I don’t know if you know this but anyone can be a boomer, it’s not strictly hard line boring old age being called onto the carpet, out into the ring, but it is this mentality, this mentality that has caught us up, got us stuck, mostly unaware, it’s not just you being old, or being old and white, or being old and white and male, but boy does this sometimes stack up to piles of mansplaining online (my friend got a 7 page response to one of her comments about something, I got an 8 page response one time, this can happen from men who are any age, really, but the deck is often stacked fellas, come and get your friends) and to piles of back in my day stories that simply do not matter to the now (my Gen X fiance tells the same damn stories, it is not about the boomer life, it is about the culture has shifted beyond recognition and those olden days mean nothing to the now), it is really not about your day or things like hard work or gumption, it is not about young people being entitled or wanting trophies or being lazy or wanting something for nothing, it is not somehow about this new generation needing to be spanked more as kids, it is this mentality that is out there that is not Ok, and not just Boomer, that says men can’t cry, feelings are weak, misogyny is not real, racism is multidirectional and also over, and that says climate change is something we do not have to worry and kids protesting it are dumb and should be in school despite being the most organized articulate brilliant and sweet activists I’ve ever seen and all of this naysaying and astroturf putdowns of people trying to save the world distract people enough while the rich walk away with all of the resources, all of the dollars, all of the homes, all of the water, all of the future, and we are down here pitted against pitted against pitted against each other with hurt feelings about what names were called by whom and when and the wealthy ride off into their global warming bunkers or their spaceships to Mars sponsored by Tesla and we are supposed to somehow believe everyone has done all that they could and that the real issue is old people being cranky and young people being lazy, again and again and again, we are duped every single decade by the same handful of people who are timeless, ageless, faceless, hollowed out shells of humans who thrive on exploitation and greed, who get their kicks from cutting the public social safety net and privatizing things like health care and prisons, who profit from human trafficking, who kick up coups and wars around the world, who love a good manufactured financial crisis that wipes out the middle class every other year, and whose hands always stay clean, are forever pristine, are glowing white, and even shiny, while we sling dirt and mud that is not even organic anymore, and wait to see what happens in terms of when the world will change, heads up: we are the only ones who can change it and it just won’t happen if all we do is this.
©Jenny Justice. All Rights Reserved.Jenny Justice, Poet. Sociologist. Teacher. Mother. Woman. Author of Love in the Time of Climate Change and Reveal. You can read more of her poetry at Justice Poetic. Sign up for her newsletter here. Follow her on jennyjusticepoet.com.