It's not hard to understand why Baby Boomers still consider themselves the center of the universe. For one thing, we all do. For another, they were manufactured under factory conditions to replace dead Americans from the War, as we learned from the "sexy bomb shelter" role-play/sexual assault attempt from the 1950s documentary Grease 2. But to me, the most important part is the invention of television:
Imagine a new appliance in your own home whose only function is endlessly telling your life back to you, in brighter colors than reality and with a soundtrack we're still listening to, and autobiographical feature-length music videos like The Big Chill suddenly make a lot more sense: "This is us, remember us? We are trying our best." I think it's darling. (Less darling, I would say, is the burden of paranoia and nonstop feelings of oppression it engendered in their children, the long-suffering Luke Skywalkers of Generation X.)
In this Colbert Report clip from Tuesday, Matt Weiner takes on the Boomer entitlement and disappointment when things aren't about them, sidestepping Colbert's uncharacteristically hacky commentary (Joke 1: They smoke so many cigarettes! Joke 2: What is up with that Sopranos finale?) to deliver a cogent explanation not only for Don Draper's own psychology and the contradictory messages of masculinity in post-War America, but the bizarre relationship Boomers have with this story that is not actually theirs. It's compassionate, wise, funny, and insightful.
What do you think of all this? Do you think Weiner has a point? Are you a Baby Boomer, and if so, were you at Woodstock? (If you answered yes, are you lying?) If you are Gen X, what do you think about the fact that we're now wrapping up on treating your lives as subject matter too? Do you remember the world before the internet? Do you remember laserdiscs? Are you tired of coming at everything from a generational standpoint, and if so, do you think that's because it's basically a cynical marketing tool that could never possibly describe your personal uniqueness?