“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” — excerpt from John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, Friday, 20 January 1961.
It was exactly fifty years ago. I was there.
World War II veteran Kennedy seemed to sense that time was running out, and he was making one last call to his rapidly aging generation of incredible fellow Americans.
His predecessor, General Eisenhower, had in 1956 kicked off the greatest public works project in human history – the mammoth grid of 47,000 miles of interstate super-highways that fueled and shaped the subsequent growth of the American super-power.
American families were raising on their own a tsunami of the healthiest and best educated children in the history of humanity – the engine of the greatest economic boom in history.
As was customary of his time, Kennedy’s call went not to government, but to the people, not to regulated whining dependence, but to unfettered group achievement.
Just a couple of months later, on 1 March 1961, he established the Peace Corps and quickly rebuilt the US Army’s Special Forces green berets – two sides of the same mission.
Then, just four months after his inauguration, on 25 May 1961, he boldly announced the unbelievably impossible goal of sending an American safely to and from the Moon before the end of the decade.
Just eight years later, on 20 July 1969, just several months after the giant Eisenhower had faded forever from the scene, the Silent Generation’s US Navy lieutenant, Korean War veteran and advanced jet test pilot Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon.
I listened to that monumental event for the ages on a portable radio deep in the jungles of Vietnam while a friend in the Peace Corps listened on a portable radio in Nigeria.
Just one month after that milestone “for all mankind”, on 15 August 1969, the rapidly rising Baby Boomers gathered for a booze and drug fest in the mud of Woodstock.
The single month between those two events, 20 July 1969 to 15 August 1969, marked the dividing line between the Greatest Generation and their spoiled Baby Boomer children.
Woodstock signaled the beginning dominance of a completely different American mindset, one quite adequately reflected in the extreme self-absorption of Woodstock itself.
An aging “right-wing cowboy” of the Greatest Generation would later come out of retirement to show wailing Baby Boomers how to end the “Cold” War, the single accomplishment of their time.
For all intents and purposes, the era of America’s greatness was over, and the nation devolved into one long orgy of incredibly childish and irresponsible self-involvement.
The thumb-sucking kids finished their violent temper tantrum in America’s streets and fled to the ultimate socialist womb of the college campus, where, protected by “tenure”, they infected our young with their twisted dependency ideology for the next forty years.
The country was kept going on momentum and wealth set in motion by the Greatest Generation, until that ran out and the Era Of Borrowing from future generations began.
There has been nothing acclaimed by American Baby Boomers since 1970 that did not rest firmly on the monumental accomplishments and brilliant innovations of their Greatest Generation parents.
For the next forty years, all of the super-spoiled Baby Boomer “accomplishments” would be measured in degrees of colossal negatives taking the nation nowhere but backwards.
Forty years of nauseating whining “victims” and their countless lobbies demanding their very own special treatment and life-long government teat paid for by “someone else”.
Even our Woman’s World public schools went from the top of the industrialized world to the bottom, now far better at girly navel contemplation and instilling politically correct dogma than tough independent global competition in innovative science and math.
Today America imports as many millions of its critically needed babies as it does its critically needed foreign-schooled brains, and still useless duds shift blame by demanding ever more money. With schools and government, nothing succeeds better than failure.
America’s largest export is now its trash, a gigantic industry created single-handedly by the eldest daughter of a poor Chinese soldier who quietly slipped in to turn our waste paper into her gold and quickly slipped out to become the richest women billionaire in the world.
Aren’t we just so “special”? Living on the greatness of ancestors we constantly denigrate, while competing to give away or squander as rapidly as possible all that we were handed.
As a professional American soldier of the very small in-between Silent Generation, I am thoroughly ashamed of those pathetically childish Americans who followed me into the arena. They should be, too.
(See “Greatest versus Boomer“, posted separately, for a more detailed accounting of the differences.)
Walking On The Moon. Those three supremely confident yet somehow quite average American men (Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins) risked all the marbles to play their great accomplishment for Mankind on live real-time television before the largest audience in the history of humanity all around Earth. Given the millions of unknowns and the rather primitive technology at the time, in just one second it all could have turned to complete disaster, also in live real-time. Their mission was a lot more hands-on-the-stick and a lot less automatic computer than such missions today. But they pulled it off, and then came home, concluding a very dangerous mission that lasted a little over eight days. All three military men were 39-year-old members of the Silent Generation, the slightly younger siblings of America’s Greatest Generation. All born in the Great Depression year of 1930, they had stood on the shoulders of those men who went before them over the previous quarter of a century, including those who died in the effort, to design, build and test fly the most complex machinery ever assembled by man – and make it work. It was indeed most splendid, a sterling milestone of human perfection. These were American Men.
Then, characterized primarily by childish naiveté and wishful thinking, 400,000 privileged young people, who had been handed by their society almost everything gratis, gathered at a 600-acre farm in the Catskills of New York for a free 32-act 3-day rock concert that became known as Woodstock – and set the agenda for the next forty years of America’s steady decline.
Now the United States of America has “mighty warriors” who sit safely in air conditioned offices in America and exterminate humans on the other side of the globe by remote control, with “acceptable levels of collateral damage”. It actually hires mercenary thugs to kidnap people in their homes and deliver them to off-shore dungeons where they can be held and tortured in secret. It engages in an endless and senseless war morass in Afghanistan that duplicates the same endless and senseless war morass in Vietnam that so galvanized them when they were young and might possibly have had to serve in that war themselves. The US government now collects and stores massive amounts of information about the private lives of its own citizens that can easily be used in the most oppressive measures of population control imaginable. With its women-dominated school industry the most expensive and worst performing in the developed world, the country now imports staggering numbers of foreign-schooled brains and Third World babies just to barely keep itself viable as a society because the natives no longer measure up. With pervasive censorship and mandated lies serving the “special” people, the hardest thing to find is a well-trained masculine adult mind with an IQ above 90. These and many more contemporary characteristics of the once “Greatest Nation on Earth” are entirely emblematic of the declining years of the Roman Empire. It all began to unravel when the 20th century Baby Boomers threw out ethics, standards, logic, responsibility and morality in favor of self-adulation and instant gratification, and invented whole new ways to reshape reality and project pure nonsense through a wide range of self-serving emotion-based propaganda techniques. Interested only in short-cuts, quick fixes and easy answers, they succeeded in creating an entirely fake universe just for “me”, floating in thin air, on the basis of absolutely nothing – except the great accomplishments of long-gone ancestors. Its apex achieved in 1969, America is destined to disappear into history well before the end of this century.
(As an aside: The video of that first Moon mission sent back to Earth was actually remarkably clear and detailed, and in full color, but in a format that was not compatible with broadcast TV at the time. What you see today is actually tape made by broadcast TV cameras aimed at and filming the original video, i.e., a video of a video. Unfortunately the original digital video was apparently lost when technicians used the same equipment for subsequent missions and recorded over the original.)