As someone who is moving into the outer fringes of what we may reasonably call “old age” – I will be 70 on 5 April 2019 – I have already learned some valuable lessons, all of which will apply to some and some of which will apply to all. For whatever it may be worth, the following is what I have learned so far. Pick and choose the lessons that are relevant to you.
o Old age need not advance gradually
With me, I began to move into the exurbs of old age in a single week, perhaps even a briefer time than that.
In late August of 2012, I was returning from a 3-week trip to Wichita, KS, to see relatives, what few I have left in my family of origin. I was jammed into the back seat, just forward of the tailcone, of a small Embraer jet on a flight to Denver to make connections
I recently engaged in a Facebook discussion with a couple of Facebook friends regarding the kerfuffle about some disparaging comments the chef / gourmet-show host Andrew Zimmern made here and here about Chinese food, and Asian food generally, in the US. Considering that the conversation about Zimmern’s critique occurred among three Facebook friends, my remarks were uncharacteristically sharp. (One Facebook friend said "abrasive".) What aroused my ire was that the Zimmern critique provoked yet another round of bend-over-backward-til-your-vertebrae-crack political correctness that evidently holds that all works on the part of people of color, particularly people of color who are recent immigrants, should be immune from open and honest criticism and replaced by approbation on the part of
Even if you reject the “metaphysics” of Christianity – the Incarnation, the miracles, the bodily Resurrection, etc. -- you still have to deal with Christianity as an ethical system, and by that measure there are Gospel texts that, perhaps because of their very simplicity, challenge the current conservative ethic of “I’ve got mine, Jack, so screw you”. One such text is the story of Jesus’ encounter with the blind beggar, Bartimaeus, on the road leaving Jericho. But matters are not that straightforward. For it is easy enough, in fact, borderline-trivial, to understand the story as a critique of contemporary conservative Republican attitudes toward any form of material assistance to the indigent. What is usually overlooked is that the story contains a very recessed and implicit critique