An Apology to Younger Americans
Source ListMeister
Date 03/11/18/11:55

"I regret that we helped to redefine 'cool' from being an inner state of
grace and rebellion to being an outward display of consumption and

Sam Smith

In observance of the approaching 66th anniversary of my arrival on this
planet I would like to apologize to you on behalf of my generation.

Even members of Confederacy had the grace to secede from the union; my
generation has remained within like a deadly virus, subverting it,
shaming it, screwing it, stealing from it, and finally strangling it. It
will likely be known as the worst generation - the one that brought the
First American Republic down - unmatched in the damage it has done to
the Constitution, the environment, and a two century struggle to create
a society democratic and decent in its politics, economics, and social

To be sure, when we were young we were, as we said then, somethin' else.
We launched the civil rights, women's, gay, and environmental movements,
not to mention creating some memorable music before descending into
disco. Soon other things started to go downhill rapidly. We became not
only the generation that invented the phrase, 'never trust anyone over
thirty,' we proved it.

My lawyer assures me that my personal liability in all this is limited
to a few missteps including energy inefficiency, chronic
ineffectiveness, owning a minivan, and occasionally listening to Don
Imus. But he agrees that a public apology would be helpful in the event
of a war crimes tribunal or in determining reparations owed by my heirs
to future generations.

Besides, it is unlikely that any of my cohorts will apologize as it is
against their principles to do so absent pending court action or
especially poor media. And as my attorney notes, there are plenty of
things worthy of contrition, such as the New York Times' publishing Tom
Friedman, which do not actually constitute a criminal offense.

For purposes of public remorse, incidentally, I define my generation as
consisting of anyone who reached 40 after Watergate and who was at least
40 on September 11, 2001. I choose these dates because the resignation
of Nixon was about the last good thing to happen to America and
September 11 ended most hope that anything good would happen soon again.

And so, on behalf of all my fellow members of America's crummiest
generation, I make this humble confession, begging forgiveness from
those who follow:

I apologize for Bopal and Three Mile Island and, in advance, for all the
biological, chemical or nuclear disasters that will occur thanks to
economic rapaciousness and without the slightest help from a terrorist.

I am truly sorry for Martha Stewart, the Washington Post, Howard Stern,
the Brookings Institution, and Bill O'Reilly,

I regret any lasting infirmities - such as the lost of the republic -
that occurred unnoticed the country's elite was sedated by "Morning
Edition," C-SPAN, Jim Lehrer, and Ted Koppel.

I am profoundly embarrassed by the way we destroyed the public school
system of our country.

I regret that we got the Muslim world so mad at us and that we couldn't
come up with any better solution than to get it madder.

I am sorry about all the extra hurricanes, tornados, and heat waves that
have occurred while we continued to debate whether there was anything
called global warming.

I apologize for any inconvenience, such as prison time, that may have
occurred as a result of criminalizing the use of marijuana while keeping
legal the far more dangerous drugs we enjoyed such as vodka and Marlboros.

I also regret that the war on drugs helped lay the groundwork for the
end of constitutional government and proved more deadly to young black
urban males than serving in Vietnam was to their fathers.

I am sorry that the so many leading graduates of our leading
universities seem mainly to have learned an arrogance that gives theory
invulnerability to fact.

I apologize for those scientists who thought coming up with new ways to
destroy humanity was a good use of their time.

I am sorry about increasing crowding on the roads, at events, and while
getting services, but overpopulation was one subject we just didn't want
to talk about.

I regret that we helped to redefine 'cool' from being an inner state of
grace and rebellion to being an outward display of consumption and

I would like to say how sad I am about your increased likelihood of
getting skin cancer because of the environmental changes we created in
the atmosphere.

I am really sorry that we inflicted upon you the likes of George Bush
and Bill Clinton.

I apologize for the Council on Foreign Relations and the ten percent of
its members who pretend to be objective journalists. And I apologize for
any other 'objective journalists' moonlighting for the CIA.

I really feel remorse for having for having replaced movie plots with
multiple explosions, and for using sexual attractiveness as a substitute
for all other forms of talent.

I apologize for the Harvard Business School and the Yale Law School and
all the deplorable effluvia from the same, including the transformation
of the Organization Man into a sex symbol.

I apologize for managerial revolutions, mission statements, synergy,
cutting edges, proactive and world class entrepreneurs, strategic
planning, bottom lines, and exit interviews.

I am truly sorry we could make no greater contribution to philosophy
than the justification of greed in the guise of free market economics,
the sanctification of imperialism in the name of nation building, and
the notion that it takes only 12 steps to solve all your problems.

I apologize for the damage we have done to the English language
including the use of nouns as verbs, abstractions as replacement for
facts, the pointless compoundingofwords, and placing CapiTaLs wherever
we feel like it.

I regret our having passed more new laws in the past three decades than
during the first two hundred years of the American nation.

I regret that you are now regarded as a potential terrorist, addict, or
sexual predator more often than you are considered a valued citizen.

I am truly sorry for what we have done to childhood, including
over-scheduling it, replacing Kermit with Barney, teaching children
excessive fear and absurd competitiveness, diagnosing them into drug
dependency, and punishing them for drawing 'inappropriate' pictures in
the margins of their textbooks.

And now that we've gotten all that out of the way, it is time to move on
and put it all behind us. After all, while we may have created this
mess, it is your task to clean it up. Of course, if you need any advice,
don't hesitate to ask.

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