My Generation

My Generation


We all fall into a certain age bubble when it comes to social media. And the worst age bubble is probably Facebook.

I don’t know why, but pretty much all I’ve seen lately are posts from people of my generation (the „boomers“) complaining bitterly and over and over again about something. Mostly about what young people are up to.

About evil “climate protesters”. About the „rape“ of the German language by „gendering“. About drag queens in kindergarten (“well, I’m tolerant, but that’s going too far”). About the supposed demise of something, mostly Deutsche Bahn. At best, these posts are tongue-in-cheek or funny (then they’re tolerable, especially if they don’t take themselves seriously). In the worst case, however, they are snotty, arch-conservative, often ultra-right-wing comments from slowly aging neo-bourgeois, who cannot cope with the fact that today’s world is different than they have always been used to.

Old rascals like Didi Hallervorden (German comic) who we last laughed at when we were three years old and who, even in his best acting moments, never managed more than a half-understandable mumbled sentence, is suddenly stylized as a hero of the German language and constantly quoted because he bravely defies the „gendering madness“. Boomer cabaret artists like Dieter Nuhr serve an audience of the same age with completely non-funny taunts, who have exactly the same bad sense of humor (“You can still say that, no? Höhö”) and pent-up frustration as they do.

I used to think that people who write „modern“ music are also modern and open-minded. But many suddenly perform astonishing U-turns, start defending Putin and Trump or warn of Germany being „foreign invaded“. Or even worse, they share NZZ (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) articles on Facebook, which is pretty much the lowest point you can sink to in this life. Formerly ultra-left Marxists are becoming staunch neo-libertarian neo-fascists, the road is apparently not far.

I’m getting tired of these endless tirades. Do you have to suffer so much because of how the world has changed and will continue to change (unfortunately I have to tell you this much with absolute certainty)? Can’t you bear that young people might think differently than you do about certain things? What is it that unsettles you? Didn’t you have it particularly good compared to many other generations? Without great suffering, without experience of war, without hunger, without need? Or maybe it’s because you’re so sensitive? That you never had to suffer bad things?

Nevertheless, the spoiled boomer generation in particular portrays itself as „hardcore“ in Facebook Reels. If they bump into something, they keep running like Chuck Norris, while the „effeminate“ generation lies whimpering on the ground.

Yes, there is some truth to that. Perhaps today’s generation has actually become a little more sensitive. And do you know why? Because, unlike us, they have noticed much less of the old drill and the „discipline and order“ that was once common in this country and that made two world wars possible. It was still there in the 50s and 60s.

When I was little, school principals would walk around the schoolyard and yell at anyone who was making out or hanging around in a way that didn’t suit them. My first elementary school teacher was great at playing the piano, but if he sensed resistance, you actually got hit on your fingers or slapped in the face or were put in a corner. The man was actually ok in a perverse way, but unfortunately, he didn’t know any other way. In my first kindergarten (run by strict Catholic nuns), new children had to stand in the middle and were “ridiculed” by the other children on command in order to learn toughness and resistance. Today, the ladies would immediately receive a police report from helicopter parents.

Perhaps today’s generation has noticed less of all this nonsense than we have. But let’s not be jealous of it, let’s be happy. I prefer a sensitive generation that can’t stand how little we’re doing to combat climate change and perhaps sometimes clumsily cling to the conductor’s podium than the insensitive generations that are deadened and accept their fate and who don’t seem to give a damn about future generations.

Sure, we can assume that the coming generations will not be perfect. They will make mistakes just like us. But with each of these mistakes comes hope for new insights, and I look forward to those. And they own the future. They have a right to shape it. They have a right to their own language, yes, also to colons and gender asterisks. They have a right to experiment, debate and develop their own views. Let them explore new ways of living and interacting. Let boys define themselves as women and women as boys. What’s your problem with that, Boomer? What is taken from you? Is your whole youth now being questioned retrospectively? Definitely not. It all still belongs to you, a generation, who was also young once. I don’t give a damn whether future generations in Germany speak backwards, click gender asterisks or paint their fingernails, as long as you can still hear children laughing in the streets. And maybe children are more important than cars again.

