I became old this year. I went for my driver’s license photo update, and I decided to give it my all – I put on makeup, did my hair, and even wore a scarf to hide my neck cords … and I gasped. I looked like the actress Anne Ramsey in “Throw Momma from the Train.”
Ahh… the wakeup call I needed to realize I have hit the visual aging wall. But never mind the looks, I have felt so out of focus recently with the world at large. The culture is changing so fast it has become impossible to keep up. Forget the music and the arts – look at the news. Everything sounds like TMZ or National Enquirer. With all the recent sex scandals we have lowered the moral bar so low so far that we have no bar left.
Forget the commonly accepted basic rudeness, and disintegration of all manners – nowadays if you haven’t already been labeled a racist (or sexist) you haven’t been participating. And I refuse to blame it all on Trump since I saw this decline happening long before he was elected. Trump is just a reflection of our current society.
Jeffrey Epstein has managed to make Harvey Weinstein look like Noel Coward. The descent has moved that fast.
Actually, Weinstein was pictured 25 pounds lighter, and now has a full team of female lawyers. He may make it yet. Even Donald Trump’s affair with Stormy Daniels now looks trivial. After all, she was big in the porn scene, AND is over the age of 14.
Remember when Eliot Spitzer’s “afternoon tryst” with Ashley Dupré was a jaw drop! What was more astounding? That he got naked except for his black socks or that Dupré got a Chelsea apartment, a few Hermes bags and got to write a weekly advice column for the New York Post?
Even Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose now seem tame and tired, and that was merely a year ago. How about Hugh Grant being arrested with Hooker Divine Jones 22 years ago on Sunset Strip? It almost ruined his career.
Or newscaster Pat O’Brien getting busted for making phone sex calls to his 35-year-old assistant at the Four Seasons Bar 15 years ago. Today these seem innocent.
Ah, those were the days!
Now the nightly newscasts have taken over from popular TV sitcoms and are competitive with reality TV. We have earthquakes, floods, power outages, twitter insults 24/7, and plenty of sex. No wonder everyone thinks they have PTSD. Remember when we all had hypoglycemia? Now PTSD is THE permanent mental and physical state of the world. Swagger and perversity rule!
And though we have been given the okay to dress in pajamas and torn jeans all day and night, we certainly don’t look or even act better for it! But it is a tricky call to criticize anyone’s appearance.
Just the other day I went into a top surgeon’s office and a lot of the nursing staff sported full “sleeve” tattoos, lip piercings and semi-shaved heads. I realized I had a look of shock on my face as they took my BP and physical history (this visual didn’t at all reflect their professional performance — but again, I am old). I miss the white coats and even the nurse’s caps! They were all well versed on “wound management” and taught me that Bacitracin is better than Neosporin, It’s a new day!
My other “bad” occurred when I lost my verbal common ground — my civility with some of my fellow men/women. I still can’t call anyone “dude.” I don’t get the lingo. I reserve that for the Laguna Beach surfing community. I applauded the women’s national soccer team for their sports achievement; and okay, they don’t want to go to the White House. But dropping the “F-bomb” at every turn seemed more “crass and cheap” than “cool and courageous.” Show me something more to look up to. Aren’t they all supposed to be heroes for young girls?
In the end, everyone seems to be mimicking gangster rap behavior and clothing. Wearing ripped denim short shorts and backwards baseball caps to receive the keys to the city? And of course, taking “duck lips” selfies while “chucking up the deuces” or whatever the current cool hand gesture is (F-you seems to be our culture’s current salute).
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But the Women’s Soccer Team will no doubt go on to host SNL and dance with Ellen on her show and on it goes till some kind of final fade out. At least Colin Kaepernick simply kneeled and never really spoke. Nike saved him from making that mistake.
Letting our freak flag fly is unique until it is all anyone ever does. Suddenly freak flags are mainstream. Even porn is a bore. Sexual perversity is becoming the cultural norm. The only difference with Epstein is it is a huge business story that comes under the heading “under-age girls.” I say it’s more than the girls; it is a giant “follow the money” story. All the heavyweight names about to be exposed will keep this story afloat longer than Bill Cosby or Les Moonves ever did.
Meanwhile, Harper’s Bazaar published Serena Williams on their summer cover dressed in a giant gold Ralph Lauren cape. The pose was nearly nude — she was flashing her bare ass cheeks and a whole lot more. The headline read “Serena Unretouched.” Okay, so the message is that at last, an athletic, black female body makes a fashion magazine cover. She gets to share her “naked truth.” The problem is magazines are over, and I couldn’t even find it at my local CVS.
So I am old and out of it – and only too glad to take my seat in the back row of the bleachers of life. Believe me, I need the distance to observe and to catch my breath. A friend just gave me an appropriate t-shirt: “JOMO” emblazoned on the front. Joy Of Missing Out.