Thursday, August 25, 2022

#238 / Dated


The July 16-17, 2022, edition of The Wall Street Journal had a nice article advising our president, Joe Biden, that he has gotten way too old to run for reelection in 2024. 
When I say "nice," I mean that  the article, by Lance Morrow, was both non-venomous and non-hysterical, and it did not ridicule, personally attack, or disparage President Biden. It was pretty clear, though, however "nicely" he put it, that Mr. Morrow (who is, himself, older than the president) was politely informing the president that the president is, politically speaking, "dated" goods:

It is well to remember that TR died at 60, thoroughly worn out. His cousin Franklin died at 63—wasted, spent. Lyndon B. Johnson, FDR’s onetime protégé, expired, exhausted, at 64. I remember that when Dwight Eisenhower, age 70, left the White House in 1961—riding down snowy Pennsylvania Avenue beside his successor, 43-year-old John F. Kennedy—he seemed the oldest man in the world. But of course we were all young that winter....
No doubt you, the octogenarian incumbent, being foxy, have your reasons for insisting you intend to run for re-election. But if I were you, mon vieux, I wouldn’t. 
Like Mr. Morrow, I am older than the president (though I am younger than Mr. Morrow). Thus, I took Mr. Morrow's advisory personally. I am, I know, rather "dated" goods myself, politically speaking. All my best political exploits - which have not been completely insignificant - may well be in the past. 
Nonetheless (perhaps not unlike the president), I like to think I might be able to suit up for a future game  - sometime, somehow, maybe in the playoffs - and that I might still be able to make a few critical three-pointers, helping the team to save Santa Cruz, or save California, or save the nation, or save the world. 
God knows, somebody's got to do it! 
I am not, though, and I'll be clear about it, planning to run for president, or governor, or mayor. I like to think that age has brought me that much wisdom, at least.

At any rate, the above discussion is, actually, something of a digression. The Wall Street Journal had another article in that July 16-17, 2022, edition that prompted this blog posting. It was that other article that got me to sit down at my computer to write. As you might guess from the illustration at the top, that other article was commenting on another kind of "dating" ("The Attraction Of Dating Apps").
Marital longevity is perhaps not the only important statistic relating to marriage (or age), but there are lots of reasons to believe that high rates of divorce have some negative social impacts - perhaps particularly on children. According to Laura Forman, a "tech columnist" for The Journal, "a recent study by the Marriage Foundation found couples who met online were six times more likely to get divorced in the first three years of their marriage than those who met in college or through family or friends."
Zombie citizens, who walk around crowded streets with one hand held out in front of them, gazing in rapt attention to whatever is displayed on the screen of their cellphone, comprise the "new normal" in public places. We have - perhaps the majority of us - decided that we live fuller, more exciting and more wonderful lives when we populate what some call the "Metaverse." 
My own thoughts may be "dated," but I disagree. I continue to argue that real life is "analog." We are not, likely, going to find our life partners on Tinder or Bumble. We are not going to save Santa Cruz, or save California, or save the nation, or save the world with online donations, online organizing, online letter writing, or online politics. 
Real world contact with other real people, in real meetings of small groups of those real people, is how we will find life partners, and how we will bring new political realities into existence.
My thoughts about this may be kind of "dated," mon vieux, but I think I'm right.
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