Editor’s note: A follow-up column to Paranoid by Political Correctness.
First, I grew up in a macho society which taught me that there wasn’t a hurt which couldn’t be fixed by rubbing dirt on it. I was taught to have honor and courage and pride in country and pride in religion and pride in family, and, yes, a modicum of pride in self.
I was taught to play fairly, but to play to win, and if you lost, don’t whine. Win the next time by getting better. How was I to know that these were vicious, fascist challenges to an outcome-based society?
Second, I’m not responsible because I suddenly find myself in that not-so-coveted demographic: 55 to death. As the cretins on Madison Avenue will tell you, I’ve made all my consumer choices for life — I use Listerene, not Scope; I drive a Buick, not a Lexus; and nothing will ever change my mind. If Nike tells me to "just do it", I won’t. Unless they give me a good reason to.
Now consider just how ancient this really is. If you’re 55, when you were born, there were no cars named Geo or Saturn, but there were cars named Hudson and Nash and Packard and Studebaker. When you were born, Ted Kennedy was 22. Katie Couric wouldn’t be born for 3 more years.
When you were born, Eisenhower was president, which means that you’ve been alive during one quarter of all the presidential administrations in history. Your date of birth is closer to the date of the Wright brothers’ flight than it is to today.
If you had a dollar for every second you’ve been alive, you’d have one billion, 735 million, 668 thousand dollars. But you don’t, because Barack Obama is president.
55 years! Over half a century. More than one twentieth of a millenium! In fact, 55 year olds, you’ve been alive over 2% of the entire time since the birth of Christ!
But don’t think of it as 55. Think of it as 13 Celsius, except when whining to the new PC power structure. As you learn to love tofu jerky with your decaf latte frappachino el crappo, hope that your captors will be merciful.
What this country needs is someplace safe to put us. Somewhere we can drag race riding lawnmowers, perhaps, without contaminating the minds of the young. It’d have to be some place with sufficient security, isolated, perhaps with the military nearby to keep us in check while we watch them play with tanks and big guns. A locale with anticipated new vacancies would be handy. Befitting our advancing age, someplace warm — the Caribbean, perhaps. Let me get back to you on this. In the meantime, If you need any more information from me, I volunteer to be beerboarded.