“Dilbert” cartoonist Scott Adams for the first time, to my knowledge, has taken the baby-boom generation head on in his strip for today:
(The full-sized strip is at the end of this post.)
The “pointy-haired boss” of “Dilbert” for years has been the quintessential baby boomer, utterly clueless and incompetent yet in charge of the whole show nonetheless — and in possession of wildly exaggerated views of his own competence, talents and worth.
The title character of Dilbert, I do believe, is a member of my generation, Generation X (which is probably why I’ve always loved “Dilbert”). Dilbert incessantly struggles to do a good job despite the obstacles that his incompetent baby-boomer boss puts in his way.
Today’s “Dilbert” strip has Asok, a member of Generation Y, I believe, flat-out telling the “pointy-haired boss”: “Your [generation] has destroyed the hopes of my entire generation.”
Not that the boomers give a flying fuck that they are the first generation in the history of the United States of America that didn’t give a shit about leaving the nation in better shape for the next generation than the nation was when they inherited it.
I would say that the boomers’ mentality always has been “Get mine and get out,” except that they always got not only what was theirs but also what wasn’t theirs, but what belonged to their children and to successive generations. Like cancerous tumors, the boomers just can’t get enough at the expense of the whole (that’s why I’ve also thought of the boomers as Generation Swine), and their greed has brought the entire nation — indeed, the entire world — to the brink of collapse.
Ironically, the boomers apparently thought that things would collapse right after their deaths, but their unbridled, hordes-of-locust-like greed has been such that we are seeing the catastrophic results of their utter selfishness and irresponsibility sooner (as in now) rather than later.
The boomers’ legacy will include such things as stolen presidential elections, bogus wars in the Middle East (only perpetuating the terrorist threat from there for years to come) and environmental devastation (including melting polar ice caps, for fuck’s sake) and economic devastation that will affect generations to come.
There are exceptions that are far and few between, but even the most progressive boomers tend to show central boomer traits, such as materialism (even their “spirituality,” such as “The Secret” bullshit, is about materialism) and a refusal to acknowledge the damage that their generation has done to the generations succeeding them.
I wonder if Adams is going to continue the discussion, and I wonder if a larger national discussion about the worthlessness of the baby boomers is going to follow.
P.S. The Wikipedia entry on Scott Adams notes that he was born in 1957 — which makes him a baby boomer. He is one of the rare exceptions, one of the few boomers who will admit that the baby-boom generation dropped the ball on the American dream, which is that each generation would make things better for the generations that follow it.