Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Moratorium

I have been sitting on this piece for over a week and realize that even the original title, "The Reckoning," means what exactly?  Who is reckoning what and with whom?  This morning another accusation and another termination and what is the purpose, to make a woman feel better about walking around for years ashamed, angry, confused, alienated, annoyed, embarrassed?  Or to those who for years heard rumors, had suspicions, dismissed complaints or had such a financial vested interest it was easier to ignore or get rid of the bitch?  Then one day one woman, one famous predator/douchebag/drunk/moron/pervert/man was outed and the world was saved!  From what exactly?

Coming to terms with the onslaught of confessions, accusations, denials by those famous or at least well known and their crimes against women and men has become exhausting.  I need a spread sheet, or at least a diagram one uses to chart one's family hierarchy  to somehow keep up with the never ending names of perpetrators and victims.  At times I feel as if I am watching Game of Thrones only in real time. Bring me my Dragons!

We are told repeatedly to believe victims and yet we know people lie.  So who is lying and who are the liars and why are they lying?  Well the Washington Post found out recently that yes women lie but they beat her to the punch with what is called as investigating.  Why do that when they can just hook you up to a machine and see if you are telling the truth?  There is no such thing as a lie detector well there is but it like the science that created it by the man who did is junk.  I know as a man asked me to take one once and he was my Lawyer, Kevin Trombold,  when I too found myself a victim. I often think of myself more of his victim and those of the staff at Harborview than I ever did at the hands of Shar my date, as he never finished the job.

I watched as Ted Vosk (other Lawyer) when he called the number of Shar using Kevin Trombold's office phone which undoubtedly came up on the Caller Id warning him, and only afterwards go "Whoops, I should not have done that!" Then during trial ask me about a conversation I had with Blair Russ the former associate of Trombold that I disclosed a positive test for an STD.  I was told I had Herpes and given a prescription for a drug that I refused to take as I was unclear how I had something of which I had no symptoms.  Later when I went to a larger facility and spent cash to ensure no record, found that I had Herpes Simplex I, not vaginal herpes,  which without a specific test to distinguish the two it registers positive for Herpes. Which I suspected was true and in fact made sense given my dental history and infections,  but none on the vaginal region nor any symptoms whatsoever to confirm that diagnosis. But by that time it was too late and these two assholes ran with that, disclosing private medical data which I did not consent to disclosing, and use this through my trial.  Which they continued to use it on appeal of which it had no place nor bearing.  Their explanation was that it was to garner sympathy.  Try focusing on legal issues and not personal ones dipshit.  Ah Kevin Trombold the Opie of Lawyers.  Incompetent but always fakely nice.

The men in this scenario,  Ted Vosk, Blair Russ, Kevin Trombold were far more transfixed on my sexual history than any man I have ever been with.

Victim, survivor, liar, truth teller, bitch, whore, drunk, crazy all names that I was called at that time and after awhile you run out of euphemisms in which to be described.  And once the names run out and the money does, no one cares anymore.  There is no reckoning for those who have no fame, no money, no other name in which to be called.

The perpetrator, the predator, the man has only one name - man.  It seems to be an excuse, an explanation, a justification for why men are just men or boys will be boys.  Ah so many expressions that seem to explain the male character.  Are there that many for women?  When I tried to find them I found instead hundreds of synonyms for women and after losing count I thought of the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler and thought if my vagina could talk what would it say?

Is this a reckoning when men finally face the fact that they are all predators.  They all care about the hunt and in the deep recesses of the brain is the cave man and in turn they want nothing more to eat and fuck and sleep.  Throw in football or some other sport and they are good and women are there on the sidelines in every sense of the word.

But about women who are our own worst enemy. Who have been taught at early age it matters what people think of you, how well you care for yourself and others means your man and your children. Abuse is expected and in turn not exposed for you risk it all. There are Doctors who pull your skin to freakish levels, who engorge your breasts and tighten your vagina to make you more of a woman.  If I am every woman who do I believe?  Who is the woman in me?

The lyrics, the songs, the dreams the movies tell us the stories we need to believe. Yet is is those who bring us their stories are leading ones behind those screens that contradict those stories or would be in fact more horror and less romance.   Was I too a victim of those tales? Did I believe the song lyrics, the movies, the books that told of the castle, the prince, the hero who would rescue me from what I do not know.  A life alone, a live unloved?  Well I am alive despite the fact that one said Prince did his best to ensure that might not be a reality.

That story, that book is one not written. It is a tale that I carry within and when I try to tell it I see the faces, the looks, the expressions of disbelief that make it seem as if I am lying, exaggerating or simply just mad.  Yes I am mad alright for that expression, "that what does not kill you makes you stronger" is just another bill of false goods.  No it makes you angrier. Anger is a both fuel and a balm. It lights my energy and in turn keeps me alive and when it burns too close or too hot I use it to calm me to remind me that without it I would not be alive.  Fire is life as they on the show Survivor and I am that name too - survivor.

But we have a moment of reckoning when we have to admit our guilt, own our evil and spill our pain.  Nothing will come of it and some will lose their jobs, they will be vilified  and then what?

Women and Men need to shut up and put it all in their pants and take a moratorium on fucking.  That might solve some of it.




Monday, November 27, 2017

Hee Haw

 In 2013 The New York Times, aka "Fake News" declared Nashville the "it" city.  This might be akin to Vanity Fair and its annual proclamations of the "It Girl" which we now know was a part of an "arrangement" by Harvey Weinstein, his sexual victim and his bullying and intimidating the Magazines from whatever blackmail/extortion he had "arranged"  Wow that is a lot of arranging! Could you throw some furniture and decor in there and we have a new Fixer Upper show right there!

As I watch the Nashville local news which I now refer to as Hee Haw the highly entertaining show of my youth that made fun of the rubes of country, I feel that is a much better comparison to that of actual news that covers stories of import, both national and regional, and occasionally wanders into international territory when the story demands it.  Who are we kidding here, this is 45th in the Nation for education and comprehension skills that oft relate to this are seriously lacking.  So the one time the locals accept the New York Times is when Nashville is in the title, otherwise they will be having none of that.

What they seem to seize on is the mythical number of 85-100 people a day moving to GREATER Nashville area.  Just for the record the same type of hype exists in Seattle with More Than 1,000 People Are Moving to Seattle Every Week, Census Report Shows

Okay let's understand how that estimate works.  It has some math and science involved and those are two things along with facts that fake news explains but it would require reading which that might be stressful as it has words and stuff. But it is based on numerous factors, births, deaths, relocations and of course both temporary and permanent which can include those in school, the military or other fields where they do move into the region but are not here for a long period.    Then it is averaged after the estimates, key word estimate, are done using data attained from numerous sources.  So again the data is as only good as they select to use.

This is from the local rag which I doubt is anymore read than the bigger papers but I am sure the Sports Section is well perused.
Nashville is still booming, and the pace hasn't slowed.

New population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show the Nashville metro statistical area added 36,337 people during the one-year stretch that ended July 1, 2016, meaning the region grew by an average of 100 people a day over those 12 months.

The overall population of the 14-county Nashville region grew from 1,828,961 to 1,865,298, a 2 percent increase.

That closely matches the 36,435 net population increase that the Nashville area had from 2014 and 2015 — also an average of 100 people a day — and the 34,072 net population increase from 2013 to 2014, an average of 93 people a day.

From 2010 to 2016, the Nashville area grew an average 32,403 people a year, a pace of about 89 people daily. The overall population jumped by 11.6 percent during those six years.

Suburbs have absorbed the majority of the growth since 2015, with Rutherford County's population jumping by 9,828 people from 2015 to 2016, followed by Williamson County, which grew by 7,433. Davidson County, home of Nashville, grew by 6,087, and Wilson County grew by 4,009.

The population increases are not the same as the number of new people who have moved here.

Breaking down the region's growth of 36,337 people, approximately 28 percent (10,101 people) were the result of births and deaths, while 72 percent (25,358 people) were people who moved to the Nashville area.

“That’s not 100 people a day moving here,” said Nicholas J. Lindeman, economic and systems data analyst with Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. “That’s total growth. So that’s both births and deaths, and people moving in it out.”

Lindeman noted that if Nashville maintains this pace, the region would approach a population of around 2 million by the next census in 2020.

“The story for me, looking at the numbers, is that the region is doing really, really well.”

The Nashville metro area's population ranks 36th overall among the 382 metropolitan statistical areas. Nashville saw the 19th largest population increase from 2015 to 2016, and the 38th largest population increase by percentage.

While Nashville’s population has steadily grown, the population of the Memphis metro area — the second largest in Tennessee — grew by just 888 people, or .1 percent, from 2015 to 2016. That means the Memphis area has gained between two and three people a day.

Nashville gained more people a day from 2015 to 2016 than some of its other sister cities, including Raleigh, N.C. (86 people a day; 2.5 percent growth), Indianapolis (48 people a day; .9 percent growth), Louisville (16 people a day; .5 percent growth) and Cincinnati (27 people a day; .5 percent growth).

But Nashville is still trailing others comparable cities in year-to-year growth from 2015 to 2016: Austin, Texas (160 people a day; 2.9 percent growth); Charlotte, N.C. (136 people a day; 2 percent growth). Denver (121 people a day; 1.6 percent growth); and Portland, Ore (110 people a day, 1.7 percent growth).

