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AS NEITHER THOROUGHBRED BOOMERS NOR GEN-XERS, the members of the demi-generation born in the late ’50s and early ’60s—my own—have always felt like history’s mutts. Proximity to, and thus osmotic knowledge of, the utopian ’60s fantasies entertained by older siblings wasn’t the same as participation in them: We were too young. Too young as well, though only just, to claim as our own the funny, sour, dystopian response to the failed premises of the Revolution—punk (which response, of course, had also “failed”). Fittingly—and comically—the period of our own delivery into maturity coincided with a slippery transitional passage in the wider culture. We hit adulthood just as the quasi-socialist welfare model of American society, put in place by FDR, suffered eviction and replacement by the Reagan era’s roaringly vigorous model of Darwinian competitiveness and self-interest über alles. Whereupon

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