Life’s Little Annoyances

I had no problem getting it up last Thursday, when I consulted a professional.

Keeping it up was disconcerting…

“It’s been awhile,” I said, “maybe I should ask my doctor for Viagra.”

“No, you’re fine,” she said, “it’s a habit, stop masturbating.”

It takes about three weeks to break a habit. We’ll see.

I feel like I lost my right hand.

Writers Do It…

I was thinking of getting a bumper sticker, “Writers Do It Quietly”.

Then I realized it should be “Actors Do It Out Loud and Writers Only Do It Quietly When They Are Writing”.

I decided to send this as a joke for an Asian friend of mine, Long Huyhn Droop, to use in his stand up comedy act at a bar in Shanghai.

Google didn’t translate it correctly and he got something like, “just shut the fuck up” instead.

Ironically, he penned a book called, “Shut the F–k Up”, a self help concept as a way of dealing with self doubt and he is now making tons of money leading empowerment courses for his publisher, High House.

How I Died On My 39th Birthday

Suffice it to say, it wasn’t the first time, nor apparently the last.

My mother’s frequent lamentations, when I was a toddler, that her life would have turned out fine if she’d avoided 1939, the year of my conception and birth, possibly led my brain to the certainty that I will die on or perhaps, shortly following my 39th birthday. Our brains might make this connection logical when we are that young and new to language.

Fate decided that on my 39th birthday, I was in a large hotel room that Stewart Emory and Associates had rented at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco with twenty nine other  volunteer “communicators” who assisted with enrolling participants in Stewart’s and Carol Augustus’ Actualizations workshop.

It was about 8pm and having returned from eating dinner together in Chinatown, we were seated in a big circle on the carpeted floor of our meeting room when I began to experience scotoma, vibrant, vibrating visual effects produced by constriction of capillaries that feed the retina, a common symptom at the onset of a migraine headache. The scotoma partially blinded me and I knew this would be followed shortly by excruciating pain and nausea. Anticipating this angered me.

What Scotoma May Look Like
What Scotoma May Look Like

 

I was enraged to have to be interrupted once again by this phenomenon. Without thinking, acting with tearful emotion, I stood up and surprised everyone and myself by declaring, “All my life I thought I was going to die at the age of 39! Today is my 39th birthday and now I’m practically blinded by a migraine!”

Stewart looked horrified, Carol looked like she expected me to jump through a window or drop dead, in any case leaving them with a liability lawsuit.

Instead, I said, “I don’t care whether or not I live through this year. I will not be deterred  by one more damn migraine headache!” I sat down again.

Someone beside me offered an aspirin and suggested I should lie down. “Did you not hear me! No! Just, continue. Please!” They did and I did and ever since, though I still get migraines starting with colorful scotoma, I never again experienced the pain that follows them. Isn’t that interesting? However…

I didn’t understand, when I gave up the pain of migraines, that to do this, a lot more was also set-aside. I didn’t know that to turn off the pain of migraines I had to exclude a class of memories: all extreme pain, including psychic pain, that pain associated with fear of loss of self and of self-esteem.

In fact, I had surrendered an enormous part of myself. It was in this way, like a death…

Age-related Bias Produces the Greatest Economic Loss in America

Americans were blind to racism in stories and characterizations of mainstream media during most of the 20th century and we are blind now to bias against older people in mainstream media. Our values are transparent, like the air we breathe. When a recent entrant in a field is over 50, even if he has 40 years of productive life ahead, he won’t be hired over a less experienced and less talented younger individual. The same is true of people of color who face economic biases but age bias is unique in the way it affects everyone who doesn’t die young.

If not now, one day, this will be important to you.

We live in a culture of many unexamined economic priorities. They show up as customary and they are discrimination. Age-related bias is now more prevalent in North America than is bias based on ethnic provenance. Albeit, racism is alive and well in some sectors, even among people of color, Agism is so common, it goes unnoticed. Agist jokes are far more prevalent than Polish or any other kind of ethnic slurs.

