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The Boomer List

The Boomer List

In the song Pressure, Billy Joel wrote that "All your life is channel 13..." and now channel 13 has a new documentary about Billy Joel and 18 other iconic boomers -- one born each year of the baby boom (1946 to 1964). WNET, the New York public media station, will be premiering The Boomer List nationwide on PBS on Tuesday, September 23.

The last baby boomers turn 50 this year and this video tells the story of our generation through a series of interviews. Ranging from Eve Ensler to Amy Tan and from Steve Wozniak to Tommy Hilfiger, the show touches on the major issues and highlights of our era, including civil rights, Vietnam, women's liberation, AIDS, and space flight.

Billy Joel (b. 1949) starts it off, describing the growth of the middle class in the post-WWII era and the example of the parents of the time: "It was a great example for us. I guess we grew up with a certain amount of the ethics our parents had, which is, you know: work hard, make your own way, be independent."

Erin Brockovich (b. 1960) follows with a strong statement about fighting for the environment and about how the actions of one individual can make a big change in our world; and Samuel L. Jackson (b. 1948) talks of being a child of segregation who se his sights on the opportunities in the larger world around him.

Ronnie Lott (b. 1959) speaks of the peaks and valleys of lief: "Trying to be the best. Failing. Getting back up. Those characteristics are going to allow you to make great decisions. They are going to allow you to compete. They are going to allow you to do your best. That's the American dream."

As with any compilation, some of the interviews are better than others. The 19 iconic boomers are a diverse mix of: white, African-American, Hispanic, and Indian- and Asian-American; male, female, gay, and straight. Between them all, they capture the zeitgeist of the era. As executive producer Michael Kantor said, "The Boomer List is a celebration of this generation's impact on American culture."

Check your local listings for stations and times...

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