From Vox.com, ““OK boomer” isn’t just about the past. It’s about our apocalyptic future.”
“OK boomer” is meant to be cutting and dismissive. It suggests that the conversation around the anxieties and concerns of younger generations has become so exhausting and unproductive that the younger generations are collectively over it. “OK boomer” implies that the older generation misunderstands millennial and Gen Z culture and politics so fundamentally that years of condescension and misrepresentation have led to this pointedly terse rebuttal and rejection. Rather than endlessly defend decisions stemming from deep economic strife, to save money instead of investing in stocks and retirement funds, to buy avocados instead of cereal — teens and younger adults are simply through.
Don’t be pissed off at us, Millennials, with your “Ok, Boomer” trend. I would call it a movement, but I realize that with all the new apps available on your phones it would be superseded by some more pressing world crisis— perhaps the suppressing of teaching World War II history because some child might be terrified by the deaths of 45 million human beings. Duh, no shit. Kind of the point, yeah? Anyway, as Billy Joel sang, “We didn’t start the fire; it was always burning, since the world’s been turning.” No, what’s got you angry is we, the Boomers, have lived too long. Those who felt the euphoria of The Summer of Love and the wonderful chaos of Woodstock ought to keep themselves to themselves, because that was the last sighting of a benevolent sun and a possible world under it, and we are stark reminders of that promise lost.
No, you, and all of us, ought to reserve our indignation and condemnation for those who are the lords of the fire, the fanners of the flames, the ones who’ve been figuratively and literally raping and pillaging villages since humanity learned to build villages. You know of them (you’ll never know them— you belong to only one club, and it’s Sam’s), but you’ve seen them: getting into their limos, drinking cocktails in the sky boxes, rubbing elbows with celebrities in St. Moritz, all this while their minions stoke the engines of revenue-making, stoking them with exotic woods and endangered species and chunks of ozone. So, no, it’s not “Ok, Boomer.” It’s not “Ok, Millennial.” It’s “We’re screwed, all of us.” Eleven years, the climatologists tell us, is all the time we have to fix it. Let me know in twelve what you think.
December 15, 2019
I don’t know about you, but it seems every time I turn around someone is screaming about being offended. As a result, one more offense is added to my “Let’s be Sensitive to Anyone Offended List.” Again, I don’t know about you, but my list is so full I can no longer keep up with what I can do, think, or say without offending someone.
So, here is the deal:
1. People are going to be offended. That is a hard fact of life, and the world will keep turning – another hard fact of life;
2. We should always strive to be sensitive, but walking on eggshells to avoid using the word “cat” in a conversation because it might bring up a negative childhood memory for someone or avoiding the use of “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” because they are gender specific and therefore discriminatory and offensive to some people is void of anything resembling sanity. Besides, sensitivity alone is not the answer. It is of greater worth to teach people to cope with the cards they have been dealt rather than try to change the world to fit in their personal boxes;
3. Although I try to be sensitive, I am in no way obligated to change my life to pander to another person’s sense of entitlement, paranoia, inability to cope as an adult, or personal insecurities regardless of how offensive that may appear to some people;
4. Rather, that me changing my life when you are offended, why not do what the rest of the adult society does – pull up your big boy or girl pants and deal with it?
5. In line with #4, if this post makes me offensive, take a deep breath and repeat, “I am a big boy or girl and I can cope with this by going to my room and taking a nap to relieve my feelings of entitlement and insecurity.”
I don’t mean to offend, but . . . . Offended? Really?