As a category, older people in America receive no consideration for career-oriented education, few employment or housing opportunities, less consideration in the design of entertainment and little consideration in everything related to standard of living and quality of life.

Like slaves resigned to bondage, people are conditioned to accept Agism when they are very young. The idea that to be old is to be infirm and mentally lame or rigid is a myth built into our language and fables, reflected in words and expressions, embodied in some of our greatest works of literature and drama.

Unlike other social value biases, Agism is a bias of a young person inflicted against their older self. It is like a suicide plan made in advance, analogous to ingesting a toxin, like arsenic, that accumulates over time until it’s too late when it strikes. When we’re young, striving to attain our dreams, reveling in hormonal excitement, we accept without consideration so much that we can’t know, happy to take a job from a person we believe is “over-the-hill”. We’ll gladly work for less and for the opportunity to show our skills. Meanwhile, that older person, having believed in age-related decline, refrained from a discipline of healthy exercise, perhaps, recovered from a brush with deadly illness, reluctantly steps-aside.

When we are young, we are conditioned to believe that at the age of 55 or 60, we will retire and enjoy the “twilight” of a life well lived despite the fact that this is counter-intuitive and not at all consistent with everything you see. Since the most pleasure in life is in participation and the most satisfaction from rewards for contribution, to benefit from having no possibility of monetary reward is an oxymoron. On the other side of this, the attitude that it is better to contribute nothing idealizes sloth and a life that makes no difference. It’s self-defeating.

A logical conclusion is that age-related bias (Agism) is a self-inflicted con on its perpetrators, akin to people of color biased against people of color, which, although this too is counter-intuitive, is hardly uncommon, when people of color expect protagonists in narratives to be white, teutonic types.

Agism affects the greatest number of people, with the worst effects and more kinds of discriminatory practice and ironically, it North Americans not citizens of European countries and worse than citizens of many lesser developed places. Moreover, agism affects people of every ethnic background in America ubiquitously: every economic status, ensuring exclusion from employment advancement, fewer housing opportunities; and as a consequence of greater health-related needs, older people receive the least competent medical attention.

While we cry out when similar bias is inflicted on categories of ethnicity and gender, discrimination against older people is a taken-for-granted fact of life in America in the same way that slavery was in the 18th century and child labor in the 19th century and the greatest effect is economic. There are reasons to suspect that the economic priorities of America that are destroying our society can be turned around by addressing the damaging elements of age-related bias.

For instance the projected productive work of a person over 50 is equal to the time a typical young person, who retires at 55 or 65, stays in a chosen field.

Assuming that a person who has lived 60 years, has the potential of 20 to 40 useful years ahead plus the advantage of 40 or more years of experience and education, even the most physical of jobs, for instance, a trapeze artist, if the artist stays in shape, unless injured, might be performed better. However, the more relevant likelihood is that the trapeze artist will become curious to try a new career that utilizes the experience and discipline of the trapeze and requires less physical prowess. Because of age-discriminatory hiring, it is next to impossible for an older man or woman to begin a career in a new field past 60, which defeats realistic ambition.

Conformism promoted in media addresses age-discrimination as a fact of life, as if remuneration for contribution isn’t important past 60 and this places less value on wisdom derived from experience. There’s one advantage: by eliminating older people from the workforce, jobs are made available for younger people at lower wages but the economy is collapsing and Agism may be the canary in the mine.

If the strategy of age-related hiring discrimination was working, the robust economy would make it unnecessary for congress to abrogate cost of living increases mandated in Social Security legislation during the last six decades.

Age bias eliminates career opportunities at 55, when people who have taken care of their health and have experience can look forward to 30 or more years of productive, creative practices and pursuits.

