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Posts tagged: baby boomers

How many kids watching 60s Westerns…

…realized that the job descriptions of TV saloon girls was not all that realistic?

Know your TV trivia

What sort of fish might send fan mail?

The part of the story that gets left out

There are people of a certain age who enjoy suggesting that kids today tend to be greedhead whiners.

What they seem to forget is that some of these same people made their parents' lives a living hell with constant nagging about the all-important need to buy a color TV.

Understanding your baby boomer boss

When he or she says “It's like when Charlie Brown balked in the winning run,” that means the screw-up in question should never have happened.

And if your boss had advocated naming the royal baby “Rocky Raccoon,” well, if you don't know that, maybe you should just go back to bed.  

Baby boomer men’s shocking secret

If they were about 13, baby boomer boys who watched “I Dream of Jeannie” knew exactly what their first wish would be.

What? There were other generations?

A Slice reader wrote to say he has nothing against baby boomers. But he added, “My generation (say about 1930-1945) has become the anonymous generation.”

Unlearning the lessons of “It’s My Party”

People ask me, “Paul, why were so many baby boomers clueless for so long when it came to affairs of the heart?”

That's easy. It all goes back to 1963 and Lesley Gore's hit story-songs, “It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To)” and “Judy's Turn to Cry.”

These were peppy Top 40 tunes that offered seriously misguided life lessons.

In the first song, we hear Lesley sing:

“Nobody knows where my Johnny has gone.

“Judy left the same time.

“Why was he holding her hand,

“When he's supposed to be mine?”

This sends the clear message that it's OK for girls to be utter dopes. Why else would the song's narrator be so slow to pick up on the fact she has been bagged and dropped off at Dump City?

When the newly minted couple return to the party, this chick Judy is wearing Johnny's ring. And yet the singer inexplicably voices surprise.

Hello? Who didn't see that coming? And why couldn't the ditsy storyteller recognize that our man Johnny simply was not the most emotionally reliable cat in town?

It gets worse, of course.

Let's review a few lines from the follow-up, “Judy's Turn to Cry.”

“Oh, one night I saw them kissin' at a party,

“So I kissed some other guy.

“Johnny jumped up and he hit him,

“'Cause he still loved me, that's why.”

Lesley, Lesley, Lesley. That's your idea of love? Girl, you had better wise up.

Can you imagine the signal that sent to impressionable baby boomer youth?

To recap:

1. Brainless babe fails to realize her boyfriend is a two-timing loser until evidence is presented to her on a platter.

2. Brainless babe decides to make her knuckledragger ex jealous.

3. Knuckledragger ex resorts to violence against some innocent dupe.

4. Brainless babe is thrilled and feeling flush with feminine conquest pride, even though her loser boyfriend clearly is motivated by a macho notion of property rights and not some romantic impulse.

5. Brainless babe, no big booster of sisterhood, takes devilish pleasure in the emotional injury to the aforementioned Judy.

6. Millions of kids spend decades unlearning these lessons.

7. Marriage counselors take a lot of trips to Hawaii.


This later record helped start the healing.

The right stuff: Baby boomer girls

There are plenty of reasons I admire women my own age.

They have faced dizzying twists and turns in what society expects of them. They have had to cope with an often confused generation of men. And they can be counted on to know what a good song sounds like.

But there's another reason they have my respect.

When they were girls, these women played jacks. And the game pieces they used were not made of safe rubber or plastic. No, they played with cold, skin-piercing pointed metal.

This was an angry toy.

A girl who fell on those babies came up adorned with imbedded jacks. It happened.

I'm not saying that was as bad as getting hit by shrapnel. But any boy who ever saw a girl pluck a couple of those nasty little stingers out of her tender, fawn-like flesh intuitively realized he was seeing in action a gender not to be taken lightly.

Not to be confused with Tinker Toys

If blindfolded, could you identify the smell of these? Of course, you could.

What became of all those toy soldiers?

Are most of them in landfills now? Must number in the millions.

Sort of a sad end after all those years of service.

Ever serve in a similar paramilitary unit?

You know, crossing guards.

I was proud to wear the colors in sixth grade. The few, the proud. We were drunk with power.

“Hey, kid. Wait for my signal! Don't make me report you.”

But unlike the school where this photo was taken, our unit was males-only. It would be years before girls were deemed ready for front-line positions. And then, of course, the whole thing got turned over to adults.  

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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