Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Haband Generation

Me, a hypocrite? Well, maybe.

A couple of reader-friends have taken me to the woodshed because they think my use of the term "geezer" is not consistent with my defense of the elderly in general.

Guilty as charged. "Geezer" is offensive to some. However, I have the same reaction to the use of "senior." For some reason, I abhor that word.

I jokingly refer to myself as a geezer-hunk in part using "hunk" to mitigate "geezer." The other reason is because I have buns of steel.

Somebody needs to come up with a new way of describing those of us fortunate enough to reach "a certain age." We need a new moniker. How about The Relaxed Fit Generation? I've got it: Haband's Heroes.

Generation Jones is a grabber. The name describes both an age group and a movement. It's very interesting.

But the Generation Jones age group is too narrow to describe the entire aging population. And, I suppose, that is the problem. Can a single term be descriptive to identify a huge population chunk that ranges from young/old, to the active/old, to the old/old.

This search for identity is not just cosmetic. In the near political future, the Congress is going to be forced to come to grips with Social Security and Medicare reforms. AARP The Mighty is even holding regional discussions on SS. It would be nice if we were all wearing the same jersey.

Meanwhile, I guess I'll just have to be content with the Mystery Woman's name for me. She calls me "Honey."

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

your my favorite geezer hunk george

Ken Martin said...

The term I use is Wise Elders, which gives anyone over a certain age the benefit of the doubt as to wisdom. It covers the continuum of people, from those who are highly educated to those who have acquired a certain savvy, or bullshit detector, just by living long enough.

ArchGrafiX said...

George, you clever geezer, you. I looked up "haband" on Dictionary.com, because I had never heard of it. Neither had Dictionary.com. What you are looking for is a politically correct "label" for a general age group.

Ken's "wise elders" works for some of the group, but there comes a time in one's life when he or she is no longer wise, old age being the Great Diminisher of us all. "Elder" by itself has always meant experienced, mature and wise to me, anyway, even though on the surface it just says "old person." Usage has given it a certain respectful clout. "Senior," despite being annoying to you, maybe because it is too politically correct, or "elder" seem to beat "geezer, "codger," "wizened" or just plain "old."

I quote your question-with-no-question-mark: "Can a single term be descriptive to identify a huge population chunk that ranges from young/old, to the active/old, to the old/old." What is the common denominator of those hyphenated phrases? But is "old" any better than "geezer?" Maybe. At least it is factual and not pejorative. But neither is it the word you are looking for.

Black folk have shown that insults can be less offensive when spoken among that group, and HOW the label is used. I like "geezer" when you use it, because that is what you call yourself and denotes to most a sort of feistiness which sometimes can be admired -- and it's fun to say. Would that mean you would like it when a 17-year-old called you a geezer? I would tend to doubt it.

I would like to add that I think people are too sensitive in general. There is nothing I can do about that except dampen what I say and how I say it...somewhat.

By the way, I am a wise 56.


-- Buddy Lerch

Anonymous said...

I was entering a building the other day,when a mid-thirties guy said "Let me help you with that door oldtimer!"
I almost hit him with my bottle of geritol---Goose

Sam Kinch said...

Haband's Hookers, more like it.

I know for a fact that this is a secretive group of folk, who won't expose their labels to anyone.

I remember one time about 15 years ago, I told Duke Habernik, or whatever his name, that the Haband label could even be found in the Texas Legislature.

He put it in one of his come-on letters, and less than a month later an elderly member (only a few years my senior) upbraided me on the House floor because he and I were wearing the same Haband sport
coat. He told me I was "a spoiler of a good thing."

I wore the same coat to his funeral, along with a Haband shirt and tie.

Anonymous said...

I find the word "Geezer" to be the most offensive age slur there is. I dont think anyone would use a similar sounding slur word when referring to a Hispanic! Ageism is just as wrong as racisim. The correct term for the demographic you are referring to is "older adults". When referring to an individual, just stating their age is preferred, without any labels such as "senior" (which I also hate) or "elderly" or any of the other negative stereotypes.

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