We Boomers have been accused – and rightfully so, perhaps – of being the “Me Generation.” We love to reminisce about how we had the best music, the best drugs … and don’t even get me started on condom-free sex. The tag “Me Generation” is apparently shorthand for “It’s All About Me Generation.”
But if anyone is hoping things might change once all us gray-beards have died off, I have some bad news for you.
Today, a whole slew of new companies are offering services – such as virtual cemeteries and automated e-mails that remind people of the anniversary of our passing – that allow us to continue to inflict ourselves upon the world long after we’ve cached the last bowl and gone to that big drum circle in the sky.
You think “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” goes on forever? Just wait.
One example is a company based in L.A. (surprise, surprise) that offers a variety of scenic virtual locations for a person’s final e-resting place: A “Zen Garden,” a “Lake View,” a “Tropical Valley” and other options. Once there, visitors can purchase virtual items to leave behind – things that were significant to the dearly departed, such as a baseball glove, or a saddle, or maybe a lava lamp.
Many Boomers have taken to online social media in a big way. Not only do Facebook, Twitter and their ilk provide a plausible cover for spending hours surfing for porn, they have also helped make Boomers receptive to these online post-mortem services. As a result, Boomer funerals are no longer the end of the show – they mean we’re just taking a little break and we’ll be right back for the second set.
What all of this means is that it is now conceivable that you may never stop hearing about how your favorite auntie saw the Beatles! Three times! Yes – THREE! Or how the fat, bald dude next door dropped acid with Wavy Gravy at Woodstock, and caught the clap from Janis Joplin. Or maybe he dosed with Janis and caught a dose from Wavy. The details are as hazy as he is enthusiastic.
Death used to mark the end. With luck, that might mean the end of hearing someone your grandfather’s age (or maybe even your grandfather himself) drone on about the summer he and his “old lady” Breeze followed the Dead around the country in a VW microbus. In reality, what it really means is you’ll be hearing that story more times than you’ve heard “Stairway to Heaven.” And enjoying it just about as much.