Even if the economy of America improves (doubtful on account of the double-bind of population growth and the mounting expenses of an aging population), this will effect your life no matter where you reside. It will affect you more immediately if you live in the United States. Everyone is subsumed into the category of age-related discrimination here. When you talk to older people confined in the warehouses optimistically called, “residential care,” “long term care” and “senior residences,” you hear resignation similar to the remarks of “happy” slaves on Thomas Jefferson’s 18th century southern plantation. As people age in America, they are taught to pretend their fate was pre-ordained, as if discrimination was sanctioned by a higher power instead of custom.

Media is the greatest source of agist values. In the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, social scientists unraveled how societal values are formed in America. They observed that people absorb their core values in the 20th century differently from earlier times. Much of this research has been used in commercial media, especially advertising and in propaganda for political campaigns at all levels. The most important key to American value formation was revealed in a book published in 1950 called, The Lonely Crowd. Amazingly this social science textbook, written by David Reisman, a scientist who had first been a successful lawyer, became a New York Times best-seller, selling 1.5 million copies in two years.

The kernel of Reisman’s study is that Americans were absorbing their core values from media but he also explains how and why and how this also makes us less absolute about our values and more likely to modify them based on images, symbols and ideas we’re exposed to in media and regarding these values we are less trusting of parents and other relationships. Circumstances, such as, childhood trauma complicate how the values we absorb from media lead to an array of behaviors, including unrealizable expectations in mating, marriage and child rearing, various forms of addiction and bizarre acts of violence.

While, the acceptance of the idea that older human beings are less capable of learning and participating than are their younger counterparts in the business, arts and economy of society, has also created an expense that cripples society and damages everyone, the primary value promoted in both commercial and noncommercial media has been promotion of youth. The piquant beauty of youthful beings of all kinds is a limbic response, which can be easily exploited.

The problem is that, in promoting and selling youth, commercial media instills with it, a negative view of maturity, which is then repeated in the culture. It’s not intentional but it’s the predictable outcome since, if it’s good to appear young and beautiful, older and wiser is to be avoided. In promoting youth, there’s a correlative pejorative created about non-youth. The same is true about promoting ideal physical proportions, or white skin over dark. Predominantly casting Anglo-Saxons as heroic protagonists gave the impression that the skin color of heroes is lighter. In the same way, youth is preferable to maturity.

While media is unwittingly complicit, the medical profession, which should know better, has been practicing age bias despite the science. (This may be the strongest argument for requiring that doctors be educated in the humanities, history and social sciences.) From scientific experiment, we believe that genetic information contained in our cells mutates after repeated iterations, producing observable physical effects but the way this occurs and the areas affected varies widely among individuals.

With respect to cognition, we now know that our brains contain many more cells than we use and recent science shows that areas of the brain can take over the tasks of other areas when they are damaged and thus mitigate or even enhance some effects of mutation. Some effects on cognition, which were previously assumed to be age-related, have turned out to be produced by lifestyle, pollutants and hormonal unbalance. New therapies defeat increasing numbers of specific mutational effects but there’s an economic reason why the mentality of the medical profession in America remains stuck in the 19th century.

The most lethal effect of age-related bias has been promulgated in the justice system in America, in which tort awards are the primary check against the excesses of the economically powerful against the poor.  There is a precedent that advises juries to quantify awards when a patient has died based on the percentage of a span of life lost by a victim based on span of income-producing life and the potential earnings lost. Thus, the parents of a 2 year old child of a middle class family, who dies on account of medical neglect or malpractice, will be entitled to compensation that interests attorneys in pursuing a lengthy case against a hospital’s well-heeled insurance company, while the children of a 72 year old field worker won’t find an attorney to help them since the “retired” 72 year old in this actuarial analysis, has not lost much.

Doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and medical product manufacturers can and frequently do get away with gross negligence and malpractice when an older citizen dies because intent to kill must be proved or there is no monetary damage large enough to interest an attorney. Ironically, even though lawyers, doctors and lawmakers must see their own vulnerability, they have accepted the personal risk in return for financial support from insurers.

