Welcome to the column where you provide the content. Greg Sheridan stoked the generational wars and prompted an outbreak of self-reflection when he asked ‘Why are Boomers so damned busy?’. Peter was happy to fuel the fire: “Boomers, as proven by comments here, have an ability to laugh at themselves. A characteristic other generations, particularly Millennials, haven’t inherited.”
Source: Jason Gagliardi, News Corp
‘Boomers have an ability to laugh at themselves. A characteristic millenenials haven’t inherited’
“Wife: ‘What are you doing’; Husband: ‘Nothing’. Wife: ‘You did that yesterday’. Husband: ‘I haven’t finished!’”
“Why are Boomers so damn busy? I too have no time to sit for a few days of reading and contemplation! I’m too busy! The wife and I (both 53-born) are ‘tail-end Boomers’, but still: Although both of us ‘retired’ from the paid workforce two years ago, we are both still ‘fully employed’ with voluntary work, and other interests that demand a regular presence.
“I was ‘engaged’ in the workforce for 49 years, my wife for 48. Up until my 48th year I was still participating in ‘industry-learning’ (mostly online) events. I did not bother during the last year of paid-employment. Same applied to wife.
“Even in ‘retirement’ we are learning new-stuff/skills on a weekly basis. Perhaps we were both infused with the admonition of Professor Julius Sumner Miller to ask: Why is it so? And still, we go out and find out why. Boomers are so-damn-busy, because we CAN DO THINGS by our own initiative, without direction from a guiding-hand.”
“My students often tell me ‘I didn’t have enough time in that exam’, even though two things remain salient: a) everyone who did it had the same amount of time and b) most times there are at least a couple who got full marks (therefore, seemed to have ‘enough time’). It always comes back to management.
“Vilfredo Pareto’s ‘principle’ was that we spend about 80pc of our waking hours doing that which is 20pc of the more meaningful things we will accomplish and 20pc doing the reverse … in other words we waste a lot of time if we are not careful.
“Literally anyone can read a book, if that is important to them. Despite having only read 50 novels in my life (including all those required for English Literature in school) up until two years ago, I have started making the time to do so. In the last three days I have read three. In the last two years, about 20.
“Frankl is absolutely right about meaning. I try to read much of the Bible at least once a year as well as a classic or two. I dedicate at least 20pc of my time doing things that are most important in life to add meaning: spending quality time with my children, exercising, seeing the world, making our money work harder for itself, ensuring a short account with the great engineer above.
“When I see Boomers tending manicured lawns, carefully washing Toyota Avalons and checking out where the cheapest fuel is, I hope that they are living in their 20pc … all things being equal, we have the same amount of time.”
“Speak for yourself Greg. I avoid being busy with grim determination.”
“If you want to be busy, buy a boat! If you want to be REALLY busy, buy an older boat!
(One that’s got lots of timber involved and far too much character for its own good.)”
Stan More from Leichhardt read the fine print:
“I’m a bit of a failure having read Shelby Foote’s 2,968 page, 1.2 million word masterpiece The Civil War: A Narrative in three volumes. Couldn’t put it down and it was a most rewarding experience. Still have time for other things though (mostly grandkids).”
“In our 70s, my wife and I both put in 60 hour weeks into our jobs, which we love and which require intellectual labour rather than physical. I have found as the years have gone by, that I need much less sleep than I used to. Four hours a night is more than enough for me. Also, we have a mainly raw food diet so not much time is spent preparing and/or eating meals. I find I am not that busy at all, and have plenty of time to get out and pursue hobbies, enjoy familial relationships and so on. Life is pretty good, so far! Admittedly, neither of us has been struck down with one of those chronic illnesses that can seriously put a curb on how life plays out.”
Jim kept trim:
“Another good article Greg. I’m in my mid-60s and two years into retirement after a lengthy executive career. My wife still works part time as she is not ready to retire although fortunately we can both afford to. I’m loving the freedom of not being in an ‘always on’ work mode, not waking to an alarm, meeting friends and family for coffee and meals at least twice a week, reading at least a book a week, undertaking self-directed study (philosophy) and plenty of domestic travel. Football, theatre, exercise and cooking also feature heavily. Loving life but with one gnawing gap of no grandchildren yet. We envy those with grandchildren and have substituted with a Smith Family sponsorship.”