Again, the article below was written in 2013 and anyone in the know knows that "it" designation has a sell by shelf life date.  And while the city is growing it will never be a Tier A city.  It wants to be but it is a Tier B city, akin to the ones above - Austin, Charlotte, not Denver nor Seattle which are now Tier A cities.  And those are Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston.  What defines them is massive growth, industry, money, education and other components that enable them to maintain a steady level of growth regardless.  Seattle and Denver with Portland not far behind but still technically a Tier B city is that they have massive influx of money from a varied economic base.  Denver is pot.  It is and that it has always been a large transportation hub.  Then you have Seattle, Amazon bitch! Microsoft.  Some Boeing and in turn Pot.  Portland may grow but it has what - Pot.  The liberal lifestyle and proximity to major cities that are flexible and open minded also contribute to a Cities growth factor and rating.  What does Nashville have?  Well Medical Tourism which if they actually promoted that it would be amazing as in Tennessee they do little to nothing to provide residents with any medical care so hey come on down as there is more staff to serve you if you come cash in hand!  I know! Then there is that Country Music thing.   The rest of business centers on hospitality and tourism.  Low wages, high turnover here in the live free and die poor state, the motto of right to work laws.

The city lacks infrastructure and is decades behind. Sidewalks have been an issue for decades and nothing is being done nor ever will frankly.  I see very little of the current Mayor's transit plan coming to fruition here and while I am voting for it, I hope to be long gone by then. I wish them the best however with the plan as it is ambitious as it is lacking.  That seems to be the Nashville Way!

So when Nashville was declared an "it" city it was three years post flood with a Mayor determined to resuscitate the City after the devastation, pushing through a minor league baseball stadium underwritten and overbudget funded by tax payers.  Then there was the need to get businesses to relocate to the city via huge tax incentives which have since been found in a recent audit to fail to bring the jobs promise.  And lastly the bullshit about a tech sector is still one of debate and again non-existent depending upon whom you speak to and is largely connected to health care. Again this place screams Medical Tourism!   You do have to deal with the people but largely the actual Medical Professionals are from out of the region and are well educated.  I have no complaints about the skilled/trained staff.  I cannot comment on Nurses and the rest as there is shortage across the country and well I have little to say about the Medical Industrial Complex at large so this is not exceptional in respect to that and by exceptional I mean either good or bad.  This is the industry at large so you go with the one that works as no one has insurance and if you do or have cash then you are good to go!

As they say in Public Relations, there is no bad press unless they spell your name wrong.  Tennessee is not as hard as one thinks and the "ville or vile as I call this place is just what it is - a town that thinks it is a city.  Okay.  Watch the morning Hee Haw shows and change to one station to the next and it is watching reruns.  This is what defines news here.  None.  Well crime reports, lots and lots of crime reports.  



Nashville’s Latest Big Hit Could Be the City Itself

By KIM SEVERSON
THE NEW YORK TIMES
JAN. 8, 2013

NASHVILLE — Portland knows the feeling. Austin had it once, too. So did Dallas. Even Las Vegas enjoyed a brief moment as the nation’s “it” city.

Now, it’s Nashville’s turn.

Here in a city once embarrassed by its Grand Ole Opry roots, a place that sat on the sidelines while its Southern sisters boomed economically, it is hard to find a resident who does not break into the goofy grin of the newly popular when the subject of Nashville’s status comes up.

Mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat in his second term, is the head cheerleader.

“It’s good to be Nashville right now,” he said during a recent tour of his favorite civic sites, the biggest of which is a publicly financed gamble: a new $623 million downtown convention center complex that is the one of the most expensive public projects in Tennessee history.

The city remains traditionally Southern in its sensibility, but it has taken on the luster of the current. On a Venn diagram, the place where conservative Christians and hipsters overlap would be today’s Nashville. 

Flush with young new residents and alive with immigrants, tourists and music, the city made its way to the top of all kinds of lists in 2012.

A Gallup poll ranked it in the top five regions for job growth. A national entrepreneurs’ group called it one of the best places to begin a technology start-up. Critics admire its growing food scene. GQ magazine declared it simply “Nowville.”  **Note that number changes and guess what? Not now!

And then there is the television show."Nashville,"a song-filled ABC drama about two warring country divas, had its premiere in October with nine million viewers. It appears to be doing for the city of 610,000 people what the prime-time soap opera"Dallas"did for that Texas city in the ‘80s.  *Show cancelled!

“You can’t buy that,” Mr. Dean said. “The city looks great in it.”

Different regions capture the nation’s fancy for different reasons. Sometimes, as with Silicon Valley, innovation and economic engines drive it. Other times, it’s a bold civic event, like the Olympics, or a cultural wave, like the way grunge music elevated Seattle.

Here in a fast-growing metropolitan region with more than 1.6 million people, the ingredients for Nashville’s rise are as much economic as they are cultural and, critics worry, could be as fleeting as its fame.

“People are too smug about how fortunate we are now,” said the Southern journalist John Egerton, 77, who has lived in Nashville since the 1970s.

“We ought to be paying more attention to how many people we have who are ill-fed and ill-housed and ill-educated,” he said.  *Nashville the home to 33% educated, 60% overweight and uninsured with massive health problems. Irony or oxymoron?

Many will argue that the city’s schools need improvement, and although it remains more progressive on social issues than Tennessee as a whole, the city, with its largely white population, still struggles with a legacy of segregation and has had public battles over immigration and sexual orientation.From an economic standpoint, it has been a measured rise. When the housing boom hit the South, Nashville, long a sleepy capital city with a Bible Belt sensibility, did not reap the financial gains seen in cities like Atlanta, whose metropolitan region is more than three times its size.

But Nashville’s modest growth meant a softer fall and a quicker path out of recession. By July 2012, real estate closings were up 28 percent over the previous year. Unemployment in Davidson County, which includes Nashville, is about 5.7 percent, compared with 7.8 percent nationally, and job growth is predicted to rise by 18 percent in next five years, said Garrett Harper, vice president for research with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.

He and others attribute Nashville’s stability and current economic health to a staid mix of employers in fields like health care management, religious publishing, car manufacturing and higher education, led by Vanderbilt University.

By some estimates, half of the nation’s health care plans are run by companies in the Nashville area.

“Health care is countercyclical,” Mr. Harper said. “It inoculates the city against a lot of the winds that blow.” **Again Vanderbilt Medical is the prime employer here and is no longer part of the school

But the music industry is the bedrock of Nashville’s economy. In the past two decades, country music has grown into a national darling. The city has attracted musicians and producers whose work moves beyond the twang and heartache.

On a recent evening, Nashville’s once-seedy honky-tonk district was jammed with young hopefuls pulling guitars out of Hondas, a bus from “America’s Got Talent” and Aerosmith fans heading to the Bridgestone Arena.

It is not uncommon to see the power couple Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman show up at a popular restaurant, or to pass Vince Gill on the street.

Music celebrities are attracted to a state with no income tax and a ready-made talent pool. But they also just like it.

Jennifer Nettles, of the country duo Sugarland, spent 17 years in Atlanta and has been dipping in and out of New York and Nashville for years. She recently bought a farm here, had a baby and is settling in with her husband, Justin Miller.

“Part of what is really attractive about Nashville right now is that it isn’t Atlanta, and I love Atlanta,” she said. “There’s a bit of charm and a richness a city the size of Nashville allows for.”

As if to underscore Nashville’s position in the nation’s musical hierarchy, the city hosted the annual Grammy nomination concert in December. It was the first time the show was not held in Los Angeles.

But to be a truly great city, some skeptics argue, it has to be a place that tends to its residents first and tourists second.  *That explains the housing push and push back with many of the investments largely being Air Bnb

The city’s politicians are banking on the tourists. At the center of the plan is the Music City Center, a huge convention center whose main section is shaped like a giant guitar laid on its back.

It sits on 19 downtown acres and is attached to both the Country Music Hall of Fame and an 800-room, $270 million Omni Hotel, which is expected to open in the fall.

To pay for it all, the city offered generous tax breaks and based public financing on increased hotel and rental car fees and taxes. To lure the hotel, for example, the city discounted property taxes by more than 60 percent for 25 years.  **Which explains the hotel boom here

The idea was to help the city land bigger conventions, like the National Rifle Association conference, which will bring 48,000 people to the city in 2015.**which explains Country Music Association response to Vegas

But using generous economic incentives and relying on conventions has been called an outdated economic strategy.

“This was probably a good idea in 1985. And probably a good idea in 1995, said Emily Evans, a member of the region’s Metropolitan Council. “But in 2012, the momentum for that kind of economic development has passed.”

She once called the convention center a “riverboat gamble.”

“In giving away your tax base for the purpose of expanding your tax base in the future,” Ms. Evans said, “you make it difficult to deliver on the fundamentals, the things that make your city livable, like parks and roads and schools.”

Mr. Dean, a former city lawyer who became mayor in 2007 and led the city’s recovery from historic floods in 2010, said the project, which got under way during the recession, has been a fight every step of the way.

“The gains for the city are real and tangible,” he said.

The mayor has orchestrated more than a dozen tax incentive deals over the past few years. Most recently, he arranged a $66 million incentive package to help the health care giant HCA Holdings move part of its Nashville operations to new midtown high-rise buildings.  **I suspect that it was used to buy its failing competitor CHS to further consolidate medical care and raise prices but hey!

He acknowledges that more needs to be done on transportation and education, but in the meantime, he, like most of Nashville’s residents, is enjoying its ride.

“I love the rhythm of this town and the pace of it and the tone of it,” said Mr. Egerton, the writer. “I think Nashville is a big unfinished song.”