Age-related bias is thus the greatest economic cost born by Americans.

Ironically, people are constantly told to exercise and to challenge their minds while the economic system and entertainment media constantly tell them they don’t count, they’re over-the-hill and in the way. By not ensuring a healthy, productive lifestyle for older people, the society incurs a huge cost because human beings suffer anxiety and depression when they feel they have no future worth living into and treating the symptoms and illness that results from depression is the greatest cost of medical care.

The depression that afflicts older people in America is not a product of aging but of lifestyle and it is known to lead to conditions that are expensive to treat.

An even greater loss to the contemporary American economy is the loss of the contribution of people with the most experience, knowledge and perspective.

A review of contemporary video games and other entertainment media will reveal little brilliant talent and expertise as compared with a similar review of comparable media from earlier decades when older artists, writers and producers were more prevalent in the entertainment industry than they are now. A look at recent Hollywood media shows this is nowhere more evident than among writers.

People who possess qualities of intellect, wit and perspective are critical to the economic health and development of any society. To discriminate against employment and education of older citizens denies the greatest number of potentially great artists, technicians and craftsmen and women.

Mission Bay and My Former Fiancée

Mission Bay is the place, where I have been, since October, tearing pieces of my soul from the deep well of my mind, meme by meme, now that I can see them in a more enlightened state of mind. I see my ignorance was a type of arrogance that Aesop wrote parables about, which I instead, demonstrated to extremes.

Each day, when I paddle 3 miles out to the ocean and back, I return with another portion of my soul. Recreation is therapeutic. Who would have known? I feel I own this place. I own even the fact that Jack Linkletter once told me how much he hates it. He watched the city dredge the wetlands to develop the Pacific Beach residential community and the body of water I paddle through each day called, Mission Bay. It is manmade. But I own this place the way Jack London owned the Yukon, for it’s nature and the plants and animals that inhabit the place. The people have always been strange.

When I first came here, I was a bundle of needs, raw, not wary of the edges of cliffs. Really, I had been through some major psychological restructuring following a long period of depression during which the idea of suicide was like a wonderful “get home free card” and just knowing I could play it kept me alive. I was alive. No one cared either way, so why should I? I recall, some time after I returned from six months “active duty” in the Coast Guard, I had no job and was a guest of a horn player in a tiny house on a canal on the east side of the 101 in Sunset Beach. I had no money, would not even consider stealing and my weight was down to 135 pounds. My mother and stepfather were thirty miles away but I wouldn’t think of calling them. In my mind, their job was done, I was on my own. Suicide was never on my mind at this time, I was just numb. Not that I wasn’t hungry. I was. I was also getting pretty weak so the idea of doing anything about being hungry was less strong than the desire to sleep. I was apathetic.

My arrogance is the weakness of some intelligent, gifted people when, what they know gets between them and whatever they see. People like me are gullible in amazing ways.

My stepfather knocked on the door of the little house in Sunset Beach. He had driven there in a little Simca sedan, which he’d painted Navy gray with a paint brush and he gave me the car so I could get a job. I used it to go to the university and finish some paperwork for my Bachelor’s degree, following which, a former girlfriend (I) helped me get a job as a probation counselor at an LA County lock up for mentally ill juvenile delinquents in Malibu canyon. The kids there loved me. The staff didn’t.

The Tourist Industry here is the political equivalent of the National Rifle Association in D.C., however, my love is for the nature of this place, something that will endure for millennia after all this urban nonsense is dust and water.

Friends of friends seldom take to me. Perhaps, if we were stuck together on a island for a year, after a few months, the ice of my defenses would possibly melt.

