Young people who write jokes about old people think it’s OK. It’s a common trait, they say. Everybody is going to get old.
I call B.S. on that notion.
So does Laura L. Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center for Longevity. “It’s astounding to me that people continue to regularly make incredibly ageist statements. There is no reason to depict people in their 70’s as feeble and frail and doddering.”
Yet the late night talk shows are brimming with jokes about dementia, pills, prostates and Miracle Ears. David Letterman regularly tees off on Sen. John McCain as “the old guy at the barbershop,” “a mall-walker,” “a Wal-Mart greeter,” and more.
Read the NY Times take in a Sunday story called “So a Senior Citizen Walks into a Bar …”
Comics who shy away from Hillary jokes (sexism) or Barack (racism) regularly whiz on the elderly. And the dunderhead at AARP missed the point completely. Kevin Donnellan, an AARP executive vice president said, “It’s a lot easier to make a joke about age than it is to come up with a punch line about health care costs being out of control.”
Yes, Kevin. Dammit, Kevin, we want you to hammer those comics who are taking the cheap shots. Make them think twice about geezer ridicule. It took years of hard work, but the joke writers no longer poke at women, Jews, blacks with abandon. Make ‘em think, Kevin.
Maybe this is the real joke: Did you hear the one about the AARP lobbyist who walked into Congress and feathered his own nest, ignoring rampant ageism …