Old people really suck.
They didn’t always suck. For most of human history, old people were the keepers of wisdom, tribal leaders to be respected and obeyed. Their vast knowledge of life, love and the practical arts were indispensable. Right on up until the early 20th century, old people were to be trusted and cherished.
Then came the great technological leap forward. Old people held their own for a while, keeping up with radio technology and mechanical advancements. But along came TV – the Great Stupifier. It’s ironic that adults complain about how TV rots children’s minds, yet it’s the adults who were rendered idiotic by TV, not their children.
By the 1980’s the Elder Race had watched so much junk TV and ignored everything else in society that they have become utterly worthless. Young people cannot look up to them for insight on anything. Politics, romance, technology, history, science – anything. There is no point in asking an 80-year-old why it’s hot in summer or why Stalin killed Trotsky. They have no fucking idea.
Today’s old people have failed to carry the torch of the old people from their generation. And all of society is paying the price. Technology (which they don’t understand even peripherally) keeps them alive well past their due date, resulting in skyrocketing medical costs for all of us.
On my daily drive to work, I see old people. They are out during rush hour, driving 15mph below the speed limit, heading to nowhere in particular. I cut through the mall in the morning to save time, and I see them out walking. After a lifetime of labor in their suburban office parks, they retire and walk around the blank, desolate macadam of the shopping mall. If it wasn’t so heartbreaking, it would be infuriating.
Old people tend to be extremely conservative because they are unwilling and incapable of ingesting new ideas. As far as they are concerned, America won WWII single-handedly, Reagan defeated the Soviets and Vietnam was lost because too many hippies smoked pot. Since they have nothing else to do, they vote regularly and often, always for the most idiotic candidates.
Since old people know they are going to die soon, they also tend to be the most religious demographic. Coupling religiosity with stupidity, they have become the backbone of the TV preacher industry. And again, the rest of us have to suffer.
There is, however, some light at the end of the tunnel. Young and middle-aged folks have been consumed by the Information Age. Nowadays, it’s not OK to be too stupid to operate a microwave oven. In fact, it’s not OK to be too stupid to configure a router. I firmly believe that today’s young people will become reasonably sharp old people, much more so than the current crop of geriatric goombahs.
We are at an unfortunate time. Resource depletion, global recession and monumentally stupid, consumptive retirees are burdens that seem impossible to carry. But I have Hope. Yes, I do. If we can stay positive and soldier through the technological and economic hurdles that face us, we will eventually be rewarded by the final demise of the stupidest generation the world has ever known, ushering in a new age of old people who can thoughtfully contrast modern life with the old days and be relied upon by future generations for guidance and wisdom.
But until then, it’s gomers walking the parking lot of the mall at 7:30am. *sigh*.