I was born right about the time America began to self-destruct, 1961 to be exact. What was so bad about the Fifties? You could leave the back door unlocked, the kids could play out in the back yard, they got a good education at the local public school, dads were abundant and worked hard in factories that were the envy of the world, moms were proud to do the most important job on Earth - raising kids, Ike saw the folly of the Korean war and ended it in six months - and warned us about the danger of the military rackets, Americans were proud of their evolved Christian heritage and didn't pretend that barbarians were our equal, and people who came to America were proud and thankful to be here, and only wanted to contribute and be a part of it all. And then came the most fortunate generation in the history of the human race - the Boomers. America could never survive this bunch. They were good at smashing things, not so good at rebuilding. And in their wake, I came along, and what I saw of their handiwork wasn't pretty. (And don't you dare group me with the tail end of that generation. They ain't my generation. I'll gladly be the group that fits nowhere.) So I'm part of the leading edge of Americans who get to see what happens 'after America'. Too bad, because I like what America was, and what it could have been in my lifetime. These are definitely interesting times, but so sad. A great thing is dying before our eyes, and the point of no return was passed long ago. So here I am - a non-rich, not-so-elite, middle-aged and gay American watching the decay and decline of a once-great nation. History will be most unkind.