You might say, I should have known when, a couple weeks after I met her, she happily assented when a man with far more brains than money and a nice house on the beach came on to her at a party I had given with a neighbor. Her eyes were full of stars for his money. Yes, I should have known, when she responded to my concern by fucking him. The amazing thing to me now is, why did I not dump her instead of losing all interest? The fact is that I just didn’t understand much about my emotions or the way my brain responds to bonding chemicals. Different people respond in different ways and my sexual relationship at the time was not the most important thing on my mind, I was in the middle of designing and building a $6 million apartment project for poor families in San Diego.

A foolish man and his dignity are soon parted and pride goes first.

If my fiancée’s fucking everyone in town and out-of-town should have concerned me, it took second place to acute aortic stenosis and then, while I was looped on morphine, my brother arranged to fuck her in exchange for replacing her at my bedside in the hospital.

How should you react, respond? What should you think or feel or do, when finally, after a year you begin to recover from the surgical trauma? Now, of course, I’m clear that betraying me with my brother was uncalled for and for this the woman has possibly earned damnation and enough bad karma that could follow her children as well into hell. But at the time all this happened, compounding situations from losing my job, not being able to take care of business eventually left me homeless and penniless after my fiancées mother, an attorney, who lived nearby made off with the last of my money.

These people never expected to see me again. Yet here I am.

Get Out of The Way

Just as white Americans were blind to blatant racism in the dialogue, stories and characterizations of mainstream media during most of the 20th century, we are generally blind to matter of fact bias against older people in mainstream media and even AAU courseware. It is unnoticed, transparent, like the air we breathe, however, the idea that a recent entrant in this field, even if he has twenty or thirty years or more of professionally astute, productive life ahead, would be foolish to assume he’ll be hired over a younger, less experienced and far less talented individual. That’s the way it is today, just as people of color still face different economic opportunities.

This is important to me now and because, one day it will be just as important to you, I’m sharing with you what I’ve seen because it relates to the issue of careers available in media that depend on your circumstances more than your talent or ability.

We live in a culture of unexamined economic priorities that show up as discrimination. Extremes are less apparent in North America in comparison with Rio, San Juan and parts of Latin America, Asia, the middle-east and Africa, however, by dint of age, ethnic provenance and/or economic status people categorically receive few opportunities for education, health care, employment mobility, housing, entertainment and almost everything related to standard of living and quality of life in our culture. I’m paying attention to this because I feel that those, like me and you, who are privileged to participate have a greater obligation than just our own survival.

Agism is a discrimination that includes the greatest number of people that suffer the worst effects and more kinds of discriminatory practice and ironically, it affects people in North America far more than residents of European countries and lesser developed places. Moreover, agism affects people of every ethnic background in America, including the widest range of economic status, with highest degree of exclusion from employment advancement, fewest housing opportunities; and as a consequence of greater need, older people in general receive the least competent medical attention. While we cry out when bias is inflicted on categories of ethnicity and gender, discrimination against older people is a taken-for-granted fact of life in America in the same way that slavery was in the 18th century and child labor in the 19th century and the greatest effect is economic.

The future productive work life of a person over 50 is substantial and probably equal to the time a young person stays in the field.

Statistically, a person over 50 has the potential of twenty to fifty useful ahead of him/her plus the advantage of 30+ years of applicable experience and education, yet based on the discriminatory hiring practices, it is difficult and some would say, impossible for an older man or woman to begin a career in a new field. This circumstance definitely colors my outlook but I shall not let discriminatory practices and attitude prevent me from pursuing my wish to fully participate and contribute and share the wisdom of my experience.

An outstanding characteristic of age-related discrimination for you to consider now, is that the bias of agism will effect your life. Everyone in America, including those who will die young is affected. Everyone is eventually subsumed into the category of age-related discrimination. If you talk to older people who have been confined to the warehouses we call, “residential care” and “senior residential communities,” you will hear resignation that is like the parlance of “happy” slaves on Thomas Jefferson’s plantation. As people age in America, they are taught to pretend their fate was pre-ordained, as if discrimination was sanctioned by a higher power. But it isn’t.