Saturday, November 25, 2017

That Which Unites Divides

I read this article about Vallejo, California yesterday and thought it made the most salient points about race and community that I have read in quite some time, if ever.  I have frequently said that if you allow diversity to happen organically through shared community and not by forced obligation it will happen in its own time and its own pace and it can happen.  It just means making efforts few are willing or want to do.

We love to speak of diversity but as one from Seattle I used to find that hollow as the city is so divided by money now that in turn it segregates and divides by both class and race.  It is now the perfect Southern city as I have come to learn.  It is class/money that divides not race.  WHAT! Yes.

In Seattle the largest division was of course Black and White and yet this is a city with a diverse African, Asian diaspora, including a strong American Samoan cohort, some American Indian and growing Hispanic population.   The push of the latter has led many Seattle Black Residents to be pushed out into the regions of King County and in turn the once largely black district, the Central District, gentrifying quickly thanks to the expanding Amazon.  The adjacent International District, which is the Asian section of town is also finding itself squeezed and in turn altering its tone as in color with the rising tides of green that is now defining Seattle.

Seattle has always struggled with defining race and the relations that the good liberal highly educated white professionals do when proving they are not racist.   The last and only black Mayor came and went without so much as a scandal let alone future presence on the political scene.  Few if any Mayors do.  The last attempt to demonstrate equality led to the election of the first Gay Mayor who left tainted under the scandal of child molester.  At least Seattle was ahead of the curve on that and like the recent elections went with a Woman who is also a Lesbian to ensure that Seattle is still the liberal haven it claims to be.   True the waters in the Sound are green and Seattle was never that blue but on paper it came out that way.  And in turn may policies have reflected this including attempting to raise an Income Tax.  But I want to point out the first city in Washington State to raise wages to $15/hr was not Seattle but Sea-Tac the adjacent town to the airport where a large minority base lives and works, servicing the airport.   Seattle loves to take credit for many things that have long been established elsewhere, Starbucks anyone?

 I always thought that Seattle and its relationship to race was like anywhere else, awkward and ham fisted but with good intent.  I lived in San Francisco that had none and was largely a Gay Mecca that live let live sort of dominated the area with the respective areas in the region that covered the basics when it came to race.  Oakland was the chocolate section of the city and even that too seems to be changing as its proximity to the city and costs of housing has led the enclave of true liberalism, Berkley, to extend its limits.  I lived in Berkeley and that was also a faux community of division that money and white privilege cannot be ignored.

When I worked at the World School for a month in Seattle with so many faces and languages that at one point I wanted to believe this was the future and then I saw the shoddy education and crappy Teaching and realized that once again this is Seattle's version of white privilege.  I spoke to a long term Instructional Aide and to a Teacher from a school that shared space with them for two years and said that they had nothing but problems with the World School, the staff and students that did not make me feel better just confirmed my worst.  I am reading a book about a Teacher in Denver who in a mainstream High School teaches English to the newly arrived Immigrants with passion and dedication that is impressive.  I think all of us would like one half of that passion and in turn he does so without any more resources but with massive support and that is the difference.  I felt abandoned and dumped in the World School for the month I was there, I had no experience, training nor credentials in bilingual education, none in math and in turn a rotating crew of aides who where there one to two days or one or two periods, multiple languages, troubled kids and not one ounce of tools I needed to teach either Math or English.  I was planning not to return after spring break as I could not take it and then one of the Muslim men who I had repeated runs ins for failing to help me with the kids complained so I was out.   I knew it was both cultural and personal and I hated him as he was useless and in turn it was reciprocal.  I do not hide my loathing and I have learned that is a problem.

So when the email came from the Principal in the morning that I would not be welcome back I was relieved.  I tossed the few books I bought, the lessons I had copied for the week ahead and "corrected" the papers I had but tossing them. I let the remaining classes pretty much do whatever and that included rifling through the garbage to get all that I had tossed, leading me to in turn put it under my desk and take it to the dumpster myself.   This is how troubled these kids are, they were truly disturbing to watch.  So by the end of the day I put whatever "grades" in that I had, which were largely none so I made them up.  It was that bad but when you don't care you don't.  I never went back there and in turn the Principal was "promoted" at year end and another troubled Principal with a history of issues was put in her place.  She had helmed a school that ended up under litigation, a bomb threat and possible closure so at one point you have to ask what it is about Education that makes it so fucked up? I think it is the projection and concept of doing good versus just Teaching. When you confuse the boundaries and ideas you cannot teach.  You need to stick to the subject matter in which you are trained.  Even those dual endorsed and multi degreed struggle with what that means.  You should only teach Math, only teach Science, one subject is enough and in Seattle they stupidly felt that one Teacher two subjects and in turn be super White person who understands the dynamics of every child from everywhere regardless of where that was.  And in turn the students were not the only ones who struggled.  It again is a set up for failure. 

And of this I sit now and realize was training for Nashville.  And again another book and another confirmation of what I see and experience every day.  I realize now that I need to transcend to writing soon.  I cannot walk into a classroom again and not hate myself just a little for not caring.  There are those faces of kids that do mean something and when you meet them and see them it is impossible to not.  But it is a system too destroyed and too dysfunctional for anyone to truly achieve anything. It is a set up for failure much like my stay in the World School.  That was when I should have been a grown up and said no but the consistent money, the faces of kids who offer so hope are hard to use. But these children come so damaged it is near impossible and challenging to face them and overcome this alone.

I read that 40 plus Teachers walked out in Pennsylvania walked out due to feeling unsafe, the same number here in Antioch that began last year with a student walk (but also a school with sexual conduct issues among others)  out and in Highline District in Seattle that did so two years ago. And these are all by Educators committed and experienced and willing to do the heavy lifting.  It is about race and it is not because it is about children and community and when one doesn't feel safe you don't think color you think about you, period.  If you cannot do your job because you are not allowed to then you need to find a place where you can or a job you can do.

When I moved to Nashville and it changed me in ways that I least suspected and that was with regards to my relationship with race.  What I was well aware of and quite conscious of working in the public schools, I actually began to question who I was and what kind of person I was becoming since moving here.  My encounters with those of color truly changed.  I have met more damaged and troubled black children here than I met in the years I taught in Seattle.  The schools that housed the most troubled children were well known.  When I walked in I was one of many who walked out as frankly at some point the ubiquitous race card would be tossed and you would find yourself defending or explaining yourself to someone of color about your response towards them.  I heard this, experienced it and got sick of it.  This is what was learned and taught repeatedly throughout Seattle as a way of coping and it goes on today.  I thought it was because those faces of color had it so bad that they just lashed out to those they thought did not.   I never heard it from White faces, Latin faces, Muslim faces, or any other faces of color as they had it bad too but they did not have the history of America's racism that in turn colored their relationships with white people.

This is all cold comfort and shows there are problems with race and in turn poverty as much of the current push towards restorative justice was done in response to the excessive discipline and suspension rates that disproportionately affected black students.   But on Friday at Overton high 14 kids were suspended over a fight allegedly over gang beefs, the students were Mexican and Kurdish.  This shows that poverty, race and this idea of assimilation are problems that are newest members to the community struggle with.  I had a gig there for Monday and promptly canceled it as after the long weekend and the ability to sit and stew on it means that Police presence and elevated blood pressure are two things I want nothing to do with.

The issue is the concept of zero tolerance and in turn having within schools appropriate discipline tracks, trained educators, additional supplemental staff to assist in classrooms and schools and in turn parental engagement and involvement.  Well that all costs a color of green.

I spent the better part of a year negotiating and debating with myself about race and my experiences with children of color.  I spend little time with Adults and regardless of their color they are not much better so again that idea of cold comfort is not helping.  Here in Nashville I never hear the race card mentioned and only once an inference by an Assistant Principal at Pearl Cohn a school with a history of troubles, so I took it as an excuse to blame the victim, a normal state of affairs in Nashville. They do that here regardless.  So race and the idea of it is not a dish served here it is ignored here. I throw the race card down by far more often so go figure.

The race card is a game that I find truly disturbing and one that I want no part of it. But as in cards they say "call a spade a spade" oh wait that is a racist epithet.  See what I mean you cannot escape it.














Tax Cuts Not Wage Growth

The current debate over the horrific tax plan the latest in idiocy from the land of Trumptardia is full of lies larger than the ones that come from Trump's daily tweets and that means some big lies.

Across the board many of the GOP have admitted that this current plan is largely to appease their donor base a far more important base than any of the Trump-tards who profess fealty to their mouthpiece.  And that is what Trump is, a walking microphone espousing their anger and rage nothing more.  An actual leader, an actual President determined to find solutions that include wage stagnation and job growth is not this man.  Instead of shouting "Jews will not replace us!" They should be shouting "Robots will not replace us!"  As while these issues of NAFTA, outsourcing, Immigration are the primary beliefs that have contributed to this problem, the reality is that they too will have no affect in future job growth as AI and robots are the push by Silicon Valley as another way to push the need for people away from actual people.

Frankly I think for those nerds who were the actual tip off about sexual harassment (an issue that seems an Uber ride away) is why they want sex bots, they can fuck themselves off and over all day.  Visualize Stepford Wives meets Get Out and you have GOT IT!  All the mindless fucking, slave labor and no disease or talking back and demanding freedom.  It is a white racist supremacist libertarian dream!

When the CEO's of America's major corporations were brought together and surveyed by a raise of hands if they would invest in R&D and wages not a single hand was raised.  

