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BBHQ Boomer Essays:

The Age of Non-Responsibility

Our Boomer-In-Charge at BBHQ, Hershel Chicowitz, writes about boomer memories and current events... from a boomer’s perspective. He is sometimes funny, sometimes provocative, some-
times a little of each. We hope you get a kick out of our Boomer Essays.

When we get a prescription drug filled, it is the responsibility of the pharmacist to ensure not only that he/she fills the prescription correctly, but also that we understand how to use the drug properly. We have to sign a piece of paper indicating that we understand; but signing the paper does not make us responsible for anything. We are not responsible for asking our doctor how, when, and why to use the drug; we are not responsible for researching the drug ourselves to see if its use makes sense. We are not responsible for ensuring that the label matches what the doctor ordered; we are not responsible for ensuring that the dosage is correct. Heck, we are barely responsible for swallowing the damn pill! And lord knows, we are not responsible for paying for the medicine; that’s what Obamacare is all about.


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I have been trying to come up with a name for our times. You know... the 80s was the "me decade." The nineties was the decade of the victim. I think I've hit on it: this is the age of non-responsibility: "I am not responsible."

The seeds of non-responsibility, however, were planted in the 70s when automobile insurance companies developed the concept they called "no-fault." They stopped trying to determine who was at fault for an accident. It was the beginning of the end of judgmentalism. Each company paid for their customer's damage, and everybody went home happy. Or so we thought. Nobody was at fault; nobody was responsible. Of course, everybody's insurance premium went up, and there was little we could do about it. But we are all treated equally. We pay the premiums; but, it is "no-fault" - we are not responsible.

The 80s brought us no-fault divorce. It is no coincidence that the divorce rate rapidly rose to 50%. But... nobody was responsible; a silver lining to the dark cloud matrimonial mayhem. You know: "Don't worry; be happy!"

Baseball player Darryl Strawberry was arrested after he left the scene of a traffic accident he had caused. His explanation: he was taking prescription drugs. Never mind that he was not supposed to drive while taking the drugs. A guy's gotta' drive, ya' know; and this, after all, was Darryl Strawberry. The drugs caused the accident. He, of course, was not responsible. Yes, it is a natural extension of the "I'm a victim" syndrome of the 90s.

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