We’re it. The older generations – the parents of Baby Boomers – are too close to the end to spare the time to give the project.
It’s up to US – the much-maligned Baby Boomers, who – at this point – are the only living archive of the past culture and heritage.
I’ll be 70 next month. I dimly remember seeing McCarthy on television, when I was around 3. My mother was working part-time in the evenings, and my dad would brush my hair while watching the evening news. So, I did have an actual memory of Sen. McCarthy – and, he didn’t seem like a bad man, to me. Despite the ‘judgement of history’, most of our neighbors agreed with him. You must remember, I’m from Cleveland, and in our working class neighborhood, immigrants from newly-Communist countries were common.
I also remember the Civil Rights era. Not all the people involved were dedicated to ‘peaceful protest’, although many were. At the time, I accepted all that the news presented as actual fact, not opinion. It never crossed my mind that journalists would lie to push forward a particular agenda.
Not my father. He’d grown up amongst people of different races, and he could not be lied to about relations between them. Not every Black person was a saintly innocent, nor were all Rednecks ignorant and prejudiced. Some were, sure. But the reality was more – nuanced – than the simple stories that made it to the evening news.
That’s the value of experience vs. learning at a remove from life. You can’t bullshit the guy who has life experience. He knows better, from his own real perspective.
Now, why did this come up as a topic?
This. They’re trying to gaslight us again. Trying to make us doubt our own memories, written in the experience of our own senses. When the last of us who remember die off, who will be there to speak differently?