This is the reality of truth by those whose actual decisions affect American lives in ways that Congress fails. Without them we have no health care, job security and pensions. Congress led by Paul Ryan, or boy who resembles Eddie Munster, plans to destroy the programs that have provided the same for Americans for decades.  Who do you trust?  Well at this point the Ghostbusters (the female version, bitch please who trusts men these days?).  But in reality the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable are just two large and influential groups who spend millions lobbying and they get the whole buy local.  Look to your local CC to see just how important they are when it comes to municipal decisions.

But this is Christmas and like Santa I want to believe but like all stories and myths they are just like that, and even the whole story that this is when Jesus was born is a bit of stretch.  But again like the bullshitter in chief, you lie enough you might believe your own lies or at least become President.

I think of this current White House like Miramax Pictures as for years the staff and family of Harvey Weinstein covered up, lied and even aided him in arranging his meetings to rape and assault women, they paid them off, they lied and they allowed it to go on for years unabated.  This is what the Trump Dynasty is,  a House of Fraud.

Happy post Thanksgiving. These leftovers I am passing on.




Will a Corporate Tax Cut Lift Worker Pay? A Union Wants It in Writing


By JIM TANKERSLEY
The New York Times
November 23 2017

WASHINGTON — At the heart of the Republican tax plan hurtling through Congress is an implicit promise that cutting corporate taxes will lift the middle class through higher wages and more jobs.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, for example, said in a recent speech that “fixing the business side of our tax code is really all about helping families and workers,” adding that “cutting the corporate tax rate means more jobs here in the United States. It will foster increased competition, which will directly drive up wages for our workers.”

Yet few American companies have offered specific plans that support those promises. While many chief executives broadly praise Republicans’ efforts to cut taxes, few have detailed how they would deploy the savings from a corporate tax cut or put more money back in workers’ pockets.

The lack of pledges to create jobs has not been lost on President Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary D. Cohn, who seemed perplexed last week about the lack of corporate enthusiasm for a tax cut.

At a Wall Street Journal conference, Mr. Cohn asked his audience of chief executives how many of them would invest more if the tax cut were passed. When only a few attendees raised their hands, Mr. Cohn asked: “Why aren’t the other hands up?”

Labor groups are wondering the same thing — and are seizing on the administration’s economic analysis that the tax cut will translate into an extra $4,000 in take-home pay for workers.

This week, the Communications Workers of America asked several companies that employ its members to promise to give workers a pay increase if the cut in the corporate tax rate goes through. The request, while unlikely to be heeded, highlights a critical question over who would benefit the most from the tax bill: shareholders or workers?

“President Trump and the Republican Congress have been trying to sell this corporate tax cut to working families by making big claims about wage increases, investment and job growth that don’t seem to be supported by the evidence,” said Chris Shelton, the president of the union. “We’re going straight to the people who know how corporations plan to spend the billions of dollars being handed over to them — the C.E.O.s — and asking them if they intend to keep the promises that Trump is making on their behalf.”

Business leaders and their lobbying groups, including the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, say the tax bill will increase economic growth, profits and worker pay. Four out of five executives in a survey by the round table earlier this year said they would increase capital spending if Congress were to pass a tax package, while three in four said they would increase hiring.

Jamie Dimon, the chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase and chairman of the Business Roundtable, told the Economic Club of Chicago this week that if Congress had already passed a tax overhaul bill, “some companies would have made huge investments.”

“We know one thing for sure: Investments drive productivity, drives jobs and wages,” he added.

Mr. Trump has put a number on it, saying a typical American would see a $4,000 raise if the corporate rate was reduced to 20 percent from a high of 35 percent today, as both the House-passed bill and the pending Senate version propose. His Council of Economic Advisers says the increase could go as high as $9,000 for the average household.

President Trump’s top economist, Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said last week that he expected corporations to invest heavily and raise workers’ wages if the tax bill became law. When most developed nations have cut their corporate tax rate, he said, the resulting wage increases were “well north” of $4,000 per year for workers.

But Democrats and liberal economists dispute those claims, citing research that suggests that the bulk of the benefits from corporate cuts will flow to the rich, partly through companies’ buying back stock or increasing dividend payments to shareholders.

A prominent survey of top economists from across the ideological spectrum — the IGM Economic Experts Panel — found this week that almost no economists agreed with the notion that the size of the American economy “will be substantially higher a decade from now than under the status quo” if the tax bill passed.

Critics note that wage growth has remained relatively sluggish over the past several years, even as corporate profits hover near all-time highs as a share of the economy, and the unemployment rate continues to fall to levels that economists normally associate with rapid increases in worker pay.

“Perhaps the most intuitive reason we know these cuts will fail to spark wage growth is that corporate profit rates have been historically high since 2007, while business investment has been historically low,” Josh Bivens, an economist at the liberal Economic Policy Institute, wrote this week.

In a letter sent this week to the top executives of Verizon, AT&T and six other companies, the communications union asked them to pledge a $4,000 annual pay increase for employees for every year that the corporate rate rests at 20 percent. The union, which has called the tax measure “an outrageous money grab” and urged lawmakers to reject it, also asked the companies to say that they will not take advantage of other changes in the corporate code to send American jobs to other countries.

The companies largely declined to comment or dismissed the letter as a stunt.

Jim Gerace, chief communications officer for Verizon, said that the company would take up the wage issue with the union when contract negotiations begin in 2019, “regardless of the outcome of tax reform legislation,” and that “it’s just too early to speak to the impacts on our business” from the tax bill.

AT&T — which has promised to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States if the tax bill passes, a rare level of detail for a corporation — issued a statement that noted: “We’ve said that with the passage of a tax bill that includes a permanent corporate tax rate of 20 percent, we’ll increase our investment in the United States. Research tells us that each $1 billion invested in the telecom sector creates about 7,000 jobs, which means 7,000 new wage earners.”

It is possible that a tax cut could increase wages even if companies do not intend it to, particularly in the current economic environment, where unemployment is hovering just above 4 percent. Most economists consider that rate to be an indication that the economy is running close to full capacity. As companies compete more to hire individual workers, they should be able to bargain for higher wages.

Administration officials appear to believe that individual companies are reluctant to describe how they would use the proceeds from a tax cut to invest and hire workers, despite their lobbying groups’ aggressive promotion of the job-creation benefits of the bill.

“My guess is, if I’m a Fortune 500 C.E.O., I’m not going to tell my competitors, who are sitting in the aisle next to me, what I’m going to do next year,” the White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday morning. “They’re going to do what’s in their best interest.”

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Packing Wood

I am trying to understand what the hell is with these old duffers and the walking around naked or in a bathrobe, chasing young women who are ostensibly the age of granddaughters and in turn confused as to why these women are upset over being the object of their affection.

The irony is that I would have dated Charlie Rose.  Many women my age as well as women 45-65 who are decades younger and in great shape, his intellectual and emotional equal would be thrilled to be in his company and be an excellent companion. Oh wait that intellectual and emotional equal part might be the problem.

We have predators and pedophiles and Roy Moore,  Larry Nassar US Gymnast Physician and other Coaches from varying U.S. Olympic Sports, Catholic Priests and the fuckwits in Education who feel the need to abuse children.  Sadly I am sure I missed some classification or individual who has been named in the current cycle.

Serial predator and/or rapists include of course Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, James Toback and a shitload of others that at this count include Louis C.K.,  Rep. John Conyers, Charlie Rose, fuck it I am not doing inventory of this so thank God ABC News did and even that is now out of date

They also neglected to mention New York Times reporter, Glenn Thrush, Fashion Photographer Terry Richardson and as of today add t  John Lassiter, Executive of Pixar,  who is taking a leave after allegations of harassment. And of course Pevert-in-Chief, Donald Trump.

Whew, I need a break, a drink or fuck it everyone just shut the fuck up for a minute.   I have taken issue with two, Jeffrey Tambor  and Senator Franken.  Both seem political or at least some of the accusations do.  And again this is a reality that not all things are crimes nor are true.  Tambor believes that much of this is political and in some way so is Franken as way too many individuals have come forward, both past and present colleagues who feel while one act was stupid the other difficult to substantiate.  And I believe that everyone needs to be heard regardless.

The reality is I recall earlier times when this shit went on and sometimes made front page.  Senator Bob Packwood was one who puts many of these men to shame.  Raging asshole and pervert comes to mind.  Ah everything old is new again.


Before Franken and Moore, there was Sen. Bob Packwood — a serial sexual harasser, reelected anyway

By Kristine Phillips The Washington post November 22 2017

Bob Packwood, now 85, may have lost the political status he worked for and cherished, but he was never completely banished from politics. (Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

Bob Packwood was a socially progressive Republican who advocated for women’s equality. He championed issues such as abortion rights and family leave. He hired women to run his campaigns, promoted them to positions of power and supported their careers. Feminists loved him.

But there was another portrait of the former U.S. senator from Oregon — one that he, himself, revealed in his own words, written on thousands of pages of documents.

In his personal diaries, Packwood described women in objectifying terms.

An intern was a “cute little blonde thing.”

Another was “a very sexy woman” whose breasts stood “at attention” and had the “ability to shift her hips.” She and Packwood drank wine together and had sex on the rug of his Senate office, he wrote.

And she wasn’t the only one; Packwood wrote that there were “22 staff members I’d made love to and probably 75 others I’ve had a passionate relationship with.”

Before Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) — before Roy Moore and Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose and Louis C.K and even Bill Clinton, famous and powerful men who found themselves in a quandary of inappropriate sexual behavior — there was Bob Packwood, an ambitious senator who eyed the presidency, then found himself resigning in disgrace and in tears in 1995.

