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Those Whiny Baby Boomers

Oh, geez, boomers are at it again. This time they’re complaining that they’re not getting enough attention on television. In a recent Harris Interactive poll, 37 percent said that television doesn’t reflect their generation, that there are too many programs designed for young people.

Say what? It appears to Crabby Old Lady that half the programs on network television star 40- and 50-somethings, especially the cop and medical programs. And what about the 10 thousand sports channels. The 5,000 cooking shows. Those all war all the time documentary channels. Hundreds of movies every day. The zillion shopping networks. Don’t boomers watch those?

And did they really not watch The Sopranos? Or Deadwood? Or 24? Six Feet Under? Studio 60? The West Wing? The Simpsons? Is there something too young about those shows for baby boomers? (Crabby realizes she is a little behind on recent drama series. She hasn’t watched much TV in the past year, but you get what she’s saying.)

What does a program need to do to be reflective of baby boomers? There aren’t many shows about people Crabby’s age, but when she wants to veg out to television, there is usually something to hold her interest for an hour or two, and it doesn’t need to be about 65-year-olds to do so.

But that’s what Crabby suspects boomers want: programs about them, because everyone knows the baby boom generation is more fascinating than any that came before or after them. Didn’t a boomer invent the internet, for god’s sake?

And get this: according to the same Harris poll, 50 percent of baby boomers don’t like the commercials:

“…half of baby boomers say they tune out commercials that are clearly aimed at young people. An additional one-third said they'd go out of their way not to buy such a product.”
- Cincinnati Enquirer, 22 November 2006

Give Crabby Old Lady a break. There’s hardly a boomer alive who doesn’t own an iPod and they aren’t marketed to anyone over the age of 19 if the music in the commercials is any indication.

And who looks at commercials these days anyway? Crabby Old Lady gave up watching television in real time years ago; she records anything she wants to see and watches it later so she can zap through the commercials.

Baby boomers really must get a grip. No other generation is so widely talked about than they are – so much so that is a common misconception that boomers led the civil rights, women’s and anti-Vietnam War movements in the 1960s. Nothing could be further from the truth; they were way too young then. Those campaigns were organized by people born in the 1920s and 1930s. Boomers did their part following along, but they hardly created them.

Crabby Old Lady has often complained that the media in general doesn’t pay attention or, rather, the right kind of attention to elders, a group boomers are fast becoming part of. But to demand that entertainment must be age-specific to oneself to be compelling is to be narcissistic in the extreme.

Oh, wait a minute. Crabby just had an idea. Generations X and Y have little use for baby boomers for the same reasons elders don’t. Let’s get together and gang up on the boomers. It could bring the youngest and oldest generations together in common cause.


Comments

Just read that article and stumbled about this sentence that really made me mad!
Jones is pushing the idea of a "middlescence," about 40-to-59-year-olds who don't feel young anymore but don't feel old, and have discretionary income.
So now, we have to ban the word 'old' too? There's nothing special about Jones, whoever s/he is! No one really feels old except when they hurt. But I know pretty well I'm old ;) And so should s/he! Unless the border of old age is SIXTY! Then the 40-to-59-year-olds can still say that they are young.
Who cares anyway? Why refuse the inevitable? We may as well make the most of it.

Aw, Crabby--of all the boomers in our extended family, I know of none who has an iPOD (iPAQs, yes, but no music players). It is the kids of the boomers who have the iPODs. (Of course, one can never tell about "closet iPODers"--lol!)

Claude--I've not considered anyone to fit the "old" or "eld" category until they hit 60. After 90 come the ancients. Middle-age is 30-60; although, with life spans continuing to increase there may be some upward adjustment called for in all of these numbers. Certainly, the current 30-somethings seem to match closely the late-teens and early 20s of my generation, in their declaration of independence from support by others (mostly parents).

The thing that bothers me is when they use our music to sell stuff. It just seems sacreligious, especially when some of the songs were meant to be anti-establishment.

I think IPod commericals are cool. I'll have one E v e n t u a l l y. I like Target commercials too. They tend to be retro.

Oh, Cop Car: Maybe out there in the middle of the country baby boomers don't have iPods. But Crabby just got off an airplane in Washington, D.C. and every person except Crabby on that plane out of Portland, Maine, was plugged into an iPod all the way. Every one of them, too, appeared to be in boomer age range except for a half dozen young'uns.

Best line that I've read in all of this is from Claude: "Who cares anyway?" Age is an attitude, nothing more, nothing less. I am 59, does that make me semi old, pre elder, boomer ancient? Jeez...labels, who needs them! Some days I feel young, some days, my achy bones tell me that I am not but what I always am is a vital woman, doing just fine thank you very much.

Hey, hey. Don't be mean to us. We're not all bad. hee hee

Crabby has many baby boomer friends. She is speaking in today's post in the aggregate, not individually :-)

My Dad says to light a candle instead of bitching about the dark. Ronnie, you've gone a long way to keeping your candle lit, just ignore the ones that continue to bitch about the dark.

There will always be complainers. They can really drag the rest of us down (not lumping us with that lot).

