Confessions Of An Alaska Boomer

You CAN Blame Us!

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Generation_timeline.svg&lang=simple

My Baby Boomer generation grew up in the long shadow of the Greatest Generation–Americans who lived through the Great Depression and fought for the rights and freedoms guaranteed in our USA and Alaska Constitutions. My father was a member of the following Silent Generation by one year (Born in 1929) but was not gong-ho about having won WWII. He served his military duty honorably and moved on with his life, working his blue-collar gig until self-absorbed IBEW Union retirement.

[1]The Greatest Generation

USA Baby Boomers had it easy, all we had to do was get on the economic gravy train and be honorable. We suffered the Cuban Missile Crisis, assassination of President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., But mostly we today continue to experience repercussions of perhaps the worst president until that time, Lynden B. Johnson, who simultaneously accelerated the Viet Nam War while promoting The Great Society social revolution.

It was schizophrenic, and I never expected a worse president in my lifetime.

[2]Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States

President Johnson became great friends with Filipino President, Ferdinand E. Marcos (1965-1986) and helped Marcos transition from President to Dictator. The lens of history has shown Marcos helped Johnson convince the world that the USA fight against Communism in Southeast Asia was noble while the well-documented racist pandered on social issues.

Providing outstanding accommodations in Eagle River since 1991

Policies of this time came at great cost to America; we lost in

Viet Nam AND the USA War on Poverty.

My own typical American normal life transitioned with first introduction to Alaska as a desireable place when my elementary school teacher read a book to the class about a family who moved to rural Alaska. A front page story in the Weekly Reader children’s newspaper celebrated Anchorage being named an All-American City. From Albuquerque, NM sweltering heat in a relocatable classroom without air-conditioning, Alaska seemed very exotic. My parents were going through a divorce, Dad had temporary custody of three kids, and I didn’t like my new stepmother any better than she liked me.

Then it happened. My Telephone Man father came home from work one day, dropped his tool belt, and declared: We’re Moving to ALASKA!

I have thanked God continuously ever since for that life transition.

[3]What Brought Me to Alaska

Popular Fads were very important in my youth, and we were easily influenced by advertising and Group-Think, with the theme of: IF IT FEELS GOOD, DO IT! The Woodstock Music and Art Fair happened on a farm in Bethel, New York August 15-18, 1969–partially celebrating delusion as something desirable. New Age Cultureprojected hope for something called Age of Aquarius–believed to be a period of time associated with the zodiak sign of Aquarius bringing an increase in harmony in the world.

It was all self-indulgent baloney promoted by people with self-

serving political agendas. (Likely Communists).

But as an Alaskan this writer had experienced the great Alaska Earthquake in 1964 and it was the highlight of my youth. Every day was a blessing.

[4]Alaska Earthquake Awareness-The Big One Sensitized Me!

The great $900.000,000 lease sale launching development of our North Slope Oil Field in 1969, ultimately required reaching a Native Land Claim Settlement before the 800-mile pipeline could be built from Prudhoe Bay to tidewater in Valdez, Alaska, by 1977. Knowing big things were coming for Alaska, I chose to go back to college and paid every penny it cost for Bachelor Degree (1974) and later Master’s Degree (1989).

I wanted to contribute to a quality future for Alaskans

Alaska had less than 300,000 people when we arrived to this Last Frontier, and most others came here from someplace else, too. My father worked as a telephone communications technician on the Cold War Military Installations all over the state.

[5]Nike Site Reflections

Dad wasn’t around Anchorage much and I was left largely to my own devices, in this bedroom community to Elmendorf AFB and Ft Richardson Army Reserve. My lifelong journalism/business career began by selling newspapers on 4th Avenue.

[6]Unsupervised Youth in Anchorage

Our Alaskan colony of USA was civil. We who were born to parents who had known poverty realized there was always a possibility that bad things could happen, but we hoped for the best and learned to plan instead of wish. As kids we cherished free prizes in Cracker Jack boxes, gobbling the caramel coated popcorn and peanuts snack our parents had paid for. That was the sum of our understanding of economics. And, we believed whatever was reported on TV News and Paul Harvey Aurandt told us The Rest of the Story.

[7]Paul Harvey Aurandt

Some of our school teachers were from the two previous generations and didn’t suffer fools–and many didn’t retire at 20 years and go home to other states. They became the old guys in the teacher lounge who cut through the crap when newbee teachers talked about devisive social issues. Their job was to teach what Anchorage children–who mostly had parents serving in uniform–needed to know to make our own decisions about politics LATER.

I was a product of that academically-focused public education AND my ALASKA environment.

Looking Back

We knew more about what was happening in the world than any previous generation had and were instilled with the notion that Technology was the future–our world would be improved by it if we embraced it. Today I am not so sure we have applied Technology in the best interest of mankind but I do know fewer people are dying of starvation and more have higher understanding of opportunity in the Capitalist Economic System, that the best form of welfare is a JOB.

[8]We were Born to be Wild!

