Ridiculing The Old In 2016? It’s Not Catching On So Far

At the Yates County History Center, a discussion group is reading Pat Thane’s book, A History of Old Age. Thanks to the New York Council for the Humanities for facilitating this discussion.

The degree to which the old were ridiculed in centuries past is quite remarkable, as Thane’s book reveals. The old were routinely portrayed as lascivious, vain, miserly, and cowardly. Thank goodness, I was thinking while reading the book — this sort of thing no longer happens.

But then I watched Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal, broadcast on Monday, March 7. I didn’t actually watch it on Monday, of course, since it’s a late night show that comes on after my senior bedtime; but I did record it.

Samantha discussed Sunday night’s Democratic presidential debate, and here’s what she said:

“Last night, I skipped The Walking Dead (picture of zombies on the move flashes across the screen) to watch two hours of the barely standing alive — two weary old liberals who should have been in bed slathered in Vicks VapoRub.”

Unflattering shots followed of Hillary coughing and of Bernie hitching up his trousers.

Talk about harsh!

On Wednesday, the Chigago Tribune endorsed Marco Rubio for the presidency. Part of its reasoning: “We like his youth.”

Will age become an issue in this election? We’ll have to wait and see, but for now, it appears not. The voters are about to force Rubio out of the race. Clinton (68) is doing fine, and the oldest candidate, Sanders (74), is attracting the youth vote. One cheer for the twenty-first century.

We might give it two cheers if Trump weren’t headed for the Republican nomination. He’s 69, but it’s not his age that’s starting to keep common-sense seniors awake at night. Next time that happens, we can turn on Full Frontal.



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