Media is the unwitting source of agism.

In promoting and selling youth, commercial media validates the bias by instilling values that negatively condition views of maturity. It’s not intentional to implant such values but it’s the predictable outcome since, if it’s good to appear young and beautiful, it must be less good to be older and wiser. It seems obvious that by promoting youth, there is a correlative pejorative created about non-youth. The same argument is made about the negative effect of promoting ideal physical proportions, or white skin vs black. Predominantly casting Anglo-Saxons as heroic protagonists leaves the impression that the skin color of heroes is lighter. In the same way, youth is preferable to maturity.

While media is unwittingly complicit, the medical profession practices age bias in the face of science. This is the strongest argument for requiring that doctors be educated in the humanities, history and social sciences. Genetic information contained in our cells mutates after repeated iterations, producing observable physical effects but the way this occurs and the areas affected varies enormously among all individuals and our brains contain enormously more cells than we use and we now know that areas of the brain can take over the tasks of other areas when they are damaged and mitigate or enhance types and effects of mutation. There are even enhancements due to this mutation. The medical profession is beginning to think differently about aging because new therapies defeat increasing numbers of specific mutational effects but there are economic reasons why the mentality of the medical profession in America remains stuck in the 19th century.

Effects of agism are becoming the greatest direct economic expense in America.

The most lethal age bias occurs in U.S. courts of law, where juries are instructed to base awards for liability when a patient has died, not on the enormity of the neglect or malpractice that caused the loss of life or the pain inflicted on victims and families but instead on the percentage of a span of life that was lost based on actuarial tables and the economic status of those who suffer. The parents of a two year old child of a middle class family, who dies on account of medical neglect or malpractice, will be entitled to compensation that interests attorneys in pursuing a lengthy case against a hospital’s well-heeled insurance company, while the children and grand children of an 72 year old field worker won’t find an attorney. As a result, doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and medical product manufacturers can and do get away with murder. Ironically, even though lawyers, doctors and lawmakers must see their own vulnerability, they have accepted the personal risk in return for financial support from insurers.

Not ensuring a healthy, productive life for older people has a huge cost for society because human beings become depressed when they feel they have no future and treating the symptoms of depression is rapidly becoming the greatest cost of medical care and depression is now known to lead to other conditions that are very expensive to treat.

When I review the great variety of media produced these days, I don’t see all that much brilliance, knowledge, talent and expertise in most of the product. We need people who possess such qualities and statistically, to discriminate against employment of older citizens denies us a greater number of artists and craftspersons.

Reality Check

When I was a kid, our greatest political concerns were thermonuclear war and population. The population issue is now spun as global climate change and the thermonuclear war issue is presented in media to the multitude as “terrorism”. The problems haven’t changed; they are still over-population and mass murders.

I was around at the time and watching when John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson pulled the plug on the thermonuclear issue by allowing the Kremlin to demonstrate it’s unwillingness to pull the trigger in Cuba. I also watched as the Pentagon, which held the strings on a movie actor, Ronald Reagan, began the march to the present situation by destabilizing the USSR, unleashing on the world, the Russian mafia and a host of petty murderous tyrants sponsored by our shadow government, the CIA, whom, along with victims of corporate greed and genocide came to share in common, a vitreous hatred of all things western and in particular, America, i.e., gave impetus to militant Islam.

It would be difficult to find an argument to population reduction as a solution to the impending collapse of ecosystems from climate change. But how shall we accomplish it? So far, we’ve tried using policies that promote poverty, selectively provide medical care, allowing development in places prone to natural catastrophe, implementation of technologies and engineering with high risks of widespread fatality and with corporate investment strategies that exploit tribal, ethnic, religious and national animosities and local pogroms, amplified into national conflicts by lack of education and suppression of economic advancement for entire national populations. These policies have failed.

