Why I am a cynic
I grew up in the reflected glory and painfully frank disillusionment beamed in through Uncle TeeVee mostly because staying up to watch Cheers or Thirtysomething (I remember a romantic comedy called Duet that ran around the time I was 11 (it was (I hope) never syndicated), or listen to semi-hippies (who now, in my memory, are about the same age as the friends that I have now (how could someone my age have been a fount of certainty for anyone (but I still thought so in my memory)) sit around and converse (I can read tarot cards for no particular reason, and have a photograph of my aura somewhere), were both prefereable to going to bed, where the light necessary for reading would be detected and commanded out (but I knew your preference for character drama and comedy were compelling even then (and the documentaries, Monty Python, Dr. Who (certainly not Star Trek), and filmed surgeries), and so they became interesting).
The epic of a living generation was broadcast nightly for the consumption of any innocent child who was inclined to pay attention at an early age. I saw The Graduate, Dr. Strangelove, The Wall, 2001, Roman Holiday, Father Goose, ET, The Empire Strikes Back, On Golden Pond, Barbarella----
A brief word about Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda, for me is an entirely unique kind of temporally compressed amalgam of several impressions of a single person with an extensively varied public image that all entered my consciousness fairly concurrently. It only took the length of an interview or a movie to transform Henry Fonda's daughter, finally able to interact with her father onscreen in a way that may never have occured offscreen, into Barbarella. To wrench me from Barefoot in the Park to footage of Hanoi Jane. And now the wife of an entertainment tycoon. This isn't Madonna; these were'nt drastic changes for the people that actually lived through these phases as they happened; there was a lot of living in which anyone could be expected to do a lot of changing between subversive political activist to the founder of the exercise video Renaissance that got rid of the highly sedate yoga instructors and perverted cameramen that dominated the exercise show circuit up into the eighties.
Getting back to business---
What it comes down to is the fact that when I was in junior high school, I was pretty aware that I would find college shocking, that I would become an idealist in college, be disillusioned by the compromises that I had made, become increasingly alarmed at where my life is in comparison to where I had imagined it to be in the time that I will then envision as the only time in my life where I was really alive, and finally settle into a kind of vague second mortgage middle aged liberalism where people who really want to discuss politics make me uneasy, but I vote for the green party (sometimes, for local offices only) and donate to charity (ACLU membership lapsed) and begin to understand when people start talking about family values and building more prisons.
Why did I swallow the coping myth of a generation that wasn't my own? Why is my generation so fucked up?
Because you, all of you, forced your children to watch while you engaged in self obsessed, masturbatory, alienated psychoanalysis crosses with a 12-step repressed memory morality---
In front of your children!!!