A Glowring Boomer | Letters | Chicago Reader

A Glowring Boomer 

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To the editors:

One thing that poor, young "Boomed Out" Julie Phillips will learn as she matures as a writer is that good argumentative prose--as opposed to the twaddle she has composed suggesting that the baby boom generation ought to go to another planet to make room for people like herself--is that it contains facts and specifics. Flabbergasted, I have read her July 31 essay three times trying to figure out just what has her so exercised. She suggests that she reads an article every other week in the newspaper about "being middle-aged," and that "sighing after lost youth has become a media epidemic bigger than drugs." Yet as a person who actually reads the newspaper I simply don't see this preoccupation in the press. Even supposing Phillips is right, which she isn't, how difficult is it for her to skip over articles that don't interest her?

The rest of her piece is filled with such baseless slams at baby boomers as, "you seem to have believed that you were the first and last and only adolescents on the planet" and "the self-absorption that makes you think that because you're turning 40 everyone else must be just dying to know what it's like," served up without a shred of supporting evidence or even a poignant anecdote. Does she hang out with some particularly solipsistic older friends who will not stop talking about where they were when JFK was shot and how bummed they are about their lost idealism? If so, then I suggest she stop her callow whining and find some other friends. Some younger friends. Some fellow postboomers, with whom she can discuss until all hours and without interference the important social, political, and artistic contributions of her generation.

Eric Zorn

W. Higgins

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