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The Peter Pan Generation

By Lisa Fabrizio
web posted May 16, 2005

Michael Eric Dyson's tour for his book, Is Bill Cosby Right? (Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost its Mind?) has been busting out all over radio and TV in the past few weeks. In fact there's been lots of talk about Bill Cosby's remarks concerning declining morality and poor behavior stemming from a lack of parental responsibility that's holding black kids back.

Mr. Cosby laments the lifestyle of young blacks; from their dress, to their music, their views on sex, their language and their moral ethos in general. He believes that it is the fault of black parents for not checking more closely on the lives of their children and in this he comes close to the mark.

For although there is major cause for concern regarding poor black children, the issues raised by Cosby apply across a great many segments of our American culture. The reason that so many parents, black and white, cannot control their children is that they themselves have never grown up.

I speak mainly of the liberal Baby Boomer generation whose parents -- after suffering through the Great Depression and fighting World War II -- spoiled their children in the belief that there were no more wars to be fought and that Easy Street lay ahead. The greatest generation then spawned a faithless one.

A generation that was fed on the drunken notion of the incredible power which was handed them by their parents, but was squandered in a drug-addled, sex-crazed haze of delusion and self-satisfaction, leading to some of the worst times this nation has ever seen.

Nearly all of the complaints Mr. Cosby cites spring most naturally from the decade of the 1960s. Disrespect for authority, slovenly dress, sloth, drugs, 'free' love and deviant dialects can all be traced to the 'revolution' of the mid-to-late '60s.

It's true that youthful hijinks predate that period of course, insofar as they were a type of teenage rebellion. However, what was only a phase in the lives of the Flappers of the '20s or the Bobby-Soxers of the '40s, failed to be outgrown by the liberal Boomers.

Urged on by academic socialist sympathizers and indulged by their war-weary parents, they believed that their newly acquired 'freedoms' were the beginning of a new America -- one that would be led by these fresh young warriors. And so they spread out, especially in the areas of academia, the law and the arts to spread the Doctrine of Me-ism.

It used to be that if adults didn't like something, kids thought it was cool and embraced it until it was their turn to grow up. In the '60s this was perverted into, 'if we like it we'll do it, to hell with our parents'. Only now that they are the parents, they still want their views to hold sway and 'to hell with everyone else'.

'Never trust anyone over thirty,' was their cry until they themselves reached that unholy mark and beyond. Left-wing Baby Boomers now refuse to grow old. Viagra, hair growth formulas, Botox, etc., show that they are loathe to relinquish their youth and view growing old as something less than desirable, noble or even eventual.

The reason for this is becoming clear. In all their rebel-rousing over the past forty years, they must intrinsically know they have strayed from all but the material goals of prior generations of Americans. They have made money but endeavored to bankrupt the moral underpinning millions of their countryman died to protect and continue to hold dear.

They don't dare teach the true history of this country because they know it would contradict their foul actions during the Vietnam War and after. They support a runaway judiciary because they know the majority of the country will no longer vote with or for them. And they despise religion even more than aging because they fear the wrath of a God they won't acknowledge but secretly fear exists.

Worse yet, they refuse to let their 'culture' grow old, lest they might also. Spandex-clad sexagenarians like Mick Jagger continue to flounce across stages to the cheers of millions convinced by the Boomers that he represents true artistic genius. These are the same purveyors of the national culture who declared that Campbell soup cans were similarly worthy of worship and The Last Tango in Paris was a cinematic masterpiece.

Rock and roll, junk art and raunchy movies may be fun for kids, but when adults continue to wallow in their superficiality, it sends a dangerous message: you needn't grow into a mature, responsible adult, someone else can do that. Too many young people are getting that message and acting accordingly.

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut. You may write her at mailbox@lisafab.com.


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