©Jack Linton, December 2, 2019
I just read an article someone placed on Facebook that stated more parents are homeschooling because they are fed up with “left-wing social engineering and violence in public schools.” Using a quote from the Washington Times the article said, “the top three reasons that parents choose homeschooling are a desire to provide religious instruction or different values than those offered in public schools; dissatisfaction with the academic curriculum, and worries about the school environment.” I worked as a teacher and administrator in private and public schools, and I can say with confidence that those were the same reasons parents said they chose home school over public school thirty plus years ago. The only two factors that have changed is the number of school shootings, and what I can only assume is the invention of a left-wing social engineering curriculum. I say invention since there was no such curriculum – academic or otherwise – taught in the 37 years I was in the profession, and I dare say, there is no such course taught to this day. There may be some who look at certain course offerings in that light, but that is more a personal ideology issue than a public school issue. There have always been parents who home-schooled their children and even some parents who home-schooled their children for a short period of time before eventually sending them back to the public school, and they do it today for the same reasons they did thirty years ago. Parents choosing to home-school does not signify public schools are being abandoned.
Homeschooling is a parental choice that works for some and not so well for others. To a certain extent, homeschooling does shelter children from outside influences and that is generally the ultimate goal of parents who choose to home school. The potential for violence in public schools does cause some parents to lean toward homeschooling, and who can blame them? However, violence not only occurs in schools, but on playgrounds, in low income neighborhoods, in affluent neighborhoods, and in society in general, but overall schools are still one of the safest places for children. The biggest violence concern today of which schools have little or no control over is the growing probability of gun violence on the school campus. There have been at least thirty school related shootings this year alone, so that is a very viable concern for any parent of school age children – public, private, or home-schooled.
As for left-wing social engineering, anyone making such a statement has spent little if any time in today’s schools, especially schools in the South – and most likely across the nation. Overall, teachers tend to be the most conservative family-oriented people in our society, and that has not changed regardless of fear tactics some people try to push. There are two major influences on what a child is taught in school – the local and state adopted curriculum and the community in which the school exists. It is highly doubtful teachings in schools, especially public schools, stray too far outside the parameters of the adopted curriculum or values upheld by the community in which the school exists.
Of course, parents should do what they feel best for their children, and if that is homeschooling, that is what they need do. As for me, I believe in public schools, especially since I have been blessed with three children who received a great education in public schools and I now have eight grandchildren getting an equal or better education in public schools. No, I am not concerned about left wing social engineering in the public schools my grandchildren attend. Their schools have professional teachers who follow the adopted curriculum and respect the values of the community in which they teach. Yes, I am concerned about violence, especially the threat of gun violence. Unfortunately, these days there are few places immune from such violence including schools, the mall, the streets, the church, and even the home. In some respect, we are all hostages/victims of this atrocity, and it is ludicrous to think we can wrap our children in a cocoon of safety indefinitely – even in the relative safety of our homes – until this issue passes or is addressed. Unfortunately, the gun violence issue will not pass until adults across this nation summon the courage to face it head on even if it means taking an unpopular stand to address the violence. Until that day arrives, who can blame parents if they decide to home-school to protect their child, but at the same time, blame should not be placed on public schools for this issue. If blame is to be cast, cast it on a society that allows the slaughter of its children to be looked upon as collateral damage.
Public schools are not without fault, but they are not the reason our society is struggling with its sanity, the loss of civility towards one another, or our self-righteous cherry-picking piousness regarding what is right and wrong. The mess we are in begins behind the doors of conservative and liberal homes where the morals and values of our society are instilled or neglected. A bigger fault than public schools may lie in the abrasive/abusive gum-flapping and finger pointing that threatens to destroy our country and lately seems to have replaced the values we claim to be so important. Name calling, finger pointing, labeling, and judging are testaments to the values we hold closest to our hearts, and most likely none of that will change in the foreseeable future. Neither public schools or homeschooling can shelter our children from such hypocrisy.
Therefore, point fingers at the public schools if you like, sneer at the conservatives if that makes you feel fuzzy and warm about yourself, rant against the liberals if that makes you feel superior, and home-school your children if you believe in scare tactics and left wing conspiracies. I have nothing against homeschooling, but don’t home-school out of fear and doubt cast by fear-mongers, haters, and conspiracy stalkers – home-school because you, as a parent, believe homeschooling is the best education value for your child. That is exactly why I sent my children to public school and my children send my grandchildren to public school.