Putting aside the ethical and moral considerations of de facto policies of western nations (now including, India, Russia, Saudi and China), we see CO2 and population expanding at accelerating rates, so obviously, we’re not getting the job done. With the public engaged in virtual reality games that along with pornography, diverts attention from the gathering storm, people do whatever they can to support themselves and their families, regardless of the impact of their work, even when they can’t avoid being aware of the harm done to the environment and that they are devastating the lives of their own progeny.

You’re Old Ugly & In The Way; (For Whom The Bell)

De facto discrimination is a matter of unexamined economic priorities. Extremes are more apparent in places like Rio, San Juan, Juarez and Tijuana than in most of North America except regarding people who, by dint of age, categorically, have access to fewer opportunities for education, health care, employment mobility, housing, entertainment; everything related to quality of life. Yeah, so what? That’s just the way of the world. Yeah? Then why is it worse for older citizens living in North America than in the most economically challenged communities of the so-called, undeveloped world.

Yeah, ‘Che’ Guevara never noticed this. Abe Lincoln neither and Obamalamadama is no more hip to the profound affect this has for everyone in North America than is the fringiest naked feminist fringer escaping the box of vaginal perturbations. Age? Ignore it.

Age discrimination includes the greatest number of people that suffer the worst effects of more kinds of discriminatory practices and equally affects people of every ethnicity and a wide range of economic status, killing the rich as well as the poor, with nearly complete exclusion from employment and advancement, fewest housing opportunities and with the greater need, they receive the least competent and most neglectful medical attention.

As the economy tightens up, the line of exclusion falls, today affecting people over 55 and while the media whines and wails when minor bias is inflicted on ethnic and gender demographics, discrimination against older people is taken-for-granted, a “so what” fact of life in America in the same way as slavery was viewed in the 18th century, child labor in the 19th century and sweat shops in Pakistan today. And it is all economic priorities.

This kind of bias will directly affect you and every person in North America, including those who die younger. When you die, you will probably die as a consequence of an age-related decision. Every single member of every category of discrimination who survives their 50th birthday will face forms of age-related discrimination.

Like “happy” slaves on Thomas Jefferson’s plantation, as people age in America, they find dignity by pretending their fate was pre-ordained, as if sanctioned by a higher power. But it isn’t. That’s why you don’t see it in Scandinavia and Germany, nor do you see it in Portugal and other places where familial traditions shape cultural/political values.

The problem results from a combination of conditioning children by a secular state based on capitalism through media developed and owned by commercial enterprise that targets people with the least experience and education, thus promoting youth over maturity.

In promoting and selling youth, commercial media incidentally validates age bias by instilling negative views of maturity. It’s not intentional it’s simply thoughtless, similar to the mentality that dammed rivers for hydroelectric power regardless of the obviously predictable outcome. When it’s perceived as best to appear young and beautiful, it must be disheartening to appear to be older and wiser. “You make me fell so young…”

In promoting youth, you promote a correlative pejorative about age. This argument has been won about the negative effect of casting Anglo-Saxons as heroic protagonists, giving the impression that heroes are by definition, possessed of light skin tones.

While media is unwittingly complicit in this conditioning, the medical profession practices the bias to the detriment of patients in the face of science. Doctors are not typically well-educated in the humanities, history nor social sciences. Even the holistic, American doctor treats aging according to superstitions that contradict scientific knowledge. While we have observed that genetic information in our bodies’ cells mutates as a mathematic consequence of repeated iterations, which produces physical effects but exactly how this occurs and the areas affected varies widely in individuals. There are conditions that can mitigate, negate or enhance certain types mutation. The medical profession has begun to reshape its thinking about aging as profitable new drug therapies defeat increasing numbers of specific mutational effects but the mentality of practicing medical doctors is for the most part stuck in the 19th century and this ignorance plus an interesting legal decision limiting malpractice awards means murder by medicine.

