Thursday, 21 November 2013

Deeply offensive.

There is a leading article in today's Times 2 which I find deeply offensive.   I thought of writing to them but decided it wasn't worth it - that is what these journalists hope you will do, so I shall not give Deborah Ross the satisfaction of knowing that she has offended me.

The subject is old age and I am sure it is written tongue-in- cheek (particularly as the article 'so who is Reem anyway?) written alongside it and also by her, suggests she is heading that way herself.  (she looks on the top side of forty in her photograph).

Alright, so I am willing to accept that my sense of humour is pretty poor when it refers to old age, but I still think the article is beyond the pale.   It was in response to Esther Rantzen's recent setting up of 'Silver Line' - a help line for the elderly along the lines of Childline.
 
These are the things she suggests that old people (of which I have to accept I am one) can do to stave off boredom.
1.  Have sex and write about it. (I do not wish to discuss my sex life
with anyone thank-you).
2. Go kayaking or bobsleighing with one's grandchildren. (ie sitting down activities)
3. Reminisce about once being part of a target audience on TV.
4. Pay kids £10 per half hour to hear you talk about old landlines.
5. Kill a whole afternoon looking for your reading glasses.
6. Spend a whole afternoon looking for your car before you realise you actually walked and left the car at home.
7. Keep reporting things to the police so that eventually they start
offering you cups of tea.
8. Call and leave messages for your children because they never listen to their answer phones, so you can spend all day on the activity.
9. At the till rummage in your purse for the right change holding up the whole queue - then walk home slowly taking up the whole pavement.
10. Hunch over and get  wired by a qualified electrician so that you can become a floor lamp.

Growing old is not a joke and those of us who have reached it do our level best to stay ahead of the game.   I read up on current affairs, I belong a writers' circle and a poetry circle, I go to an exercise class, I go out for meals with friends and cook meals here for friends too

Alright, I am not one hundred percent mobile and cannot always walk quickly but I jolly well try not to take up more than my fair share of the pavement.

I suppose I am lucky that I live in a picturesque area to which many folk retire, so that the average age of the inhabitants is I am sure well above the National average.   There are clubs and societies, all well-attended, for almost everything - The Wensleydale Society which has talks and walks,  Round Table which does marvellous charity work, Photographic clubs, Painting clubs, Yoga, Pilates, Amateur Dramatics - there is plenty going on and also on many of the estates elderly people look out for one another.

Rantzen's new service is excellent - anyone who shut in on a cold Winter's night and lonely can surely get comfort from such an organisation.   But we don't need Times 2 to poke fun at us thank-you - however well-intended.

Our taxes helped to pay for the roads and pavements everyone walks on, our generation (I was a teacher for all of my working life) educated the generation which includes Deborah Ross, our parents fought in the Second World War for the liberty of this country and the young and middle aged do not have a prerogative over walking the pavements any more than they do over how long we take to go through the till.

It says a lot that the other article on the same page.by somebody called Clover Stroud is headlined "I watch more porn than my husband does."  For two pins I would write another rant on that!

However, it is a freezing cold day and the builder and his labourer are up on the roof in spite of the weather, so I am sure I can be more suitably engage in making them a cup of tea.

 

105 comments:

psobrien said...

Good for you!!! It appears that she failed to learn respect for her elders. There is humor in many things I do as part of the past 60 group, but her comments were exactly as you wrote, "Deeply offensive." Thank you for voicing your thoughts. I'm sure many of us are thinking the very same!
Sandy O'

Twiglet said...

She will be old one day! If she is lucky she will be fit, active and alert but many of our age group are not so lucky. I hope she remembers her attempt at humour when she gets to her "old age".

angryparsnip said...

I can only believe in karma and when she gets old one day, someone sends her this page of humor.

cheers, parsnip

the veg artist said...

There seems to be a deeply unpleasant trend for journalists to write pieces that are progressively more unpleasant and cringe-worthy. Some of them delve into their personal experience/family life way more than I think is appropriate - but, hey, who am I? Just someone born in the 1950s, when old fashioned manners and respect were still valued!

Terra said...

I love this rant of yours and that last bit "for two pins I would write about that too"; your writing tone is spot on. I am a senior citizen too and the article you describe sounds pretty rude. Hello from California.

The Solitary Walker said...

Rant on! I like a good rant. The article didn't even have the saving grace of being funny.

Heather said...

I'm glad I'm not an elderly relative of Deborah Ross, she sounds totally lacking in patience, respect and understanding, and I am surprised at the editor of The Times allowing such an ignorant and spiteful article to be published. If she can't write something more intelligent she is lucky to have her job. I could feel my hackles rising as I read through that list.

