OK millennial, you don’t care for us baby boomers. You complain that we’ve taken all the food off the table and left you the crumbs. You say we cling to our jobs and won’t make room for you. And you especially resent how, throughout, we took ownership of the zeitgeist, the spirit of the age.
In the 1960s we were a youth movement that demanded to be heard. We marched on the Pentagon and occupied college administration buildings. In the 1970s we mellowed, listened to the Band and the Eagles, and read Charles Reich’s “The Greening of America.” In the 1980s we rebounded as yuppies. We became investment bankers and lawyers, and the women among us wore suits with padded shoulders. Thereafter we ascended to political power—not always wisely, truth be told. But our music had lyrics and melodies, and our protest songs took on real injustices. We cemented a civil-rights revolution for women and minorities and left a mark on all succeeding generations.