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Sorry if this isn't the most important or interesting diary you'll ever read, but this issue comes up again and again. It was sometimes a point of contention between Obama vs. Hillary or Edwards supporters, and rears its ugly head in a less flameworthy way than the I/P debates, but not infrequently or without acrimony, either.

A diary about Meghan McCain's latest blithering on Rachel Maddow unleashed the latest incarnation.

"She talked about generational differences, and her words suggest that moderation is something about which "the older generation just doesn' get"... You know, I am really getting tired of being dismissed as being an ideologue because I believe in certain things. I also am completely fed up with being dismissed because "I am over 50"."

Here, I could have had sympathy, but the diary went on to tell younger people who may be weary of confrontational politics to "grow up". You could dismiss that diary as inconsequential emotion except generational warfare is something of a potentially recommended pastime on here. So I lost any sympathy for the diarist and wrote:

Interesting That The Generation Which (2+ / 0-)
coined "don't trust anyone over thirty" now has a problem with being the status quo. -- Nulwee

Only she could say if she personally ever believed that motto, so I could have been more judicious. But it was pretty common "back in the day". While the two-way street of ageism still disfigures out communities, obviously people do feel real frustrations at key points in history with the group in power, or those who want it.

At the least, experiences shared by generational groups distinguish us, as unconscious as not having to worry about polio (thanks, Dr. Salk!) or as conscious as having throw-back meals of liver and onions and rice with lentils. If I've offended anyone reading this with anything I've ever written about age, my goal wasn't to do that and I hope it isn't with most of us, most of the time. During a significant part of my adolescence, I often got along better with the people 30 years older than me than my own peers. Some of my favorite mentors and friends are quintessential boomers, or children of the Depression. Here's an example of how some thoughtful commenters on the Free Republic feel about us Silver-Spoon youngsters:

Hey Stewart-why not invite Kudlow on? Oh that's right, he would destroy you and drag you into the light like a vampire.

Sadly, a lot of college kids get thir news from this show.

Sadly, dressed-up versions of the "stupid kid" stereotype abound, and it's a complaint I've heard from a few Republicans since TDS-Cramer interview. Frankly, I don't know anyone who depends on the Daily Show for their "news", although I do have a few friends who watch it infrequently. Seeing as it is entertainment. But I do know plenty of Gen Ys who watch local news and CNN type outlets.

The other generalizations which pop up all the time: undependable, spoiled rotten, never had to work for anything, parented too "softly". That's interesting. Between all the married mothers I know in their early 20s (two of whom I worked with over 40 hr/per week) and my own life, that seems like quite a cookie cutter stereotype. Though my parents didn't use an actual "rod", the spanking wasn't as bad as the obvious physical abuse, which wasn't even as bad as their emotional abuse, imo. I've annoyed every single one of my bosses for asking for more hours, even when I was working over 40 or a combined 50 plus. And also interesting that the same thing was said by GIs and Silent Generations (though not all) towards Baby Boomers, who assure me they largely grew up in a stifling, oppressive environment.

Conversely, there was the issue of age in the campaign, morally ambiguous and never really made into a national discussion. Granny Doc wrote McCain was too old [to be president] according to the science on the brain's decreasing ability to absorb new information (betrayed by McCain's Cold War-era framing of foreign policy, as if Iran were a Communist domino). Clearly, the man is in bad health, which is not the same thing since many people in their early 70s live for decades more. One of my favorite friends is a professional in non-profit, 75 years old, who commutes to a full time job in a California inner-city. Energetic enough that she was bothered by being treated like "an old lady" by grocery clerks or family, since she's not incapable or frail. While the tiny Senate and Supreme Court is full of people in their 60s and 70s, (and a few in their 80s) I know my friend shares a gray area with many. On the one hand, we complain about a lack of respect for elders in our country, since it's there. But how, then, do we treat our elderly? What happens when the status quo in politics, the financial community, our families, refuses to change, and needs new blood or a new game-plan?

Many of us seem to know that there are plenty or at least a few of 20-somethings and septagenarians who can kick our proverbial asses in the workplace or at just having a balanced, rewarding life, but only despite their lazy or feeble generation. (Jimmy Carter seems to be kicking ass and taking names.) Inbetween those extremes there's all sorts of attitudes and prejudices, but they don't seem to rule out the possibility that I'll learn something new from someone who came of age or is coming of age in very divergent circumstances from my own. Hippies and former Reagan Yuppies, ex-swingers, and respectable Silent Generationers, WII veterans and the women who worked back home, friends who watched Hannah Montana (I seem to despise Miley Cyrus for some nebulous reason) and listen to the Jonas Brothers. What people get out of some of that new-fangled music is beyond me, but you can find a lot more about those people by looking beneath the surface.

We do have generational differences because the only thing constant is change, and yet they define no more than patches on a quilt of personality greater than one attribute. In the case of a blogger, even when following their own words you only have a partial idea of their life experiences and knowledge.

Originally posted to Nulwee on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:11 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Dr. Spock (6+ / 0-)

    developed the polio vaccine?  I think not.

    Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:18:45 PM PDT

  •  Timely In Light of The Young Adult Republican (6+ / 0-)

    who captivated the conservative media. You could pass off things on his age, but then there's our own Populista, the same age range and just as progressive as the other is right-wing. And yet as obvious as this seems to you or me, people's prejudices betray that these obvious points don't sink in enough.

    That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

    by Nulwee on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:20:43 PM PDT

  •  very good observations. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, marina, Nulwee, MKSinSA

    I think we're raised to constantly draw dividing lines between ourselves and others.  I've no doubt that the tendency to see differences along lines of age is due in large part to the needs of the capitalistic pursuit of consuming "demographics" (the "desirable 18-35 year-old bracket" etc.).  Advertisers slice and dice us in that way to sell their useless shit, and the divisions then become internalized and all too real.  It takes a real effort to befriend people outside the "sanctioned" categories.  

    Nice effort in that direction.

  •  I've met some agism on Daily Kos (4+ / 0-)

    mostly from one person, but it really ticks me off more than most things.  Just because I'm young doesn't mean that my ideas are useless - judge me by the content of the character, etc.

  •  I'd be happy just not to see age discrimination (16+ / 0-)

    ...in the job hunting process.

    At 50-something, I have lots to offer, can work as many hours or more than a youngster (since the kids are gone and my wife works, too), and I can bring the wisdom of 30+ years in my line of work to the table.

    And yet, I can't get past the first interview once they know my age.

    Bummer.

    "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

    by rfall on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:28:56 PM PDT

    •  Same here, and (9+ / 0-)

      I'm extra full of wisdom.

      Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:32:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dunno why. (5+ / 0-)

        I find myself wondering if you are both men and also what kind of jobs you are looking for.

