THE BLOG
07/02/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

My Message To Tom Brokaw: We're New Yorkers & We'll Whine If We Want To!

I saw you briefly on Morning Joe Monday morning, and with all due respect, if my understanding of what you said is accurate, you set a low threshold for Baby Boomers, and wish New Yorkers would shut up.

It sounds like you said we were whiners and it looked like you grimaced when a fellow guest opined that today's economic hardships might be creating another great generation of Americans. If I have it right, Mr. Brokaw, you implied that the middle of the country Americans you spoke with are approaching financial adversity properly, and that no generation that follows can ever be as great as those who successfully vanquished Hitler's evil.

I admire you, Mr. Brokaw, and hope you are have no worries about paying your bills or keeping a roof over your family's head. But there are tens of thousands of us (maybe many more than that) who have seen the businesses we have built or the careers we have chosen or the companies we have toiled for crumple around us while the bills continue to stream in. We don't all have the ability to turn that devastation into a prime-time special or a news series, like you do, but we certainly can jabber on and on about our fears and our mounting financial troubles out loud, on the pages of the NY Times, on blogs, and on talk radio.

New Yorkers by nature (and I know I'm generalizing) talk about everything excessively. We are not a stoic bunch like those who get up the morning after a flood and replant the fields, figuring there's no use in ranting against Mother Nature. We are competitive and talkative and frankly flabbergasted that we have all seen the comforts of our world demolished not by natural forces but mainly by market manipulations.

Am I defending excesses and greed and those who chose to live beyond their means? Not by a long shot. But I am defending our right to talk! We find venting therapeutic, and many of us feel comforted to learn our fellow New Yorkers are in the same adrift boats. You should also know that while we're whining, as I think you put it, we're also working our tails off to get back on our feet, even reinvent ourselves if we need to. No one I know is motionless while we are moaning.

Mr. Brokaw, I have as much admiration as you for the generation that fought World War II and came back to achieve spectacular things in the US. But many of us born after the war thought we had achieved personal success and on the whole made beneficial changes in the fabric of our country. Though your opinion is only one of many, why shake your head as if we are all sub-par and not worthy of accolades? If my parents and their friends were still alive today, I truly believe they would be proud of many of the ways we've expanded on the world they saved for us.

Sorry, Mr. Brokaw, if our bellyaching bothers you. I personally think it's great.