Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Pop culture: A better way to sell the perks of aging to young people

The Golden Girls

We need promotional campaigns to make aging seem more appealing to young people, writes Ideas columnist Kevin Lewis, so that they strive to live longer and stop binge drinking to block out the unavoidable: Everyone gets old. Aging is not so bad, he says: "It's not like old people actually reported being less happy."

Mickey Rooney For "The Golden Girls" maybe. But not for Mickey Rooney, right, who just last week testified before the Senate Committee on Aging about falling victim to elder abuse. Or for the victims of "gray homicides" -- that is, those in the 60-plus demo whose murders are made to look like they killed themselves because there aren't enough resources to autopsy suicides among those who're considered past their prime. And not for those who're perceived as "greedy geezers" sucking the country's entitlement funds, when in truth, they really need that money. And not for those who develop dementia, which, despite some recent rare good news, is not actually good news.

While Lewis presents a lovely idea -- "promotional campaigns to counter the 'live hard, die young' mentality" -- what we really need is another show like "The Golden Girls." And with hipster culture currently having a senior moment, now's the perfect time. If a program such as "Entourage" can convince kids entering the workforce that it's cool to have an abusive boss, and if "Dallas" could help inspire democracy in the last days of socialist Romania, then certainly a popular program about aging would be a boon.

With any luck, that's what we'll find with the show Rodney Rotham is developing for NBC, based on his memoir "Early Bird," in which he told the story of his premature retirement (at 28!) and the kind-hearted and spirited relationships he developed at a Florida retirement community.   

--Alexandra Le Tellier

Top photo: The stars of the television series "The Golden Girls" during a break in taping in 1985. Bottom photo: Actor and elder-abuse victim/advocate Mickey Rooney gives emotional testimony before a Senate Special Committee on Aging on March 2. Credit: Rod Lamkey / AFP / Getty Images


Comments () | Archives (3)

The comments to this entry are closed.


Face it,

Those of us who are older sit around thinking about what we were like when we were younger. Especially when we see a younger person that reminds of ourselves at that age.

Perks of aging? It sure ain't physical, ha ha. Everything heads south and gravity becomes an enemy.

Oh to have the mature mind inside a young body.

Most of us would probably wind up in jail. :)





There ain't no perks other than qualifying for discounts if you're 62 or older. That's nothing to look forward to...and looking in the mirror ain't so grand either!



In Case You Missed It...



Recent Posts
Reading Supreme Court tea leaves on 'Obamacare' |  March 27, 2012, 5:47 pm »
Candidates go PG-13 on the press |  March 27, 2012, 5:45 am »
Santorum's faulty premise on healthcare reform |  March 26, 2012, 5:20 pm »


About the Bloggers
The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

In Case You Missed It...