Magnificent Bravura

“As a Baby Boomer, it was my generation that first encountered a hypocritical and cynical government that was not trustworthy…” – Progressive Power, Florida

Thus opens a comment on this New York Times article. When I read the above, I couldn’t help it. I laughed. I laughed hard. And I still giggle to read it. The rest of Progressive Power’s comment is surprisingly sympathetic, considering most Boomer-authored pieces I read tend to sound more like a parody.

But that opener! That magnificent bravura! The sheer, unmitigated provincialism of it! It’s almost a work of art. It’s breathtaking. It perfectly summarizes, in twenty words, the amazing obliviousness I see around me.

The first generation to encounter a hypocritical government, hein? How about the men and women who lived under Harding, and watched Teapot Dome blow the government apart? Or under Chester Arthur, when you could buy your very own Senator or Governor for bacon grease? Or under slavery for the first century of America’s existence? Never mind foreigners, like Indians under the ‘benevolent’ Raj or the endless cycle of cynical exploitation and revolution that was France before 1950. That’s just the hypocritical ones – if I added the openly authoritarian, this list would never end.

Just think – these are the people in charge.

…and I’m still chuckling. Wow.

There are plenty of problems with my generation, with Millenials. But by God, at least we don’t think we invented history.


About R. Jean Mathieu

They say he speaks five languages, was conceived on a chess board, and once seduced a tong boss' daughter and lived to tell the tale. All we know is, he's called Roscoe. You can find more scurrilous lies at and buy his books at View all posts by R. Jean Mathieu

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