RUSH: I remember some years ago describing for you a conversation I had had with a United Screeners of America union thug by the name of Moe Thacker. Moe Thacker is the union thug that runs the screeners union and so forth in New York, and Moe and I… I mean, you get Moe away from the business, and he can be a decent guy. In the radio station, he’s a strict union hack and he’s always confrontational and he’s waiting for somebody to make a mistake or violate some little third rate clause in a union contract. One time, I went out to Moe’s house in a gesture of goodwill. He lives out there on Long Island. I drove out there… (interruption) No, Moe doesn’t live in a big mansion. He has one, but doesn’t live in it. He doesn’t want the union membership to know what he’s got. He lives in a little shack, actually.
Anyway, Moe and I are the same age, and we got to talking about things, and I said to Moe — I’m 56 now, and was probably 42 or 43 at the time, and I said — ‘You know, there are days that I feel like I’m 18, that I’m 20. There are days that I look back, and I got all this lost time I gotta make up for all the fun I didn’t have back when I was a teenager and young twenties, early twenties, because I started working when I was 16.’
Moe said, ‘You know, I have a theory about that. I think that it is because of how easy a life we’ve had.’ He said, ‘You look at our parents and grandparents, and they had real challenges in life. They had to grow up real fast. They went through the Great Depression and they went through World War II, and they had Khrushchev banging his shoe at the United Nations.’
I said, ‘You know, you’re right. I think back to when my dad was 42, 43, that was it. Life was established. It was set: job, whatever. My mom, too. All of the friends that I had, same way.’
Yet I was talking about this with somebody else, because I talk about it a lot, actually, because I think it’s interesting. But this was, I don’t know, a month or two ago or whatever and I even forget who I was talking about. I constantly ask people my age if they feel their age.
‘No, no, no, no, no! I still feel young. I’ve got a lot ahead of me. I’m just now hitting my stride,’ and so forth and so on.
There’s no question to me that life, for baby boomers, just in a static sense, has been far better than life for their parents and their grandparents. We’ve had to go out and invent our traumas. We’ve had to go out and invent these things that make us feel like we’ve got stress. Now, the stress is real, and it’s bad. People in my age group feel it, but they had to invent it because it wasn’t there compared to the way it was for our parents and grandparents. Of course, the baby boom generation, because of this overwhelming opportunity and the prosperity and the affluence that they’ve had the opportunity to achieve, and in many cases have achieved in this country, have been self-focused. You’ve heard this riff about baby boomers, everything’s about me, me, me, me, me, and them, them, them, them, them, and their feelings and, ‘Why isn’t everybody thinking about me? Why isn’t everybody talking about me?’ That’s sort of now dwindled down to Generation X and Generation Y, because they’re just vomiting everything about themselves they can on these MySpace websites and YouTube. By the way, has George Tenet put his Medal of Freedom for sale on eBay yet? Somebody go to eBay, and see if you can find George Tenet’s Presidential Medal of Freedom for sale. If he hasn’t put it up, it ought to be for sale up there. I never understood why he got the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the first place. I actually thought that they were trying to buy him off — and if they were, that really worked, didn’t it?
At any rate, I was doing show prep last night getting ready for my big return to the Golden EIB Microphone. Lo and behold, this is a story from the Times Online in the UK: ‘Why 50-Somethings Live Like 20-Somethings.’ I said, ‘Man, oh man! Moe Thacker and I were on the cutting edge 13 years ago. Get this. This is in the women’s section of the Times Online UK paper: ‘As teenagers they fought for their right to grow their hair, wear what they wanted and explore the possibilities of the contraceptive pill. Now a new study that compares the lifestyle of the over-50s today with that of half a century ago has found that baby-boomers are doing battle with age with equal vigor. Traveling, playing golf and going out with their friends, they are living the lives that 25-year-olds were in 1957, the Future Foundation think-tank concludes in its report Forever Young. In 1957 men could look forward to just 7.6 years of retirement, and women just under 14 years. But with general health improving significantly and life expectancy soaring, men aged 60 now have 15 years and women over 22 years to fill after leaving work. ‘Today 50 is closer to the middle of our life than to its end, with many economic and psychological factors bringing this change,’ Martin Lloyd-Elliott, a psychologist who was consulted for the report, said. ‘Psychologically, there has been a shift from a ‘closing-down’ expectation for the second half of life towards a much more optimistic ‘opening-up-of-new-doors’ spirit of good times ahead.’
Yes, there’s no question. Think back, folks. Think back. If you’re my age, a little younger, think back to your parents and grandparents when they were your age now. Look at how they spent the remaining years of their lives. They might have had a garden. One of them went to the garden to avoid the other. They sat there looking at roses and daisies all day. But you look back on them and you know that at some point they reached the stage where they were near our age (there are exceptions to this of course) where their life had been lived and their focus became other things. It had been, by the way, because they had gone through hell when they were young. They had faced challenges and hardships — and I’m sorry if this offends some of you — that their children and grandchildren could no more contemplate — you and I have never been through the Great Depression. You may talk about how the ‘Iraq war’ has you all out of sorts. You have no idea what it was like in World War II, Korea, and that sort of thing, and the emergent social (interruption)
Don’t give me, ‘I had Jimmy Carter.’ We got rid of him in four years!