        I'm 57. I don't like jobs, so when I find one, I try to get rid of it as soon as possible, and then avoid a new one, so I end up looking every couple of years.  I have not noticed any age discrimination, I don't think. Just got a new one, in fact. We'll see how long I can stand it.

        With my attitude, maybe I look for different kinds of jobs than you do, or maybe it varies from field to field.

        •  Not a guy. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nulwee, oscarsmom, nickrud

          But I should definitely develop your 'tude instead of feeling desparate.

          Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:46:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yep, a guy, and in the hi-tech business in SV. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity, Nulwee, oscarsmom

          That goes a long way towards explaining the problem, I think.

          "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

          by rfall on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:51:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nope, in the accounting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Free Spirit

            field.

            Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:55:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe one thing... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              highacidity, Nulwee, JG in MD, rfall

              ...when I decide it's time to find a job, I apply for everything.  I'm not pursuing a career path.  I will apply and accept jobs with less status and that pay much less than I have made in years past.  This is not to say I'm up for flipping burgers, but my goal is to work as little as possible and still pay the bills.  I'm more interested in having time for activism than keeping up with the Joneses.  I would definitely find it hard to get a job of the kind I used to have before I exited the fast lane, but I don't think that's my age so much as that my credentials are getting pretty dusty by now. Plus I have a dreadful track record when it comes to staying with a job for very long. So I tend to look for temporary positions instead of permanent (aka, "life sentence").

              •  I honor your choice, and intend no disparagement (6+ / 0-)

                ...when I say that I prefer a "career" not because I get to "keep up with the Joneses", but for the satisfaction I get from helping build new technologies--or, really, from building teams and guiding them to build those new technologies.

                "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

                by rfall on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 04:10:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What would you consider an appropriate (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Free Spirit, JG in MD

                  salary?  And what kind of value-added wisdom can you bring to the equation that a recent college grad doesn't?  Are you as well-trained in the latest stuff in your chosen field?  Or are you depending upon your wisdom to make up for a lack of cutting-edge knowlege?

                  I ask because those times when I had to make a hiring decision between Boomers and Gen X/Yrs, I found that a) the Boomers wanted too much money (based on their experience), too much deference (everyone pulls their weight), and "job security" (there ain't no such thing, b) the younger folks were more self-motivated and less restrained by corporate culture to get projects done (Boomers seem pathologically addicted to meetings and eschew email at every chance, in my experience) and c) there was a decided technical gap.  It wasn't even the stuff they were supposed to be trained in, it was a lack of knowlege of other tech that made them far less desirable as employees.  

                  Hired two Boomers out of 19 team members, and regretted both.  Both demanded (demanded!) special consideration for their "wisdom", bossed around everyone younger than themselves, were openly disdainful of new training, utilizing existing technology, and even using the freaking email, and they didn't hesitate to complain bitterly about every little thing.  When I had to cut five positions, it wasn't difficult to decide which five I was going to jettison.  

                  Not all Boomers are like that, I know.  But I've seen this attitude emerge over and over, and honestly it's not something I want part of any corporate culture I'm in charge of.  I'm not opposed to hiring them, but dang! Why can't they figure out how things work now, and stop trying to work the way they did back in the 80s?

                  Worst of all?  One got pissed when I didn't call him 'sir', because he was senior to me (in age).  He accused me of "arrogance" (if that ain't irony, don't know what is) and tried to get ME fired and take  my job.  

                  Of course he cited his "experience".

                  •  More than that... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    vcmvo2, anastasia p, In her own Voice

                    Not all Boomers are like that

                    Not all Boomers are even Boomers, at least not the way you have them fixed in your mind.

                    It continually astonishes me than anyone can think there is much of anything you can say about people who were born across a span of two decades, at time when the world was changing so fast, there was a striking cultural difference between me (born in 1951) and those both two years ahead and two years behind.

                    Perhaps the later generations, who grew up in relatively uneventful decades, and therefore seem to be more homogeneous themselves, have a hard time grasping that those born during the years of the baby boom represent a number of different generations, some as different as night and day. The people you describe sound more to me like the generation that was born prior to 1948, mostly not even part of the baby boom, but who were children and adolescents during the war. Especially the part about email.

                    Most of the Boomers I know in my area have been using email regularly (and I mean reading and responding throughout the day, since we first got our hands on it, which for many of us was in the mid-80s. But you may live in some place where tech came later, so that your Boomers were older and less inclined to adapt by then. Everyone is very cutting edge here, my cohorts included, although different groups seem to have their preferred tech. Email strikes me as very old school at this point.

                    When my cohort got involved in Dean's campaign (and the Sixties Generation was heavily represented among the Dean grassroots, far more so than the "youth" in that so-called youth campaign), we were shocked at how un-techy the younger generations were. They used cell phones and text messaging to chat, but they weren't really big users of either email or internet. And they didn't seem to use any of it as a productivity tool, but mostly as a social medium.

                    •  While I appreciate (0+ / 0-)

                      the fact that there are nuanced differences between  sub-generations of Boomers, I interviewed a LOT of them while I was trying to get my people.  Before that I was a personnel consultant and interviewed hundreds of them, from all over the country.  The arrogance was what I couldn't stand.  

                      When someone comes into my office to interview for a job, open disdain for me and my position is ill-advised.  Even cleverly hidden disdain doesn't encourage me to hire them.  And my fear isn't that they will take my job because they have more experience or wisdom, my fear is that they will think that they should be doing my job (or my boss' job) because of their "experience".  Plus there's the interminable arguing over compensation kills me.  If a job pays $X, then it pays $X -- not $X+some sort of experienced based "Boomer bonus" that I should naturally hand out because . . . if I don't, they start getting everyone on the team riled up.   That poisons a work environment, undercuts my authority as manager, and generally becomes a point of contention for my team.  THAT I need like a hole in the head.

                      Sure, not all Boomers are like that.  But enough of them are so that taking a chance on them is a serious roll of the dice.  Unfortunately, the things that most of my Boomer applicants see as value -- longevity, company loyalty, seniority -- are detriments in today's job market.  I don't need to hear another sanctimoneous lecture about how things are so messed up with the business world now, what I need is someone who knocks out a deliverable on time without me holding a hand.

                      •  I think your curdled disdain (5+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dfarrah, vcmvo2, marina, Free Spirit, nickrud

                        for older workers is evoking a kind of pulling back that you are disinterpreting as arrogance. I can certainly imagine an older worker being interviewed by you and sensing the contempt.

                        Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

                        by anastasia p on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 05:53:11 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm inclined to agree. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          vcmvo2

                          He sounds more and more like someone who simply has a chip on his shoulder about something and has decided to blame somebody else for his personal failures.

