Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Slowing the circle down - like a rolling stone

And they tell him, "Take your time. It won't be long now.
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down"

Joni Mitchell, The Circle Game ©1968

"Bloody walking frames! If I ever get to that stage I will crawl, or even roll rather than use a fucking walking frame!" - a comment by my very own bro on last week's LFNY, A Home for Alice. Yeah, I can just imagine. Like a Rolling Stone. The baby boomers will bring a new meaning to the words, "Rock 'n Roll". It may well come to be said that we were "reelin' and a rockin' till it was time to go" ...

HaHa, yep the baby boomers are getting old. Not that I'm laughing, being one myself.

I can't remember exactly when I first heard a joke about aging baby boomers, but I do remember what it was about; something about the producers needing wheelchair access for the Rolling Stones concert at Madison Square Gardens circa 2003.

Rock Art

Then last year, Eddie Izzard and his Stone Age ramble, with some old guy muttering that he preferred clay to stone 'like in the sixties, man!' Stoned pre stone-age.

During last year's U.S. presidential election, Obama who turned six during the Summer of Love, distanced himself from the baby boomers. As John M Broder (the New York Times) put it in Shushing the Baby Boomers , "The time has come, Senator Barack Obama says, for the baby boomers to get over themselves." Mr. Broder was reacting to Obama's statement that Americans hunger for "a different kind of politics," one that has moved beyond the tired ideological battles of the 1960s.

Once the voice of the revolution, the age of Aquarius, we were suddenly relegated to the back-stage, along with the fuddy duddies who we'd rallied against all those years ago. Huh? What had happened? What was once hip was now has-been. The new generation-whatever even took our word (OK, we borrowed it from the fifties' Beats ...) 'cool' and turned it into a generic ACK. "I'm going to the movies." "Cool." "I bought an IPhone." "Cool." "See you tomorrow." "Cool."

And if that wasn't bad enough, they even took credit for electing Mr. SuperCool himself, Barack Obama, aka No Drama Obama.

Campaign Badge

And so good old Bill started to look distinctly uncool. The campaign badge from last century, now looks like a joke thing. Here's one I picked up at a flea market in Connecticut. Now positively antique.

Yep, we are so-last century. It's no longer the dawning of the age of Aquarius but its long over-due demise. Could it be that we have simply run out of steam? Certainly that's how I feel at the end of my three block walk to the bus stop. A huffing and a puffing and singing that song.

Yet there are times when I glimpse that Summer of Love feeling. I'll see someone from My Generation. And yes it's that same old song, people just trying to put us down. Talking about My Generation, I'll pass the Second Avenue panhandler with his long gray hair and his sign, "Give me money for pot". Or I'll look across the aisle of the bus and see one of my many sisters who have chosen to let their hair turn gray, naturally. We'll exchange conspiratorial looks. Yes, we know. We were there.

And the rest of you post-last-century, post boomer people, you just don't know what you missed!

1 comment:

Bil Critch said...

Missed it myself, Kate. But I was in uni in 1970 and caught a healthy whiff of it - the good stuff, that is. Was in SFO during the Summer of Love and didn't have time to participate; kids, dough, job etc. etc. Had friends in the Hashbury and did a party or two, but we were very square. Did the world pass us by? Maybe, but we were happily unaware of what we missed. We did support Gene McCarthy and loved the bell bottoms and the music. Well, I guess we weren't totally out of it.

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