Many of those who are now outing themselves on Facebook as right-wing philistines once stood with me at the Hauptwache in Frankfurt, were punks or mods, rebellious against the philistines of our time. Rebellious against those who constantly upset us. About our music, our looks. About how we kept saying „geil“ (horny) because that was a „naughty“ word. And now we’ve become the very squares we used to despise.

And what about the generation before that? People got upset about „long-haired people“. And why? Because when you were young you got a slap if your hair got too long. Is that how it should be now? asked the old generation. They were a little jealous and mocked each other. Perhaps some of those who get upset about LGBT or rainbow flags today would have liked to experiment with their own sexuality in the past. „Why should it be made so easy for them today?“

The current discussion about Rammstein frontman Lindemann is also typical. Who defends him vehemently? Boomers who are exactly the same age as Lindemann.

There are many reasons to be neutral in this matter in the absence of concrete complaints against Lindemann. But with most of the comments, you get the impression that the commenters are mostly offended because someone dares to doubt that maybe it’s not super ok for a 60-year-old rock star to have easily seducible and rather naïve young women brought backstage by the cartload after every show and making them compliant with alcohol or something else. Because – yeah, baby – it was “always like that”. That’s how the old stars did it, which one admired in one’s youth. And then no one said anything. The „Girls want it that way“. Have you ever asked “the Girls”? Do you talk to them, Boomers? You will hardly find „girls“ on Facebook, rather old leery bastards who can get excited about the whole affair with you.

And of course you are jealous of these stars. They took exactly what is no longer possible today. And „Rammstein“ represents exactly this old rock star dream. And the fact that they roll the “r” so wonderfully and flirt with Leni Riefenstahl aesthetics makes them very likeable for those who secretly always thought it was great, but never dared to say it. Who, like the farted right-wing boomer “Bernd” Björn Höcke or the fierce cello-Nazi Matthias Moosdorf, constantly dream of being someone “very important” in this country. F**** you brown boomers.

To each his or her own. Or, as I would say in German, jedi (instead of “jeder” or “jede”) his own. Because that is not only inclusive, but also sounds funny. And let’s be honest – we Germans could do with a little more humor and looseness, because we still suffer from the fact that the funniest and most humorous Germans were once either expelled or killed in the gas chambers. That was a gigantic loss of talent that we still feel today.

I can understand that young people are leaving Facebook in droves and prefer to just send each other pictures. When I think back to my own youth, what a nightmare it would have been if there had been a public forum where people get upset every day about what young people wear, how they speak and how they look. Would I have joined it voluntarily? Definitely not.

Just leave me alone with that, Boomer. Leave me alone with your frustration, with your whining, with your constant invocation of the apocalypse because allegedly raping hordes of refugees are lurking around every corner. Your fear of drag queens in kindergarten says a lot more about your own sexuality than you realize. Because you can be sure: unlike you, children certainly don’t think about sex when men dress up as women. You wear your neuroses on your lapels, and you don’t even realize it. Maybe you just want to be hugged. Preferably by a drag queen. Dare, it’s never too late. You can always live a less ordinary life than you have dared before. You can still do that at 90 if you really want it.

The bad thing is: we/you are/are in the majority. There are too few young people in this country. The Young are in the minority. And that’s not good for our society. Because now the elderly continue to live in the illusion that they alone have the right to the future, which is not correct.

We all have the right to a future. Of course also old and of course also very old people. There are wonderful old people who have retained their curiosity and who allow the young everything because they have experienced enough themselves and therefore don’t have to be constantly petty.

But of course the young have the most right to the future. Live with it, Boomer.

We are all part of an enigmatic existence that we only partially understand and to which we have insufficient answers. Let’s make it as pleasant as possible, especially the togetherness.

It’s okay, Boomer. Understand that endless generations before you have made the very same mistakes you have made. First being a rebellion yourself, then dreading the next rebellion as if there were no tomorrow.

But this very morning is what should give us hope. Even as we approach our own evening.


Moritz Eggert



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