07 December 2020

A Slightly Too Soon Look Back On 2020

It’s a bit premature, taking a backwards look at 2020 – but everybody wants it over NOW. I’m just like everybody.

In January yours truly predicted it would be …

The Year of Tech
… As always, any ‘tech’ for Baby Boomers is medical tech. I’ve written about the silliness and shortsightedness of this ad nauseum…

It was sort of the year of tech – but not for the reasons I’d anticipated. Millions of older folks, ones that hadn’t been technologically savvy, became technologically savvy – simply to survive. The virtual world became the real world out of necessity.

This post was very popular:

04 February 2020
Communities for Boomers
The elder-centric housing industry is about to explode every which way …

That didn’t happen. Everybody (I hope) is staying put. But it will explode eventually.

This post was runner-up in popularity:

23 September 2020
Do you want to feel old?
Golly, gee … he’s only a baby!

Finally, my favorite post of the year:

30 October 2020
Those Irrepressible Boomers
I just can’t get all hot ’n bothered by all this pro/anti Boomer stuff.

Not a productive year for me or for most folks. 

The good news: It’s almost done with.

The bad news: It’ll be more of the same or worse for the first six months (or more) of 2021.

The craziness will be over and we’ll be able to go back to being our crazy selves.

30 October 2020

Those Irrepressible Boomers

Disclaimer: Nothing much about advertising.

I just can’t get all hot ’n bothered by all this pro/anti Boomer stuff.

I remember not caring about it and making fun of it almost twenty-five years ago:

The Anti Boomer Page
Published April 8, 1997
… Here's a kid sick of hearing about Boomers -- and I don't blame him … When I was his age all I ever heard about was the Depression and WWII. What a bore.

Sixteen years ago this was published:

The Greater Generation: In Defense of the Baby Boom Legacy
by Leonard Steinhorn
It's fashionable to mock Boomers as self-involved and materialistic. But what really is the true legacy of the Boomers?

Good book. Read Brent Green’s take on it: Redefining Generational Greatness.

Professor Steinhorn was featured in a Washington Post Magazine piece in January:

He wrote the book on boomers, and he thinks the Gen Z rap against them isn’t quite OK
By Graham Vyse
… As a millennial raised by a pair of liberal boomers, I’m instinctively sympathetic to Steinhorn’s case. I’m close to my parents, and I share their values, so it made sense when Steinhorn told me there’s much less of a cultural “generation gap” between boomers and younger cohorts than between boomers and their parents.

Now David Cravit is tossing up videos about it all. He does a fine job walking us through the history of Boomers, demolishing dumb myths:

The Unapologetic Boomer
... If you're a Baby Boomer tired of being blamed for everything, this is your place. I offer a blunt, but evidence-based, argument for why the Boomers have nothing to apologize for.

And Ashton Applewhite is pulverizing parallel myths about Ageism:

This Chair Rocks
… From childhood on, we’re barraged by messages that it’s sad to be old. That wrinkles are embarrassing, and old people useless …

May I mention that yours truly is mentioned in Ms. Applewhite’s book?

The Chuck is Very Cool and Cutting-Edge and a Very Important Person Post
… Ashton Applewhite, a leading activist and shaker-upper in the You’re-An-Asshole-If-You’re-Ageist world, quoted me in her book This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism

My takes on these subjects are usually tongue-in-cheek. A few years ago a silly book came out and I had fun goofing on it:

76 Million Sociopaths Outed
… Being a narcissistic boomer, I loved reading the article - although it was rather vague, didn’t have any substance or facts. But that’s fine. It’s a teaser. No doubt the author has impressive degrees in history and sociology, maybe even psychology. So the book should be fantastic, and not written by some dildo blowhard with nothing much to say …

And there are other underlying reasons why my generation is the tops:

People are always coming up to me and asking, “Chuck, why are Baby Boomers so wonderful?”
How rare it is to have an infinite number of correct answers to a single question! One of my standard replies: It has to do with our alimentary intake during adolescence …

Blaming Boomers. It’s just simple-minded people looking for simple-minded answers.