[Why politicians got away with sexual misconduct for so long]

The unraveling of Packwood’s 26-year career in the Senate began on Nov. 22, 1992, less than three weeks after his narrow reelection victory.

The Washington Post ran a lengthy front-page story that Sunday detailing allegations of misconduct and inappropriate sexual advances against the then-60-year-old senator.

Ten women, many of whom were former staffers, recounted their horror stories to The Post.

Some left their jobs within months of the incidents, disillusioned by the boss they once admired.

The image portrayed in the story was that of a troubled alcoholic who groped female staffers behind closed doors and kissed them forcefully against their will, even as he was championing women’s rights in public.


The allegations, which spanned two decades, were hardly a secret on Capitol Hill’s rumor mill.

Yet, in election after election, Packwood managed to secure another term.

Before Leigh Corfman, Reah Bravo, Leann Tweeden, Julia Wolov, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and dozens of other women who went public with allegations of sexual harassment, there was Julie Williamson, a then-29-year-old legal secretary hired by Packwood after he became a senator in 1969.

She was on the telephone one afternoon, Williamson told The Post, when Packwood, then 36, kissed her on the back of her neck.

“Don’t ever do that again,” she said she told him.

But Packwood followed her into another room, where he grabbed at her clothes, pulled her ponytail and stood on her toes. Williamson said she kept struggling, and Packwood gave up.

She quit her job shortly after.

Years later, in the mid-1970s, there was Jean McMahon.

She told The Post in 1992 that she approached Packwood’s office about a job and later found herself meeting with the senator in his motel room, once during a visit in Salem, Ore., and again on the state’s coast.

On both occasions, McMahon met with Packwood to talk about a speech she was drafting for him. But during the second meeting, Packwood had other things in mind, McMahon said.

“I remember being chased around the table and being grabbed and kissed once,” she told The Post.

There was also Paige Wagers, a then-21-year-old college graduate who worked as a mail clerk in Packwood’s office in Washington in 1976.

Packwood called her into his office one day and told her how much he liked her looks, she said. He ran his fingers through her hair and kissed her on the lips.

Years later, in 1981, Wagers ran into Packwood in one of the Capitol’s underground passageways, The Post reported. They talked, with Packwood seeming to take interest in her new job at the Labor Department. He then opened a door that led to an unmarked office. There, Packwood kissed her again, she said.

“You don’t feel like you’re going to be taken seriously,” she told The Post in 1992. “You are going to be given opportunities only because you’re cute.”

In 1980, there was Gena Hutton, a then-35-year-old divorced mother of two. Packwood, who was running for reelection, invited Hutton, his campaign chairwoman for Lane County, Ore., for dinner at his motel. The meeting was for Packwood to get to know his campaign chairwoman, Hutton told the New York Times in 1993. At the end of the night, Packwood offered to walk her to her car.

“As I started to put the key in the car door, he just reeled me around and grabbed me and pulled me close to him,” Hutton said.

What she first thought was a good-night hug turned out to be a full French kiss.

The allegations stretched into the 1990s. Packwood initially denied them, at times saying he didn’t remember the women, or that he couldn’t find anyone on his staff who knew them. He was not the type to make such advances, he also said.

“I am so hesitant of anything at all that I just, I don’t make any approaches,” he told The Post in 1992, nearly a month before the story was published. “It is simply not my nature, with men or women, to be forward.”

He also sent The Post statements suggesting that some of the women either invited the advances or were lying. The statements contained purported details about the women’s sexual histories and personal lives that might embarrass them and cast doubt on their credibility.

Later, he offered an apology:

“If any of my comments or actions have indeed been unwelcome or if I have conducted myself in any way that has caused any individual discomfort or embarrassment, for that I am sincerely sorry. My intentions were never to pressure, to offend, nor to make anyone feel uncomfortable, and I truly regret if that has occurred with anyone either on or off my staff.”

Soon, more women came forward.

Packwood’s feminist allies were outraged and felt betrayed. A Senate Ethics Committee investigation dragged on for two years, leaving the rest of the country to watch a senator’s painfully slow and highly public fall from grace.

In July 1993, the Senate Ethics Committee sent letters to at least 200 women who worked for Packwood in the Senate since his first election in 1969. The letters were signed by Sens. Richard H. Bryan (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the committee’s chairman and vice chairman, respectively.

“The committee is interested in any information that you may have regarding Sen. Packwood’s conduct, whether that information tends to substantiate allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct, or to refute them,” the committee wrote.

The probe grew wider, with the committee issuing a subpoena for Packwood’s personal diaries.

Packwood, who had sought treatment for alcohol abuse, was defiant, saying entries in his diaries contained thousands of pages of sensitive information, including details about the sex lives of other members of Congress.

The fight to make the diaries public became a drawn-out drama — and a pivotal one at that: The diaries — Packwood’s own words — were the strongest evidence against him.

On Nov. 3, 1993, the Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve the subpoena, dismissing efforts from Packwood and other Republicans to limit its scope.


On Sept. 7, 1995, after much legal wrangling, the committee released 10,145 pages of documents that came in 10 green-bound volumes. By then, Packwood was on the brink of expulsion from the Senate.

The pages told the self-authored story of a man who forced himself on women on at least 18 occasions and hustled favors from lobbyists, The Post reported. More disturbing was that he also removed or altered some potentially incriminating words in the diaries.

Hours after the diaries were made public, Packwood resigned. Tearing up, he delivered his career eulogy to a quiet Senate chamber.

“I think many of you are aware of why I’m here today,” he said. “I am aware of the dishonor that has befallen me in the last three years. And I don’t want to visit further that dishonor on the Senate. It is my duty to resign. It is the honorable thing to do for this country, for the Senate.

More than two dozen women, many of whom were on his staff, accused Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.) of sexual harassment. Packwood resigned on Sept. 7, 1995. (CSPAN)

Packwood’s ex-wife, Georgie, said her husband’s womanizing wasn’t news to her.

She’d heard the rumors, but her husband denied being unfaithful, she told the New York Times in 1993.

Still, their marriage crumbled. He drunkenly belittled her at parties, she said. She spent hours in bed, depressed.

During a visit to a marriage counselor’s office, he made clear what his priorities were.

“I don’t want any responsibility,” she recalled her ex-husband saying. “I don’t want a wife. I don’t want a home. I only want to be a senator. That’s all there is for me.”

Packwood, now 85, may have lost the political status he worked for and cherished, but he was never completely banished from politics.

He became a well-paid lobbyist who occasionally advised lawmakers on tax and budget issues.

In 2015, the Senate Finance Committee that he had once chaired called him to Capitol Hill to talk about his role in overhauling the tax code in 1986.

Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) called Packwood a “great former leader” during his introduction that only subtly hinted at the former senator’s comeuppance.

“I believe in redemption,” Hatch said. “I believe that you don’t judge people for mistakes in the past, you judge them for what they are doing today and frankly he did a terrific job of working on tax reform.”

Packwood would agree, having told Politico the previous year: “I find people in the political arena are very understanding and forgiving.”







Tuesday, November 21, 2017

To the Country we go

When I read the below article it once again made me laugh as the Country music scene here is oddly inbred, stupid and utterly a reflection of the community at large - White,  Straight, Christian, Male. This means that the music must be by those who fit the category and the women are allowed if they are being fucked by the man.  I never listen to it but I do try just to be open minded.

I truly found the song repugnant but then again my knowledge of the current country music scene is zero so I cannot comment upon the reflection of that genre.  I can say that I found the song stupid as shit and cannot believe anyone had the audacity to think this was acceptable. But then again I don't know these people but I do know the people in Nashville are stupid.  And they actually think and believe everyone else is too.



After some criticize Keith Urban’s ‘Female’ for ‘mansplaining,’ country music pushes back
By Emily Yahr The Washington Post November 21 2017

Two weeks ago, country singer Kalie Shorr had an unexpectedly emotional reaction when she heard Keith Urban’s new song “Female,” a ballad that urges respect for women. Watching Urban perform it at the CMA Awards, Shorr and her friends talked about how the message hit home (“When you hear a song that they play saying you run the world, do you believe it? Will you live to see it?”), especially coming from an influential artist in country music, where there’s a noticeable lack of women played on the radio or signed to record labels.

“All of us in some way have been slighted by the Nashville music industry, just by being women,” said Shorr, 23. “I’ve walked into offices on Music Row and had someone look me in the eye and say, ‘I think you’re a superstar and you’d be amazing at this, but you’re a woman and we just can’t take on another one right now.’ ”

So Shorr and her singer-songwriter friends enlisted several other members of the Song Suffragettes, a weekly all-women concert series, to record a cover of “Female” that now has 55,000 views on YouTube and was just released to iTunes. The Nashville artists’ excitement about Urban’s song (which flew into the top 30 on country radio) parallels a similar sentiment from country fans – and the polar opposite reaction from some outside Nashville.

Since the song’s release, some on social media declared that the ballad is “terrible” or “mansplaining.” Publications such as Elle, the Verge and the Pool were not fans of the chorus, in which Urban lists descriptors of women: “Sister, shoulder, daughter, lover … secret keeper, fortune teller, Virgin Mary, scarlet letter.” CBS’s “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” devoted a segment to mocking the ballad. Colbert called it “the first song ever written by dumping out a bin full of inspirational throw pillows” and sang a parody called “She-Person.”

“Ladies of the world, you got a raw deal. Too many times, your voices have been silenced,” Colbert intoned. “Well, I want to let you know, I hear you. Now be quiet while I explain you to you.”

