Pete Kendall's Socio Times: A Socionomic Commentary

March 19, 2007
My Fellow Boomers, Time to Transition
If Christopher Buckley played fair, he would wait for things to happen before making fun of them. But he prefers to position himself just ahead of the curve, somewhere in the scantly distant future, the place where fanciful extrapolations of reality are born.

The title of Boomsday refers to the point at which this generation becomes eligible for Social Security - and ready to demolish the federal budget. So the book invents a prophetic heroine named Cassandra Devine who sounds a rallying cry to her fellow 20-somethings. Stop paying taxes, she urges, and create financial incentives for boomers to commit suicide.

Even at its breeziest, "Boomsday" features wickedly plausible ingredients like a Capetown-to-Rio Rolex Challenge for yachts and a boomer-advocacy organization whose office lobby has been given the brushed-steel look of a Sub-Zero refrigerator. From its jailed reporters who form a "Pulitzer Nation" (wearing "do-rags made from expensive hosiery") to tax exemptions for Segways and cosmetic surgery, not to mention a proposed set of celebrity-endorsement suicide ads ("like the milk ads, only they're drinking poison"), this satire combines the serious and the ridiculous with dead-on aplomb.

Speaking of dead, even the book's morbid premise is given a feasible ring. "We can fool some of the diseases some of the time," Randy proclaims during a campaign speech, "But we can't fool all of them all of the time." Mr. Buckley can be funny even when he isn't joking, though not even he can laugh away the problem that gives "Boomsday" its premise.
The New York Times

April 2007
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Boomsday Gets in on the Big Laugh in Shift to a Bust
Category: NEWS
By: Pete Kendall, April 19, 2007

Another sign of a major mood change is the 'gallows humor that prevails' around Wall Street and Silicon Valley.
The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, July 2000

boomsday"Many a truth is said in jest."  EWI has stated that in the topping process, humor is used to poke fun at a long-standing trend; and also, that euthanasia and assisted suicide become palatable during bear markets.  In this new book Boomsday, we are now confronted with dark humor about actually encouraging suicide as a way to "solve" the social security crisis.  Interestingly, satire converges with a certain death-wish here, as suicide is posited (humorously) as a way to end the trend of looming social-security obligations.  The topping toward a really big bear market may be indicated by euthanasia when it's justified, not by medical but financial considerations.

I guess it happens every time because peaks are the point in time when the tension between people’s expectations and the unfolding reality is greatest. At such times, there’s not much one can do but laugh or cry, and, since a peak is much more of a happy occasion than a sad one, the culture finds various ways to laugh its way through each one. Some of the satire that announced the peak in 2000 is covered in the entry from March 2000 in Additional References below.

Additional References

March 2000, EWFF
The December issue of EWFF predicted the emergence of “a whole new genre of social satire,” which is also appearing now in different forms. Business Week’s latest bull-market book list includes How to Get Filthy, Stinking Rich and Still Have Time for Great Sex. Another humorous takeoff, The Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor’s Guide to Day Trading, is classified as a “funny little book savaging the nation’s obsession with making easy money in the market.”

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