Instead of inventing banners of disenfranchisement such as “left wing social engineering”, why don’t we practice a little common-sense social engineering for a change? Maybe, if common sense comes back in style, we might actually find a way to improve our schools and resolve the gun violence issue to create a better and safer nation for all children – home-school and public school alike.
©Jack Linton, November 15, 2019
At the close of the Mississippi legislature session this past spring, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves showed his true allegiance to K-12 education. After once again successfully standing in the way of a meaningful public school teacher pay raise, he secretly slipped two million dollars into a non-education bill to support education vouchers for private schools. Though his lack of support for public education is legendary, why would he risk such a blatant misuse of power during an election year? It is simple! He knew there is nothing Mississippi teachers can or will do about it! Like so many politicians, he looks at teachers as a bunch of little schoolmarms with little serious power or backbone to stand up and be taken seriously. He believes 20% of teachers might get upset by such a betrayal, another 20% of teachers simply won’t care for whatever reason, and 60% of teachers will be thankful for the crumbs they get and go about business as usual. So, in his mind, what does he have to fear if he sticks it to public school teachers?
Based on public school teacher voting history, Mr. Reeves knows the odds are in his favor that tomorrow teachers will be among the first in line – if they go to the polls at all – to vote for him as the next governor regardless of how badly he may have treated teachers in the past. He understands teachers have short memories, are submissive to a fault, and as long as he flies the Republican banner, he has little to fear from a potential power that is basically dormant in the state. It is sad politicians like him get away with it year after year after year, but in Mississippi it is a fact!
To their credit, there are those teachers who advocate a strike or walkout to get their voices heard, but years ago the Mississippi legislature adopted a “proclamation of servitude” aimed at teachers that effectively squashes any action in that direction beyond words. However, teachers have a tool that is potentially far greater than the impact of any strike – they have a VOTE! Teachers have the power to vote politicians like Tate Reeves out of office. With their vote, teachers have the power to end the disrespect of their profession and the underhanded deals that shortchange public school children and teachers. It is time teachers stop voting for people because they are from a certain party, they are “good ole boys,” or they know their mamas. Together teachers have the power to vote out of office Tate Reeves and anyone else who has demonstrated repeatedly their support for public education is only a token nod at election time.
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely Mississippi teachers will ban together. Tate Reeves knows that well, and as a result of statewide teacher apathy, once elected governor, he will continue to do unto teachers as he pleases. Tate Reeves is not a friend of public education or its teachers! The sad truth is unless educators wake up, the next four and most likely eight years will be little better and probably worse for public school educators. If Mr. Reeves’ history and past underhanded shenanigans are an indication of his integrity and commitment to public education in Mississippi, Mississippi teachers are in a world of trouble if he becomes the next governor.
It is in their best interests for teachers to stand up for themselves and be heard at the ballot box tomorrow. Instead of casting a submissive vote based on how the spouse votes or blindly voting party affiliation, teachers should vote as a profession knowing the future of Mississippi and its children are at stake. If they don’t, there shouldn’t be any future teacher complaints of disrespect, moaning over lost public education funding, or tears over being jilted out of another pay raise. Instead, teachers should be content to stand aside and watch quietly as more and more of their money and the money of public school children is funneled to private education. Without a public education infused vote in tomorrow’s election, that is exactly what will happen. Money intended to support public schools will be funneled to private schools eventually resulting in the dismantling of public education. The only way for public school education to get its fair share is to hold legislators accountable for their actions towards public education. The state legislature holds teachers accountable for their actions in the classroom, so it is time teachers held legislators and politicians such as Tate Reeves accountable for their actions regarding public education as well.