I couldn't agree with you more, Crabby. I am a boomer and am disgusted with many in my age group. In fact, IMO it is the boomers who have perpetuated this agephobia weirdness. What group is having the most plastic surgery?
Also, the music used in commercials aimed at us is almost always the absolute worst of the 60s and 70s. I could go on, but I won't now.
Just my two cents.

An interesting post and comments...I'm 59, a baby boomer, DO own an iPod (and love it) but....the word "old" isn't in my vocabulary. Neither is "young"...I've enjoyed every stage of my life and just plain feel "ageless." I'm beginning to think all of this is, "much ado about nothing."

I loved Deadwood!

I was a happy Yellow Sunshine Boomer when it was airing. Now, it's dead in the water. That makes me a Blue Boomer.

And BTW, commercials (most of 'em) make me a Red Boomer (as in "angry", not Communistic).

Will that suffice to get me an FBI Black-listed Boomer file? Goody!

Now, all of the above makes me a Rainbow Boomer. Hurray for diversity!

*You know I am just pokin' fun here, Crabby? You are such a creative spitfire when your ire is up!!

Long live Crabby Old Lady!

I think you do need to be careful -- the agendas do overlap and alienating people working in the same direction as you makes little sense. "Half of the population say they tune out commercials that are clearly aimed at young people" would be a similar sentiment, no?

Gee whiz, I have said it before and I'll say it again, 60 is so young!! It all depends where you are coming from. When you are in your 80's, 60 is young.

I agree with what Claude said, "no one feels old except when they hurt." That I can relate to.

"Those campaigns were organized by people born in the 1920s and 1930s. Boomers did their part following along, but they hardly created them"

Yes, indeed. I was reading The Feminine Mystique and The Second Sex when the Boomers were still in high school and entering college. I'm a late cohort Silent, and I didn't lead the movements, you can bet the folks younger than me didn't either.

What does a show have to do? Be about them, personally, of course!

I want to see shows about 48 year old women with 21 year old sons and husbands they can't stand half the time and who love golden retrievers and kitties and...

Oh, wait. That would be boring, huh?

Never mind....

In defence of Cop Car - out here in NH, I don't know any boomers with Ipods either. I guess if boomers live in the Midwest or the sticks they don't count.

Sorry, Crabby, this boomer doesn't have an ipod either. I'm not even sure what it is, but I think it has something to do with music.

Also, no cell phone.

Just got first DVD player for free as the owner was having problems working it - great for dvd's of "Leave It to Beaver", "Bewitched", and "Andy Griffith".

I bought a second-hand car with a CD player in it and got a small shelf-style CD player free, so I actually own a few CD's (Motown, Beach Boys, Letterman, Getz).

The second-hand car also had some type of door unlock system on a thing that hung on the key chain. The first day I drove it I put the thing in my jeans pocket while I was tutoring. I set some type of alarm system off and the kids had to turn it off for me - haven't carried it since - key works just fine.

Maybe I'm just behind the boomer curve.

Woo Hoo! 'Cop Car' made my day. I get to be an elder for nine more years; then I become an ancient.

Yeah, yeah, yeah we Baby Boomers are scum. It's okay. I do not own, nor do I feel a need for, an ipod but I'm buying one (if I can get a deal on eBay) for a 65-year-old who wants one for Christmas. I became a feminist at age 9 when I came home enraged because Sister wouldn't give me a registration form for Little League because "ladies don't play ball".
I read all the feminist books when I was in jr. high and high school. But I stayed home and raised decent, responsible people instead of stuffing them in daycare & climbing the corporate ladder because I thought it was the right thing to do.

To be honest I feel I've been discriminated more over my age than I ever was because of my gender.

My CD & DVD players were gifts & I'll be damned if I can keep the latter right.

I don't even own a car anymore & mostly I could care less most of the time.

I am not anywhere close to what most people consider a Baby Boomer and resent being lumped with them. I'm just what I hope is a decent person trying to make her way through an unforgiving world.

I must agree that this idea of perpetual youth which is manifesting in the mega popularity of plastic surgery is more than likely the baby boomers' doing.

I am one- born in 1951, but have never aligned myself with the majority consciousness.

I have many friends who are not doing well with the idea of ageing.

IPODS?? Really?What are you talking about? Don't you know we boomers are all supposedly technically challenged? Presto who introduced a non-technical fax type of email box that is being marketed to boomers and seniors thinks that way.
If you're interested, check out my blog for my reaction.

I don't want any of those shows mentionned but I do watch Dateline and 48 hours. I'm 56 and finally figured out how to download music onto my mp3 player.
Don't have a cell phone as I don't want to be bothered when I'm out and about.
Now I'll have to check whats an Ipod, am I missing out on something?

Matty - An mp3 player?? Huh? I guess that's something else that tapes music???

My name is ned and I'm from the pre-boomer generation. Someone called us the "traditionalist" generation and I have an iPod and a cell phone and a couple of computers as well as a digital camera and I'm happy to use all of them. Crabby, it ain't about what you've got it's about what you do with it and aging has been scientifically proven to exist exclusively in our heads

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