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As for me, I recently played the age card with an old acquaintance who introduced me to his extremely attractive niece, a girl of 22 or so. As he left to get our coffee order at some Internet café (a collaborative invention with our kids — they contributed the concept of the $4 cup of coffee), I proceeded to flirt shamelessly with the girl, drooling and pawing her knee. My friend returned and asked, chuckling, “You haven’t been molesting my niece, have you?” I gummed the coffee, coughed tubercularly, then blinked in confusion. With my best, hoarsest, and most senile voice, I said, “I forgot,” then quickly changed the subject. “Matlock’s on!” I exclaimed. This brought a hearty round of good-natured laughter, though the young lady looked genuinely disconcerted, and creeped out too.

Say what I will about yuppies growing old, I never related to them much and belong more in that cracks-in-the-system group mentioned above — though I can’t afford to live near the beach. I was pretty much born a malcontent and curmudgeon and so consider myself perfectly poised to face the challenges ahead. As depressing as our prospects may be in the years left to us, we can continue to count on our generation’s secret weapon: we will soon forget what we were depressed about.

I had intended to tell a little story in here about a boy I saw on a statue in Grant Park in Chicago in 1968 because it had something to do with what I was talking about, but it seems to have slipped my — Oh, I see it’s there after all. I didn’t forget.

Never mind.

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shizzyfinn July 21, 2008 @ 9:21 p.m.

OK, first off, a question for management...why is this amazing article nearly impossible to find in the online version of the Reader? After failing miserably at navigating the menu maze (turns out it wasn't under Stories nor Cover Stories but Feature Stories...) I ended up having to search for the article name to get here.

It's a pity, because I'm assuming a lot of folks missed this piece, just because it's so hard to find. And the piece is a triumph.

I first read it in the print version, where you don't get the author's name until the end. But I began to happily suspect, after making it to the mention of the Sounds of Silence, that John Brizzolara just might be at the controls. As more of the author's personal anecdotes emerged, my hopes were confirmed.

And the article ended up being an instant classic from Mr. Brizzolara. His apology on behalf of the baby boomers is appropo. How does a generation that got started amid the peace rallies and painful lessons of Vietnam, somehow still manage to let a guy like George W. Bush take things over under its watch? The whole thing is -- to borrow a fitting and generation-spanning adjective from Mr. Brizzolara -- depressing-ass.

Ah, but life's a bitch, and then you die, I suppose. Or as Mr. Brizzolara zings: "Almost everything I love to wear, they don’t make anymore. Everyplace I used to love isn’t what it used to be, and as time has revealed, it probably never was."


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