The Huffington Post announced it would be launching a new site aimed at Baby Boomers, called “Huff/Post 40.” The site will be edited by Rita Wilson, wife of Tom Hanks. Rita seems like a nice enough person. She and Tom have been married since 1988, which, in Hollywood, translates to approximately 161 years.
At 54,Wilson is exactly the age of the average Boomer, so in that area, she is qualified. In the world of journalism, not so much. Meaning nothing. But she is said to be going on Twitter and asking people what they want to read about. So we know she isn’t averse to doing deep research.
But what about the name that Wilson and Huffington agreed on? “Huff/Post 40.” Herein lies the real problem. Boomers were born 1946-1964,thereby making the very youngest Boomer 46. The average age of Boomers is mid-50s. Not to be splitting hairs here, (although splitting hairs is an honorable pastime), Boomers have worked really hard to get born during the exact time frame necessary in order to have been impacted by the 60s and early 70s, which, as everyone knows, was when human civilization reached its peak. A 40 year old, born in 1971, missed out on this entirely. Allowing anyone age 40-45 to call themselves a Boomer is sort of like referring to a leech collector during the Middle Ages as a Physician Assistant.
“Issues related to being over forty have always intrigued me,” Wilson said in a press release. “My mom and dad always used to say, ‘Life begins at forty.’ The idea that we boomers are somehow supposed to wind things down as we get older has completely escaped me.”
Let’s examine this statement. No, let’s disect this statement until we get bored and go on to something else. “My mom and dad used to always say ‘Life begins at 40:’ This is intriguing, since before that phrase was invented, the common phrase was ‘Death begins at 40.’
And when did age 40 mean “winding down?” Age 60, maybe. Age 50, in a real stretch. Age 40? Most 40 year olds have kids at home, are approaching the peak of their earning potential, and are still strying to come to terms with getting dumped in junior high. They have a lot more to do than think about anything as pesky as “winding down.” And a certain percentage of them, the ones a bit slow to mature, are still living in their parents’ basements, playing “Angry Birds.”
With all due respect to Rita Wilson and with a special nod to Tom Hanks, who has nothing to do with this piece but seems like possibly the most likeable person on the planet next to Ellen Degeneres and baby animals, we all wish her and the Huffington Post the best in their new venture. We just wish it were called “Huff/Post 50 But Looks Like 40.” That would be a win-win.