Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - Part 3

The Ferris Bueller generation (FBG’s = those born 1955-65) are actually the second half of the baby-boomers where we were in the leading edge of the bulge. We were fortunate to have lived in an interesting era during our youth, but I would say that it wasn’t quite the euphoric experience the FBG’s seem to think it was. The music was great and we’ve been blessed that it was good enough to stand the test of time…maybe that’s what has Begala and his pals ticked off. But then again, take a look at the picture above…who would you have rather have had as your friends? Otter, Bluto, and the gang or some gaunt little preppies?

I recall observing the FBG’s emerge from college in the late 70’s to early 80’s and thinking at the time that they were in a huge hurry to acquire big houses, fast cars, and whatever else they thought would enhance their personal sense of worth. You and I likely followed our parents’ examples and started out modestly, then built ourselves up when we could. But they, the FBG’s, seemed to be remarkably detached from the reality that it usually takes time and work to build a substantial life that may or may not include some of the trappings they so much wanted.

The FBG’s also came across as lacking integrity and willing to screw others to have their way. In observing them operate, it was clear they considered a lie as useful as the truth if it furthered their ambitions...and more troubling they seemed utterly devoid of conscience. During a circa 1980 casual conversation with a VP of a large regional employer, I asked it he was seeing anything like this in his interviews of potential new recruits from the ranks of late 70’s to early 80’s college graduates. He emphatically replied, YES—they expect to be managers and VP’s in a couple of years!

I know it’s both risky and unfair to generalize about an entire group…so, bear with me as I continue to generalize. I think people develop their life-long sensibilities by the time they reach adulthood. And I think that by reviewing the history of their times, their popular music, and their taste in movies an amateur psychologist might form a fairly illuminating opinion of what kind of people populated a group when they became adults.

Think about that for a moment…our parents went to war and saved the world; we went to war and (for better or worse) changed the authoritarian order of things; and courtesy of our parents and ourselves, the FBG’s weren’t burdened with war and have worked on perfecting the art of the scam during their entire adult lives.

The last part of this series of thoughts will sum things up. As you have probably surmised, I don’t like the FBG any more than they like me. I think they are whiners without soul, without good judgment, and when their lives are summed up there will be absolutely nothing memorable about them or their times. Think about it for a moment: Do $50,000 4-wheel drive SUV’s make any sense whatsoever on smooth roads where they’re most frequently used?

And will anyone really recall the music of their generation…Boy George and Cyndi Lauper?