Brokaw’s Boomers

While it took curling and hockey to get me to watch CNBC tonight, I noticed a promotion for a post-Olympics report Tom Brokaw will be doing on the Baby Boomers entitled (duh) “Boomers” (or, if you prefer, “Boomer$!,” as CNBC has it). Wondering if one of the Boomer contributions Brokaw will investigate is a paralyzed political system and fractured economy, with ostensible (and ostentatious) hand-wringing about the debt they’re going to leave their grandchildren while pushing to cut anything designed to help their own children — today’s under-45 workforce, who of course, must be in great shape and therefore not need help — while not touching a dime from pensions, Medicare, etc. (though, in fairness, today’s economic meltdown appears to be as much Boomer eating Boomer as it is anything else, but I digress), and, oh yeah, twisting the future of the educational system for the newest generation, to boot.

(Aside 1: I know it’s CNBC, so other than the Olympics, its programs probably need to seem to be at least slightly related to finance, but is it a bit much to call the show “Boomer$”?)

From their Web site:

In a landmark two-hour documentary, Tom Brokaw tells the story of history’s wealthiest and most influential generation. From hula hoops to civil rights, in war and politics, Brokaw chronicles the extraordinary impact 78 million baby boomers have had on American society over the past six decades, and explores the challenges they face as they begin to approach the age of retirement.

The press release has more, and makes it seem like must-see-TV for this geek:

For years, by their sheer heft in numbers, baby boomers altered the economy, and now, it has altered them.  After experiencing historic wealth, many boomers now find themselves likely to outlive their money.  Brokaw captures the stunned disbelief of a downsized generation that never saw it coming and that now confronts rising unemployment and dashed dreams of retirement.  He also examines the boomers’ unique and unyielding quest to preserve their youth, leading one writer to describe these children of Woodstock as, “Generation Ageless.”

Sorry, I’m cranky today, but Brokaw ends the promo I saw on TV with “I’ve been curious about how they see their lives and what is left for them to do.” I’m quite tempted to say the answer to the first question is “heroic” and the answer to the second question is “get out of the way,” but I’m trying to watch Canada-Norway and keep my grouchiness in check and tongue firmly in cheek.

(Aside 2, for my fellow generational bloggers: The CNBC press release pegs their birth dates as between 1946 and 1964 — the traditionally accepted span — and with a shot of Obama appearing in the commercial I saw, we know where this debate is headed. We much discussed this many moons ago, with me arguing for the 1961 end-date. As with all things, history will have the final word, eh.)


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