We haven’t quite eradicated sexism or racism or anti-Semitism or blondism but we’re more aware of those isms than we used to be and are doing our best. So those of you who care will be surprised to realise that one ism has slipped through the cracks. Nobody talks about ageism, except for the elderly. But they do it in hushed tones so it doesn’t attract the ridicule of the young.
What has age got that’s worthwhile to pass on to youth? It’s a question they constantly ask themselves. Age is old and wrinkly and cups its ears a lot because it can’t hear you. Age drools into its cup and waxes lyrical about the good old days that are of no interest to the young except to point out how old fashioned the good old days were.
It’s the enthusiastic young with their fresh new ideas for running the world that are easing into the job of running the world. If some of the elderly are still clinging on like limpets, well, it’s only a matter of time and a bit of steam to winkle them off. There’s just no room for the old concepts of the old guard.
Bob Dylan is the only exception. Dylan understands the young. If only he wasn’t so unattractive and wrinkled. There’s been a petition out to make Dylan an honorary young person. The young have made his inspiring lyrics their anthem: Your old road is/Rapidly agin’/Please get out of the new one/If you can’t lend your hand/For the times they are a-changin’. It’s obviously prophetic. There’s a school of thought that believes it’s all a conspiracy and that Dylan is actually a contemporary. After all, you can edit anything out on computers these days (or unedit in Dylan’s case.) The other mob believes that it would have been easier to worship Bob Dylan from afar if only he’d had the sense to join such contemporaries as Janice Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.
Politicians don’t like the elderly. Some politician after World War II told the baby boomer’s parents to populate or perish and today’s politicians are stuck with the problem. No foresight that politician. Otherwise he would have realised that the elderly aren’t productive; they do vote but only if they live to the next election; they take up valuable hospital beds and use up the subsidised medications. I’m reminded of Harry Harrison’s novella, ‘Make room, make room’ where euthanasia is the answer to old age in an overcrowded world. I just hope no politician gets hold of the book.
I spend my days cooking for myself and for extended family, cleaning, writing, emailing, power walking and baby sitting on Saturday nights. I also sit at cafes, exercise book at the ready, chewing on my biro thinking deep thoughts. I’m mph, mph years old, going on twenty, as long as I don’t look into that mirror. That’s when I find myself drooling.