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.
If you're one of those people who still thinks that generational astrology created by corporate marketing departments in the 1980s (AKA "Boomers vs. Millenials") is meaningful and can be substitutes for class analysis, I really hope the pandemic is starting to change your mind.— Antifascist Alligator 🐊 (@Antifagator) March 21, 2020
This also applies to "don't forget about Gen X" bullshit too. Everyone should forget about Gen X! Everyone should forget about generational astrology in general! Anything explained by generational effects is better explained by 1) class 2) race 3) geography 4) stage of life.— Antifascist Alligator 🐊 (@Antifagator) March 21, 2020
Pop culture and aesthetic nostalgia is the one thing partly explainable by generational analysis, and even then it only works because people Tinkerbell-believe and build up their identities as generational members in a way strongly encouraged by the entertainment industry.— Antifascist Alligator 🐊 (@Antifagator) March 21, 2020
Recently I tweeted this,
If there's one thing coming up for me a lot right now, it's the urgency of learning how to be community again, how to get along, work together. I want all the ages valued for what they bring to this, because we need everyone to feel like they can help and have a stake in the game https://t.co/Vo5iKaDTC3— weka (@wekatweets) March 18, 2020
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.