Boomer Nostalgia

craner

Beast of Burden
A few years ago I watched The Big Chill and wrote this:

I half-hardheartedly watched The Big Chill on Sony TV last night. It was shit but also totally fascinating because of the very specific period details and reference points that pervade every single aspect of the film and are all perfectly observed because the people making the film are basically making a film about themselves.

It's a period that is inherently interesting anyway, for all sorts of reasons: that is, the transition of American baby boomers from radical youth to materialistic middle age, which was both a personal, generational and national cultural and economic journey, from JFK and SDS to wealth, neurosis and Reagan (the film was released in 1983). One of the characters, for example, talks about leaving criminal legal aid to become a real estate attorney in Atlanta because she was tired of her clients always "being so damn guilty" and the money was better, and her ex makes a crack about her old self expecting to represent "Huey and Bobby".

It was like a combination of Thirtysomething and Destructive Generation. Like I say, all the good things about the film are now in the details of a generational nervous breakdown and how it expressed itself through reference points (e.g. the conversation above and also the 60s soundtrack) as well as material objects and obtainment (clothes, cars, careers, etc) and also the fallout of failures and addictions.

So I enjoyed this shit film in a very specific way.

For those of us in our 40s and 50s, these are our parents. Maybe we caught a glimpse of this transition in the 1980s and 1990s. It has certain events that mark it, e.g., Fleetwood Mac at the Clinton inauguration.

The baby boomers are letting go and dying off, so maybe now we can survey the cultural detritus of this generational journey?
 

version

Well-known member
I remember telling my dad there are people who believe the moon landing was faked and him flying into a genuine rage about it. I knew he'd seen the coverage in '69, but it caught me off guard how important the whole thing was to him and how much of an affront it was that people would question it.

He also had a hole blown in his nostalgia when he learned of Nixon's sabotaging of the Vietnam peace talks. He wasn't a fan of politicians in general, but the level of cynicism really shook him. It was a few years ago and he still brings it up if the conversation turns in that direction.
 

sus

Well-known member
I enjoyed the Big Chill for similar reasons

It's interesting that, at least in California and New York, boomer aesthetics have outlasted the boomers, nostalgia for a lost summer of love eden been transmitted to their grandchildren. Indie folk revival of the oughts, flower power organic food brand design, healing grifts and ayahuasca ceremonies, protest culture and new civil rights. Almost like the 2010s were a half-century-on echo of those years, and young generations are already repeating the trajectories—alienation from machinic-capitalist institutional landscape, psychedelic-carnival radicalization, disillusionment with oversimplistic countercultural idealisms, pipelines to conservatism & reintegration with the mainstream.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Maybe this is my recent robert sapolsky rabbit hole talking but people blame generations for behaviour they're doomed to repeat themselves, and if not only because they grew up in a totally different time and CAN'T. (Even leaving aside the massive generalisations.)

Inevitably I feel more charitable towards the boomers because my parents are in that generation.

NO FREE WILL
 

pattycakes_

Can turn naughty
Have to really wonder what future generations are going to say about us in equivalence to how the boomers have become this scapegoat for so many of our ills as if we would have been different if we were around back then
 

Clinamenic

Binary & Tweed
Maybe this is my recent robert sapolsky rabbit hole talking but people blame generations for behaviour they're doomed to repeat themselves, and if not only because they grew up in a totally different time and CAN'T. (Even leaving aside the massive generalisations.)

Inevitably I feel more charitable towards the boomers because my parents are in that generation.

NO FREE WILL
Did you watch any of his stanford course on youtube? Best lecture series I've watched.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
I've seen a bit of that but most of what I've been watching has been interviews with him about his latest book

This blew my mind though


It's actually made me feel less guilty about things I've done in the past cos I figure I was destined to do them

Obviously if you start really getting into the idea that you can't choose to do anything it could fuck you up completely
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Maybe this is my recent robert sapolsky rabbit hole talking but people blame generations for behaviour they're doomed to repeat themselves, and if not only because they grew up in a totally different time and CAN'T. (Even leaving aside the massive generalisations.)

Inevitably I feel more charitable towards the boomers because my parents are in that generation.

NO FREE WILL
If you believe in no free will you don't deserve to study primates you deserve to be studied by primates, and by that I mean have your face torn off by them.

The number of people who actually behave as if there were no free will is ZERO. Think for 5 minutes about a normal conversation and all the ways it breaks a putative assumption of no free will.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
There's a deeper sense of destiny that goes beyond billiard ball predetermination (not that billiard ball interactions can be predicted beyond a small number anyway!): it's not that being destined to do something means that it is known at some level (ultimately in the timeless vantage point on existence) that you were to do something, with your freely chosen decisions accounted for. It's equivalent to looking at someone's past actions within time: that they have happened doesn't mean free will wasn't involved.

In other words, you don't get away with any of this.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Have to really wonder what future generations are going to say about us in equivalence to how the boomers have become this scapegoat for so many of our ills as if we would have been different if we were around back then

A lot of Gen Xers are making a catastrophic job of parenting because (even more than Boomers) they can't accept any form of cultural generational divide, either because it doesn't exist or their egos are too fragile to face up to it or they don't have the discipline to enforce social norms themselves. We're going to be hated even harder than the Boomers.

Also, we have no story.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Sorry shouldn't have opened the determinist can of worms in here

Let's make a free/determined choice to not fill this thread up with a row over it
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Biscuits even made a thread about it. Kismet?

 

craner

Beast of Burden
One of the key features of the middle class British segment of Gen X is that we are inheriting the obscene profits that our parents made from the property boom, so our feckless cynicism is now being warped by a toxic sense of material entitlement. We are going to be so hated. Our kids will be euthanising us the first chance they get. "Sorry, Gramps, it's you or Net Zero."
 

version

Well-known member
A lot of Gen Xers are making a catastrophic job of parenting because (even more than Boomers) they can't accept any form of cultural generational divide, either because it doesn't exist or their egos are too fragile to face up to it or they don't have the discipline to enforce social norms themselves. We're going to be hated even harder than the Boomers.

Also, we have no story.

I was moaning about Gen Xer musicians with someone last night. YouTube's full of embarrassing band interviews from the 80s and 90s. Sunglasses, smoking, trying to come off as disinterested as possible despite turning up for the interview. Was prompted by someone telling me Lydia Lunch came to their house recently and she was still like that in her 60s. Although she's technically a Boomer and not Gen X.
 
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