Brad Feld

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Book Review: Boomsday

Apr 02, 2007
Category Books

Christopher Buckley is a genius.  I’ve written about how I’ve loved his previous books Thank You For Smoking and Florence of Arabia.  I read Boomsday over the weekend – it’s Buckley’s best yet.  Cassandra Devine is awesome and her approach to solving the impending social security crisis (and the formation of “Concerned Americans for Social Security Amendment Now, Debt Reduction and Accountability”) and her proposal of “volunteer transitioning” is out of the box brilliant (every major government wanna-be reformer should read it for ideas.)

I’m not a boomer (I was born in 1965 so I missed that particular generation by a year or so) so I’m always entertained by a book that takes shot after shot at the boomer generation.  Here’s a good exchange between Cass, Randy (senator, blue blood, love interest, one-legged war veteran – sort of, candidate for president), and Terry (Cass’s boss, mentor, friend, and frustrated boomer PR flack.)  From page 247.

“Your generation,” Cass said to Terry and Randy.  “Not mine.”

Terry looked up from his Kai-shek chicken.  “I suppose yours would do the right thing?  Dream on.  Every generation thinks it’s the most put upon in history.  You’ve got your panties in a twist fretting about the deficit. My generation had real crises.”

“Oh, please,” Cass said.  “Here it comes.  Where were you when JFK was shot?  If I hear one more Baby Boomer tell me, in mind-numbing detail, I think I’ll throw up.”

“I was in eighth grade,” Randy said.  “We’d just come back from gym and —”

Cass said, “Prosecution rests.”

“It was a big deal,” Randy said.  “What does your generation have to match it?  The day Paris Hilton’s Sidekick was stolen?”

This book makes a mockery of some of our favorite “characters” (president, senators, the Catholic church, pro-life groups, PR firms, the FBI, dot-com billionaires, hot-body second wives of dot-com billionaires, powerful religious figures, the president’s chief of staff, feckless vice-presidents, each and every “generational segment”, russian prostitutes, and Yale.  Brilliant.