Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Calling Mr. Deeds

Yesterday and the day before, I wrote of the rise of "hero" generations and their brave deeds. But this was actually foreshadowed by a very different kind of generation, that nevertheless acts as an "incubator."

The 2002 movie, Mr. Deeds, features a Gen-Xer played by Adam Sandler. This is a good remake of the original 1936, Leo Capra movie, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, because that man is a member of the so-called Lost Generation. (Generation X is sometimes referred to as the "new Lost" in a four generation replay cycle.) The details have changed (the original Mr. Deeds inherited $20 million, the 2002 version stood to get $40 billion, probably $80 trillion around 2070 for a member of the twenty-first century Generation X), but the basic story of a thoroughly decent do-gooder remains the same.

In the 2002 version, Mr. Deeds is a remote nephew of deceased media mogul Preston Blake. The founder's number two wants control of the company, and Mr. Deeds agrees to sell--for $40 billion. Then, with the help of a sleazy reporter, Babe Bennett (Winona Ryder) who has her own agenda, he digs into the story and finds out that it is not what it seems. The true next of kin is Preston Blake's Hispanic butler, actually his illegitimate son, fathered in a night of passion with his Hispanic maid.

Mr. Deeds does the right thing by disclosing the facts and nullifying his own stock sale, thereby renouncing his $40 billion "inheritance." But the rightful heir reciprocates by awarding Mr. Deeds $1 billion. And after paying serious penance by helping him unravel the scandal, Babe Bennett does get to marry Mr. Deeds.

Mr. Deeds type generations are not quite as heroic as their followers. But they provide leadership for an even more heroic cohort. Such leaders have included George Washington of the "Liberty or Death" generation, or Dwight Eisenhower of the Lost. And they set an example in "practice" wars; World War I, and the Persian Gulf War.

Historically, the arrival of a "deeds" generation is preceded by a "Mr. Deeds," action-oriented generation.  Likewise, a strong "philosophical" generation like the Baby Boomers is preceded by a  "transition" generation like the Silent. The Beatles were Silent "incubators" to a whole generation of Boomers.