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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On the Aging of Aquarius

My first memory of collective Boomer decline came in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz, shot in November of 1976. Close up after close up revealed road maps of dissipation on the faces and physiques of iconic music makers of My Generation. When Van Morrison, portly and prematurely middle aged, bounced out on stage, the graffiti was on the wall: the Boomers might just be mortal after all, like any other generational cohort. Five years later, after gaping at the vast latitudes of Gerry Garcia and David Crosby, I fantasized a dark futuristic tale in which the last veteran of the Woodstock Festival—a la the last Civil War and WWI veterans—would reminisce to skeptical younger generations about uncertain glory days.

I am, in fact, a Woodstock alumnus, but odds are overwhelming that I will not be the final survivor of that mud fancier’s Valhalla. In fact, I’d bet my son’s inheritance that the last man standing will be a woman. For the U.S. population 65 and above, women outnumber men 4 to 3. But if you’re a guy and you make it to the final cut of supercentenarians (age 110 and over), you’ll be utterly eclipsed. Only five males grace the Gerentology Research Group’s international roster of 85 supercentenarians.(←Click there.)

While that ratio may prove enticing to some incontinent members of the Y chromosome elite, it offers Wig & Pen scant titillation. Back when Boomers still boomed, this blogger, just out of high school, rebuffed the advances of the poet Robert Bly after a reading at Worcester State College. Years later, Bly became a founding father of the men’s movement. No surprise then that Wig & Pen has looked askance at their incendiary desert romps and pachydermal forest pursuits. But given my gender’s long-term prospects, perhaps a men’s group is in order, maybe even our own Woodstock.

Burning Y Chromosomes in the Desert

1 comment:

Jeff Lee said...

Hi Lou. I’m not sure of the gender of the Woodstock babies, but they might have an actuarial edge.