I wrote something about growing old earlier this week, which this piece complements. It’s an oldie, if you’ll excuse the very shite and very unintended pun. As I was scouring through files on my laptop I came across this little age-related-rant that I whipped up seven years ago, inspired by Terry Christian… – Jamie
I heard an advert on the radio the other night. Naturally, because I’m so old, I had to turn up the volume to hear it. That was only after a little clenching and unclenching of my arthritic fingers, just to warm them up. It’s impossible to twiddle the controls these days with the springy, cavalier ease which I recall I exhibited in my youth. Well, I can just about recall it; senile dementia is no laughing matter, you know.
I’m 25, by the way. Sure, I’m nearer thirty than twenty, and most of my friends are prepared or preparing to enter the 2.4 children phase of their lives; but am I past it? I’m still just a kid.
Not according to Terry Christian; nor to the cosmetics giant that employs him to advertise their products. The product being hocked was some sort of anti-aging face-cream for guys, and the company was Oil of Ulay, or Nivea, or something. Never matter. It was their pitch – not their product – that irked me.
Here’s the gist of it.
Terry asked whether or not I remembered the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. I do. I had one. When I was five. And I loved it. Apparently, so Terry claims, fond memories of and familiarity with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum places me in the category of men who should really start to worry about the effects of ageing on their peeling, wrinkled old faces. I repeat, for the record: I am 25. 25 years old.
Don’t the executives at whatever company this is have enough of a customer-base in people who are, oh, let’s say, significantly older than me? Not to be ageist, of course; but I know a lot of people who are the same age as me and never have I regarded them as old sows and warlocks a mere fifteen minutes from the morgue.
This tactic, which seems to me like a profit-boosting pre-emptive strike, makes me fear for the future. I can just hear the greedy little buffoons in the boardroom now: ‘Let’s generate a mass hysteria about ageing and convince perfectly young, smooth-skinned people that the modern world has destroyed, or will destroy imminently, their youthful looks, and so their only hope of facial salvation lies in our safe, money-grabbing hands.’ Maybe these people – these ingenious arseholes – believe, or hope, that the wrinkled masses will begin using their product through their late teens into their dotage, and finally become so terrified to stop using it – lest they age forty years overnight and then die – that perhaps even the mortician will be persuaded to trowel some on to them as they lie rigid in their coffins.
“SO YOU’RE DEAD? IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T STILL TURN HEADS.”
Just how far down the age spectrum are these bastards willing to boldly go? I’m willing to bet a split infinitive that their pound-lust knows no limits.
‘So, how old are you?’
‘Huh… but you look ten.’
Can it be that the same society telling us that young people effectively run the world is also telling us that the price we pay for ruling the world is to look fifty when we’re thirty? Media and marketing cunts have spent many years convincing us on television, satellite and radio that the days of the wise old elder are over; that the old are decrepit fools who can’t keep up with the pace of channel-changing, green-hair-dyeing, sex-in-the-city-watching, metro-sexual modern life. Long live the adolescent seems to be the credo. Are we to infer that the stress of sustaining this reversal of status is burning us out?
We’re all having our mid-life crises in our twenties; we’re all on Prozac; checking in to Betty Ford clinics; going to stress counsellors; buying anti-ageing products by the bucket-load.
Has our Picture of Dorian Gray syndrome caught up with us so early?
Anyway, that’s a snack for thought. I’m off to sort out my funeral plan and jet up to the bathroom in my Stenna Stairlift. Is Last of the Summer Wine on tonight? Maybe I’ll be able to sustain my ancient erection just long enough to crack one off over Nora Batty.
In case you missed it, here’s the piece I wrote last week about turning 32: http://www.jamieandrew-withhands.com/2012/06/13/happy-birthday/