The ridicule doesn’t make sense to those involved with the song, who have started to push back against the criticism – especially the negativity about Urban delivering the song, which also includes lines such as “When somebody laughs and implies that she asked for it, just cause she was wearing a skirt, is that how that works?”

“I don’t consider myself to be a watered-down feminist at all. I’m pretty hardcore about it. So I kind of feel like, ‘Oh wow, are y’all really looking at this [song] like it’s a bad thing?’” Shorr said, adding that it will “take men to help us overcome” the gender imbalance in country music. “Keith Urban is the vessel, but the message and song is from one of the most powerful women in Nashville.”

Shorr is referring to Nicolle Galyon, who wrote the track with fellow hit songwriters Shane McAnally and Ross Copperman in October. McAnally brought the idea of the title “Female” — he’s still not sure how he came up with it — and explains that, despite initial reports, the song is not really centered around Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct allegations, which were revealed a few days before they sat down to write.

“We were talking about Harvey Weinstein, that was in the news, but that led to a much greater conversation. He had nothing to do with the story,” McAnally said. The trio didn’t write the song with a particular artist in mind, but were thrilled when Urban was interested — and wondered if it might make more of an impact for a male artist singing about women’s equality.

“When Shane said ‘Female,’ I didn’t think instantly about everything that was going on in the world. I was thinking for me about the women that I knew, and the woman that I am, and the one I’m trying to raise,” said Galyon, who has a young daughter. “I was thinking, ‘How would I want someone to describe me as a female?’ ”

Colbert in particular made fun of the list of words in the chorus (his version: “Lady-woman, vagina-owner, lipstick, bangs, organ donor”) although he emphasized that he’s a big fan of Urban. “I think his heart is in the right place,” Colbert said. “His lyrics, not as much.”

To Galyon, Colbert missed the point of why the song is a positive development for country music, which is inundated with male singers crooning, “Hey, girl, what’s up?” songs, as Galyon put it; she has helped write many of them. So that’s why it’s critical to include a different viewpoint, she said, and one that “celebrates women.”

“To be honest, I felt like the Stephen Colbert thing was unnecessary,” Galyon said. “It felt unaware of our genre. Because if you’re going to pick a song to criticize on this topic, this is the last song that you should pick.”



Old Bitch

I have repeatedly asked why the turnover in many of these executive jobs with six figure salaries, expense accounts, travel, meals, etc.  Oh wait the fucking the boss part.  I suspect many have and are keeping stum as that would be worse than sharing how the claw of Charlie Rose massaged your shoulder.  Other than watching my 60 year old boss walking around naked, I am okay with the massage part, shoulder only and him pawing at my leg.  But it starts there and you know where it ends, cue to a potted plant.  Oh wrong perv.

Seriously I am now actually confusing them.  But one thing that I am not confused on is that while the Boss gets older the Assistants/Candidates do not.  Kevin Spacey anyone?  At some point the parade of young candidates who undoubtedly fill a "type" would be better suited to a modeling agency versus an employment one.   And when I read the stories about Rose I noted he had two women Producers and I suspect well you do the math.  It might explain why they were less than sympathetic when the girls came to report their horror and Grandpa Rose and his interesting behavior.  And one wonders about these friends who introduced them to Rose for the gig did they not have any idea?  I saw that Gayle King and Nora O'Donnell were quite taken aback by the Rose story and I am sure Grandpa Rose never felt confused with them or wait as some of the banter on set crossed lines but again I presumed they were friends as well as co-workers so I permitted that in my own way.  And Rose was an "eligible" Bachelor and all that. Well a man 70 plus could easily date women in the 50s who are more interesting and just as vital as any 20 year old.  Well I guess not, worn out pussy and all that.  Gosh now I get why the Housewives have them tightened with their faces. 

Women are our own worst enemy and we are constantly reminded of that as when we age our value declines.  We are like sports cars when once driven off the lot we depreciate. 

I would much rather hire someone older frankly as they are good with boundaries, better skilled, smarter and have a life outside of work.  Oh wait that is disadvantage to narcissists a.k.a  celebrities.  I just read an article that when we see Ivanka Trump the Nanny is invisible.  Well one ended up dead in the Trump family archives so keeping a low profile not a bad idea.  But again that the point, we want Mary Poppins not Mrs. Doubtfire unless Mrs. Doubtfire is a Transgendered person oh wait they are accusing Jeffrey Tambour of this as well on Transparent.  And while apologizing he does deny it, has quit the show and thinks this is a political game in order to find a true Trans person to play the lead.  Caitlyn Jenner anyone?  So always the truth is muddled by our own desires, wishes and beliefs.  One woman's claw is another's paycheck.  We are all whores let's face it.  Men that includes you but you get promoted to Pimp more often.

If we hired older more vetted and experienced workers we may find ourselves better off.  It would be a word to the wise to have someone on hand who is less caught up in the mystery of life versus having actually lived it.  We value youth to the extreme and it is to our detriment.




Why Ageism Never Gets Old

The prejudice is an ancient habit, but new forces—in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and beyond—have restored its youthful vitality.

By Tad Friend
The New Yorker 
November 20 2017

Early in his career, Paul Newman personified a young man in a hurry forced to wait his turn. His go-getter characters infiltrated the old-boy network, wore the gray flannel suit, and toiled away before finally, in midlife, grabbing the brass ring and coasting for home. In “The Young Philadelphians” (1959), for instance, Newman played Tony Lawrence, whose mother, over his cradle, gloats, “Someday, he’ll take the place in this city that belongs to him.” Young Philadelphians, it’s clear, are merely old Philadelphians in the making. While Tony is at Princeton, a silver-haired Philadelphia lawyer so venerable he has a British accent tells him, “I’m confident that in due time you’ll become a partner in Dickinson & Dawes.” As Tony shinnies up the greasy pole at an even more eminent firm, he grumbles when old man Clayton has him work on Christmas and grouses that big clients are “reserved for the seniors” who wear homburgs and smoke pipes. Eventually, though, he makes partner and smokes a pipe of his own. Yay.

Times have changed. In “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Startup Bubble” (Hachette), Dan Lyons, a fifty-one-year-old Newsweek reporter, gets his first shock when he’s laid off. “They can take your salary and hire five kids right out of college,” he’s told. His second shock occurs when he takes a lower-paying job at a startup called HubSpot, where his boss is a twentysomething named Zack who’s been there a month. Lyons arrives for work in the traditional uniform of a midlife achiever—“gray hair, unstylishly cut; horn-rimmed glasses, button down shirt”—to find himself surrounded by brogrammers in flip-flops who nickname him Grandpa Buzz. His third shock is the realization that the tech sector usually tosses people aside at fifty. A few chapters later, he advances the expiration date to forty. A few chapters after that, he’s gone.

This sharp shift in the age of authority derives from increasingly rapid technological change. In the nineteen-twenties, an engineer’s “half life of knowledge”—the time it took for half of his expertise to become obsolete—was thirty-five years. In the nineteen-sixties, it was a decade. Now it’s five years at most, and, for a software engineer, less than three. Traditionally, you needed decades in coding or engineering to launch a successful startup: William Shockley was forty-five when he established Fairchild Semiconductor, in 1955. But change begets faster change: Larry Page and Sergey Brin were twenty-five when they started Google, in 1998; Mark Zuckerberg was nineteen when he created Facebook, in 2004.

With the advent of the cloud and off-the-shelf A.P.I.s—the building blocks of sites and apps—all you really need to launch a startup is a bold idea. Silicon Valley believes that bold ideas are the province of the young. Zuckerberg once observed, “Young people are just smarter,” and the venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has said that “people over forty-five basically die in terms of new ideas.” Paul Graham, the co-founder of the Valley’s leading startup accelerator, Y Combinator, declared that the sweet spot is your mid-twenties: “The guys with kids and mortgages are at a real disadvantage.” The median age at tech titans such as Facebook and Google is under thirty; the standard job requirements in the Valley—which discourage a “stale degree” and demand a “digital native” who’s a “culture fit”—sift for youth.

That culture is becoming the culture. At Goldman Sachs—a century-and-a-half-old investment bank that is swiftly turning into a tech company—partners are encouraged to move on after five years or so, or risk being “de-partnered.” As one senior banker says, “There’s always somebody on your six”—military terminology for the guy right behind you. A recent A.A.R.P. study revealed that sixty-four per cent of Americans between forty-five and sixty had seen or experienced age discrimination at work. Accrued eminence still matters at law firms and universities (though tenured positions have fallen fifty per cent in the past forty years), but the rest of the culture has gone topsy-turvy. Even as Lycra and yoga make fifty the new thirty, tech is making thirty the new fifty. Middle age, formerly the highest-status phase of life around the world, has become a precarious crossing. The relatively new tech sector is generating enormous amounts of a very old product: ageism.

“Ageism” was coined in 1969, two years after the Federal Discrimination in Employment Act set forty as the lower bound at which workers could complain of it. The upper bound continues to rise: the average life span grew more in the twentieth century than in all previous millennia. By 2020, for the first time, there will be more people on Earth over the age of sixty-five than under the age of five.

Like the racist and the sexist, the ageist rejects an Other based on a perceived difference. But ageism is singular, because it’s directed at a group that at one point wasn’t the Other—and at a group that the ageist will one day, if all goes well, join. The ageist thus insults his own future self. Karma’s a bitch: the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging reports, “Those holding more negative age stereotypes earlier in life had significantly steeper hippocampal volume loss and significantly greater accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques.” Ageists become the senescent figures they once abhorred.

