In this article from The Guardian, by Francine Prose, the author asks the question When will we face our ageism epidemic?
Referring to Saturday Night Live as an example, she points out that jokes about older people have been increasing. At first, she thought she was being hypersensitive, but as the jokes continued she found herself wincing.
I tried to think of another demographic â€“ Asians? African Americans? Women? Members of the LGBT community? â€“ who would have been the object of humor quite so cruel, so barbed, so personal. But itâ€™s not only in the sphere of comedy, and on network TV, that the old are discussed in ways that would never be tolerated by (or about) another group.
She refers to a New York Times piece titled “Do Old People Have a Different Smell?” In the article they actually refer to studies about this topic. Our author wonders why they were carried out at all.
The author goes on to discuss the now popular “OK Boomer, have a terrible day” meme.
And yet one wonders if the public would be quite so amused by a logo that said: â€œOK Jews, have a terrible day.â€ Given the losses and infirmities that so often accompany age, donâ€™t the elderly have enough bad days without being told to have more?
She concludes that perhaps the animosity toward the old is about the fear of ageing.
No one particularly wants to get old, however preferable it is to the alternative: an early death. Whatâ€™s striking is that the prejudice against the elderly is the only bigotry directed at the inevitable future of the bigot. Few misogynists, I imagine, fear that they eventually will turn into women, nor do racists worry that the passing decades will radically alter their ethnicity and the color of their skin. But the young will get old, if theyâ€™re lucky. Meanwhile they might consider the fact that ageing is challenging enough without oneâ€™s being mocked and derided for having experienced a natural process that no medical or cosmetic intervention can ultimately prevent.
We geezers have a sense of humor. But where does funny end and cruelty begin? You can read this short article by clicking here.