A Conversation Whose Time Has Come
“talkin' 'bout Our Generation" is a podcast by, for, and about Baby Boomers, the generation that officially includes anybody born between 1946 and 1964. We’re a huge chunk of the population-- right now there are 76 million of us in the United States alone!
The podcast is a convivial, intelligent, inviting place for people of our generation to share experiences, memories, concerns, questions, and answers. It’s like a gathering of old friends actually talking to each other – kind of like we used to before technology spun us apart. The subject matter is us, meaning it’s wide open; there are as many stories as there are Baby Boomers.
We launched with a series called "The Woodstock Episodes," fun and fascinating conversations about that seminal event in the summer of ’69. Host Julian G. Simmons talks with people who made that magical moment happen, how it affected our generation, and -- more importantly -- how we can get that "Woodstock Spirit" back today.
We definitely need it.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has hit our generation especially hard, and made many of us understandably anxious and afraid, and driven us into social isolation. All of which gives “talkin' 'bout Our Generation" a poignant note of urgency, and a reason to celebrate through our collective memory the things we achieved, the lessons we learned from events like Woodstock, and the values we grew up with, which are sorely needed right now.
Sharing, caring, community -- that's exactly what “talkin' 'bout Our Generation" is all about.
In one of The Woodstock Episodes, for example, Julian has a colorful conversation with the remarkable raconteur extraordinaire Henry Diltz, official photographer at Woodstock. Julian and Henry go back to the summer of '69 and relive those "Three Days of Peace and Music." But they go beyond idle reminiscence and get into what that “Woodstock Spirit” really felt like. How did it happen? What impact did it have on our society, on us? Can we get it back?
“talkin' 'bout Our Generation" will deal with the impact of the pandemic on our age group, focusing on Baby Boomers responding in positive ways, the heroes on the front lines, those angels who have reached out to comfort scared and lonely patients in quarantine, the people who have shined through this really dark and frightening time.
Our world has changed in countless ways, and we want to help make sense of it, help our family of listeners find ways of adjusting to this new world. Before the pandemic hit, for example, we were planning an episode on the rebirth of innovative approaches to communal living among Baby Boomers, but now that the pandemic has arrived, how will this effect that type of living experience? Has it effectively halted the building of such communal establishments, or does it make them that much more important?
Our goal is to draw on our collective experience to generate a common sense of how we can and will come through this stronger together.
We are actively implementing that strategy of sharing, inviting listeners to record their thoughts and send us the files, which we are trying to work into the podcast. It’s a real conversation. One key aspect of our podcast is that we will not be talking at listeners; we’ll bring in experts, but they won’t be giving any lectures. Our style will be egalitarian and inclusive, using the pronoun “we” as much as possible. We’ll explore subjects with an open, probing mind. We’ll be focused, but feisty.
There is a wealth of information about our generation, how we changed the culture, how we’ve been blamed by Millennials for handing them a world of problems, how we’ve been credited for creating a new culture of humanistic and environmental values that still drive many of our generation and younger people today.
We won’t assume we have all – or any – answers, but we’ll look back across our years, listening to experts and regular folks like us, learning about where we started and how far we’ve come on this long, strange trip.
A lot of us are feeling out of sync, suddenly finding ourselves in these fleshy senior citizen bodies while most of us still think like twenty-somethings. We’re befuddled by his time warp. After all, we were the ones who said, “never trust anyone over thirty.”
We’re accustomed to being the center of attention, the golden target demographic of advertisers, the most influential age cohort in politics, business, culture, the job force, and the economy.
We trashed our parents’ stodgy status quo and fostered a new age of social consciousness, with our own defiant music, fashion, and awareness. We spawned the sexual revolution, stopped a war, stoked the civil rights movement, and spurred an environmental awakening.
Now we’re getting shoved out of the spotlight by Millennials, and we don’t like how it feels. We really do not intend to “just fade away.”
That does not mean we’re blameless. A lot of us drifted from the ideals of the sixties, or never shared them in the first place. We did well, made a bundle of cash and settled into comfortable, insular retirement.
But at least half of us are hurting, struggling to get by, pushed out of the job market, unable to retire and unsure how we are going to pay the rent. Many are still committed to the cause, still protesting, still marching for peace, freedom, and justice. The idealism of the sixties is still driving us, even if it’s sent us crashing over a financial cliff.
So, we’ll be talking about all that and tackling a lot more of the serious issues most baby boomers face every day. And we’ll do it with an edgy, seasoned sense of humor, feistiness balanced with love. Every episode will leave listeners feeling better, empowered, armed with positive ideas about how to make our lives more meaningful, fulfilling, and active. Our goal is to educate, enlighten, and amuse, in a thought-provoking, over-a-cup-of-coffee conversational sort of way. "talkin' 'bout Our Generation" will NOT be a downer. We promise!