The baldest forms of ageism include addressing older people in “elderspeak”—high, loud tones and a simplified vocabulary—and tarring them with nouns like “coot” and “geezer” or adjectives like “decrepit.” The young can’t grasp that most older people don’t feel so different from their youthful selves. When Florida Scott-Maxwell was living in a nursing home, in 1968, she wrote in her journal (later published as “The Measure of Our Days”), “Another secret we carry is that though drab outside—wreckage to the eye, mirrors a mortification—inside we flame with a wild life that is almost incommunicable.” She felt like the person she’d always been. Last year, Americans spent sixteen billion dollars on plastic surgery, most of it on fountain-of-youth treatments for wrinkles, trying to close the gap between interior vitality and exterior decay.

Eye tucks get an eye roll in two books that view the problem not as the elderly but as a culture that has forgotten how to value them. Ashton Applewhite’s “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism” (Networked Books) and Margaret Morganroth Gullette’s “Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People” (Rutgers) both grapple thoughtfully with how we got here. Yet each writer tends to see ageism lurking everywhere. Gullette, a resident scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center, is given to such pronouncements as “Typically, anonymous old people portrayed in art exhibits, websites, and journalism convey decline ideology.” That’s a lot of terrain to cover with a “typically.” Applewhite, an activist whose blog, “Yo, Is This Ageist?,” fields inquiries on the topic (the usual answer is yes), is the more grounded guide. She begins by suggesting that we call the elderly “olders.” Ordinarily, this sort of cream concealer—“aging” replaced by “saging” or “eldering”; Walmart greeters hailed for their “encore career”—deepens the frown lines it’s meant to erase. But Applewhite’s point is that older people may not be qualitatively different from “youngers.” She notes that only ten per cent of Americans who are at least eighty-five live in nursing homes, and that half of those in that cohort don’t have caregivers; for the most part, she maintains, they are cognitively robust, sexually active, and “enjoy better mental health than the young or middle-aged.” Her conclusion: “Clearly, hitting ninety was going to be different—and way better—than the inexorable slide toward depression, diapers, and puffy white shoes I’d once envisioned.”

Well, wait and see. Applewhite attacks those who carelessly attribute “decline to age rather than illness,” but the distinction lacks a real difference; age is the leading precondition for most of the decline-hastening diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Ageism can be hard to disentangle from the stark facts of aging. Ursula K. Le Guin, who’s eighty-eight, remarks in her recent book of essays, “No Time to Spare” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), “If I’m ninety and I believe I’m forty-five, I’m headed for a very bad time trying to get out of the bathtub.” And that’s just the physical difficulties. A third of those over eighty-five have Alzheimer’s. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the most virulent forms of ageism sprout in retirement communities: in some, if those in assisted living visit the independent-living dining room, they’re forbidden to bring in their walkers or wheelchairs. This often means that a couple married for fifty years can’t eat together.

Gullette argues that ageism stems from the perception that old people are irrelevant. She links the rise of ageism over the centuries to broad trends: the printing press and widespread literacy made the lore that elders carried in their heads available to all (a process hastened, and even finished off, by Google); the industrial revolution increasingly demanded younger, more mobile workers; and medical advances made so many people live so much longer.

Ageism is further fuelled, Gullette believes, by what she calls the “ideology of scarcity”—the trope that the elderly are locusts who swarm the earth consuming all our resources. The relevant economic terminology is indeed grimly suggestive: those over sixty-four are part of the “dependent” rather than the “productive” population; they are “the burden” that the young must carry. A Moody’s report suggests that the aging population—often apocalyptically referred to as “the gray horde” or “the silver tsunami”—will dampen global economic growth for two decades. The two biggest federal outlays, by far, are Social Security and Medicare, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that between 2016 and 2024 the five fastest-growing jobs (aside from wind-turbine service technicians) will be in health care and elder care.

Yet older people, increasingly, aren’t simply creeping off into a twilit world of shuffleboard and sudoku. In 2000, 12.8 per cent of those over sixty-five were working; in 2016, it was 18.8 per cent. Furthermore, old people have most of the money. Thirty years ago, households headed by those over sixty-five were ten times as wealthy as those under thirty-five; now they’re fifty times as wealthy. So the elderly are a huge market. Think how often you’ve seen ads selling the twin bathtubs of Cialis and the guy tossing the football through the tire of Levitra.

Gullette argues that pharma and cosmetic companies aren’t catering to the old so much as catering to the ageist idea that getting old is unbearable. Using similar reasoning, Allure decided this summer to drop the phrase “anti-aging” from all its copy. The magazine will now tell you only that Retinol can smooth wrinkles and fade spots, which may make you look, um, different. The A.A.R.P. has proclaimed that “anti-aging” and its synonyms “serve no other purpose than to, well . . . make people feel bad about aging.” Dior, choosing its own way to show how vibrant a woman of a certain age can be, just made Cara Delevingne the face of its Capture line of wrinkle creams. (Delevingne is twenty-five.)

Gullette and Applewhite want you to feel great about aging. The path to that bliss is obscure, though, because they think everyone is doing aging wrong. Gullette warns against not only stereotypes of decline but also “the opposite homogenization: positive aging.” If you go skydiving, as George H. W. Bush did on his ninetieth birthday, you’re guilty of “competitive ableism.” Even if you simply murmur into your diary that you don’t feel eighty-one, Applewhite finds you guilty of “internalized ageism.” Comparing your state of mind to the number on your driver’s license, she says, “gives the number more power than it deserves, contributes to ageist assumptions about what age signifies and ageist stereotypes about what age looks like, and distances us from our cohorts.” Her way out of the aging pickle is “more examples in the media, many more, of olders living ordinary lives, neither drooling nor dazzling.” Here’s to the Meh Generation.

Applewhite contends that fear of aging is more Western than Eastern, and that it doesn’t exist in places that have escaped the reach of global capitalism. “In most prehistoric and agrarian societies,” she writes, “the few people who lived to old age were esteemed as teachers and custodians of culture.” This is a comforting idea: if ageism is a by-product of modernity, it should be relatively easy to reverse.

In truth, many nonindustrial societies—half of those which have been surveyed—forsake their elderly. The Marind Anim of New Guinea bury senescent elders alive. The Chukchee of Siberia stab them through the heart. And the Niue of Polynesia view impaired old people as “the nearly dead,” who threaten the barrier between worlds. For Niueans, the medical anthropologist Judith C. Barker writes, “To laugh at decrepit elders, to deride their feeble endeavors at being competent humans, to ridicule them, to neglect them, to be wary of and distant during interactions with them is not to disrespect an elder but to guard against foreign intrusion. These behaviors do not involve elders, but an entirely different category of being.” Namely, the Other.

A meta-analysis by the academics Michael S. North and Susan T. Fiske reveals that Eastern societies actually have more negative attitudes toward the elderly than Western ones do, and that the global ageism boom stems not from modernization or capitalism but from the increase in old people. North and Fiske also note that “efforts to intervene against age prejudice have yielded mixed results at best.” Having students simulate the experience of being old by donning weighted suits and vision-inhibiting goggles, or exposing them to “intergenerational contact”—actual old people—doesn’t lead to kumbaya moments. “Such approaches do not appear to incite a long-term desire among the young for interaction with elders,” they regretfully conclude, “and contact can backfire if older adults are particularly impaired.” Ageism, the slipperiest ism, is also the stickiest. What makes it so tenacious?

We don’t just caricature the elderly as raddled wretches. We also caricature them as cuddly Yodas. The anthropologist Jay Sokolovsky observed that “the ethnographic literature now abounds with this type of dramatic alternation between ‘Dear Old Thing’ and ‘Scheming Hag’ metaphors.” In 1862, Ralph Waldo Emerson situated the toggle point for these obverse perspectives on the outskirts of town:

Age is becoming in the country. But in the rush and uproar of Broadway, if you look into the faces of the passengers, there is dejection or indignation in the seniors, a certain concealed sense of injury.

Nowadays, this toggle point is situated in film and television, where elderly Native Americans and black men are portrayed as sages (Morgan Freeman has played the leader of each of the three branches of government, as well as God) but other elderly people are nearly invisible. “One of the worst things you can be in Hollywood is old,” Kathy Bates, who’s sixty-nine, remarked recently. A U.S.C. study of the films nominated for Best Picture between 2014 and 2016 showed that only 11.8 per cent of the actors were sixty or older, although that age group constitutes 18.5 per cent of the U.S. population. The same vanishing act occurs even earlier offscreen: one TV-writer friend of mine was warned when he got to Hollywood, “Don’t tell anyone you’re thirty, because you still look a little younger.” Older writers are sometimes called “grays,” as in, “We already have a gray.”

In the U.S.C. study, seventy-eight per cent of the films had no older female actors in leading or supporting roles. Actresses have always had a shorter runway; Jimmy Stewart was twice Kim Novak’s age in “Vertigo.” Economists call this phenomenon, in which older women’s looks are judged more harshly than older men’s, the “attractiveness penalty.” A Web site named GraphJoy analyzed the gender gap in studio films and found that Tom Cruise, for instance, was three years younger than his “Risky Business” co-star Rebecca De Mornay, in 1983, but that lately he’s been as much as twenty years older than his female co-stars. Two years ago, Maggie Gyllenhaal, at thirty-seven, was told she was “too old” to play the love interest of a fifty-five-year-old man. As Goldie Hawn’s aging-actress character observed in “The First Wives Club,” “There are only three ages for women in Hollywood: babe, district attorney, and ‘Driving Miss Daisy.’ ” Last year, California passed a law requiring sites such as IMDb, the movie and TV-show database, to remove people’s birth dates upon request.

