Stuff that Baby Dog Will Think is Really, Really, Really, Really Old
I was born rather late in 1964, which technically makes me a Baby Boomer – if you accept (as I do) the definition of the Baby Boom as a period of 20 years (one generation) starting with the return of Our Boys from overseas in 1945. Technically, I’m one of the last of the Baby Boomers. In practice, though, I’m not. People our age – Mama Dog was born that same fateful dragon year, as were Papa Pirate, Ambrose, Mama’s Dog’s ex, and so many of our circle – are really the kid siblings to the Baby Boom. We’re too young to be proper Boomers, too old to be proper Gen Xers. We’ve been called tweeners, which is not a term I particularly like, but I suppose it’s as good as any other. Being a tweener is kind of like being Canadian – which I should know, being both. Canadians are bombarded more than any other country by the cultural product of the
All this is the result of musing on how old the stuff we grew up on is going to seem to Baby Dog. So many of our little cultural obsessions spring from the year of our birth or before. I try to draw parallels. The Beatles will be to Baby Dog roughly what Al Jolson is to me. Star Trek is Fibber McGee. On the Road is Finnegans Wake. Raquel Welch is Mary Pickford.
To obfuscate matters further, as we’ve gotten older so to have our film and music preferences. We listen to Bing Crosby and the Andrews sisters. We love the Mills Brothers and the Ink Spots, even though every last one of their songs starts with that same dopy cowboy rhythm. We like Jimmy Stewart movies. I’ve been known to hum “We Did it Before and We Can Do It Again.” Yes, having exhausted the cultural output of our older siblings and having failed to supply anything particularly compelling of our own, we’ve stepped back even further, to the songs and films that delighted our parents. My secret fear is that Baby Dog will grow up thinking this is what people were into when I was a kid. So maybe, I suppose, when she’s forty, she’ll discover the guilty pleasure of Herman’s Hermits.
* …while simultaneously suffering a cultural braindrain because apparently with all its resources America still can’t produce enough rock stars and comedians on its own.