Some of my fondest memories came from watching my grandparents going through their days with enthusiasm, curiosity and passion for life.
I certainly didn't realize their uniqueness, since they were a constant in my life. My mother and father worked and left me with them, so I had the privilege of spending time with individuals who were to become my greatest role models.
Unfortunately, the media does not choose to show us or tell us about older citizens who live their lives with gusto, humor and common sense. Yes, there is the indefatigable Betty White, who seems to get "older younger," a term coined by anthropologist Ashley Montague. But what about some reality shows that feature older citizens who are having fun and tend to be curmudgeons?
I don't know how many of you remember the movie "Cocoon." I was much younger when I saw it, but I fell in love with the fact that the characters were full of life, very funny and elderly.
The powers that be who sit around and decide what entertainment is evidently don't think seniors are sexy, hot or hip. However, they have no trouble spending their dollars to have actors such as Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis portray aging, macho bounty hunters or members of a SWAT team.
I saw "The Expendables" simply because a friend wanted to see it. I went expecting to witness a debacle of wasted film, and I was right. I could not believe the situations the directors put these men in - ones that even the best Navy SEAL would have trouble extricating himself from. They had guns that were so big it made them look like dwarfs. The movie was filled with car chases, fistfights and harrowing escapes from deadly enemies.
It became even more ludicrous when there were close-ups. We got to see plastic surgery gone awry. The stars looked as if they had been caught in a wind tunnel for several days.
Of course, "The Expendables" also included babes who were young enough to be the main characters' granddaughters.
How tiring! How does any of this serve the public? The movie critics vilified the movie, and one critic stated that young people were not attending. Well, gee, what an epiphany! I can't imagine my grandchildren are going to want to watch a bunch of older men take out 20 or 30 young guys while their swinging from chandeliers, driving upside down through tunnels or pulling boats with their teeth.
Isn't there anyone out there who can give us movies like "Moonstruck" or "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" - films that showed people of all ages interacting through life's inevitable ups and downs with laughter, tears and histrionics?
Page 2 of 2 - We need to start showcasing elders who live with wisdom, fun, compassion and a feel for "elder cool." And please don't have them break boards with their hands.