Have at it, David H:
“Yes it’s true, what the moaners and groaners of the X, Y and Millennials say about us. We Baby Boomers are the golden children, the blue-eyed boys and girls … the blessed of the tribe. We were born after the war, we had parents who did their best to give us a better life than they had.
“We gained good basic educations, even though most left school at 15 or 16 we could read and write and most educated themselves in the decades that followed. We were employed for the majority of our lives in reasonable jobs for fair wages. We raised families and eventually owned our own homes by working and paying them off.
“We managed to put a bit aside and enjoyed holidays in countries that our parents only read about in books, unless our father’s were sent there in a uniform. We volunteered for every possible community group and personally benefited in so many ways, like friendships and personal satisfaction. And so in our closing decades we stand uniquely apart, the healthiest, wealthiest, happiest generation in human history.”
“We all turn into our parents, except now we live longer, stay healthier and have adult children in double income relationships trying desperately to keep up with their peers in the wealth accumulation race. If you get out of the capital cities you’ll see the smart oldies — the grey nomads living it up, going where they please and doing whatever they want. THAT’S freedom.
“A small aside — watching my older son be a better man at the same age than I ever was, seeing my daughter shrug off the invasive and toxic gender wars and surge ahead in her chosen field, helping my youngest son overcome autism and intellectual disability to obtain his drivers license means a bloke can shuffle off any time knowing he’s achieved some important things. And they’ve been joint achievements. Well written Mr Sheridan (as usual), no retirement for you for a good while yet please.”
“Sorry to pour cold water on Boomers. But the brutal reality is that for younger generations, particularly Millennials, your mortality can’t come soon enough. They hold you responsible for all non-Labor governments, for misogyny, for sexism, for racism, for the survival of working class culture and values and for failing to completely embrace their repressive cult of ‘progressivism’.”
David went deep:
“One part of why we are busy is that we realise that we are running out of time fast and all intentions need some action now or never. Personally about the only thing I really need to do now is not fishing, cause it seems now to be so cruel, but wandering the shallows of a north cost estuary and seeing that the environment is still hanging on, there are still a few mullet jumping for joy, albeit sadly not the number there used to be.”
Chris stopped to smell the roses:
“They are busy because they think they have to be. They think if they slow down they will turn to stone or worse still have nothing to tell their friends about, you know how busy they are.
“People think they have to have a lot of noise in their lives. There’s actually nothing wrong at all about a quiet peaceful retirement, personally I cannot abide being hectic and busy, running from place to place, having commitments to a board or a committee just so I can say I am of some importance to other people.
“Far better to nice and slowly enjoy nature, look at the garden, smell the gum trees, sit under one and listen to a magpie warble or a wattle bird bark.”
The Mocker weighed in on whine privilege, and the massive own goal by race activists that was the Sewell Report on racism in Britain, which basically didn’t find any. Peter V was impressed:
“ ‘Time you acknowledge your whine privilege.’ Beautifully put!”
“Just heard by accident a bit of ABC radio where the guest lamented that here we have the worlds oldest culture who could teach us so much if we would just let them. It sounded like he was all choked up.
“It’s surprising there was no haunting flute music in the background. This encapsulates the problem where the left simply cannot see (Indigenous people) as just human beings who have the same abilities and desires as other Australians. Instead they treat them as exotic specimens that need guidance and nurturing because they are unable to cope in Australian society because of racist whites.
“(Indigenous people) like Jacinta Price find this attitude demeaning and offensive. I think it was Malcolm X who said the biggest danger to Negros (his word) were white liberals.”
“The truth hurts. Racism only plays a small part in all the problems. If you assimilate into the community and move with the times you cant expect the rewards. Too many on the left make a lot of money out of racism. Those at the bottom of the tree receive no help. Racism is big business. Congrats too the authors of the report for saying how it is.”
M was moved:
“At last the light of reason is beginning to pierce through the deliberately obfuscating fog of ideologically driven social engineering language that has bewitched and beguiled so many.”
Commendations from Monarchist:
“I am very glad that a good writer in a reputable mainstream publication in Australia has examined and analysed these findings. It had to be reported in the UK as it was commissioned by the government, (and my my my didn’t it set the cat among the pigeons), but the media here has done its best to smother it.”
