Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just Don't Call Me Late for Dinner

The ramblings of long ago about what to call us, we later born baby boomers, have lead to no concensus about what to call us.  But there is an us.  Wes convinced me that I was on the right track when he found enough value in the Late Boomer group to be a regular poster on the subject of our identity as defined by our music.  Late Boomers isn't a term that I would have chosen to use had there been another good solution for reference to us.  Baby Boom had injected itself into the English language and common vernacular by the time I began to write on the subject.   

Another person was working very hard to create a name for us.  But reference to that group name seems to be listed, without fail, as Jonathan Pontell's Generation Jones.  A generation does not belong to any one person.  A generation is also a much longer time period than the late-50s to the early-60s.  I also didn't think we were anonymous as the word Jones alluded to, but that we were suppressed.  

Also my training in anthropology, linguistics, and demographics guided me to description of the group rather than an attempt to brand the group with a trademarked name.  The inclusion of the word boomers in the name is a pragmatic one.   The demographic phenomena that came to be known as the Baby Boom was originally just a phrase - babies of the post-WWII baby boom.   The rise in birth rates for the U.S. began in 1946 and actually continued above prior and WWII levels until 1968.  The U.S. Government chose to cut off the boom for official use and reference with the year 1964. 

My initial and primary purpose for talking to other LBers and writing about us was simply to bring awareness of the distinct cohort that we compromised to the forefront of the American consciousness so we would not continue to be ignored, as we had been all our lives.  I felt that utilizing our power as a group was only going to be possible if we recognized that we were a distinct group and one that actually out-numbered the Early Boomers. The name was just not as important as concept for my purposes.

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