Bringing the Text to Life
In the '60s, when all the boring old "baby boomers" were young, a much-quoted mantra declared, "Never trust anyone over 30." Now that boomers can probably find old college T-shirts in their closets that would be too old to trust, that phrase sounds ridiculous. How times have changed! Jerry Rubin, the yippie-turned-yuppie, has a new mantra. "I used to say, don't trust anyone over 30. Now, I say, don't trust anyone under 50."
The fact is that even as the '60s saw the blossoming of the civil rights era, it also honed a new kind of prejudice-- ageism. Although the '60s were not alone in shrugging off the 60-somethings, the picked-up pace and increasingly disposable lifestyle of these latter days of the 20th century has practically made growing older a sin. This is not just a cosmetic skirmish against gray hair, soft bodies and windy wrinkles. It is a widespread, ongoing cultural hostility against aging in general and the aged in particular.
We routinely assume that our oldest...