I don’t know how to process last week’s New Yorker article by Evan Osnos, The Haves and Have-Yachts. In my day, the well-to-do were satisfied sharing nautical space with a handful of their social inferiors on the most basic of three-hour tours. Although, it is true, they were just millionaires, and the wife.
It’s an easy trope, the old person bumbling with some electronic device. The unwieldy TV remote, a black brick with buttons, useless in finding The National with Knowlton Nash. Long snaking grocery store line-ups as an elderly customer taps futilely away. “Here?” “No, here, ma’am,” “Here?” “Why don’t we try and insert your card, ma’am, and then enter the security code.” “The what?!” (As a matter of fact, since you’re asking, I can’t use the self-checkout because I’m buying beer here.) Text messages and their endless series of identical screen shot attachments. “Give me your phone for sec, grandpa.”
Ageist? Almost certainly. But in my ripely mature defense, being old allows me great latitude to indulge in a little mockery of the aged. Continue reading →