“It seems the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has produced a black and white report with varying shades of grey.”
Another Peter posited:
“Unfortunately there is not enough of this pushback and the everoffenderatti keep on moving their divisive agenda forwards. The only way I can see it ending is if we have a globally cataclysmic event like a world war where nations will have to be unified or risk being taken over, and where the left will be held to account for their anti-western agendas.
“Very few of our western politicians have the courage to challenge the left now that Trump has gone. The corporate world is caving, the public service is overrun, the schooling system is lost and our society is none the better for any of it. Anybody who has been around for over 50 years can clearly see that our society, our unity, our self-reliance, our standard of living, our children’s future have all got worse. The real tragedy is that the left and all its useful idiots refuse to see what is obvious to so many of us, and sadly in many instances are actually happy to see everything deteriorate. Time they were held to account.”
“I grew up in Southern Rhodesia, unfairly considered the ‘whitest of the whites’ at that time. It was the bread basket of Africa. I worked for an African boss at Shell. It was made clear to me that I faced an uncertain future and so I migrated to Australia because I felt I had no choice. Sadly Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, fairly quickly became the basket case of Africa. Racism has many faces.”
Avid Reader was aglow:
“Best article I’ve read from The Australian all year! The left wing narrative is that race must always be the cause of minority problems but never any responsibility for their own failure to improve their education, work harder or longer than others.”
Stephen Chavura issued a clarion call for a courage culture as the only antidote to cancel culture, as he noted that organisations and individuals were now rising to this challenge both here and abroad. Michelle would not be moved:
“I will be 70 years old in a couple of months. I left high school after year 11 and have worked, raised our 3 kids along with my husband and are now retired. I don’t have the ability to articulate my thoughts as well as many of others in the comments section. There are probably many other folk like me who still do have real concerns about where Australia is heading.
“Re this cancel culture business, if there was a site where we could add our names to support individuals who do stand up to these bullies then it could encourage more folk to do so. It would let them know we too want freedom of speech and thought. I proudly sign everything as Mrs and correct any form that doesn’t give me the ability to sign as such. By the way, my husband is male, white and has the best of every positive trait any person could have.”
Dee was down:
“I feel suffocated by the new woke agenda and feel since moving back to Australia in 2017 that my rights of free speech have been dramatically reduced. I now rarely state my point of view on anything and feel muzzled most of the time.
“Every single store I go into champions these new notions and so does every government and business. The new ad just out that maligns young boys and implies they are toxic makes me sick to my stomach. Showing a kid being annoying throwing a ball near a girl and then equating that with a fully grown abusive male verbally attacking his wife is just sickening prejudice. The man hating in this country has hit fever pitch.
“No wonder with LNP have been loosing male support over the last few months. Morrison is just succumbing to the minority woke mob but forgets the ‘silent’ majority who put him office can just as easily take him out.”
Molly was amused:
“I find it amusing that those advancing the cause of cancel culture always cite their commitment to diversity and inclusion as the reason for shutting someone down!”
Backed up by Brian:
“The more the cancel culture sprout inclusiveness and diversity, the more they strive to exclude those without their opinions.”
David doubled down:
“Particularly as we are not just importing from the USA or the UK; we have our own code developed by Robert French. (University) funding must be made contingent upon acceptance and implementation of this code. Full stop.”
“Misogyny as a political concept was first used by Julia Gillard who abused parliamentary privilege in applying this term to a man who was happily married and had three daughters and numerous other female relatives and a female chief of staff. It showed how uneducated Gillard was but that did not worry the vox populi who chimed in and spread this term. Woke culture is just that: insufficient critical knowledge and misappropriation of cultural discourses, including the much maligned postmodernism whose canonical texts are hard to read and hence remain beyond the reach of the populists, who distort them just as Gillard distorted the Greek word.”
“Misandry (man hating) is the new black (oops) in this country.”
Last word to Dave:
“Cancel culture is just the latest manifestation of the western left’s endless Cultural Revolution. It is a political faith, driven by belief in a utopian vision. It cannot be reasoned with, and tolerates no introspection, discussion or dissent.”