Lately, a talent manager I know says that ageism in Hollywood has grown even more rampant because so much content is being viewed on younger-skewing platforms like Netflix and Amazon. Even as the number of broadcast-television viewers has dropped and the average age has risen, to fifty-four—well above the eighteen-to-forty-nine tranche coveted by advertisers—the four programs most watched by eighteen-to-twenty-four-year-olds last fall were on Netflix. This downward migration will only increase now that Apple and Facebook are rolling out programming of their own.

As with any form of social struggle, age warfare plays out metaphorically onscreen. The first zombie film, George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” (1968), begins with an aged mother sending her two children into a remote area to visit their father’s grave—where a graying zombie attacks and kills the son. A newscaster sombrely explains, “People who have recently died have been returning to life and committing acts of murder.” The taboo thrill that lifts “The Walking Dead” and its zombie ilk is watching mayhem unleashed on this lurching, teeming enemy—the “nearly dead” the Niueans loathe.

This generational combat also surfaced on “The Simpsons,” when Montgomery Burns told his assistant, “Look at those delightful children, Smithers—all those healthy organs ripe for the harvesting!” America’s most beloved show depicts the elderly in a remarkably raw light. (Yes, it’s an animated comedy, but, still.) Homer’s father, Abraham (Grampa) Simpson, is a senile galoot, consigned by Homer to a retirement home, prone to telling rambling stories, the butt of every joke. Montgomery Burns is a powerful tycoon given to underhanded schemes. But he, too, is both physically feeble and senile: not so much forgetful as lost in the past. At the post office, he declares, “I’d like to send this letter to the Prussian Consulate in Siam by aeromail. Am I too late for the four-thirty autogyro?”

Mash up Grampa Simpson and Montgomery Burns and you get Donald Trump. If, as Michael Kinsley once suggested, Al Gore is an old person’s idea of a young person, then Donald Trump is a young person’s idea of an old person. He and his aging, billionaire-laden Cabinet—the oldest since Reagan’s; the richest ever—embody the revenge of the old Philadelphians. The senile, reactionary elder who’s the target of Silicon Valley’s youth bias is a straw man. But that straw man will be hard to dispatch so long as he is running the country.

In the eighties, body-switch movies such as “Like Father, Like Son” and “Vice Versa” were told largely from the kid’s point of view: What would it be like to suddenly have all the perks and responsibilities of a grownup? With the cultural power now reversed, the frame is, too: What would it be like to suddenly have all the perks and responsibilities of a millennial?

In the pilot episode of the comedy “Younger,” which recently finished its fourth season on TV Land, forty-year-old Liza (Sutton Foster) tries to return to publishing after taking fifteen years off to raise a family. She tells the two snippy young women interviewing her at one publishing house, “Look, I know I’ve been out of play for a while, but I am a much smarter, more capable person than I was fifteen years ago!” They barrage her with all that she’s missed:

FIRST WOMAN: Facebook, Twitter, iPhones—

SECOND WOMAN: iPads, ebooks, YouTube—

FIRST WOMAN: Instagram, Snapchat, Skype—

SECOND WOMAN: Pinterest—

FIRST WOMAN: Bang with Friends.

Liza finally lands a job as an assistant at a house called Empirical—but only by pretending to be twenty-six. She dyes her hair, buys a flannel wardrobe, and bones up on such cultural touchstones as Katniss Everdeen and One Direction and on lingo like IRL, sorry/not sorry, truffle butter, and spit-roasting (which prove not to be the culinary terms they seem). Yet what makes Liza invaluable at Empirical—what propels the show past its central absurdity—is less her newfound facility with Krav Maga than her conscientiousness and wisdom. Because she solves everyone’s problems, her new friends tacitly agree to ignore the fact that she looks and acts forty.

Liza’s anxiety is not about keeping up; it’s about acting her supposed age—for instance, she can never quite get the hang of a meme. “Younger” deftly shows how the new ageism expresses itself as a question less of competence than of cultural fit. At one point, a twerpy Silicon Valley billionaire named Bryce becomes an investor in Empirical. He introduces “hot desking,” flies in cocktails by drone, and tells Liza, “I’m recommending we cut staff by forty-five per cent next quarter. Not you—just the old people.”

The Valley’s denizens, despite their sloganeering about worldwide empowerment, secretly believe that tech creates a series of moats in which digital immigrants eventually drown. Cord-nevers look down on cord-cutters, who look down on landliners, who look down on TV-setters, who look down on AOL-addressees like me. (I’m hoping it will eventually seem retro in a cool way, like blacksmithing.) Shortly after Google began, it marked its cultural boundary when Larry Page and Sergey Brin took a meeting with Barry Diller, the old-media tycoon. Brin arrived on Rollerblades, and Page kept staring at his P.D.A. Nettled, Diller asked if he was bored. “I’ll always do this,” Page said, continuing to stare at his P.D.A. Devices are divisive: they divide us from them.

Can the olds thrive among tech’s youngs? Earlier this year, Chip Conley recounted in the Harvard Business Review how he became a patriarch at Airbnb at fifty-two. “Many young people can read the face of their iPhone better than the face of the person sitting next to them,” he explained. Offering emotional intelligence in return for their digital intelligence, he styled himself as a “modern Elder,” “who serves and learns, as both mentor and intern, and relishes being both student and sage.”

If that sounds goopy but screenplay-ready, it’s because it’s essentially the plot of “The Intern” (2015), which was written and directed by Nancy Meyers, Hollywood’s leading impresario of later-life fantasies. Robert De Niro plays Ben, a widowed, menschy seventy-year-old who becomes a “senior intern” at a fashion startup run by Anne Hathaway’s character, Jules. Discriminated against in his job interview (“What was your major? Do you remember?”), and initially ill-adapted to this new world—he wears a suit, carries a briefcase, and uses a flip phone and a Casio calculator—Ben soon learns from Jules how to set up his Facebook profile. In return, he saves Jules’s company and her marriage, teaches the twentysomething interns how to man up, and even scores with the company masseuse. There may be snow on the roof, but there’s still a fire in the kitchen.

De Niro, at seventy-four, is too old to play a traditional leading man. But Hollywood has finally found a solution to the technology-hastened problem of stars aging out of the demo: better technology. In “The Irishman,” a forthcoming Martin Scorsese Mob film, the director will pair once more with De Niro, his favorite actor. The twist is that motion-capture technology and C.G.I. will enable the actor to look fifty in the film’s present day—and thirty in its flashback scenes. The time-honored Hollywood cry “Get me a thirty-year-old Robert De Niro!” is being answered by De Niro himself. Can the late Paul Newman be far behind?

The germ of ageism is age—what it brings and what it bodes. “Aging: An Apprenticeship” (Red Notebook Press), a collection of essays edited by Nan Narboe and written by a parliament of mature observers, is rife with gimcrack Zen. “The sound of the ocean is the sound of time passing, the sound of one moment giving way to the next,” one writer intones, and another imparts the axiom “Old age grounds us and from that grounded point of view, we can begin to attend to our inner and outer world in a way that we could not when we were speeding over the surface of things.” Children astonish; priorities change; wisdom accrues; readers nap.

The book’s flintier writers, all on the older end of the spectrum, scorn such piffle. Edward Hoagland observes, “By not expecting much, most of us age with considerable contentment—I’ve been noticing lately at senior-center lunches and church suppers—and even die with a bit of a smile, as I remember was often the case during a year I worked in a morgue in my twenties.” The poet Donald Hall casts a wintry eye at our circumlocutions for death—pass away, go home, cross over, etc.—and notes that “all euphemisms conceal how we gasp and choke turning blue.”

Timeless writers are ageists nonpareil. Shakespeare referred to life’s final scenes as “second childishness and mere oblivion, / sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” Philip Larkin, in “The Old Fools,” wrote, “Their looks show that they’re for it: / Ash hair, toad hands, prune face dried into lines.” And Philip Roth, in one of his later novels, wrote that “old age isn’t a battle; old age is a massacre.”

How can we avoid this savage truth? Obviously, by shunning old people. In “Ageism: Stereotyping and Prejudice Against Older Persons,” a collection edited by Todd Nelson (M.I.T. Press), a chapter by the psychologists Jeff Greenberg, Peter Helm, Molly Maxfield, and Jeff Schimel points out that many people preserve themselves from “death thought accessibility” by shunning “senior citizen centers, bingo parlors, nursing homes, golf courses, Florida, and Rolling Stones concerts.” The authors dryly conclude, “Another way to avoid older adults is to keep them out of the workplace.”

Ageism is so hard to root out because it allows us to ward off a paralyzing fact with a pleasing fiction. It lets us fool ourselves, for a time, into believing that we’ll never die. It’s not a paradox that ageists are dissing their future selves—it’s the whole point of the exercise. The cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker codified this insight as “terror management theory.” Becker wrote, “The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself which awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.”

If ageism is hardwired, how can we reprogram ourselves? Greenberg and Co. suggest three ways: having the elderly live among us and fostering respect for them; bolstering self-esteem throughout the culture to diminish the terror of aging; and calmly accepting our inevitable deaths. They note, however, that “all these directions for improvement are pie in the sky, particularly when we think of them at a society-wide or global level of change.” So ageism is probably inevitable “in this potentially lonely and horrifying universe.”

That took kind of a dark turn, didn’t it? The only way to eliminate the terror that animates ageism is to eliminate death. The good news, sort of, is that the eager beavers in Silicon Valley are working on that, too. ♦