This month, political and cultural humorist P.J. O’Rourke takes aim at an entire generation. Predictably, The Baby Boom: How It Got That Way and It Wasn’t My Fault and I’ll Never Do It Again does not let the author’s fellow Boomers off lightly. Here, a few highlights.
Don’t judge us by our politics
We don’t know what they are. Look at the Baby Boom presidents—Clinton, Bush and Obama. You’d need North Korea and an Ayn Rand novel to find more political diversity. The deadlock in Washington? That’s just Boomers making noise because we like to be on TV.
Boomers have made life amusing
Some say we’re a frivolous generation. And how! A million cable TV channels. Video games. Personal computers. Music in your ear buds everywhere you go. The whole world on your phone. Nobody even knew how to waste time before the Baby Boom came along.
We’re spoiled and selfish
We’re children of the unlimited confidence and prosperity of the ’50s and ’60s. Ours is a spoiled, selfish world. On the plus side, you can be any self you want in it: Race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or being a “geek” doesn’t matter much to boomers. If this is selfish, let’s not spoil it. (Jan. 7)
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“My first year at Stuyvesant I discover something new about me, something my family never suspected. I am a terrible student. … Above the math problems I have written for my father to see: YA NICHEVO NEZNAYU, I don’t know anything.”
—From Little Failure, a new memoir by Gary Shteyngart (Jan. 7)