Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Is Aging Becoming Fashionable?

Elder Driver

A recent feature in the Denver Post  examines the current trend of films exploring aging.  They are international, from Hollywood (Stand up Guys), Great Britain (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), and France (Amour).

I mentioned this trend to Carol, thinking that it indicates a changing attitude to aging in our culture.  Carol disagreed, pointing out that ageism is alive and well, and may be growing.  She gave the example of her piece, again in the Denver Postthat incurred quite a backlash, more or less proving her point, that ageism is rampant, especially with our increasingly frustrated drivers in crowded Denver.

So the trend to more movies is a result of a demographic shift, with elders a growing movie market; rather than an attitude shift with more tolerance of our aging populations.

Just as there is a growing dislike of bicyclists on our streets, mostly because there are more of them with their intersection anarchy, there is a reaction to older drivers because of what seems to be their conservative driving habits, again because there are more of them.  Attitudes toward elders may get worse because of their growing numbers.

Adding to this attitude problem is that many people in their twenties are underemployed, while elders often live better.  There is lots of room for resenting elders in their Cadillac, Buick, or Volvo, especially if they are slow backing out of the parking space or making that right turn.

I am not optimistic.


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