[EDITOR'S NOTE: Ronni Bennett has published a new story, The Power of the Aging Brain, this morning at blogher.org.]
At the conservative political weekly, Human Events, Crabby Old Lady ran across the oddest piece from, of all people, TV host Pat Sajak. She has re-read it a dozen times trying to figure out if it is tongue in cheek or serious. His overall point – a prediction that ageist language will become taboo within the next few years - is well-taken. But the commentary is what puzzles Crabby. An example:
“…we [baby boomers] are the most self-absorbed generation ever, and we firmly believe the world revolves around us. Hey, didn’t we stop a war, throw out a President and open everyone’s eyes to the wonders of peace and drugs and sexual freedom? [EDITORIAL NOTE: Well, no Pat. It was the generation just before you.] We’ve been running things for decades now, and we’re not about to give up that power. When we expressed our disdain for old folks, we meant the really old folks, not us.” [Crabby doesn’t know if that’s a joke or not.]
He continues, asserting that baby boomers [Sajak is one of the oldest born in 1946] will not need to look or act older:
“We can…use a little cosmetic surgery here or there to make sure we look young and a little Viagra to make sure we act young, and search for wonder drugs that might one day lead to a breakthrough in science that could keep us in charge forever! Wouldn’t that be the coolest?”
Again, Crabby Old Lady can’t tell if Sajak is kidding. He then ends the piece with a warning:
“So let me be the first to alert all you young bucks who think older folks aren’t important: things are about to change. You’re messing with the wrong generation, buddy! It’s us. We’re big in number and you’re not going to treat us as an unimportant demographic. [Did Mr. Sajak just get fired from Wheel of Fortune and Crabby hasn’t heard about it?] As for the P.C. Police, we created them, we know how to use them, and we’ll have them knocking on your doors at the slightest provocation.”
If this essay is meant to be serious – well, Crabby agrees in principle but objects to the details. If it is meant to be funny or satirical, Crabby thinks it is fortunate that Mr. Sajak found a long-term gig as a game show host because if the audience doesn’t know when to laugh, the comic has failed.