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," fascinating conversations about that seminal event in the summer of ’69. Host Julian G. Simmons talks with people who made that magical moment happen, exploring how it affected our generation, and -- more importantly -- how we can get that "Woodstock Spirit" back today.
We definitely need it right now.
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.
The Woodstock Episodes are an attempt to revisit a seminal moment in many of our lives – a moment when millions of us came together, in spirit or in person, and launched a positive force for change. That event was magical – half a million young people packed together for three days, and not a single act of violence, despite some rather trying conditions. The people who produced the festival lost their shirts – it took them ten years to break even. But everyone, from the crew to the investors to the filmmakers to the audience – knew that something of great importance had occurred, and it should not be forgotten. Especially now, when we are so divided, so overwhelmed, so unsure of where "we" as a nation are headed.
“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. We understand that it's time to step aside, hand over the reins of this unruly beast to the next generation -- but we really do not intend to “just fade away.” A lot of us have devoted much of our long lives to important causes, projects, campaigns – trying to make this a better world. Many of us still have a lot to contribute. We do not like the rude diss "Okay, Boomer," although our purpose here is not to engage the perpetrators.
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. Many 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!
If you have an interest in supporting this project, or suggestions for upcoming episodes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julian Simmons & Rob Wilson