Life has sped up since September. Tonight I drove in to represent the Political Committee with Bethann. It could have been a long drive for little result, but the dialogue was good. The ex-com had an interest in the committee’s work. It pleased me to see that the table held more gray hairs than youngsters, so I felt at home.
The meeting took longer than the 3 minutes Margaret had planned for our report, but I think it was time well spent. The ex-com got to listen to our logic and get a sense of the criteria we used to make decisions.
Bethann hails from Pittsburgh. She finds the Minnesota culture a bit reticent, not forward or assertive enough. Hard to tell for me after 30+ years here. I went native a long while back.
A sore point for me these days. I’m tired of baby boomer bashing. Those who criticize us did not live in the world we grew up in. They do not remember the days of forced and enforced segregation. They do not remember the days when women were second class, assumed ditzy and inconsequential. They do not remember the days of queer bashing. They do not remember the days of back alley abortions. They did not face the draft for a war as egregiously stupid as the current war in Iraq.
Why don’t they remember these things? Because the baby boomer generation, led by some progressive activists just a bit older than we were, embraced the need for change. We lived the struggles. It was our marriages and relationships in which the sexual revolution came to life. It was our solidarity that helped push people of color and same-sex relationships into the cultural mainstream. We fought the draft so that others would not need to fight it again.
Yes, we instigated the culture wars. Yes, the conservative revolution led by Ronald Reagan was a direct challenge to all we had accomplished. But note this, it was a reactive challenge, a challenge made necessary by the scope and depth of cultural change in the 60’s and 70’s. The nation needed a cooling off period from the hot, intense life on the streets and in the bedroom.
Those sensibilities remain with many of us. We fight on, stuck in the confrontational politics of our youth, insensitive to the changes that have happened. It is this anachronistic flavor to the baby boomer generation that feeds the ongoing felt need to put us in our place. Well, I say, not until we are in the grave, baby.