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February, 2004

Aging Boomers Losing Touch
By Harry Holdorf

Life is a fractal experience. It's messy, not like the clear-cut vision of things we had as kids: good and bad, shadow and light. The cut is very jagged, like the coastline of Norway.

In fact, things are so opposite from the way we thought them to be that direction can be found following our opposites. When we set out to buy a car, I said to my first wife: 'Anything but a red one'. We came home in a red car. With my second wife, I said the same thing: we drove another red car home. Recently, before going shopping, I declared: "Anything but a second Lazy boy." So now we spend our evenings reclined and upholstered, floating next to each other in exquisite bliss.

My own shape, the contour, of my edges is quite irregular. I'm not as good a person as I'd thought, or as bad a person as I'd feared. I'm bound to be more alive than I feel some mornings, but deader than I imagine when engaged in Spring Chicken Dreaming.

We're each these uniquely-shaped picture-puzzle pieces, with distinctive knobs, curvy edges, and odd-shaped holes. When interlocked we form this solid pattern of color; the dividing lines disappear, and we become this beautiful pattern, bigger than the picture on the front of the box.

Political ironies abound. Bush's unsupported defanging of Iraq's Saddam is apparently an incredibly progressive act. Fingerprinting foreign arrivals now seems like a good idea, as does closing the border and re-instituting the guest worker program. Meanwhile, George rakes in five hundred thousand bucks a day in order to re-elect a strikingly undemocratic regime.

We aging Boomers are losing the connection with our activist past, snoozing on our Barca Loungers, while our culture consumes the earth at an ever-quickening rate.

 

 

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