Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Secret Is Out; Growing Older is NOT a Greek Tragedy

A psychological study in the UK found that older people in general tend to be happier than younger folk.

If this news gets out, then the whole Western economy will tank. Whole industries are built on the idea that growing old is one long horrific decline into frailty, dementia, dependency, and worst of all, total lack of sex appeal. We can't let the kids find out that getting older means giving fewer and fewer shits every passing year about what anyone else thinks of us. We can't let them know that not caring what people think of our thinning hair and dated tastes is actually liberating. We don't want them to have the satisfaction of walking into a room full of people and sizing THEM up. We don't want the kids to find out what the aging Winslow Homer meant when he said "the sun never rises without my attention or my gratitude." We don't want them to know that the thoughts of a man with thinning hair and arthritis are taken much more seriously than those of a pretty 17 year old with a skate-board. It's only when we get older that we figure out that when we were young and pretty, the only thing most people wanted from us was our money and our pants off. We don't ever want kids to find out what "gravitas" means, or that "sophistication" acquires a whole new meaning after age 45. We certainly don't want them to find out that 90% of the crap that kept us anxious when we were young turned out to be just so much smoke and mirrors intended to keep us anxious, under control, and under paid. We never want them to find out that living is survivable and living past 40 is a blessing.

We don't want them to ever find this out. If we do, there will be an outbreak of self-respect and satisfaction. Our retirement accounts are funded by their terror of old age, by all of those youth creams, potions, vitamins, diets, and exercises that we're always selling them.

Whenever you meet a group of hipsters, look as sad and pathetic as you can. The economy depends on it.

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