Zeitgeist

Out there, way out there

The disastrous consequences of pretending we'll never get old

 “Researching this story about getting old was revelatory thanks to @AndreaCharise and @thischairrocks” tweeted Anne Kingston, Senior Writer at Maclean’s magazine, when “Why it’s time to face up to old age” was published this week. That was gratifying, but reading the article—a sharp and balanced look at the social and economic costs of age denial—was even more so

 

How problematic is the Atlantic cover story about old age? Let me count the ways.

The cover story of the October 2014 Atlantic magazine, “The New Science of Old Age,” features a white-bearded skateboarder careening between two articles that encapsulate American ambivalence about longevity: here’s why our kids could significantly outlive us and how awful that would be. Below, my Letter to the Editor calling out the unacknowledged ageism that saturates both articles, followed by more examples.  

 

nice blurb from Lifetime Arts

Lifetime Arts is a nonprofit that "promotes creative aging through professionally conducted arts education for older adults." The organization understands that raising awareness of ageism is central to their mission, and I've given my talk at several of their training institutes. Last week I took the train up to Chappaqua to speak to librarians from seven states, who are participating in a national Creative Aging in America's Libraries project, and co-founders Maura O’Malley and Ed Friedman had nice things to say.

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