The Boomers: Primed for an Early Fade?
I don't want to be morbid here but there's a chance the Baby Boomer drain on entitlement programs won't be as significant as first feared. I'm going to base this on a scientific study comparing Bob Dole to the Mamas and Papas rock group. Bob went through some horrific wounds during World War 2, spending many months in the hospital long after the fighting was over. Yet, he still is with us, and for all we know he's out there right now with a Viagra-fueled erection, chasing Elizabeth Dole around.
Meanwhile, 3 out of 4 of the Mamas and Papas rock group are dead. Sadly, Denny died just last week. Now, we all are used to a member of a band aging quickly through drugs and fading way too soon. For me, my hero Jerry Garcia comes to mind. Standing next to Bob Weir in the early photos they look like two teenagers. Before it was over Bob and Jerry looked like a young man with his grandfather. Let's just say some of our rock star heroes participated in an accelerated aging program.
And guess what? So did we. I can't help wondering if there wasn't some long-term damage done by my generation during our wild stage. Are certain parts of our brains going to wear out in our 50s or 60s because of the pummeling we gave them back in the day? It certainly is true of boxers - they face an early fade in the mental area decades after the last punch was thrown.
Wouldn't it be interesting if all this talk about the Boomers busting the social security bank by living till we're in our 80s or even 100, is just talk? You hear this expressed all the time: "80 is the new 60!" Maybe that's true, but maybe with this generation, "60 is the new 100!" Maybe we lived around 40 years of wear and tear from the age of 20 to 30. I know I did.
It remains to be seen if it'll show up. I hope not, but I wish we could have gotten a few more decades out of Jerry Garcia, too. The accelerated aging program took care of that. Maybe the rest of the Boomers will follow suit and not stick around as long as other generations.
There has to be some consequences for how we acted back then, wouldn't you think? I mean you all look very serious and responsible now, but I remember how you used to be. I saw you. It's worth pondering: How come the Mamas and the Papas rock band didn't live as long as some of our own Mamas and Papas?
Maybe those wild times will come back at us - that's all I'm saying. One thing is for damn sure: The part of our brains that registered the fun has got to be a little worn out.