Will you still need me, will you still feed me," asked Paul McCartney, "when I'm sixty-four?" I don't think Sir Paul was in much danger of a negative response, but it's still a legitimate question, especially in an era like this one where Old People are alternatively feared, distrusted and scorned. Richard Weaver in Ideas Have Consequences:
The decision of modern man to live in the here and now is reflected in the neglect of aging parents, whom proper sentiment once kept in positions of honor and authority. There was a time when the elder generation was cherished because it represented the past; now it is avoided and thrust out of sight for the same reason.
This is, I think, an inevitable consequence of the prodigiously stupid idea that there is a Right Side of History, and that we must position ourselves accordingly. There is of course no such thing; historians may, and often do, take sides, but History does not. The closest thing to historical inevitability is good old entropy, from those laws of thermodynamics no one studies anymore because they reek of colonialism and all those dead European white guys whose ideas inflicted hurtful damage, or damaging hurt, on [insert name of aggrieved group].
Most of the complaining on behalf of Marginalized People, one discovers very quickly, turns out to be complaining about who's doing the marginalizing — "and it's not Us." Pete Townshend, you'll remember, anticipated this forty-five years ago: "Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss." So I'm not at all surprised that there are those who are ready to frog-march me to the nearest ice floe and leave me there. Well, I am telling you that I am not going; this body may be failing me these days, but the Body Politic can take its asinine ideas and give them a fundamental shove.
Ultimately, it's all about power. The Perennially Oppressed point out time and time again that they have no power, and therefore must speak truth unto it; it does not occur to them that if they were truly oppressed, they'd have no opportunity whatever to speak, truth or otherwise. Nor does it occur to them that they're trying to construct, yes, a hierarchical power structure of their own, where one's place in the hierarchy depends on how many different oppressions one can simultaneously claim.
I suppose, here at the beginning of my sixty-fourth year, that I should be grateful I'm likely to be spared the worst of this crap; if there's one thing today's losers have in common, it's that they are bad losers, and there is a limit to how much of it anyone can be expected to put up with. Which is not to say that the ostensible "winning" side isn't also jam-packed with losers as well:
Fringe movements that gain traction inevitably attract members of other fringe movements. Every fringe weirdo in America is hopping on the alt-right bus, hoping to ride it to legitimacy. During the election, Jill Stein tried to ride the Bernie Bro wave. When that failed, she went on Twitter, aping Donald Trump, by calling Hillary crooked and corrupt.
Which obviously wasn't the problem with Hillary, whose legions of followers didn't care if she was crooked and corrupt, so long as she followed the Prime Directive: the occupant of a womb does not count as an actual human person. And it was pretty clear during her last decade or so of positioning herself that this Directive was the only thing she took to heart; everything else was negotiable. I suppose we should be grateful that many Clintonoids are not inclined to reproduce.
So whether I make it to my actual sixty-fourth birthday or not — for now, I'm thinking I won't, but this is subject to change — I'm pretty sure I'm not going to run out of people to complain about; regrettably, this is not negotiable.
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Copyright © 2016 by Charles G. Hill