Saturday, July 28, 2012

Agism Agonies

When is old? American society can't  decide.  Nor can it decide on the value of age and worthiness of revealing the number. We stumble by with a cliche that says You are only as old as you look/act/think? Hah! Tell that to the TSA (the latest acronym to bedevil us all). Signs at security airport lines for the past few months state that a person need not remove his/her shoes if she/he was born before 1937. The Magic Number Declaring One No Longer A Security Risks. But what is the reasoning here? A person is too old at 75 to bend over and untie shoes? A person is unlikely to be a terrorist by actuarial charts? Who makes up such charts anyway? (The very young - 12 and under (some of whom I could see quite able to hide a bomb or participate in nefarious deeds of all kinds) - are also excused, I was told by the agent whom I asked. She seemed unable to explain such matters. "Courtesy?" Oh, well. So try makeup if you labor to avoid the cumbersome task: only one agent wanted to know my real age when I sashayed through but he didn't ask to see proof.
Meanwhile, at the famous Chautauqua, NY, institution - a summer camp of sorts  for the mentally fit of all ages - rules that a senior "90 and older " can visit for free. ("BUt must obtain a complimentary pass.") Likewise, children 12 and under.  Are the 90-plus folks considered too hard of hearing to make sense of the lectures?
Courtesy makes strange bedfellows.

No comments:

Post a Comment