                          Also, much of what he says doesn't really hold up with what I've heard from other people, including recruiters and teachers, about the various generations. Someone who thinks that there are only "nuanced" differences among the various slices of the Boomer generation is simply not up on the subject.

                          He is also starting to sound like the kind of person that no one of any generation is going to be eager to work for these days:

                          any corporate culture I'm in charge of

                          undercuts my authority as manager

                          This kind of talk reminds me far more of the Dick Cheney authoritarian sweatshop generation that I had to work for when I was much younger than any of the generations that have come up behind me. They tended to think that any of their employees who wasn't willing be treated like a doormat was "arrogant."

                          •  LOL! (0+ / 0-)

                            First, off, I'm HIGHLY successful in my field and have no personal failures to complain about.  I get the job done, and my team likes and respects me, and respects the work I do.  

                            Secondly, having been a corporate recruiter, I formed my own opinions based on my own experiences in regards to the varios generations.  Sure, if it makes you feel better, go ahead and think that I don't know what I'm talking about.  I get that a lot from . . . well, a certain segment of the population.

                            Kinda colors my perspective, actually.

                          •  Yeah, ya see... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            vcmvo2

                            ...that's the thing. I don't get anything from "a certain segment" of the population, nor do I rely solely on my own personal experience, although I've worked with people in all generations over the years, including having been a recruiter myself and hiring people myself.

                            I have talked with recruiters, managers, teachers, and others in a position to have experience with the various generations. I have listened to everybody's experience, just as I listened to yours.

                            Your experience is strikingly unique and inconsistent with...often even sharply contradictory to...anything I've ever heard from anyone in a position to have compared the work styles and skills of the different generations. I do not doubt that something in your experience is coloring your perspective.

                          •  Well, guess I'm just an ignorant Whippersnapper (0+ / 0-)

                            How the hell could I POSSIBLY be expected to make an accurate or astute observation when I'm just a lad of 41?  

                            I'm sure your experience and observations are far, far more astute than my meager facilities could imagine.  But they're the ones I've got, so I'll stick with 'em.

                        •  When an applicant begins (0+ / 0-)

                          a conversation with "Great office!  My stuff will look good in here when I replace you!" in an attempt to show me how well-qualified they are, my personal biases, if any, go out the window.  If a candidate, regardless of age, treats me cordially I respond accordingly.  And when I interview a candidate, I stay as professional as possible in my determination.  I have hired plenty of people I didn't like, personally, or even held in active disdain, because they were the right person for the job.  

                          Assuming that you are the right person for the job simply because you have scads of experience and a cocky attitude is a mistaken assumption.  And after I don't give you the job, hollering "ageism" is a convenient way to make you feel better about a poor interview performance.  

                          •  That sounds like something (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            vcmvo2

                            a very YOUNG worker is more likely to say. An oldr worker might think that but is most likely too battle-scarred to say it. I have to agree with free spirit that you seem to have issues that has nothing to do with the attitudes of older/younger workers. I suspect you are someone younger who is insecure about your position and is using youth the way others have used their whiteness or the maleness to feel superior to others. Unfortunately for you, we all age, and you may find yourself a particular unhappy older person if you don't adjust some of your attitudes and learn that that BAD attitudes aren't unique to a certain age. If anything, older workers are more accomodating and experienced at working with others and have come to expect less than younger workers.

                            Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

                            by anastasia p on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:05:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Gosh. Gee. Willikers (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Nulwee

                            This came out of the mouth of a 55 year old artist who had spent 15 years as art director at his old firm before he got laid off.  Not only didn't I have an art director job, just a regular artist position, I also needed someone who was familiar with all the latest software and could deal with the new versions on the way, not to mention familiar with web art applications.  

                            This guy had a beautiful portfolio -- hand-drawn.  Totally unsuitable for the job.  But he was so convinced he should have my job that after I turned him down he took my boss to lunch and tried to have me replaced with him -- citing his experience.  

                            An isolated incident?  Oh, how I wish.  Merely the most egregious in a long line of them.

                          •  Yuck! N/t (0+ / 0-)

                            ~ Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase ~ Martin Luther King, Jr ~

                            by vcmvo2 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 10:54:36 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Not really. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        vcmvo2

                        there are nuanced differences between  sub-generations of Boomers

                        No, some of them are not at all nuanced, but as different as night and day. For example, my generation always thought that "longevity, company loyalty, seniority" were a joke. Perhaps whatever kind of interviewing you were doing only brought in particular types.

                        The people I know in my cohort are not much inclined to negotiate compensation. My standard line for the past 30 years is "As long as I'm being paid competitively within the company and within the industry, based on the requirements of the position, I'm happy." I have had a lot of jobs in my time, and I only negotiated compensation once, when they wanted me to move, I didn't want to move, and I knew I could find the same compensation they were offering without having to move.

                        I work in an area where everyone is decently paid, so there is probably less pressure to negotiate compensation. It's also a thriving industry, so if you don't like the compensation, you don't need to negotiate, you can just look for another offer. Nonetheless, many of the folks who came up right after me, though...they were all about the compensation.

                    •  Most of my PARENTS' friends (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      marina, Dar Nirron

                      in their 80s are procificent at using email.

                      Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

                      by anastasia p on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 05:52:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah... (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dfarrah, vcmvo2, Dar Nirron

                        ...that email comment just doesn't ring true. I can think of only two people I've encountered in the white collar workforce over the past decade who was not adept at email. My mother is 95, and she sends and receives emails on a daily basis.

                        •  True story (0+ / 0-)

                          A friend of mine is a project manager at a health-care related software company.  The company landed a big contract and had a specific list of deliverables to produce on a timeline.  They had to hire an entire new team to fulfill the contract.  Most of the old team were Baby Boomers, most of the new team were Gen X-Yrs.  As an experiement, and since the old team had been working together as a unit for so long (about 18 months) my friend had them spec out the main kernal of the product and gave them a week to do it.

                          The first team, the Boomers, showed up in nice suits with a spiffy powerpoint presentation detailing workflow, specifying meetings, budgeting the project out to 6 months, and providing a well-organized plan for getting the project done on time.  There were pie charts -- lots of pie charts -- and even a planned weekend retreat to knock out the details.  Most of the meetings weren't necessary, but the team leader felt email was too "impersonal" and wanted face-to-face meetings for the nitty gritty.

                          The second team, the Gen X-Yrs, showed up in shirt sleeves looking sloppy.  They waited patiently through the long-winded presentation by the first team, and when it was finally their turn the 26 year old team leader got up, looking a little confused, and said,

                          "We didn't feel like messing around with all those charts and graphs and stuff, so we just went ahead and finished up the project so that everyone could go home early on Friday.  That OK with you?"

                          The second team saved the company about $230,000 in labor costs, got the deliverable done months ahead of schedule, and ensured that the client was happy.  

