"The Gratingest Generation"

That’s the term James Lileks coined this morning to describe all the early Baby Boomer scolds and blowhards like Garrison Keillor and Frank Rich. (I would definitely add Bill Moyers to that list.)

Though he promises not to use the term anymore, it will henceforth and forever be a part of my vocabular arsenal. Check it out.

An excerpt:

Here’s the odd thing: most of my compatriots and contemporaries – guys who came along in the shadow of the ur-boomers – look fore and aft with more pleasure than the founding boomers. Maybe they expected less, and got more; maybe we were sold so much gloom we checked the aftermarket for optimism. Maybe we watched too much Star Trek. I don’t know. I do know that there’s a certain swath of American culture – well-educated, well-off, well-situated, well-read, well-spoken – who seem to think we live in mud up to our nostrils. They can’t look back except to praise the Brave Few who made the unimaginable artistic and intellectual bounty of the late 60s possible (coff); they can’t look at the present without cursing the Perfidious Cabal that makes the foolish electorate go to Wal-Mart on Monday and War on Tuesday, and can’t look forward without bewailing the ineradicable damage wrought by whatever the New York Times is fretting about today. They’re the champions of Man, but give them a minute and they’ll quote Mencken and grin about the booboisie. Well, the booboisie of the 20s had lots of kids, and they were the ones who volunteered to kick Hitler. Someone did something right.