I have a confession to make. I don’t like Boomers. Not every individual, mind you. Many are fine folks. But as a whole, the post-WWII generation is perhaps the ultimate counterpoint to their parents, the oft-lauded “Greatest Generation.” Now, the WWII bunch wasn’t without their faults. They had lived through hard times as kids, the world’s most vicious total war as young adults, and watched the post-war optimism crumble into paranoia and atomic dread as the Soviet Union set out to remake the world in its image.

But, for all that, they produced great lights and great deeds. They brought us safe nuclear energy, safe jet aircraft, television, and cheap global communications. And they ushered in the fruits of that progress: energy, air travel, entertainment, and education for the masses. Under their watch, the marvels that had been reserved for the elites in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s spread throughout the world. We don’t give them enough credit for creating the world of wonders we live in today.

Sadly, they also created their children. And, like all parents, they told their children that they were special and wonderful and that the world was their playground. Unfortunately, their children believed them. Boy, did they ever. And so, the offspring of the great generation of J. F. Kennedy became the generation of J. F. Kerry. Full of their own importance, and certain of their moral rectitude, the Boomers walked with impatient righteousness into the House of the Nation and promptly doused it with gasoline and set it on fire.

Along the way, of course, they helped accomplish some good things, but for every good deed, a host of ills more than balanced it out. For through it all, one thing remained constant: the utter narcissism and self-centeredness of the Boomer Generation. From the chaos of the 60’s student movement, to the decadent excess of 70’s fashion, to the greed of the 80’s, to the smug decadence of the Clinton years, to the current Administration, in every decade the Boomers are drunk with power and, if often wrong, never, absolutely never, uncertain.

Their sins are many, but as a Catholic, the one closest to my heart is the way in which they transformed a wonderful, beautiful, Council into a chaos of banality and vanity. From the sublime teachings of the Church on how to address the problems of the modern world, reach out to other faiths, and revitalize our own, to Clown Masses, horrible music, and, worst of all the most Hellish liturgical “dances” ever to afflict the world. (Mark my words, one day the Church in Africa—where ritual dance is ancient and appreciated—will rise up and destroy the Church in America—and we’ll deserve it for these horrible mockeries of actual ritual dance.)

But, you will say, they meant well. Well, of course they meant well. They always mean well. And since they’re the most narcissistic well-meaning dunderheads you’ll ever meet they really never do understand why others don’t bow to their all-knowing wisdom. Pause a moment and ponder: what links the folly of the unilateral disarmarment movement and the neo-conservative desire to reform the Middle East? The same thing that makes Osama and his crowd absolutely froth at the mouth: the arrogrant certainty that what the Boomer wants, he should have, because it’s for the children, or for the planet, or for those poor people—by which he means, for himself.

Ah, Lord, you never test us beyond what we can bear. So thank you, Lord, for kindly Sister Death, who even now begins to visit the Lamest Generation and demonstrate once and for all that they are not, in fact, the center of the Universe. May we who follow them be wiser at least in this, that we can laugh at ourselves and appreciate how silly we look to our fellow man. And may that wisdom make us truly wise, which is to say, truly humble. Amen.

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