                          Which team would you hire?

                          •  This entire story sounds fabricated and false (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dfarrah, vcmvo2, Free Spirit

                            Hate to accuse you of being a liar but it sounds too convenient and contrived to prove your point and justifed your hatred to be true. It also doesn't sound representative of any "team" of either Gen X-Y'rs who, if anything, tend to be a little tentative) or of "boomers" who mostly universally despise meaningless meetings. I'm also suspicious of your eagerness to label and categorize and to dismiss with sweeping generalization those who aren't "like you," agewise.

                            Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

                            by anastasia p on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:08:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yep. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            vcmvo2

                            What it reminded me of is one of those "real life" stories fabricated by unethical journalists, to shore up their articles...Janet Cooke's series on the young heroin addict who didn't actually exist, or Stephen Glass's story of the young hacker who got hired by the company he hacked, also fiction.

                          •  And what makes you (0+ / 0-)

                            call my veracity into question?  And why haven't you extended the same level of skepticism into the reports of ageism the Boomers on this list have told?  

                            I'd give you the company name, but as I don't want to start anything that might upset my friends for the sake of placating a couple of on-line skeptics, I'll just stand by the -- very true -- story as I told it.  

                          •  Skepticism (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            vcmvo2

                            why haven't you extended the same level of skepticism into the reports of ageism the Boomers on this list have told?

                            Because, when I said that my own experience with jobseeking did not jive with theirs, they did not get defensive. When I said that my own experience with Boomers did not jive with yours, you did.

                            And because the story sounds hokey. It would sound just as hokey if you switched out the Gen XYers with the Boomers.

                          •  Truth is hokier than fiction. (0+ / 0-)

                            I stand by it.  And I didn't get defensive until people started questioning my veracity and questioning my professional security.  

                            Whatever.  I know what I've experienced, and nothing y'all have said tonight does anything but confirm my observations.  Guess you just know more than I do, don't you?

                          •  I have no idea what you know. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            vcmvo2

                            Nor do you have any idea what I know. So when it comes to guessing who knows more than the other, your guess is as good as mine.

                          •  Which is why I titled it "True Story" (0+ / 0-)

                            Sorry, but it's true -- the company writes EDC (Electronic Data Capture) software on multiple platforms for Clinical Research Organizations in Morrisville, NC, and despite your attack on my veracity it went down exactly like that.  My wife worked for the client, at the time, so I heard it from two directions.  I tried to keep it non-technical and anecdotal to fit the format, but that's what happened.

                            How come every time I try to illustrate a point about my observations of Boomer behavior, I'm either called a liar, limited in my experience, or assured that I must be mistaken?  Just how old does one have to be in order to qualify as a legitimate observer for you folks?  No one is calling all the Boomers with hiring horror stories a liar . . . could it be a generational bias, perhaps?

                          •  So what? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dfarrah, vcmvo2

                            Is your experience so limited that you have to fall back on individual examples?  I can give you individual examples of people who behaved like each of these two groups from every generation that has been in the workforce since 1960. My generation was famous for despising suits, and there were many heated arguments between us and our elder generations about it.

                            The fact that you dig up a single example to prove your point suggests to me that your experience is extremely limited. It also suggests that you seize on single examples that serve to support your prejudices, because one can always find single examples to serve that purpose, and dismiss those that do not as "nuanced" differences.

                          •  And the fact that you (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KenBee

                            feel like you have to be condescending and dismissive to me on my experience just confirms the kind of attitude with which I take issue.  I could tell you a dozen more stories, each as true, from my three years as a headhunter or my six years as a manager or my other jobs . . . but you'd still dismiss it, wouldn't you?  Because if the answer I give doesn't fit your preconceived notions about "how things are" then I must either be a) lying or b) inexperienced.

                            And that's how a lot of those interviews went down.  When I was a PC, I hired all kinds of people for all kinds of jobs.  But my aggregate experience apparently doesn't count for much to you.  I gave you specific examples, and you dismissed them.  Yes, my examples support my experiences -- I'm trying to make a point.  But my observations wouldn't be worth very much if I didn't use specific examples to illustrate my points.  And your insinuation that I'm making stuff up is just rude.  I've taken every boomer sob story here at face value -- why cannot I be extended that same courtesy?

                          •  Your aggregate experience (0+ / 0-)

                            my aggregate experience apparently doesn't count for much to you

                            It counts for what it is. It is not equal to the aggregate experience of the many people I've talked to, but that's not the issue. The issue is that your aggregate experience is out of sync with everyone else's aggregate experience.

                            I've taken every boomer sob story here at face value -- why cannot I be extended that same courtesy?

                            I don't know, ask them. I've offered no sob stories.

                          •  I'm a boomer, and (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            vcmvo2, Free Spirit

                            I hate meetings.  And I dislike businesses that are not up on technology [like the one I work at now--the partner expects hand written workpapers and dislikes excel workpapers---a true luddite].

                            Meetings seem to appeal to people who like to flap their lips all of the time, regardless of age.

                            Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

                            by dfarrah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:25:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ah, meetings. (0+ / 0-)

                            I like good ones, hate bad ones, and most are bad.

                            What is your preferred alternative, when a lot information needs to be communicated and discussed by a group of people?

                          •  Oh, I don't (0+ / 0-)

                            know what works best; I just get very bored in meetings.

                            I'm sure meetings are very appropriate in many circumstances.  I worked at a large trust company, and the managers were constantly in meetings. The rest of us could never figure out what all of these meetings were about.

                            Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

                            by dfarrah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:39:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Just wondered. (0+ / 0-)

                            You are hardly alone in your perspective, but I haven't found a good substitute for a meeting for some purposes.

                            I suspect the trust company manager meetings were not about much of anything.

                          •  Did the 'deliverables' (0+ / 0-)

                            work?  

                            It's very difficult to believe that a contract to provide a specific list of deliverables, on a timeline, that required the hiring of a Whole New Team was fulfilled the way you describe.

                            Was it software?

                            Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

                            by dfarrah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:35:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Like a charm. (0+ / 0-)

                            Yes, it was EDC software (multi-platform) for a CRO in NC.  It worked great -- and I know, because my wife worked for the client (albeit in a different department) at the time.  Drug studies are horrendously time-sensitive, and the availability of a functional EDC system for a large trial can determine nearly every other part of the study, so it was a big deal.

                          •  Sorry, been through (0+ / 0-)

                            too many conversions to believe you [not that conversions are what you were dealing with....].

                            Nothing ever works like a charm when it comes to computers.

