Ageism is rampant in Canada
By: Arlene Adamson
‘ANYONE over age 69 should face a firing squad” — this was just one of the many Facebook comments ridiculing the elderly cited in a recent Yale University study that reveals extensive bigotry and discrimination levelled at older adults on the popular social-networking site. Ageism, to give the offensive language a civil gloss, is a far too common occurrence on Facebook, the study found.
“All of which is to say that perhaps authentic old age can consist neither of the breathless ambition of the forever youngster nor the unremitting despair of my friend Patrick but something meaningful in itself…focusing on the horrors of old old age before I get there would be a waste of the time I have left.”
I was still lying on the sidewalk all the pain was gone, breathing wasn’t even a thought. A wonderfully peaceful, serene indescribable feeling came over me. Now I did not see any lights or tunnels or anything like that. Now my ex was kneeling over me. What I did see was her face seemingly start to float away into the distance. I remember hearing her screaming at me to breathe but her voice was sort of echo of something. Almost like it was coming through a steel drum or something. When I heard her voice I focused more on her fading face and when I did that suddenly boom. Her face seemed to come flying back at me and with it back came the pain and difficulty breathing.
Unfortunately, modern medical science has put at our disposition pharmacological tools that oblige us to live much longer than our body and our brain can accept. Alzheimer epidemics is the ruthless punishment for a humanity which is holding onto life not because we love it (how can we love the horrid decomposition of memory, and of our ability to recognizing ourselves?) but because it is our property, and we have been taught never to abandon our belongings.
Each passing generation- if we bracket off the unpredictable- is going to be subject to dementia and other long-term conditions. The way of dying in late capitalism will be intensely regulated, managed, even self-managed (the lie of patient autonomy), and so the way of approaching death, conceiving it, will also be radically transformed. The sanctity of life that we cling to is going to bring us closer and closer to the risk of being parodies of ourselves. As we lose ourselves in these conditions, we also lose our world.