The same year as I graduated from East Anchorage High School (1969) the USA Corporation for Public Broadcasting formed the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), a private non-profit corporation comprising 171 noncommercial licensees who operate 347 member stations around the country. Over time I have discovered the people who love government control over our lives could not allow commercial broadcasting to run wild. They had to provid an alternative voice appealing to Entitled People with candy-coated propaganda, intolerant of unapproved independent thought.

[9]The Corporation for Public Broadcasting

I was on that boat for a while, but I got off and I am better for it

today.

NPR is the primary broadcasting medium in rural Alaska even today, and together with a regular flush of teachers on their Alaska Adventure, serves as the liberal Democratic Party backbone of the state. When Alaska was broke it was wall-to-wall Democrat, and when we became rich beyond our wildest imaginations we became wall-to-wall Repubiican/pretend Republicans. Today, after more than 45 years of oil bonanza schools continue to decline, bush poverty is rampant, we attempted to protect our massive oil wealth from being used only to buy more government and appear to have failing in that mission. State and local government are the largest employer and millions of dollars of Outside money result in candidates for Alaska office who are clowns in an election system no rational voter should trust anymore to elect politicians who largely appeal to ignorant voters.

[10]Sham of Alaska

The Long View

Over all these decades I now believe Baby Boomers were chumped. Our elected leaders were not up for the challenges of this time. We could have hired the best educators in the world and we didn’t. We could have moved the Alaska Capitol out of the clutches of Seattle and we didn’t. We could have stood up to the Alaska Supreme Court and said Alaskans COULD be paid from our oil wealth account based on how long they have lived here, instead of making the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend a Government Give-away Program. Most Alaska Baby Boomers have tried to maximize their personal wealth from the Oil Rush, and many got out, but there is one influence that has done the most harm to American and Alaska than any other, and may be an underlying reason why my generation has been so negligent in the things that mattered: Marijuana.

The growing acceptance and legalization of what American drug

addicts call “recreational drugs” has harmed Alaska.

As opium has long been used in some places in Asia by people who contributed little to the good of society, use of marijuana in Alaska was once something people could do in their home under Alaska’s constitutional right to privacy. But that wasn’t enough. It had to be legalized for commercial interests to exploit human frailties to the maximum extent possible. I have soberly observed use of marijuana among my peers, my students and acquaintances as a gateway to escape and delusion. It is no better than any intoxicant, including alcohol.

I regret this.

My Alaska life has been amazing, and has caused me to ask: Why do some people need to become intoxicated by any more than this?

Lately I have spent quality time in the country of Alaska’s truest friend in the world, Philippines. Here I have read many books about the history and culture. I have witnessed how much less people can have here and be happy. By contrast I feel a sense of shame in what the USA Baby Boomer Generation has done to normalize delusion and mental illness.

Smart people in future generations must not fall into this trap my generation has set. Alaskans must realize with clear thinking how important our place is in the world as a linchpin between East and West. Asian people are savvy and must never normalize drug addiction with marijuana. Philippines has enough problems.

Despite the lousy deal Alaska’s Boomer Generation has handed future generations, you who follow must realize the value of clear thinking, using the spectacle of what delusional politicians of Alaska’s Boomer Generation have done on the world stage as an example of what NOT to do.

As a once idealistic Alaskan youth myself, all I can say is I’m Sorry.

References:

[1]The Greatest Generation
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greatest_Generation, 06/11/23

The Greatest Generation, also known as the G.I. Generation and the World War II generation, is the Western demographic cohort following the Lost Generation and preceding the Silent Generation. The generation is generally defined as people born from 1901 to 1927.They were shaped by the Great Depression and were the primary generation composing the enlisted forces in World War II. Most people of the Greatest Generation are the parents of the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers.

[2]Lyndon Johnson, 36th President of the United States
https://www.britannica.com/event/Great-Society

“A Great Society” for the American people and their fellow men elsewhere was the vision of Lyndon B. Johnson. In his first years of office he obtained passage of one of the most extensive legislative programs in the Nation’s history. Maintaining collective security, he carried on the rapidly growing struggle to restrain Communist encroachment in Viet Nam.

[3]What Brought Me to Alaska

A Refuge from Calamity: What Brought Me to Alaska

[4]Alaska Earthquake Awareness-The Big One Sensitized Me!

Alaska Earthquake Awareness

[5]Nike Site Reflections

Nike Site Reflections from the Cold War

[6]Unsupervised Youth in Anchorage

Unsupervised Youth in Anchorage

[7]Paul Harvey
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Harvey, 06/11/23

[8]We were Born to be wild!

We were Born to be Wild! 

[9]The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
https://www.pbs.org/johngardner/chapters/4d.html#:~:text=In%201969%2C%20the%20CPB%20formed,member%20stations%20around%20the%20country.

[10]Shame of Alaska

Shame of Alaska:


Welcome to my International Readers joining in the

conversation about mutual interests between Alaska

and Asia! I welcome your comments.

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