Sunday, May 25, 2008

M. Daum wrote the stupidest op-ed in today's LA Times

A particularly stupid op-ed article appeared in 5-25-08 Los Angeles Times by one M. Daum who is tired of baby boomer reunions. Daum calls herself "a member of Generation X," a term which I always thought was a pop media cliche, and refers to Generation Y, yet another pop media cliche term. And do we have a pop media Generation Z yet? I hope not.

As a member of the '60s generation, I'm not what Daum calls "baby boomer," yet another pop media term used to sell goods. I haven't listened to classic rock for decades, and get rid of all those old albums about 15 years ago. To tell the truth, I never liked the Rolling Stones much anyway, thinking them hypocrites who could rock.

I did love roots American music featured at the Ash Grove in the 1960s, and missed the Ash Grove reunion a few months back at UCLA. But Daum is too much emeshed in pop media cliches to have bothered with the Ash Grove which showcased great American music--blues, bluegrass, Appalachian folk-- in the 1960s to a new generation. The only problem with the Ash Grove reunion is I missed it and it should have been better publicized. Ed Pearl, please have another reunion so I can go!

Daum kvetches about how her generation was "carving out its collective identity largely concerned with our role as the victims of any number of boomer-imposed crimes" like some right-wing Fox TV host. She lists "dwindling Social Security, fearsome divorce statistics, AIDS as the death rattle of the free-love party." Social security is not "dwindling" except in right-wing scare stories--it's a very successful program of the 1930s generation. She should put a lot of the blame for the soaring divorce tactics on her generation and stop sounding like the crybaby of the week.

As for AIDS, blaming that on "boomers" makes her sound like a right-wing revivalist. Her generation did its bit for spreading AIDS, so she should stop wringing her hands as if she were a virgin goody two shoes who came too late to the party. If she's serious about how she--or her ten friends--tried to make a collective identity as victims of non-existent boomer crimes, they are to be pitied as fools.

She doesn't like the movie "The Big Chill," but I didn't either. So what! She complains that most of her peers who have "crushing student debt and a prohibitively expensive housing market preclude solipsistic weekends in that kind of square footage" of a movie like "The Big Chill."

Blaming crushing student debt on baby boomers is incredibly ignorant. Actually, the military build-up in the 1980s Reagan presidency began a systematic defunding of higher education--both federal and state governments have defunded higher education--which has lasted for 27 years now! Blame Reagan Republicans! Blame all the Republicans and their ghastly military budgets and all the Democrats who go along with them! At least get your facts right.

As for Daum complaining about the housing market, she shows ignorance of why its so expensive: private developers dominate the market nationwide, wanting the highest profits. The federal government only briefly in the 1930s-early 1950s built public housing, but the Red Scare stopped public housing in Los Angeles. If you want more affordable housing in this country, we need to fight for decent government regulation of mortgage market, low cost federal mortgages like the World War II veterans got, and subsidized public housing.

What I'm tired of is decades of foolish commentators like Daum who mouth the most lifeless most ignorant pop media cliches and the most flawed right-wing analyses. Now that we know that the cute right-wing analyses lead to a bankrupt U.S. government, the Daums of the world aren't cute but really really boring.

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