Archive for August, 2007

Eeeeew. An Old Person.
August 23, 2007

A story on the MSN web site tells us of a new study about seniors and sex. Turns out that seniors are, according to the story, “surprisingly frisky”. I guess that must be news if you feel that once you turn, oh, I don’t know, 32 or so, there’s no real point to being alive. Indeed, as if to forewarn the reader that the topic might be a bit icky, we were cautioned that this “may be too much information for some folks.”
Another story, out of Brattleboro, Vermont, made it on to one of the cable TV news channels. It seems that local residents there sometimes walk around pretty much naked. Everyone at the anchor desk appeared to agree with local townspeople that this had not, until now, been a problem. But lately things had gone too far. An elderly person was recently seen without enough clothes. Watching the report, it was clear that the writer, the editor, the anchors, nor anybody else in that journalistic chain of events picked up on the ageism. To the “20 or 30-somethings” who were responsible for that newscast, an older person showing skin was universally repulsive.
Many older people say they don’t fear their age, so much as they fear being irrelevant. There are no role models, heroes, or reassuring figures to be found anywhere in popular culture or media. If an older person appears in a TV drama or commercial, they are often dismissed as obsolete clowns or fools. Seldom is there a hint that they may truly be sexually vital human beings. No wonder people in Brattleboro react like they’ve seen a two-headed seal.
I used to wonder if my generation would be the one to change things. We are, after all, the “baby boomers”. In terms of sheer numbers, we have the political power, to go with our reputation for social activism, to say nothing of our penchant for getting naked in public.…or is that “too much information?”

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