Bird getting old insists we must listen to the old

Baby boomers led the cult of youth. Now we should heed the wisdom of age
Yvonne Roberts

Intolerance towards the old is deeply embedded in our society. The potential of an ageing population must be unlocked

When she was young her articles were about how this brave new world must listen to the young. Now she’s old it’s the wisdom of the old which must be heard. Presumably, when she was having hot flushes it was those with hot flushes who must be obeyed.

That is, an entire lifetime of shrieking “Listen To Me!”

35 comments on “Bird getting old insists we must listen to the old

  1. “Feminists, who have also been guilty of not addressing ageism and misogyny, are waking up. ”

    I can’t quite parse Yvonne’s meaning from this sentence.

    Ok smoothed skinned feminists of the past have not been bothered about the wrinklies, but she started off saying a long old age is rather a new problem. That surely provides adequate cover for writing your latest listen to wrinkly me on wrinklies spiel.
    But then there’s the “and misogyny”. Not addressing ageism is one thing but not addressing misogyny – what have they been doing all this time then?

  2. Hallowed Be – “Not addressing ageism is one thing but not addressing misogyny – what have they been doing all this time then?”

    Well, obviously it can’t be that 100 years of feminist nagging have completely failed to make women happier because the She-Ra Man-Hating cult is fundamentally, epistemologically wrong.

    True Feminism has never been tried.

  3. ‘Intolerance towards the old is deeply embedded in our society.’

    An assertion. Smells like a No True Scotsman fallacy.

    Where does it come from/what’s her evidence?

    ‘Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England’

    FFS. No conflict of interest there.

  4. @Gamecock – if by ‘our society’ she means me and my Graun-reading chums, then she is correct.

    The lefty rag has been full of fulmination against (Leave-voting) wrinklies.

  5. When I was younger I too may have been inclined disregard what a lot of the elderly had to say, but now that I am in my 60s I do see the merits of demanding that they be paid more attention.

  6. Steve, quite, wouldn’t surprise me to find out epistomological macramé is a module in women’s studies.

  7. “When I was younger I too may have been inclined disregard what a lot of the elderly had to say, but now that I am in my 60s I do see the merits of demanding that they be paid more attention.”

    Yeah, except respect is earned and not demanded and there’s the problem. When TimN goes on one of his rants about the inter-genration gap he has a point, although he’s a bit off beam with some of it.

    When I think back to my late teens and early 20’s ( ’70s) there was quite a lot of respect for the older generations because most of them had fought in at least one of the wars, a few both. My father had been a radio operator in the Fleet Air Arm Pacific fleet for the last 2 years. This had drawn them together in respect for shared hardship.

    At the personal level I remember one old boy who used to drink in my dad’s pub occasionally, he’d been in the Para’s at Arnhem. He rarely bought his own beer and it was my generation who were buying them in appreciation. I think in general there was respect for the elderly, most of whom were broken by the time they were 60.

    At the political level, most politicians on both sides of the House had some experience of the wars. Whilst there was political divide there was also mutual respect, more importantly they respected the working class who returned that respect.

    That generation had earned respect and gave it in return, I don’t think we have; our politicians rarely give it, with a few exceptions, and they don’t earn it.

    Yes, I know, rose tinted glasses and recency bias, but you don’t need to look too hard to see my point.

  8. @ BiND
    I take your points.
    My, slightly earlier, cohort also knew some orphans (some of my elder sister’s contemporaries *were* orphans) and some War Wounded who could never go back to their old jobs (so for us, as for our parents, Remploy, rather than John Lewis, was the supplier of choice for anything within their product range), hence we had some, albeit incomplete, understanding of the sacrifices.
    Where I diverge is that I think the wartime generation held to the concept that respect was earned or did not exist so they did not ask for respect and it was clear, just by looking, who in that generation had earned respect.
    Me, I don’t care about age – I just want to be right: so when my son is right and I am wrong I listen to him rather than demanding, as Ms Roberts does, that he listens to me just because I am old.

  9. Truth:

    Intolerance towards the old Slow is deeply embedded in our society.

    FTFY

    Not “ageism”, but “slowism” and why women shopping, but surprised they must pay infuriates.

  10. Talking of Cognitive Dissonance, I bet this wrinkled old biddy is a Remainer and loathes those same old people for voting Brexit…

  11. Intolerance towards the old is deeply embedded in our society.

    If true, it’s likely a result of years of propaganda aimed at replacing the family unit with government departments.

  12. When TimN goes on one of his rants about the inter-genration gap he has a point, although he’s a bit off beam with some of it.

    Damned with faint praise!

  13. “Talking of Cognitive Dissonance, I bet this wrinkled old biddy is a Remainer and loathes those same old people for voting Brexit…”

    One argument that I find odd is that as the young voted Remain and the old Leave, eventually the national opinion will change as all the old people die to be replaced by more young Remainers.

    Of those my age who’s vote I know all those who voted Leave had, with one exception, voted Yes in ’75. That exception being Mrs BiND who informs me she voted No and Leave.

    This idea that people’s opinions don’t change as they age is really odd or is it that the current young have been brainwashed?

  14. All I know is, now well into my sixties, I’m still making the same mistakes as I was when I was in my twenties. But enjoying them so much more.

  15. BiS, I am physically unable to make some of the mistakes now that I did in my youth; all I have is increasingly rose-tinted memories, and a conviction that I really could have got off with that girl if only I’d asked!