                            Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

                            by dfarrah on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 07:19:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm sorry you are in a hiring position (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dfarrah, vcmvo2, Free Spirit, nickrud

                    because your prejudices are apparent. One might as well say that younger workers tend to be less responsible because they are less attached to their jobs and aware of the lack of job security, so they are more flip about getting things done. I've seen it. One could also say they don't care as much about following rules or even common sense - such as calling to let the boss know if you won't be in - seen that too, a lot.Using freaking email? I worked for someone half my age who never was able to master that, along with keeping a calendar or remembering who she told to do what. One might say that younger workers have this "get rich and famous quick for no reason" attitude stoked by a continual diet of celebrity journalism especially on people who got famous for no reason – the ubiququitous reality shows. I've seen younger people who think they should be millionaires by the time they're 25 because someone like Paris Hilton is. I've seen ALL these attitudes. I've worked with many people of all ages, and the things you mention are so rare as to be utterly exceptional. You really need an attitude check.

                    Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

                    by anastasia p on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 05:51:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sounds like you have younger workers (0+ / 0-)

                      all figured out.  And my experience -- my far, far fewer years of experience than yours, apparently -- doesn't count for much in your opinion.  Where have I heard that before?  

                      And the "you really need an attitude check" is exactly the kind of song I've heard in interviews of people of a certain age, over and over again, when I explain to them what the expectations of a job were.  I'm outstanding at my job, and my company loves the work that I do.  Part of that work is hiring the right people for the job.  I'd say I'll keep my attitude, thank you.

                      •  No, I'm not saying that (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        vcmvo2, Free Spirit

                        Most of the people I work with, young, old and in-between, are great. I am saying that it could also be said — and many I know have said it on occasion of these younger workers, because they have experienced it as well. I am saying you need an attitude check because you do — look at your attack on me for being "of a certain age." I am also outstanding at my job and my company loves what i do, and i get along great with my coworkers, but you seem to feel the need to say over and over how great you are. Also, i should point out that in announcing your expectations, you sound like the sort of rigid person you are attacking. I suspect you see yourself in these older workers and it frightens you.

                        Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

                        by anastasia p on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:11:35 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  When someone (0+ / 0-)

                          attacks me for my opinions and observations and suggests that they derive, not from my personal and professional experience, but instead from some sort professional insecurity, then yes, I'm going to point out that my position and success do not, in fact, fit that stereotype.  

                          And no, I don't see myself in these older workers.  I'm a little more adaptable, a little less arrogant and condescending in a professional setting, and far more willing to re-train for another career when this one goes bust.  And again you're trying to "diagnose" why I might see things this way, instead of accepting my observations at face value.  And that's just condescending.

                      •  Do you ever get feedback from (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        vcmvo2, Free Spirit

                        your interviewees?

                        You come across as arrogant and patronizing in your writing.  Is that the way you come across in your interviews?

                        Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

                        by dfarrah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:29:14 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Not at all. (0+ / 0-)

                          Three years as a PC and nary a complaint.  That's about 500 interviews a year for three years -- and that's before I was hiring people to actually work in my department.  I'm polite, cordial, inquisitive, and keenly observational.  I've been told that I do an exemplary job of letting people know they didn't get the job, and I continue getting calls from previous interviewess over nine years since I left the business.  

                          If you detect arrogance and patronization in my writing, it's because this is a pet peeve of mine and my blood is up when people are condescending to me about my observation and experiences.

                •  I appreciate that. (0+ / 0-)

                  Those were listed as two separate reasons why I don't prioritize maximizing my income when looking for a job, not as cause and effect.

                  I used to feel the same way about the work I used to do, but then some guy named Howard Dean came along and ruined my life. :-)

      •  My personal take is that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina

        ...almost all of the discrimination that exists in the work world is simply what people fall back on because we have no clue how to assess candidates in any more useful way, nor do we have a clue how to assess their performance on the job, either.

        That folds back on the fact that we have no clue as to how to assess the performance of an organization or a company, either. Look at how many companies that once were touted as beacons of magnificent performance and brilliant management have then crashed and burned almost before the ink was dry on the shiny business magazines touting them thusly. Just like the stock market googoos (as opposed to "gurus," which they clearly are not).

        Good performance as a worker means contributing positively to the performance of the company, but when the company itself is bright and shiny from without, and all hot air and spin within, that becomes measure of nothingness.

    •  This Has Happened To Many People In My Life (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah, marina, Dar Nirron, Pris from LA

      but nonetheless, if you're "too young" or "too inexperienced" you can't get a job either, or even an interview. I'm starting to appreciate why that assumption works for HR, because they need to cut down on risk from employees being irresponsible or going beserk, but at the same time, it does block out talented, deserving people.

      Conversely, I know people with very little experience or very, very young people who have jobs with heavy responsibility because of "who they know", and at least a few of them seem to be doing great at their work. But if they hadn't had that social network... where would they be?

      That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

      by Nulwee on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:33:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So lie. (3+ / 0-)

      There are ways to make yourself look younger. Just try to act younger than you are until they force you to fill out your paperwork- by which time they've already extended you an offer.

      •  Don't think I've haven't tried that stunt. (6+ / 0-)

        I don't put info in my resume which hints at my age--no graduation dates, and job history not going back more than 10 years--but given my titles and what I know and how I look, it's hard to hide.

        I think the biggest problem is not one that's limited to age discrimination--it's that, in many cases, the person hiring is worried that someone too good will take his/her job somewhere down the road.

        "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

        by rfall on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:37:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Won't work (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dfarrah, Dar Nirron, Pris from LA

        They hand you paperwork before the interview. They can't legally ask you on the application for anything that will reveal your age, but what I've found is that they give you other forms to fill out "in case" they hire you in which they ask for your birthdate. These are forms that would only be used if you get hired, but for some reason, they ask you to fill them in when going in for the interview. Techncially speaking, these aren't supposed to be seen by the one doing the hiring, but only if you get the job. In reality, I'm skeptical. I ran into this all the time last summr when I was job-hunting, and I agonized over it. In some cases, I simply put my month and date of birth but did not fill in a birth year because I felt they had no right to ask at that stage.

        Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

        by anastasia p on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:39:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Kind of hard (7+ / 0-)

        with electronic applications now [not that I would want to lie].  Even if you look/act young, they cans still tell how old you are by looking at your history, either work or educational.

        Then there are always those interviewers who enthuse, "oh this is a young energetic company," even if the company has been around quite a while.  Then someone, during the phone interview, asks when you graduated from college.  Then click, buzzzzz.

        Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:41:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly, Google is notorious for this. While they (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dfarrah

          ...don't say they're looking for young hires, they use all kinds of loaded phrases about a "creative, energetic workforce" and the like that makes it very clear why you're never called back.

          "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

          by rfall on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:43:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or they say (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nulwee, rfall

            'new graduates,' and you know they don't want anyone over 30.

            Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:57:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I know several Google employees with gray hair. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nulwee

            So, don't give up on them.

