A sign of the Times

You know, when I was younger I would curse the bevy of advertisements throughout our newspaper… “Annoying…!” I would mutter to myself. “Look at this, a full page just for an advertisement…disgraceful!” I would exclaim aloud.

Now, I thank every ad-salesperson on my paper’s staff, and every savvy business buying it.  They keep that paper coming to my door every morning, and I am extremely grateful.

Because how happy would we be if our newspapers go away…victim of younger generations’ apathy for the written word held in one’s hand?  With the prospect looming for giants like the Chicago Tribune and LA Times, this is not as far-fetched as we wish it to be.

I teach businesses how to reach the Boomer buyer, as many companies still cling to the last century trend of marketing to the 18-45 crowd (begun, by the way, in the ‘70’s to reach, you guessed it, Boomers…) and then wonder why they’re struggling.  Boomers have the highest levels of disposable income with the greatest willingness to use it, we represent almost 45% of the consumer market, larger than all the other individual market cohorts combined, and we spend a whopping $2.3 trillion annually on goods & services…that’s $400 billion more than any other age cohort.

And it is we Boomers who are the primary subscribers to newspapers/ magazines; the last generation to get our buying information from traditional media (papers, radio, and TV). 

So to you smart companies advertising in the newspaper, you’re doing exactly what it takes to reach us.  Keep it up.  And to my fellow Boomer readers, I ask you to join me in doing the smart thing and spend with these businesses.  We can simply complain that our newspapers are either disappearing or becoming a shell of themselves, or we can help bring them back. 

As a generation we brought the nation civil rights and the world human rights, to name just a few of the society-altering fixes for which we fought and won – we can handle this one easily.

Hang in there, print news…with we Boomers behind you, you’ll be just fine!

Gay Marriage

This past Sunday, a gentleman by the name of David Blankenhorn, an identified liberal Democrat, had his commentary published in the LA Times: Protecting Marriage to Protect Children: you can read the full piece at: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-blankenhorn19-2008sep19,0,2093869.story

As a Boomer (as I believe is he), also a Democrat (albeit a somewhat conservative one…), and someone with a professional background working with highly at-risk children and youth, I have formulated my thoughts on his thoughts (yes, I know….too much thinking…what can I say, that’s what we Dem’s do…).  Here they are.

I would like to help Mr. Blankenhorn with a few of his “facts”:

§    “Marriage is the “primary license to have children” –
this fits very nicely with homosexual unions, as many have children…biologically…

§    “Marriage unites the three  core dimensions of parenthood – biological, social and legal” –
see above for biological, social was resolved in the last century, and I believe it is the legal category that pro-gay marriage legislation is attempting to fix

§    “People wed primarily to reproduce” –
this motive for marriage ended after we ‘won the West’ and no longer needed to populate small towns…

§    “Children have the right…to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into the world…” –
as a Guardian ad Litem and a mental health professional who has worked for over a decade with homeless/runaway youth in two of this
country’s major cities, I have seen more unfit biological parents (heterosexual, by the way) than there are pork barrel projects in Washington,
and it is precisely an emphasis on the “right of the biological parents” vs. the best interest of the child that anyone associated with child
protection will agree stands in the way of getting children moved out of foster care and into stable, permanent homes: which speaks directly to
your assertion that they are indeed “society’s most voiceless and vulnerable group.”

§    “Every child being raised by gay or lesbian couples will be denied his birthright to both parents who made him.” –
see bullet #1, and add to it that many homosexual unions include one or the other partner’s biological child with access to the other biological
parent, no different than in a heterosexual divorce situation

§    “Losing that right will not be a consequence of something…tragic (such as divorce, unexpected pregnancy…)…On the contrary…those
unions…will be explained to everyone as something wonderful (that) has happened!” –
you’re comparing break-ups and unplanned reproduction to a union of two people – apples and oranges – sly…but didn’t get by me…

§    “Legalized same-sex marriage almost certainly benefits those couples as well as the children being raised in those homes.” –
hey…make up your mind…and it doesn’t “almost” benefit those children, it does so absolutely

§    “But changing the meaning of marriage to accommodate homosexual orientation…undermines the gift of birthright…that is marriage’s most
distinctive contribution to human society.” –
it would seem, given all the above, that you’ve actually done a fine job of proving that marriage, regardless of who with whom, is a key
component to the things needed most for the raising of healthy children; stability; access to parents who treasure them; and legal recognition
so they can reap all the benefits therein.

I hope this helps you in future, and oh, by the way, thanks for actually making a fine case for the importance of gay marriage particularly when it comes to the well-being of the children involved!