  16. Ah, but you never know whether you’re physically incapable until you try. What’s the worse that can happen? It kills you? Remember O’Rourke. “Age and guile beat youth, innocence, and a bad haircut “

  17. “Age consciousness means, for instance, providing benches in city streets, rural transport and print large enough to read instructions.”

    But it’s your generation that fucked two of these up.

    The reason we don’t have enough benches is the boomer policies with regards to things like vandalism, vagrancy and theft and if you want to go deeper, the disincentives to young women to breed with the feckless.

    The reason we don’t have rural transport is that middle-class boomers moved out to villages with cars , which moved the young locals to towns, and then they prevented any new building to preserve their house prices. And as almost no-one is using the buses, the services got cut. If you’re now in the position of living in the country and struggling to drive because all your neighbours are driving, well, tough. You caused this problem.

  18. BiND,

    “This idea that people’s opinions don’t change as they age is really odd or is it that the current young have been brainwashed?”

    There’s a degree of age changing opinions, but there’s also something about society changing around people. In a generation an opinion can go from being radical to being mainstream.

    For example, my views on homosexuality haven’t changed much in 30 years. You want to go and fuck another dude, find a private place and have fun. This meant I leaned more towards being a radical in the mid-80s. Now, to not hold that opinion is to be some sort of bizarre paleoconservative. My views on baking a cake for a couple of gays would have been very normal in the 80s – up to the baker if he wants to. Today, that makes someone a bigot.

    But there’s also experience. You work in commerce, you realise that leftyism doesn’t work. That things like minimum wage doesn’t work. You learn more and more about the world and its history. Most kids who have an opinion about the EU are ignorant. They’ve spent 20 years protected from reality by their parents or the state. You reach 50, you’ve had 30 years outside of that.

  19. BiND
    “Of those my age who’s vote I know all those who voted Leave had, with one exception, voted Yes in ’75. ”

    I voted Yes in 75, as did my parents, but they were somewhat hesitant— it was the middle of the road option, there was some trust in mainstream opinion. It is that as much as anything that has changed now: if our political class are so in favour then that alone is reason to distrust it.
    I have nothing against Europe, I have spent a lot of time with many friends there in the last 30 years, but I do not care for the EU as a political project; it is a creation of that discredited political class for their benefit alone.

  20. @ Bloke on the M4
    The baby boomers did not mess it up because we never had an opportunity to do so. John Major was born in 1943 and Tony Blair in 1953, after the end of the post-war Baby Boom.
    it’s very convenient for the innumerate and illiterate media to blame stuff on the “Baby Boomers” but we have never, actually, held political power.
    Likewise, the myth that we were so much better off than the millennials is just that – a myth. Millennials on JSA receive a higher income, adjusted for inflation, than the median working-class teenager/young adult 50-60 years ago.
    The Millennials are worse off than “Generation X” but not than their parents at the same age, let alone us Baby Boomers.

  21. Bloke in North Dorset.

    Yeah, true, but I was having a bit of fun. My father served on RAF bomber crews during the war.

    Funnily, I don’t really remember ever not getting along with older people, most of whom I think liked associating with younger people. As for this Millennial vs Boomer controversy, we Boomers are responsible for producing the Millennials. I contributed a couple myself. In fact, I think I get along pretty well with most Millennials. At Christmas we had the kids, their girlfriends, my mother over, and a good time was had by all.

  22. I voted yes in 75. But the Europe I voted for staying in was a very different Europe under very different conditions. I’d seen a lot of Europe. Not only the rich north but the poor south. The poor south when Spain, excluding the Costas, was virtually a third world country. And I’d seen the East. Not on a package deal holiday but from underneath. East Germany & some unpleasantness in Poland got me having the shit kicked out of me, on a semi-official basis & deported. It was a Europe where WW3 was about to kick off & the UK would be sitting in the firing line unless something changed. The Common Market looked like something. The trajectory the UK had been taking itself was straight down the toilet, anyway.
    It was not a vote FOR anything in particular. Rather a vote AGAINST what looked the alternatives.

  23. The 1975 vote was engineered in a way that mimicked the “how not to ask a question” example in my Diploma in Statistics course.

  24. john 77,

    The “boomers”, as a generation are generally defined as being between 1946 and either 1960 or 1964. It wasn’t just a couple of years after the war.

  25. @ Bloke on the M4
    It WAS 1946 to 1949. You can look at the graphs of births per annum and see the boom and the subsequent decline to the norm.
    We are *not* a generation – we are a specific bunch of people for whom the infrastructure was inadequate because it was designed for a smaller cohort. Under Attlee we were not normally allowed to start school before our fifth birthday, at every later stage we faced limits designed for the small number of babies born in the ’30s or the War.
    We are now, generally, quite well-off because when we grew up we started under rationing so we don’t have the buy-and-throw-away attitude of the youngsters (my wife’s niece wants a new iPhone every year – I’m still using my first mobile ‘phone). When we started were not paid anything like the millennials: I was paid £6 a week as a trainee computer programmer in 1964.
    I left school in 1963: those born in 1964 are NOT part of the Baby Boomers.

  26. I was born in 1969 and my cohort was part of a blip. Every year at school we had “mobile” classrooms (ie, portacabin-type structures) that were brought in a couple of years before and removed a couple of years after. My parents were born in 1945-1946. Theoretically there should be another blip in 1995 and coming up to another in 2020, but the cohort age structure will have spread out and smeared out any recognisable blip.

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