The Rinkli Funstaz Book of Lockdown 21

The Rinkli Funstaz Book of Lockdown 21

Scholarship
Re-printed in 2020 from its first showing in 1988, this stands proud as one of the richest reflections on living, ageing and dying one could possibly lift. It is beautifully composed by a thoroughbred prose professional. There is a problem… but more of this later. Dr. Cassidy’s name will be familiar to those who remember the viciousness of Pinochet’s secret police, let loose to indiscriminately maim and murder in the wake of that coup. Here we learn variously of her own struggles to succeed in medicine, in the hospice movement and  -  though she may not like the language  -  in her own faith. The essentializing question herein posed is : what does it mean to age properly? (more…)
Read More
A word for the couple in Room C19

A word for the couple in Room C19

Topicality
Years from now, a comprehensive history of the global coronavirus epidemic will still not have been written. It will be forever so. For the story is just too complex, engaging so many lives and livelihoods, inviting so much new medicine and science… that nobody will be able to pack everything into one book or TV documentary or whatever a podcast has become by 2030. We can be certain, however, that there will be those ready to throw a retrospective shawl over the virus years : it will indeed be argued that those years proved just how legitimized had become the dismissive contempt of broader society, most emphatically in the Western world, for elderly people. (more…)
Read More
Sitting on the rocking horse does not make it Pegasus

Sitting on the rocking horse does not make it Pegasus

Scholarship, Topicality
First of all, it is morally inadmissible for anyone   -  whatever the politics or the agendas  -  to describe the Coronavirus crisis as “an opportunity”. After some 40,000 citizens have died in France alone, it is abusive to suggest that C-19 and all its consequences have somehow shown us a better way to live, to develop our civics, to organize human movement, to run our cities. One can but hope that Carlos Moreno has the decency to wince out loud whenever he re-reads his words on that subject here. C19 is not a social science laboratory; it has been a hell for millions. There are other problems. CM abominates the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the likes of Rassemblement National. Good for him. Yes, he elevates social diversity but, since he wants…
Read More
In the heat of the triple lock down

In the heat of the triple lock down

Philosophy
Well, the author has a lot of humanity to share. Good for him. But his book could certainly have done without the favourable references to Abraham Maslow (surely the most raggedy old hat in the milliner’s bargain-basement), Carl Jung, Woody Allen and Ashton Applewhite…. Ugh. With such an untutored eye, all the cultural simpering of the New Age is jumbled onto the page here here with an utterly predictable critique of the way we live in this century. Now that “the storms of youth and middle-age are behind us” (sic), we can apparently be free to complain about acquisitiveness, materialism, the consumerism that “has the power to distract us from such vital issues as ageing and death”. Older people are, meanwhile, so dissed in the media / advertising and youthful…
Read More
The Rinkli Funstaz Book of the Lockdown

The Rinkli Funstaz Book of the Lockdown

Scholarship
All memoirs are essentially about ageing. It is a natural and therefore unavoidable sexagenarian instinct to lean in to the past  -  in search of explanation, amusement, forgiveness. However, almost no autobiography you have ever read is  -  let’s put it out there  - persuasively reliable. Perhaps the knowing reader silently nods at every half-fumbled but very obvious evasion, all the Pollyanna Pollyfilla that covers the cracks of pain and disappointment, the casual casuistry that gets us all, specially the grey and the balding, through the remains of the day. Perhaps it’s also true that the mightier the celebrity of the author, the weaker the credibility all round. Who was it said that you must not touch your idols since the gilt is bound to be left on your fingers?…
Read More
Sat Upon The Rocking Horse

Sat Upon The Rocking Horse

Scholarship
    For the positives’ column, this is an often impressive if occasionally overwhelming dam-burst of stats-n-surveys about the business of ageing in the UK. But here the first problem lies already. Given the abundant literature already on the shelves across the Western world - the whole agequake/ageshift idiom being as old as the internet - there is little, at its best, really new here. (more…)
Read More