Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

To your left: Gen Wars

It's conflicting. As this writer heads into his sixth decade, I laugh along with Stephanie Miller and the Mooks' references to Grandpa McCain or to random blog entries such as "John McCain: same old, same OLD", while also hearing small voices on the phone refer to ME as grampa. If I recall correctly, I can easily laugh at senior moment jokes. I can identify with the growing old humor my peers seem to delight in filling my emailbox with, but that's like black comedians joking about other "niggas", isn't it? Is it OK for young liberal-minded people to joke about seniors? Maybe it is because they themselves will be seniors one day (though they may not fully grasp that reality). Still though, I do seem to get a little uncomfortable when I hear younger progressives, who should perhaps be more sensitive, engage in humor that is overtly ageist.

Sexist and racist humor is, of course, officially dead on arrival on the Left, unless it is delivered by a member of the oppressed class; even then it may be condemned for perpetrating damaging stereotypes. So, I ask again: why is it OK for young people to joke about memory loss; lowered energy levels; ill health; perceived "creepy" sex; or say, grumpiness among seniors? Frankly, that makes me rather cranky!

There already exists an inordinate amount of '60s bashing among Generations X, Y & Z here in the U.S. Such attacks come from across the political spectrum and are a disheartening source of alienation. On the Left, such language serves only to divide a resurgent movement for social justice. The unfortunate circumstance of '60s bashing requires a whole other conversation, but it can hardly be separated from the Baby Boomers to whom it is directed and they are now approaching senior citizen status. For my purposes here, let me simply point out that ageism on the Left, be it in the form of exclusion, derision, or perceived humor may well be the next civil rights issue in this nation. Liberals, progressives or radicals would be wise to take the lead in overcoming it.


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