Thursday, January 26, 2006

Intro to the Alpha version (work in progress)

As the battleship Missouri was sailing into Tokyo Bay to accept the Japanese surrender that ended World War II, my parents were walking up the aisle for their marriage ceremony at the Most Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. I was born the following June, as one of the first of the postwar baby boomers.

The baby boom generation, which demographers mark as beginning in 1946 and ending with babies born in 1964, was a major influence on institutions, culture, politics, business---just about everything. That influence was conspicuous from our infancy through childhood, early adulthood and maturity.

This year the first of us will turn 60. If life is a three-act play--with Act I as youth, and Act II as middle age, then early baby boomers are entering the last Act.

These days we often find ourselves vilified, both for our past and for the imagined costs to society of our projected dependence. Economically and culturally, we are increasingly isolated. Though we are in some ways still a huge market, and collectively we hold a lot of private wealth, we are no longer the obsessive target of advertisers, and therefore of the media supported by advertising.

That’s largely because advertisers don’t believe that can sway us anymore. Either because of our fixed habits or hard-earned skepticism or both, we can’t be so easily convinced to buy something or switch brands, after seeing a commercial that dramatizes how we will be instantly more attractive and successful if we do. We are kind of past a lot of that.

But that also means that news media are less likely to cover our concerns or activities. We may be the subject of cover stories this year, but there are few publications devoted to our interests.

This site—together with its companion site, The Boomer Hall of Fame --- is one small attempt to remedy that.

This site is about baby boomers and their interests and concerns, primarily for baby boomers, and by at least one baby boomer (though I hope many more will participate through comments.)