24 September 2020

Growing Bolder & Ken Dychtwald

Virtual friend Marc Middleton and his crew have been producing Growing Bolder for ….

Well, he was just a young whippersnapper when it all began:

04 October 2008
Growing Bolder Series on PBS
Hi Chuck,
     I thought you might be interested in our news about the Growing Bolder TV Show…

It’s returning this fall:

Sneak Preview of Growing Bolder Season 6
This season, we’re proud to bring you more stories of ordinary people living extraordinary lives…

The GB web site is full of great info, entertainment, videos. Recently, Marc interviewed Gerontologist-Extraordinaire Ken Dychtwald. It’s a down-to-earth, casual, revealing chit-chat:

Good work, Marc!

23 September 2020

Do you want to feel old?

I’ve been writing about ageism for decades – even before I knew there was a term for it. 

Apparently, I was behind the curve. Ageism was coined in 1969. Back then yours truly was nineteen. I don’t remember being ageist. Maybe I was. I thought people were wonderful or  idiots for whatever reasons. The reasons weren’t based on age. My heroes and villains were young and old.

When I was forty-eight or so someone sent me an email (I had a blog about Baby Boomers). A fellow was in the advertising business and said he was fired because he was fifty. I scoffed.  Surely he was fired because he was an idiot.

Then I turned fifty.

That was over twenty years ago.

Recently I stumbled upon a post on Linked-In:

1617754725883Saeed Zaman
VP, Head of Digital Innovation & Integrated Media

I have been getting a lot of messages from people implying that #age has anything to do with anything. I am 42 and will be 43 in December - there, I said it. Which #apparently means I am not up to the #fake and beyond #superficial standards of our #industry (and other industries) obsessed with #Youth and #PopCulture. I don’t care if you’re in your 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or beyond. Just like I don’t care if you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s. If you’re #smart, #intelligent and can make sense of your surroundings with a highly #rational and #logical point of view, I’m your biggest fan and you’re most definitely part of my #team. That’s it. Beyond that, I really don’t give a $#%€!

Golly, gee … he’s only a baby!

(Whoops! Am I showing my reverse-ageism?)

Over forty and you’re through. If this trend holds, by 2030 all ad agencies will be staffed by five-to-eleven-year-olds.

Because once you’re twelve, you’re through.

29 July 2020


Where have I been? Like most, Yours Truly has been self-isolating and pretending I’m working.

Advertising to Baby Boomers. For some reason, I haven’t been excited about this subject for the last few months. By the time I get my mask to fit properly without fogging up the glasses and slather on hand sanitizer I forget what I’m supposed to be doing. Then I turn and catch myself in the mirror and with those mask bands pulling on the back of my ears I look like Dopey.

Just a tedious list of things I’ve glanced at since the lockdown:

Boomers and millennials both love Apple and Amazon, but here are the brands they don’t agree on 

Well, we’re also older than sixty-four, but who cares about anybody older than sixty-four.

Don’t Forget Baby Boomers Recognition Day

Nobody over the age of sixty can discern what’s on their smartphone screen with sunglasses on.  Other than that, a perfect representation of this cohort.

Boomers Are the Future of AI and Virtual Reality, Not Millennials
A growing number of firms are developing tech targeted specifically at older people

Hmmm. They’re finally catching on. From my book ©2005 – the cover and pull-quote:

“It will be the Baby Boomers who will be the first to pick and choose, to ignore or be seduced by leading-edge technology marketing. There’s a simple reason for this. We have the money to buy this stuff. Experts say we’ll continue to have the money for at least the next twenty years. Write us off at your own peril.”

About Advertising but not
about Baby Boomers

Yesterday I tossed up an online course about creativity and advertising. Click the link to watch the introductory video. It’s a fun romp. If for no other reason, you can see how creepy and old I am nowadays:

Digging Around in The Past for Inspiration