          •  Perhaps being demonstrably (0+ / 0-)

            creative and energetic might have helped?

            I only point this out because I have found that, on average, Boomers make very poor interviews.  If Google promotes that and then gets someone grumpy and listless, that might influence their hiring.

            •  Yeah, we're not discriminatory, it's just (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2, marina

              those minorities are never creative and energetic enough.

              "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

              by denise b on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 05:18:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If a company (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rfall

                puts energetic and creative on the job description and then there's none of either present in the interview, what should the interviewer do?

                Someplace like Google, that seems like a reasonable requirement.  

                •  But, since you don't know me, I will tell you (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  vcmvo2, marina, Dar Nirron

                  ...something about me:

                  I am about the most energetic 50-something you will ever meet.

                  In fact, if you have no clues about my age, say when talking with me over the phone, you'd swear I was in my mid-30s, at the oldest.

                  And, apropos of what you had to say in the other thread:  I am none of those things.  I don't demand special treatment, I expect to get paid market rate, and I don't mind if I work for someone younger or older than I am, or if my direct reports are younger or older.

                  I am a great team member, and when given the chance, a good leader, as I care about what others think, what motivates them, and I treat them as human beings.

                  I just have a few more wrinkles, lots of experience in solving just about any operational or team problem, and have a few great stories others haven't heard before.

                  In other words, the best of all possible worlds, without the attitude.

                  Sorry to hear that looking at Boomers hasn't worked for you.

                  "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Lazarus Long

                  by rfall on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 05:59:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No doubt you're an excellent worker. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rfall

                    And I probably wouldn't have a problem hiring you -- if I had the right job.  A big part of being a PC is matching the right applicant with the right job.  Note I didn't say "the most qualified candidate".  Qualifications and experience matter, but they aren't always the best litmus test of whether or not a particular employee is going to work out or not.

                •  What should they do? (0+ / 0-)

                  Not hire the person, of course; and avoid stating sweeping generalities about tens of millions of people.

                  "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

                  by denise b on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:16:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Again, your prejudice is coming out (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2, marina, Dar Nirron

              I've had people tell me that younger applicants make poor interviews, that they're inarticulate, unprepared and often indifferent. Your prior belief that an older worker will be "grumpy and listless" (I've seen this in co-workers in the 20s just as often) makes you a pretty poor judge.

              Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

              by anastasia p on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 05:58:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I guess that's why (0+ / 0-)

                they entrusted me to hire so many people.  As a PC, I hired over 500.

                I've had plenty of slackers on interviews, too, and I didn't hire them, either, without a compelling reason (specailized skills, mostly).  

                The fact is, from the other side of the desk all sorts of considerations come into play when it comes to hiring -- it isn't just about resumes and experience and certifications.  If I don't think that a particular person will work well with an existing team, or I catch something in an interview that I find problematic, it's my duty to my company to choose the best candidate FOR THE JOB, which is not necessarily the best candidate over-all.  There are all sorts of factors that come need to be taken into account.  Crying "ageism" because you didn't get the job overlooks a lot of other considerations that the applicant may not even be aware of.

        •  That's illegal (0+ / 0-)

          You can file charges if they ask you when you graduated. Sadly, it's all too easy to find out. They can just check with your school's alumni association.

          Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

          by anastasia p on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 05:56:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  what bothers me (7+ / 0-)

    is when ageism gets defended because someone popular does it.

    (and yes this works both ways)

    I frankly don't care how old someone is, I just care how good thier ideas are.

  •  goopers aren't dismissed because they are over 50 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, Nulwee

    they are dismissed because they keep proposing ideas that were first introduced in the 50s.  There is a difference.

    Have you forgotten about jesus? Don't you think it's time that you did?

    by uc booker on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:35:16 PM PDT

  •  I have experienced ageism from both sides. (9+ / 0-)

    No brag, just fact: I was a prodigy.  At age 22 years and 85 days, I received a master's degree in clinical psychology.  At my first professional job, I was introduced as "our child psychologist--she not only works with children, she IS a child."  For a long, long time, I had the distinction of being the youngest person in the room in a lot of different settings.

    Then I hit 45 years of age.  Suddenly, I am not the wunderkind; I am the "old lady."  I was passed over for a job that I deserved to get in favor of a 26-year-old with one year of relevant experience and exactly the same degree as mine, from the same university!

    Just as we should not judge one another by color of skin, but by content of character, the same goes for wrinkles, bifocals, gray hair and/or lack thereof.

    To say my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

    by Dar Nirron on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:39:33 PM PDT

    •  That's when you know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dar Nirron, rossl

      something else is going on behind the scenes besides regular hiring.

      Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:44:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I doubt (0+ / 0-)

      that the 26 year old was asking for the same money as you.  That likely played a significant role in the decision.

      •  Having read your comments from upthread, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2, Dar Nirron

        I, as a former hiring HR person, have to respond with this old canard.  You get what you pay for.

        The apocalypse will require substantial revision of all zoning ordinances. - Zashvill Political compass -7.88 -7.03.

        by Heiuan on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 05:53:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely right. (0+ / 0-)

          But when the job I have pays $X, and every Boomer candidate that comes throught the door assures me that they're WORTH $X+ for doing the same work I can get for paying X, what am I supposed to do?  A deliverable is a deliverable, and the client doesn't really care who did it as long as it comes in correct, on budget and on time.  

          People who hold up those three important aspects don't belong on my team.  ANd they don't deserve $X+ just 'cause.  My days of overpaying for employees are long over.  

      •  I doubt you know what you are talking about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dar Nirron

        I was in a situation where a listless, non-email-proficient 26-year-old with zero job qualifications was hired above me for a job I was probably more qualified for than anyone in town, and she was probably paid at least twice what my highest salary ever was. I would gladly have worked for $20-$30,000 a year less. In that particular case, nepotism, not age, got her the job.

        Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

        by anastasia p on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:02:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So it had nothing to do with your age? (0+ / 0-)

          Then why complain?  Nepotism is nepotism.  It happens everywhere and there's virtually nothing that can be done about it.  Did you offer to do the work for less?  That would have been where I would have started.

          •  I'm not complaining (0+ / 0-)

            And I have offered to work for much less than others, although there needs to be a limit to undervaluing yourself, something women are especially prone to do. I hate to sound like you but too often, it's the younger workers who think they should come out of school and waltz into a six-figure salary.

            Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

            by anastasia p on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 07:13:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If they have the skills and the training (0+ / 0-)

              for that, why shouldn't they?

              A good business runs as a meritocracy.  Most Boomers agree with that -- until it becomes clear that they no longer have the skills and the training to be at the far end of the curve, and then it has a tendancy to suddenly be all about "experience".  This happens all the time in the tech fields.  If you need a certain kind of programmer, and the wet-behind-the-ears kid fresh out of school has the skills and the training for the job, he should get paid the same as someone who has been around for 15 years, shouldn't he?  

