Yes, these look like items that would usually turn up in Saturday's weekly Interesting Stuff post. But I think they both deserve more attention than perhaps being lost among eight or 10 other items. See what you think.
ITEM 1: NON-VOTERS ANONYMOUS
Certainly I have banged on here – and will again - about how important it is for Americans to vote for their local and Congressional candidates in the midterm election on 6 November.
But never in my dreams could I have envisioned other voting advocates dismissing the need of some citizens to vote, and definitely not for the reason in this video.
It comes from an organization called the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that sounds righteous enough in their About statement on its website:
“NRDC was founded in 1970 by a group of law students and attorneys at the forefront of the environmental movement. Today's leadership team and board of trustees makes sure the organization continues to work to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities.”
“...ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water and healthy communities” but not, apparently, the right to vote after a certain age.
The video is obviously meant to have a little fun while promoting voting by imagining a Non-Voters Anonymous meeting based on the many flavors of such self-help groups. Take a look and be especially attentive at 2:40 in from the top:
Did you get that?
SPEAKER 1: You can vote in your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s.
SPEAKER 2: Not 80s. Stay home.
SPEAKER 1: 80s too old. What's the point.
If that exchange was meant to be funny, it missed the mark by 100 percent. Shame on the National Resources Defense Council and everyone involved with the production of this video.
ITEM 2: OLD AGE IS A CEREMONY OF LOSSES
It is a credit to the simpatico between readers of this blog and me that most of the time when readers send links to stories, videos, books, movies, etc. they find interesting, I have just that day or so discovered them myself. (That doesn't mean you should stop sending them; there are plenty I wouldn't know about without you.)
I had just spent 13-plus minutes watching this documentary about Donald Hall when an email arrived from Jack Handley recommending it. He included this message in his note:
No woo woo
No sky gods
No perversion of emotions
And so it is.
American poet laureate, Donald Hall, who has been featured here on several occasions through the years, died in June at age 89. His most recent and now, alas, final book was published in July: A Carnival of Losses: Notes on Nearing 90.
The video, titled Quiet Hours by the producer/director Paul Szynol, premiered at The Atlantic website on Monday – a lovely meditation on old age in which Szynol gives us plenty of silent moments to contemplate what has been said and shown.
(One suggestion: Hall's voice is sometimes muffled and it helps to turn on the closed captioning which is, however, far from perfect but it will help you understand without having to stop and back up the video.)
For all my years producing television, it is words that have always mattered to me first. Two moments among others from the documentary that stand out for me – Hall speaking:
“My companion was her absence.” (Regarding Jane Kenyon, the love of his life who died 22 years ago:)
"Often, at night, solitude loses its soft power, and loneliness takes over. I am grateful for when solitude returns.”
Take a look for yourself:
More at The Atlantic website.