people right now. We are better than this, hoping it's isolated, but really disappointing to see it by someone with such a big platform.

      Thanks for the link, good to see some early analysis in a NZ context.

      • Carolyn_Nth 1.1.1

        I have noticed that this blogger has no empathy for anyone except those who are part of his/her group – so only has good things to say about their own generation, and finds fault with every other one.

        Similar self focus re socio-economic class, sex, etc.

  2. Ad 2

    I absolutely get the point of smoothing intergenerational discord. I have a lot of them and did a round of visits last weekend.

    But the two bigger strifes at the moment occurring around the place is:

    1. Who gets the kids? Family ex-es who thought they had access and now just don't.

    2. Looting. It's gonna happen .

    • weka 2.1

      1. I feel for the people that have acrimonious set ups around shared care. I hope others can step up and provide support to deal with that. Generally I think it's 4 weeks right now, it's manageable for most given so many have ITC.

      2. Probably, although apparently in the UK they're saying the authorities expected it to be worse and instead lots of people are helping each other out.

      I think our low population is a boon right now (easier for the state to respond). Some people are going to get caught up in this wrongly (remembering what happened in Chch post quake), and being considerate to police and others set to manage this would go a long way.

      • Carolyn_Nth 2.1.1

        The UK have left the lock down til community transmission is quite rampant. I am seeing on social media younger people talking about having got quite a strong and debilitating bout of Covid-19 from social activities.

        NZ has moved to it much earlier.

        • weka

          I'm hearing people still doing lots of gathering together in the UK, so I'm guessing that the earlier fuck up and messaging has confused people. We are so lucky here, despite the lapses in some things.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            It's shocking how some people just don't get the seriousness of the situation.

            Some seem to think the rules/guidelines are there to break. They are there for all our good and for the collective good.

            This "Don't pop the bubble" on RNZ lays out the importance for us all to limit our circle of contacts. eg it could mean the difference between a short or long lock down period.

    • Cinny 2.2

      The Director General of Health has given guidelines re shared care of children during lockdown:

      • Parents with shared custody of children were able to move between two homes as long as they are in the same community.
      • If a child spends time with a parent in Auckland and a parent in Christchurch, it is likely that travel restrictions will see that child spending the lockdown period with one of the parents.
      • This is to minimise the risk of Covid-19 spread.
      • However, if both parents live in the same city or town, then care arrangements should be able to continue as normal.

      Our plan is… in two weeks time we will make the call whether the girls can spend time at their dads. If they can, we will ask if they can stay there for a week. However it's all up to him, and as the girls catch the bus to their dad's he will instead need to collect them and return them. So their dad and his partner in theory would become part of our bubble.

      In the end it really depends on whether one of the parents is going to be an arsehole or not.

  3. Cinny 3

    Yesterday in Spain the military went to disinfect a resthome, what they found was deeply disturbing.

    The elderly at the home had been abandoned, they found some of them dead in their beds.

    This should never ever happen, please NZ don't let it happen here.


    • Carolyn_Nth 3.1

      Geeezuz! Words fail me! That surely is a pandemic and then some.

      • Cinny 3.1.1

        Spain appears to be the new hotspot, but that story….. fork!

        • riffer

          meanwhile, USA looks on and says "hold my beer." Things are going to get really bad for the USA in the next week. I'm so glad we're in lockdown. I am starting to wonder if we are going to see the start of a Soviet-Union style breakdown in the USA over the next few months.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            I have thought the US has been in slow decline since the time of Bush Jrn. Their current president is the WORST one to have at this time, but many USians will probably still vote for him.

          • Cinny

            Makes sense why some tourists have decided to stay on here. Our government is looking after us, we are so freakin lucky.

            Carolyn, I wonder if USA citizens are having a ‘Bernies free health care plan sounds pretty good right now’ moment.

          • halfcrown

            A great article which shows how America and others have armed themselves for the wrong enemy.

            Having read this novel I find the comparison


  4. Roy Cartland 4

    That 'left wing blogger' I suspect you're referring to is not so left; if it's the same one, he's literally advocated fascism:

    • in the form of mob beatings for those perceived as racist, and

    • bitch-slaps and backhanders for people like Simon Bridges to make him see sense and not say stupid things, and

    • panic as an appropriate response to the virus threat, which he knows more about than all the doctors, governments and psychologists.

    And btw, he told us so.

    • Carolyn_Nth 4.1

      Yes. that "I know better, and I have been ahead of it and saying what to do about this virus for months" panic is just going to wind some people up to more unhelpful panic responses.

    • weka 4.2

      there are left wing people that hold those views unfortunately.

      • Roy Cartland 4.2.1

        *Sigh* too true. In any case, yes it is the same blogger. Most of his commenters are pretty f'd off by that ageist post of his too, btw.

        • weka

          good to hear, hopefully he will learn from the feedback.

          • peterlepaysan

            Not sure about learning from feed back.

            Sent a response regarding the use of "boomer". Response was never posted. He is a gutless wonder.

            To be fair I did compare him to simon bridges, but only in terms of dog whistle

  5. peterh 5

    yesterday we had people on this site, raving on about the warehouse, and other outlets to be left open, they put comments on here because they heard something that was not official, please do not rant on, until you hear the daily update, and even then try not to be too critical as we are all in this together

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Interesting choice of a headline, riffing off the twitter guy's unreliable memory of the 1980s. If corporate marketers really did lift the concept from the new-agers, and run with it, I bet they never told their clients!

    The theory that outer-planet transits through the signs of the zodiac create generational affinities originated in Dane Rudhyar's later books (1970s) as far as I can recall. It got traction to the extent that the sixties rebels actually were all peace love & woodstock (Neptune in Libra) and exploded the nuclear family (Uranus in Cancer). You can look back into the early 20th century and see correlations too: Hollywood came from the Neptune in Leo generation, elimination of empire from Pluto in Leo, motherland nationalism from Pluto in Cancer earlier.

    Younger generations since have failed the intellectual challenge involved in matching theory to reality. Not that I'm suggesting astrologers are any less clueless on the topic than the media, mind you! All they ever do is recycle the crap in astrology books ad nauseum. Can't tell the difference between what's valid and what isn't.

    Relevance to real life is established by utility value. If a belief system makes sense to them, people will use it because humans need meaning in life. Best to cut the crap though – believing invalid stuff breeds poor mental health, makes folks delusional. I have a circle of astrologer friends from the '80s, around a dozen or so, who have completed professional careers in various different fields. Usually intelligent discourse at gatherings, but I always have to steer it away from the platitudes…

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