              I've run into a lot of resentment of younger workers by older workers because the kids have a tendancy to have better technical skills and more recent training on the stuff they do, whereas the older workers have painstakingly learned stuff on the fly (often HIGHLY reluctantly).  So when a programmer straight out of school who cut his teeth on the newest versions asks for a six-figure salary and has the chops to back it up, you give it to him -- or someone else will.

              It's all about having the chops.

      •  I would have worked for what they paid him. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina

        But this was a state job--department head at a community college--and they had a chart that showed salaries.  One axis, academic degree; other axis, college teaching experience; draw two lines, where they intersect, that is the salary.  No negotiation.

        Yes, he was obviously 9 years of relevant experience less expensive than I would have been.  

        However, I have more to offer the students.  I used to run a program for chronically mentally ill people.  If the students were to ask him, "What is it like to talk to someone with schizophrenia?" he could only answer, "Well, according to what I have read."  I have put combative psychiatric inpatients into restraints.  I have helped hide battered women from their abusers.  I have administered in excess of 300 intelligence tests.  I have testified as an expert witness.  I have diagnosed mental illness and made treatment plans.  I have designed three classes for online delivery--two of which, by the way, he and all the other instructors are now using, with just a few modifications.  He has never been anywhere in his entire life except a classroom.  I began subscribing to "Psychology Today" the year he was born.

        Yeah, I'm bitter about ageism.  And the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was no help at all.  

        To say my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

        by Dar Nirron on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 06:37:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I never worried about ageism till I got old (7+ / 0-)

    As long as there is ageophobia (chronophobia?) there will be ageism.  I promise to stop discriminating against all of you youngsters!

  •  This is bizarre: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mollyd, vcmvo2, Nulwee

    Hey Stewart-why not invite Kudlow on? Oh that's right, he would destroy you and drag you into the light like a vampire.

    Sadly, a lot of college kids get thir news from this show.

    Setting aside the young and old topic for just a moment.

    Larry Kudlow is, perhaps, one of the few people in all of the punditry universe who I think would be stripped of all clothes faster than Jim Cramer or Rick Santelli had he had the courage to appear.

    I find it really odd that anyone would find Larry Kudlow to be intellectually intimidating after a routine viewing of his schtick.

    On the issue of now and generational politics:

    I think dividing up the American people into controllable segments with the intention of turning them on each other in various theatres of the Culture Wars was a huge part of the post-Goldwater Movement Conservative agenda.

    Further, I think that our culture became so thick with Movement Conservative gatekeeping (becasue the media became deathly afraid to be accused of liberal bias) over the discourse that the divisive memes and frames of certain social stereotypes began to become a part of the accepted discussion.

    I think it is no surprise that the far Right has spend years investing rhetorical capital into attacking "Boomers" and "X-ers" seperately and also then framing them in other times and in other battles as being groups that have some sort of built-in need to be at oods with each other.

    Younger and older people have always had their complaints about each other, but we have lived in a particularly sinister age of explotation of divisions for the benefit of the few.

    Ms. McCain's interviews as of late are interesting to me in that she seems to be the perfect example of what happens when you are a somewhat reasonable person raised with Movement Conservatism and the Republican Party culture as a benchmark for all discussions.

    John McCain's daughter is a product of her environment, and her environment, at least politically, is based largely on keeping people in a catagory or box that can be tracked, attacked, marginalized, or manipulated to keep the Culture Wars going.

    There has to be a boogeyman reason for x.

    X disagrees with me not because they disagree with me on the merits or on the topic, but becuase they are "old". Or "young". Or "black". There has to be a reason that has nothing to do with the discussion feeding into the dispute.

    Because, otherwise, not agreeing to "bipartisanship" as Ms. McCain defines it, is about real and valid disagreements where, perhaps, there is no compromise to be had for a completely valid reason. The disagreement is valid.

    The last thing that Movement Conservatives want is for people who are young, middle-aged, and older to start viewing the world as a united bloc with common goals spiced with age specific benefits for all levels of society.

    And one of the things that I have noticed, although I don't expect people to agree with me on this, is that a lot of our, as moderate and progressives, worst flame-outs and circular firing squad moments have been when we begin to argue with each other as if we subconsciouly or consciously have accepted the Movement Conservative boundaries, baselines, benchmarks, and debating tactics as standard operating proceedure.

    It has been my theory that the worst of the primary bad blood between Clark and Dean supporters in 2004 and between Clinton and Obama supporters in 2008 broke out when people in the seperate camps went Rovian in their mission to help their candidate win.

    "I didn't vote for it, but I support it." -Heath Shuler on the stimulus bill

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 03:55:21 PM PDT

    •  Amen (0+ / 0-)

      The last thing that Movement Conservatives want is for people who are young, middle-aged, and older to start viewing the world as a united bloc with common goals spiced with age specific benefits for all levels of society.

      (I might just change "Movement Conservatives" to "the elite".)

  •  Well Generational War Was a Prime Element of (7+ / 0-)

    the Republican Revolution. There was no way the English speaking planet was ever going to see that go away before the middle 21st century, once so much of a draft pool helped force our 5-sided Capitol building to withdraw from its second hopeless war in a row.

    All the naked dancing in front of the fundamentalists didn't help either.

    All you have to do to put this behind us at this point is buy-out the boomer generation. Give us each who are 55-65 more or less, $100 grand or so to retire from > 20 hours/wk employment immediately, and a consolation prize perhaps picking up health insurance costs for those a few years older and younger.

    We're about to retire anyway, so instead of depressing markets while we sell stocks for the next 15 years, or suck up all the charity money, we'll have the buyout money, and we'll use our healthiest initial retirement years buying preventative health care to cut down societal costs later, travelling, buying toys and other things to keep the economy going.

    But you're on your own with The Greatest Generation. Their stragglers just voted McCain; even the historically split boomers weren't that vindictive.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 04:16:55 PM PDT

    •  'Generational War' another reeper spin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      probably from Reagan's spinners, Rollins or Nofzinger, responsible for the other horseshit trope 'politically correct'.
       The 'never trust anyone under 30' crap from the same source..somebody recorded it 'spontaneously at some supposedly hippy gathering, likely a movie set, and shoved onto the 'news'.

        All part of the Reagan goon squad's big lie.

      All of it.

      A world without imperfections is a world with nothing to say. : Pohangina Pete McGregor

      by KenBee on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 05:17:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I beg your pardon. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina

        The Sixties Generation actually did say "Never trust anyone over 30." It was one of our mottos, along with "Make love, not war" and (this one has to be said in a sing-songy voice) "An end to world hunger and peace in our time."

