Scoot: A Hostile Witness to the Baby Boomer Generation
by Scoot,posted Jul 25 2013 1:34AM
The Establishment is justified in their criticism of the music and styles of a young generation. There is criticism of offensive song lyrics, outrageous hairstyles and sexually-provocative clothing that reflects a disturbing new trend in sexual promiscuity.
I have just described today’s new Establishment, which once was arguably the most rebellious, sex-driven young generation in modern history. However, it is today’s new Establishment that is often making the same judgments about today’s young generations that were made of them in the past. This is why I describe myself as a “hostile witness to the Baby Boomer generation!”
While I admire many characteristics and the personality of my generation, I have not turned a blind eye to what I see as a hypocritical view of younger generations. Let us remember that the Establishment collectively described the youth of the 60’s as a generation that would “never amount to anything” and a generation that promoted open sexuality.
The idea of hippie “love communes” were only part of an extreme fringe group, but the acceptance of the provocative mini-skirt, the micro mini-skirt and ‘hot pants,’ which left nothing to the sexual imagination, became the statement of a young generation that was projecting a new openness toward sexuality.
During the early-60’s, many conservatives promoted a ban on birth control pills fearing that legalizing birth control pills would encourage casual sex, since it removed the possibility of pregnancy. The idea of having “sex for fun” was seen as a negative trend that would destroy the morals of America. In 1965, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protected married couples’ use of birth control pills as a “right to privacy.” I find haunting similarities between that debate from our past and today’s debate over same-sex marriage.
Today, there is subtle, but obvious criticism of young stars, like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, for wearing extremely tight and very short shorts as an overt display of sexuality designed to inspire sexual thoughts in young males. Selena Gomez was on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” Tuesday night wearing leather shorts that, according to an article on the Huffington Post website, “could notpossibly get any shorter.” Those shorts were no tighter and no shorter than the “hot pants” girls I dated wore in the late 60’s!
I hear the constant voices that predict a moral decline in young America that will destroy our nation, and yet, those cries come from the very generation that was once criticized for its promotion of moral depravity.
The new Establishment has condemned the sex and violence in movies and entertainment for inspiring sex and violence in the real world. Actor Nicolas Cage recently said there would be gun violence in America even if there was no gun violence in movies. And he’s right. Relative to the world in the 60’s and 70’s, there was plenty of sex and violence in movies. The James Bond movies with Agent 007 frequently jumping in bed with the hottest bodies in movies and with characters, like “Pussy Galore,” planted blatant thoughts of casual sex in the impressionable minds of a young generation. Movies like “Bonnie and Clyde” and “A Clockwork Orange” were relatively as violent as any movies today.
I can hear the response, “Yea, but it’s different today!” Yes, there are differences, but what is not different is that sex and violence in movies and music and provocative fashion then must be remembered in the context of the times and not relative to the world today. A perfect example of this is the rating of movies. R-rated movies then would receive a PG or maybe a PG-13 rating today, which demonstrates that “pop culture” is judged by the standards of the times.
It was 20 years ago when I first noticed the hypocrisy of my generation. Twenty years ago bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden introduced a new sound that was a significant departure from the music that had been evolving from The Beatles and the 60’s British Invasion. It was new and different and it inspired an anti-Establishment look that was known as “grunge.” I heard my generation saying the same things my parents said about The Beatles – “That’s not music!That’s not singing!”Look at their hair and look at their clothes! What are thoseyoung people doing?” Yet, the young new Establishment 20 years ago did not even notice the parallels of their condemnation with the past.
The Baby Boomer generation fueled a young liberal movement in the 60’s and 70’s with its promotion of equal rights for minorities and women and the acceptance of sex for enjoyment and not just procreation. But these attitudes were rejected by the then-Establishment. In the 80’s, the Boomers were getting better jobs, the economy was exploding and there was a mass exodus to the suburbs of America. That led to a changing view of life and inspired a conservative trend that has been advanced by that generation as today’s Establishment.
I am not suggesting that we should not learn from our past and our mistakes, but I describe myself as a “hostile witness to the Baby Boomer generation” because as a generation, we have failed to understand our condemnation of today’s pop culture is comparable to the condemnation of our generation years ago.
We look at ourselves today and think we are right and righteous and today’s young generation will amount to nothing when they get older. The tattoos and piercings adorned by today’s youth cause many adults today to ponder what they will do when they become the Establishment. The answer is – they will define their era in the same way that we defined our era.
Jeans are now acceptable everywhere – even in the finest restaurants in New Orleans and that more casual look was something Boomers ushered into today’s world of the Establishment. In the late 70’s, there’s a story about Led Zeppelin being denied entrance into the popular nightclub 4141 on St. Charles because they were dressed in blue jeans! They were not part of the Establishment then and didn’t make the rules. What was once unacceptable is now acceptable and when today’s young generation with tattoos and piercings become the Establishment, they too, will define what is acceptable. Every young generation rebels – some more than others. There are new trends beginning now that will define today’s young generation.
From music to sexuality, there are certainly significant differences between today’s Establishment and the new young generations, but only in technical and physical terms. The “spirit” of young generations now reminds me of things I most admired about my generation when we were making our statement. The question is – can we be honest enough to admit that?
I’m Scoot – and I remain a “hostile witness to the Baby Boomer generation!”