Em Parkinson said...

Couldn't agree more Pat.

Joanne Noragon said...

This is a stupid as it is offensive. My take on such stuff is one day they will remember it and be humiliated.

George said...

I know nothing of Deborah Ross, but I wonder if she's forgotten that she will soon be living within the stereotype she is trying so hard to create.

Dominic Rivron said...

I've done number 5 and I'm only 55. One needs one of those cords that go round one's neck. (I've got one now).

It's a shame Jim Froggatt is no longer around. I'm sure he'd have had something pithy to say about that list.

Penny said...

May she grow old and be reminded of this article I too find it offensive.

Tom Stephenson said...

Sorry, can you repeat all of that? I lost track after the first sentence, and now I have forgotten even that one.

Virginia said...

Goodness gracious!! What an indictment on her own manners and empathy! I wonder how she treats her own family - or perhaps they choose to not associate with her? I wouldn't be surprised!

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I bet you feel better having written that. The power of the pen - or typing fingers.

Tea - a worthy task as well.

John Gray said...

Love it when you get your dander up!

Robin Mac said...

I wonder how many will remind her of how offensive this article is when she grows old. I am sure her words will come back to bite her - and I hope they do!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I'm with you - shameful article - even if it is tongue in cheek - it is mean - like bullies. I sometimes get annoyed at young people that interrupt and say - yes, I've heard that story before. Do they not remember the times we read the same story over and over to them when they were little and begged for one more time, after already hearing it 42 times?

mumasu said...

Pat, at "only" 47 I find that deeply offensive. It's rude, disrepectful and actually just not funny. I rail at my kids watching American TV with nastiness dressed up as humour now it's in the Times. Bad Taste!!

MorningAJ said...

I'm tempted to say that's what you get for reading the Times. Stick to the Yorkshire Post!

Edwina said...

I wouldn't have thought boredom was the main problem as you got older, but in this day and age, loneliness was the main one, hence Esther's excellent new service. I actually didn't find this all that offensive, some of them made me laugh, the last one was just ignorant and stupid. What annoys me is she gets paid to write this stuff!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Some of your replies had me in stitches - Tom, you should be writing for the Times and John, you always strike the right note.

I can view the article with the contempt it deserves this morning as I set out for my coffee with my mates - they'll all be going slow and blocking the pavement on their way there.

A Heron's View said...

Surely we have been growing older ever since we were born ?

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

Good blog, frankly, The Times has lost so much in credibility in the last couple of years, it's gone to the dogs - not worth reading any more. Dreadful rag x

Bovey Belle said...

I totally agree with your thoughts on this Pat. Gosh, aren't you glad she's not a relation of yours? Or a neighbour, come to that.

I too find it ignorant and stupid and not the least bit funny.

Pauses, and stomps off muttering, I don't know what the world is coming to, these young whippersnappers who think they are smart journalists. . .

Elizabeth Wix said...

Actually I sometimes do get wild with fury when some old lady fumbles in her purse for what seems like several hours for exact change…then do exactly the same myself.
Yes, old people can be tiresome -but so can teenagers, middle aged people and even children!
There is a splendidly humorous video put out about ten years ago by Borehamwood camera club about Adult Onset Attention Defecit Disorder.
Will send you the link.
My take on things: everyone (except snippy unpleasant reporters!) deserves our respect.

Linda Metcalf said...

Have you heard the saying "you can't fix stupid"? And these days the youth show no respect....well maybe that's too harsh as I know many do have much respect for the older members of their families and communities. My grandchildren were taught early on and I couldn't be more proud but I have seen the very opposite more often than not.

Pondside said...

All I can say to people that write things like this is that their children are watching and that they, themselves, will one day be old.

Mac n' Janet said...

I agree! And I hate it when someone is described as 70 or 80 years young, we're not young anymore, don't patronize us.

ArtPropelled said...

Old age sneaks up on one so suddenly, there might be a time when she regrets having written the article.

Crafty Green Poet said...

What an offensive article, you're so right! It isn't funny or imaginative and I can't imagine why it would be published...

Nick said...

On the contrary, growing old is a joke - but one in the poorest possible taste when it's happening to you.

Terry and Linda said...

Sometimes I have to remind myself that they too will someday grow old...if they are lucky!!!

Karma is a great leveler!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Reader Wil said...

You are so right! We, who have experienced the war should deserve more respect. We know what poverty is and we have learned to improvise .

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