        Given that, as Gooserock points out, the stragglers just voted for McCain, I still don't trust those people, even though I'm way, way over 30 now.

        I am happy to be bought out, but I'm afraid I won't spend it buying preventative healthcare, travelling, or buying toys. I'll spend every last penny on activism, and then, when I'm down to my last dime, I'll head out onto the ice for a good death.

        •  heh, in a movie about hippies maybe (0+ / 0-)

          produced by a GE subsidiary.

          Smash the State!

          Line 34, page 14. Maybe you didn't get the new script.

          A world without imperfections is a world with nothing to say. : Pohangina Pete McGregor

          by KenBee on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 05:48:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What kind of idiot... (0+ / 0-)

            ...would try to tell someone else that they know what that person and their friends did and did not say? I was there, you weren't. It was used widely and often. Deal with it.

            •  'What kind of idiot?' ... An idiot like you? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vcmvo2, SicPlurisPoenaPrestantia

              I was there, you weren't. It was used widely and often. Deal with it.

                So I have to get my Official Hippie Badge out and prove something, jesus, what is your fucking problem. You were a better hippie than me, wow, you win.
               You admit to advocating and fomenting generational conflict, wow, something you are apparantly proud of, good for you.
               I know I've seen lots of lies and cheap media exploitation of the 'hippies' and during that period I saw a lot of posers adopting the 'hippie' clothes and rap like any other phonies everywhere. Maybe you did say those things, sure , thank god I wasn't where you were, I'd avoid so called hippies that talked like that  like the plague they were. Aside from my typo, 'over/under30' I was refering to the way the 'hippies' were framed and  exploited by the Reaganites and there ilk. If some of you helped them by talking that way, I'm sorry, but of course they would have and did lie and make up shit about...us...anyway.
               I knew and participated with plenty of people who were politically active, who lived, worked, and developed cooperatives of all kinds, and actually lived and practiced the talk, and they would never say 'don't trust anyone over 30'. What a load of crap, some of the finest examples hippies had were over 30.

               And as for
               

              I was there, you weren't.

              and

              Deal with it.

              How about you not call me an idiot and better yet don't ever talk to me again, unless it's a sincere apology.

              A world without imperfections is a world with nothing to say. : Pohangina Pete McGregor

              by KenBee on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 09:36:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Apparently (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KenBee

                if your personal experience doesn't jive with what the Boomers think it should be, you are either lying or a young idiot.  There doesn't seem to be any middle ground.  Seems like a wierd way to run an anti-ageist argument, but then again they have a long, long history of not being bound by consistancy.

              •  Literate much? (0+ / 0-)

                Please quote the line where I claimed to be a hippie.

                Please quote the line where I claimed that hippies said "Never trust anyone over 30"?

                Are you suffering under the delusion that every member of the Sixties Generation was a hippie? Now that sounds like the kind of framing the Reaganites and their ilk would indeed spin. Except...the cultural phenomenon known as the Sixties largely faded into history well before Reagan appeared on the national scene, seemingly due to a lack of interest once the Vietnam War came to an end.

                Beyond that, your skills at logical reasoning leave much to be desired. The fact that you didn't hear anyone use the line doesn't prove that it was not used. However, the fact that I did hear it used often does disprove your claim that no one used it.

                If it makes you feel any better, I have no reason to think that the people who I heard use the line were either hippies or posing as hippies. Looking back, I realize it was a term I rarely heard anyone use to describe themselves. It seems that the label was mostly use by Left Coasters.

                I am not sure what "hippie" clothes are. Many of the Sixties Generation wore bell-bottoms and love beads and paisley. Daisies were big too, as I recall. Almost no one I knew who wore this generational garb thought of themselves as a hippie, much less tried to pose as one. Conversely, I occasionally met people who described themselves as hippies but didn't seem to wear much of any of that stuff. Same thing with the "rap," as you call it. Just because the hippies wore it or said it, did not mean everyone else who wore it or said it was a hippie too, nor pretending or trying to be.

                As for advocating and fomenting generational conflict, some did and some didn't.  My experience was mostly the conflict came from the Greatest, many of whom thought anyone wearing lovebeads was a "dirty hippie" and a Commie. In any case "over 30" had nothing to do with generations, but with age...old vs. young. We did not expect to be trustworthy after we were 30, just because we belonged to a different generation than those who were over 30 when we were under.

                No apologies.

  •  Why don't we just treat individuals as individual (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ivan, vcmvo2, marina, Heiuan, lineatus

    and stop this lazy habit of lumping people into convenient boxes so we don't have to exert any effort thinking.

    One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

    by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 04:22:34 PM PDT

    •  The Problem Is That (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      In her own Voice

      your age is a part of your identity. You don't have to let it limit you any more than being gay or left-handed or being white or being a musician defines you, but it's still part of our diversity. Not appreciating and respecting people's differences and background leads to so much discord and unhappiness, don't you think?

      That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

      by Nulwee on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 04:33:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why is that a problem? (5+ / 0-)

        The issue is not how an individual does or does not let parts of their identity limit them - the issue is when others prejudge someone according to superficial affiliation with a particular labeled group.

        The problem only arises when one lumps classes of people together by any of those characteristics. When you talk about "people over 50" or "people under 30" or "gays" or "straights" or "whites" or "blacks", that is just lazy thinking.

        Worse, it makes it harder to judge an individual by their individual merits, rather than prejudge them according to perceived affiliation to a particular group with a neat label.

        BTW, there are many contexts in which age really should not play a part. Online text is one of them - we have the opportunity to judge people based on the merit of their ideas, not their age, skin color, gender, profession, academic qualifications, etc.

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 04:43:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's not laziness. (0+ / 0-)

      A lot of it is the limits of the human cognitive processing system. One of our most important capabilities is the ability to classify things into categories and process the category as a single chunk, or we would explode from information overload. It can have some unfortunately consequences in the sociocultural arena.

      However, when people persist in seeing someone they are interacting with personally as a stereotype, or when they trash an entire group of people based on stereotypes, it's less likely that they want to avoid the effort of thinking, than to avoid some thoughts about themselves that they don't want to deal with.

  •  I was just telling my sister (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Heiuan, Nulwee

    that I teach out of enlightened self-interest.  I can't fix everything or every kid but I can make them remember that an old woman cared enough about them to make sure they learned their stuff.  When they're deciding about Social Security and Medicare and all that happy sh*t, maybe they'll remember that.  

    Every generation thinks that the next one will ruin everything.  Although I'm not sure that that might not be the case this time, it's pretty much out of my control now.  There absolutely are a bunch of young people who are ill-mannered, poorly educated, and unmotivated by almost anything.  We've got to hope that there are enough who have a clue and are motivated to save us all from ourselves.

    -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Sun Mar 15, 2009 at 05:23:18 PM PDT

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