You didn't think that I would let Oshkosh Mayor Steve Cummings' suggestion to change the name of the Seniors Center go without comment did you? Hizzoner raised the issue during the Common Council's budget sessions this week. Cummings believes Baby Boomers like himself won't go to a "Seniors" center--because they "don't like being called that". He went on to say that Boomers don't consider themselves to be old and that they "aren't like our parents"--whom he pointed out lived through the Depression and fought in a World War--hence the term "The Greatest Generation". To be fair to the Mayor, many of his generation do share those same sentiments--hence the term "The Vainest Generation".
We are talking about the group that injects a deadly toxin into their faces to prevent wrinkles. They are the targets of the endless stream of erectile dysfunction medication ads on TV. It's why nobody bats an eye when a 60-year old actor is cast as the love interest of a 24-year old actress in a movie or TV series. And it's why the term "cougar" is met with giggles--instead of revulsion.
But while they may "hate" being called seniors, Baby Boomers seem more than willing to take advantage of the term. The manager of a local establishment and I shared a laugh about Mayor Cummings' comments yesterday as he pointed out that they aren't afraid to ask for the "Senior Discount"--even if they are still three or four years away from actually qualifying for it. And they don't seem to pass up the "Senior Parking Only" slots at some of our local stores. I fully expect Mayor Cummings to be one of the most vocal supporters of expanding "senior transportation programs" in the future and demanding that the Street Department put up signs with bigger letters so "people can actually read them". It wouldn't surprise me if the Baby Boomers went and elected Bernie Sanders President just so he can jack up the Social Security and Medicare taxes on everyone who is still working and re-instate the Estate Tax so Uncle Sam can rob the next generation of their inheritances.
Mayor Cummings didn't offer any alternative names for the Seniors Center this week. Based on what I see down in Florida, "Active Retirement Community Center" would be a front-runner. It even comes with a pleasant sounding acronym: "The ARCC". "We're going to the ARCC today to learn more about all the great things smoking 'medicinal' pot can do for you!" But allow me to offer up a more accurate title: "The Vanity Center for the Self-Absorbed and Self-Indulgent".