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Generation Jones

There’s a world of difference between early and late baby boomers, writes Richard Perez-Pena in The New York Times (1/12/14). The baby boom is a ‘generation’ stretching from those born in 1946 until 1964, which Richard thinks should be split into two parts: Boomer Classic and Boomer Reboot (aka Generation Jones). "For a wide-ranging set of attitudes and cultural references, it matters whether you were a child in the 1940s and ’50s, or in the 1960s and ’70s. And it probably matters more whether you reached adulthood before or after the early ’70s."

"If you were an early boomer," he writes, "even if you were not drafted or shipped to Vietnam, you had friends, classmates or relatives who were … Late boomers had none of that – no war, no draft, no defining political cause … They don’t remember where they were when Kennedy was killed and innocence died" but do recall "when Nixon resigned and cynicism reigned … Compared with early boomers," the late boomers were "a lot more likely to grow up with one parent around." Richard thinks late boomers actually have more in common "with the jaded Generation X that followed."

"In pop culture, there’s just no parallel in the amount of political content, darkness and skepticism we grew up with," Richard writes. "First half boomers got all of those things, but later in life, and they were new and challenging; for us, they were part of the landscape. The early boomers were born into a world without rock ‘n’ roll … or even much in the way of really harsh satire." Late boomers "can’t remember a time before the British Invasion, Hunter S. Thompson and George Carlin … The classic boomers had ‘Mr. Sandman‘ and ‘Leave It To Beaver,’ while re-booted boomers had "’Sympathy for the Devil‘ and ‘All in the Family.’"