Readers of this blog know how much the work of eminent cultural critic Margaret Gullette has informed my thinking.
Out there, way out there
I had fun talking with KMO, creator of the geeky and wide-ranging C-Realm Podcast, and I think he did too. Posted on Wednesday, May 8, the podcast covers a lot of interesting territory, from ageism in society to mortality, the U-shaped happiness curve, Ted Kaczynski’s ruminations on “primitive man,” and how KMO used to scare baby boomers into buying health insurance.
People often suggest that I give a TED talk, and of course I hope this opportunity comes my way. In the meanwhile, I searched all TED talks tagged with aging. Nine come up:
Mark your calendar: the next chance to hear This Chair Rocks will be at the Coming of Age NYC Social at the Community Service Society, 105 East 22nd Street, Room 4A, 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Thursday May 16.
That’s the title of an article in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, and it speaks to why my talk is resonating with younger people. Starting with the Advanced Style book, Mireille Silcoff describes young people’s fascination with the accoutrements and achievements of the old old. “Scratch the surface of youth culture, and a kind of Eldertopia is revealed,” she writes.
I was excited to learn via Twitter that two Princeton researchers are charting a "new path for [the] study of ageism." Psychology professor Susan Fiske has been studying stereotypes for some time, and her approach focuses on prescriptive stereotypes (ones that describe how people “should be”): in this case that olders should cede jobs and prominent roles to youngers; that they should consume fewer scarce resources; and that they shouldn't attempt to act younger than they are.
This marvelous PSA dips with aplomb into the Kama Sutra to promote condom use. It’s a response to rising numbers of STI infections in people over 50, among whom rates of sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have doubled in the past decade.
Standing room only at the Cooper Union’s 200-seat Rose Auditorium on Monday, April 8, and again two nights later for my return engagement at KGB Bar! Thank you so much to all of you who showed up and/or helped me spread the word. Very exciting indeed.