Bookmarks: Why the Boomergeddon trope is tripe

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Bookmarks: Why the Boomergeddon trope is tripe

A fortnightly look at books, writers and reviews

Andrew Donaldson

The 1960s continue to cast a long shadow. There’s frothy, nostalgia-tinted entertainment like the Danny Boyle romantic comedy Yesterday, which imagines a world in which the Beatles never existed and a struggling singer-songwriter is able to perform songs by the greatest pop band in history to audiences that have never heard them.

Darker, though, is blaming the generation that came of age during the liberating burst of hedonism that began, as the poet Philip Larkin put it, “between the end of the Lady Chatterley ban and the Beatles’ first LP” for much of the planet’s present problems – be it Donald Trump, global warming, the economic meltdown, joblessness, political mismanagement, mounting inequality, education mismanagement, immigration crises, housing shortages, poverty, drought and much more besides.

Through their association with the libertarian 1960s, the so-called Baby Boomers are presented as a problem. The selfish excesses of the Aquarian age have brought about havoc for later generations, according to this “Boomergeddon” trope...

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