The sun also rises 

Mrs. Sen. Clinton has lashed out at spoiled and selfish young people and the spoiled and selfish young people, her girl included, have lashed back.

Our own resident young-person columnist cited some scholarly mumbo and statistical jumbo recently to show that it is Mrs.-Sen. C.’s generation, called the Baby Boomers, that’s the real villain here, not the X or Me or Beavis or Duh Generation, or whatever the slovenly doped-out little bastards are calling themselves these days.

I’m strictly neutral in this debate, believing that not a single praiseworthy or above-average generation has come forth since the 18th century, but I wanted to put in a brief kind word for the Boomers. I feel like I’m one of them, though I was born during the war, rather than in consequence of the giant postwar love-in that tried to make up for all that time squandered in combat.

I know from having been there and seen the thing that Baby Boomers didn’t screw up the world, as today’s youngsters and their apologists contend. We didn’t screw up anything. We inherited the screwed-upness from the previous generation, who were some real hard-asses who abused and victimized us mercilessly and scandalously, never mind some sawed-off newscaster coming along later to call them the Greatest Generation.

You know how just about everyone in the Baby Boom generation, from Mrs. Ken Lay on down, has proclaimed himself or herself the “real victim” of one of life’s little dramas? Well, it’s true. We’re all victims, as sure as O. J. Simpson was the real victim in his contretemps and all those priests were victimized by those squealer altar boys. From all the confessionals and comings-out, I assume that every single Baby Boomer was sexually abused, though the memory remains repressed in a dwindling few of us. And it was the so-called Greatest Generation that did it to us, that turned us every way but loose.

Let me tell you about this Greatest Generation.

They would whup you with a harness strap over the merest triviality — if you wrecked the car while drag-racing, say, or accidentally burned the house down with some faulty old bong — and if you said anything about it to the neighbors or authorities they’d lock you in the smokehouse for two weeks with nothing to eat but hay and whatever rodents you could catch in there.

They had some fixation about cleaning your plate, like forcing down some godawful Salisbury steak TV dinner was supposed to mean something to starving Oriental people. One time I remarked, Hell, the Chinese boy or girl would eat the tinfoil on this thing before they would the food, and it was back to the smokehouse for me. They’d whup me then, and I’m sure there must’ve been some sexual abuse and therapy or boredom or epiphany or empathy with some old episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims” will help me someday recover the memory of it.

Just for talking no nastier than the vice president of the United States does, they’d wash your mouth out with lye soap — none of this good tasting Lifebuoy or P&G, what would be the punishment in that? — and then put the same bar of soap in your school lunchbox for a week instead of a sandwich.

They’d make you rub stinky liniment on their stinky old feet. And if you refused it’d be a whupping and sexual abuse.

They wouldn’t let you shoot hardly anything worth shooting with the .22.

The story was, and I had no reason to doubt it, that if they caught you whanging Herman, or in the flagrant delicto itself, they could push you out the open passenger door of a speeding pickup and leave you limp and boogered-up in the weeds along the shoulder there with no questions asked.

There’s the debate going on right now about schoolchildren having to ride the schoolbus too long and too far. We didn’t have a bus: we only had an old horsedrawn flatbed, only instead of horses, they made us take turns pulling it. And you didn’t miss bus-pulling duty by pleading that you had some minor ailment, like your polio acting up. The Greatest Generation would have you out there harnessed up at sunrise and tell you, All right, with that polio, you might have to limp to get ’er done, but you WILL get ’er done. And then they’d whup you. And the sexual abuse.

If you got a beating at school, even by the asylum-certified psycho principal, you knew you were in for another one when you got home. With no Miranda rights or a chance to tell your side. Just the whupping. And sexual abuse.

The Greatest Geneation was the one that when they talked of holding our feet to the fire meant holding our real feet to a real fire. This was after they made us build the fire. They were always making us build fires, for no better reason than to heat the house or cook our food. They made us chop the wood beforehand and then dump the ashes. We had to chop cotton too. And churn. And castrate hogs. The list goes on and on. Never for any good reason, just the old generation thinking up cruel ways to bring our generation down.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Thursday's open line and the daily video

    Here's the open line and the daily video.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • UPDATE: Ted Suhl gets seven years, $200,000 fine for bribery

    Ted Suhl was sentenced this morning by federal Judge Billy Roy Wilson on four counts of attempting to bribe a state official to help his mental health business supported by Medicaid money. He received 84 months and a $200,000 fine and is to report to prison in early January. He will appeal.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • Question raised on Dallas Cowboy gift to NLR cops

    Blogger Russ Racop raises an interesting question, as he sometimes does, about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' gift of free tickets for North Little Rock cops to attend a Dallas Cowboy football game.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • More »

More by Bob Lancaster

  • Wretched rez

    I had some New Year's Rez(olutions) for 2016 but that ship sailed so I'm renaming them my Spring Rez or my All-Occasion Whatevers and sending them along.
    • May 26, 2016
  • Nod to Bob

    A look back at the weird and wonderful world of Bob Lancaster.
    • Mar 21, 2013
  • On black history

    If you're going to devote an entire month to appreciating the history of a color, it might as well be the color black.
    • Feb 14, 2013
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Issue 3: blank check

    Who could object to a constitutional amendment "concerning job creation, job expansion and economic development," which is the condensed title for Issue 3 for Arkansas voters on Nov. 8?
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
  • Ted Suhl loses another bid for new trial; faces stiff sentencing recommendation

    Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.

Latest in Bob Lancaster

  • Lancaster retires

    Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.

    • Feb 21, 2013
  • On black history

    If you're going to devote an entire month to appreciating the history of a color, it might as well be the color black.
    • Feb 14, 2013
  • Making it through

    Made it through another January, thank the Lord.
    • Feb 6, 2013
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • The politics of opportunity

    Are you sick of the election yet? One thing that seems certain is that our politics remain as hyperpartisan and dysfunctional as ever. I may be naive, but I think Arkansas has an opportunity to help lead the country back toward pragmatic progress on the issues that will make our families and communities stronger.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.
  • The end is near

    Practically speaking, it doesn't really matter if Donald Trump accepts the results of the November election.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Football and foster kids

    • I think Bart Hester just hates tax dollars being spent anywhere for anything.

    • on October 27, 2016
  • Re: The politics of opportunity

    • Maybe we need to revive a grassroots movement to have (1) nonpartisan redistricting (2)Top two…

    • on October 27, 2016
  • Re: The politics of opportunity

    • I don't see the collective will to accomplish these things, either within or out of…

    • on October 27, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation