Friday, February 24, 2006

Lamentations of the Boomers

Radio-blogging tonight.

I listened to this evening's edition of The Infinite Mind as I was driving home tonight. I found it interesting, but it's not for enough people to blog about, but at the end John Hockenberry had a delicious piece that is worth the link, called Lamentations of the Boomers.

I can't find a script of the program but that is jsut as well. His recitation is better than dry words in print.

The program is an hour long. (I was interested because it was about failing memory associated with aging, but at the moment I am more troubled by the ebb of time than the loss of recollection. I suppose when I start having more to look back on than forward to I will change my attitude.)

Anyway, to hear the five and a half minutes of John Hockenberry, drag the control button ahead to 51:10 and let it play to the end. Here is the audio link. Order the program or click on "Listen Now" to hear.

I hope making this transcript for my blog is not violating any laws. I keep it here just for my own future reference.

The Lamentations of the Boomers
by John Hockenberry

They were not at the beginning but more toward at the end of time did they become fruitful and multiply and call themselves the name "Boomers" as they would rename all the things in the world to their likeness.

Yet their numbers did increase beyond all multiplying as of a pestilence of well-fed and prosperous creatures who did see that the earth was created for them and that they were the earth.

Neither did they know the wartime butchery of their forbears nor did they know the poverty and deprivation of their fathers and mothers before them. When they were told of these things they did become sleepy and irritable, and ever did they speak of cartoons and breakfast cereal...and stare into the mirror as their image was not an abomination but did always comfort them.

They did from the beginning find idolatry in the warm box with the pictures on the front. Never did it speak of deprivations and hardship...only Bozo and Popeye and the Beaver, except after eight in the evening when Gunsmoke and Bonanza entered the box, and this was an abomination to the Boomers, as was the King family and Mitch Miller and Lawrence Welk who caused them to shrink away in horror and to hiss and wag their heads at the picture box and to gnash their orthodontically perfect teeth.

But Sullivan they did forgive. When he introduced The Beatles he was no longer an abomination. He was just a forgotten old man and they thanked him for going away.
And did the Boomers then rename music. They did call it Rock, as they did rename The Birds and The Animals and The Mamas and the Papas and The Beachboys.

And when they did eat of the leaf of the hemp and the drop of the acid that they did name psychedelic did they proclaim an Age of Aquarius...that was much sung about, but never did the Boomers explain it...not even when they walked naked in muddy fields, nor when they claimed to have discovered love and declared it "free"...although a prisoner it was not.

And there arose a great shouting and clamoring from the Boomers. In everything they saw themselves.
When Boomers were sick it was news.
When Boomers became thick with gluttony it was news.
When Boomers became thin it was bigger news.
When they had children it was news.
They discovered marriage as though it had never been.
They discovered divorce.
And adultery they discovered most of all...although the Boomer named Quayle, he did not discover it. Nor did he discover the leaf of the hemp. And the Boomer named Clinton didst only experiment with the leaf of hemp, and nor did he ever inhale. And the Boomer named Clinton practiced free love, but when he denied it he was celebrated as a political genius. Because he was a Boomer president he was called great, although to Quayle and Bush and O'Reilly he was an abomination.
And O'Reilly didst sorely gnash his teeth and speak only of his childhood poverty, forgetting his riches, both then and now as it was foretold...
Boomers would forget...first details from their background, then the names of old girlfriends and new mistresses. And then the lyrics of Pink Floyd songs and finally where they put the viagra, the flashlight and the Double-A batteries.

When the Boomers discovered age, there was a great clammoring and distress and many books about loving one's self. And doctors named Phil who spoke in idiot riddles and gave great comfort to Boomers. There were Boomers who paid to stitch their faces to the back of their heads, stretching them to put hair back on their heads, to suck the fat from stomachs and thighs, though they did not suck it from the breasts, only did they enlarge those. And did they even staple their stomachs after they did eat of the food of junk and grow large as the two-car garage they did cut it.

But neither could they turn back the clock, so they spent the money of their children until the wealth did wither.

And here the Boomers did sorely forget. Neither did they think of the future. Only did they listen to Seals and Crofts and Hotel California and Fleetwood Mac and Motown.

In the end they wore yellow ribbons for everything. But they did not remember Tony Orlando.

In the end the Boomers were a plague unto the land, and yet the story is still being told.

It is said that when Boomers discover death it will be as though it had never existed, and the clammoring will be so great, and the gnashing of teeth so loud that no one will be able to listen to I-pod headphones, so great will be the wailing and the din until the last Boomer finds eternal rest.

It is written...or something like that...

I sorta forget the whole thing...


Anonymous said...

Great stuff. Would love to have a transcript to send to my Mom & Dad, boomers they.

Hoots said...

October, 2007.
I finally got around to making a transcript and updating the links. Blogging has advantages as a scrapbook, but maintenance can be a challenge.
On one hand the content is as safe as Google can make it...which is a lot safer than my hard drive if history is any teacher. This is our fourth computer system in twenty years, the others having gone obsolete.
On the other hand, hyperlinks can die like autumn leaves.
Oh, well...