The worse thing that could happen to Mississippi in tomorrow’s election is for teachers to have a memory lapse and forget what Mr. Reeves and others like him have done to them rather than for them. The worse thing that could happen is for teachers not to have the courage to rock the boat and say we are not going to stand for politics as usual anymore. The worse thing that could happen is for teachers to stay home and not vote! It is time educators show Mr. Reeves that when it comes to being elected governor in Mississippi there is no such thing as entitlement, especially for someone who has shown so little regard for public school education.
The question is not can Mississippi public school teachers and those who support them make a difference in tomorrow’s election. The question is WILL THEY?
©Jack Linton, November 4, 2019
As we remember the horror of September 11, 2001, it is important to recognize belief in the preeminence of one human being over another remains a threat to our nation. The difference is today the monster is not only external but internal as well. We have forgotten how we rallied together as one in the days after the senseless attack on New York City and the Pentagon. We have forgotten how for a brief moment we stood together as brothers and sisters and defied evil. No American was superior to another on that day or in the days that followed; all Americans drank from the same fountain of unity.
As we remember and say a prayer for the lives lost on that tragic day, let us not forget to say a prayer for ourselves. From the ashes of 911, America found itself briefly, but lately, we have lost ourselves again. To have differences of opinion is common; to debate those differences is healthy; to be unwilling or incapable of working through those differences is foolish and dangerous. We should not be a nation ruled by hate and mistrust or divided by conservative and liberal ideas, religious beliefs, lifestyle choices, or racial tensions. As a nation we are united by a Constitution, philosophy, common sense, and decency that says all men and women are created equal and have the right of expression and personal pursuit of happiness. In America, to believe otherwise is oppression.
The destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City is a reminder of the destructive power of hate and a warped sense of superiority. It is a reminder that such evil can bring the greatest of nations to its knees. It is time we drink from the same fountain of unity once again. It is time we tear the tags, labels, and dialogue of division from the fountain and welcome all to drink – if not for our sake, for the sake of our children and the future of America.
May God bless America and the freedom and shining good she represents for all people.
©Jack Linton, September 11, 2016
Guns don’t kill people – people do – therefore, why should a law-abiding citizen’s guns be regulated? That won’t keep guns out of the bad guys hands. AN UNUSED GUN NEVER KILLED ANYONE!
Drugs don’t kill people – people do – therefore, why should a law-abiding citizen’s access to drugs be regulated? That won’t keep drugs out of the bad guys hands. AN UNUSED DRUG NEVER KILLED ANYONE!
Cars don’t kill people – people do – therefore, why should driving be regulated for law-abiding citizens? That won’t keep bad guys off the road. AN UNUSED VEHICLE NEVER KILLED ANYONE!
Sin doesn’t kill or corrupt people – people do – therefore, why should a good person be restrained by the law of God? That won’t keep bad guys/sinners out of the church. SIN BY ITSELF NEVER KILLED ANYONE!
When living in a civilized society, laws/regulations are put into place for the safety and common good of all people:
When people are killed at a train crossing (270 deaths in 2018), we put up crossing arms for the safety and common good of all people to reduce the number of future deaths;
When people die from drug use and addiction (70,200 deaths in 2017), we put into place regulations for the safety and common good of all people to reduce the number of future deaths;
When people die in car accidents (40,000 deaths in 2017), we put into place regulations for the safety and common good of all people to reduce the number of future deaths;
When people die in sin (God only knows this number), we build churches complete with regulations as to how we should live our lives for the common good of all people to reduce the number that are hell bound.
SO . . . .
When 40,000 (39,773 in 2017) people die a year from the use of guns, why don’t we pass gun regulations for the safety and common good of all people to reduce the number of future deaths? Stricter gun regulations may not save everyone, but the ones it saves might be someone you and I know or love.
IS THERE A TRULY LOGICAL REASON FOR NOT PLACING STRICTER REGULATIONS ON ACCESS TO GUNS, OR ARE WE SIMPLY PLAYING BY THE RULES OF THE LOGIC BEHIND ILLOGICAL THINKING?