If aging is genetically induced, i.e., established in our dna, then agism in medical practice is genocidal. The bias, however, occurs not in hospitals but in the justice system, in which precedence is cited to limit juries to base awards for medical malpractice in which a patient has died, not on the enormity of the loss of life to the victim and family but on the percentage of a span of life based on actuarial tables. The parents of a two-year old who dies on account of medical neglect or malpractice may be entitled to compensation that interests attorneys in pursuing a case against an insurance company, while the children and grand children of a person of 82 won’t find an attorney for this same reason. As a result, doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and medical product manufacturers  get away with murder. Ironically, even though lawyers, doctors and lawmakers must be aware, perhaps subconsciously of their own vulnerability, when they age, they have accepted the personal risk in return for financial support from insurers. Naturally.

Age discrimination produces a double bind since the result of not ensuring a healthy life for older people comes with a high cost for society because all human beings become depressed whenever they feel they have no future and treating the symptoms of depression is expensive and rapidly becoming the greatest cost of medical care.

Excerpt: Awakening

I. Awakening (excerpt)

Ross Procedure
Ross Procedure

 

Memory of some events, whether or not you remember and how much detail you remember is a consequence of how strongly you  feel about the thing you remember and or forget. Sometimes, it is helpful or even necessary to forget and it is possible to so completely suppress the memory of an experience that you may not recognize faces or names but the feeling that arises upon seeing the face or hearing the name bubbles up without the locus of the event that caused those feelings and if you are reminded of the event, that feeling will emerge but not the memory of events that caused it.

The photo documentary at this link describes an open heart surgery similar to one that I endured in 1997. Notable differences are in location, since my procedure was done in Oklahoma City, with other medical staff  and the basic color tone of the rooms and equipment in Oklahoma was government beige or green, not white.

A difference that had a profound effect on me was in the family and friends present at the event. In the linked documentary, there are supportive friends and family and the wife of the patient is shown kissing the feet of her husband in recovery. In my case, in order to more quickly return from Oklahoma to California following the operation, my fiancé agreed to fuck my brother in return for his replacing her in Oklahoma City.

This wasn’t the first time my brother, four years older, had taken advantage of my weakness and like many victims of familial abuse, I felt ashamed about such events and to confront him meant to admit them. My fiancé was the equal of my brother in this respect. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, she diffused the irony of her agreement with my brother on this occasion by fucking a man she met in the hospital, while the surgeon was sawing my chest in half. A remarkable thing to think about is that I think I had an out-of-body awareness while under anesthetic, which resulted in my becoming conscious, which surprised the surgeon who was cutting my sternum with an electric saw. In the recovery room, I refused to breathe.

The surgeon brought my freshly fucked fiancé into the recovery room and imposed upon her his wish that she try to get me to draw breath. My first fully waking experience following the operation, was the sound of her voice, shouting in my ear, “Breathe, damn it! I didn’t come here so I could go back and tell your mother that you’re dead!” In order for me to hear, pain-erasing medications had been stopped and my next conscious experience, following her shout, was the most painful breath a person has ever taken.

My brother was an inveterate poacher. Since he’s still alive, I can say that without committing another faux pas, speaking about the dead while he is for all I care dead. He seems to enjoy poaching the female companions of men he is closest to. His son, for instance, is the product of his cuckolding the wife of his best friend, when he was at Stanford.

If I’d thought about it when he bragged about his son’s provenance, I’d have run the other way and never trusted him but I didn’t think about it this way because of a peculiarity in our relationship. My mother left my father during the last month of the term of my gestation. She remarried to a Navy career man when I was six but he was far away most of the time until he retired when I was thirteen. During the time, from birth to mid- puberty, my brother was both my sibling rival and the older male figure. He was at times unscrupulous, dispassionate and a malicious physical and psychological bully. I can’t recall a time when he was loving or affectionate. My mother entrusted him with taking care of me, and I have a couple scars, including a scratch on the cornea of my right eye as a result of his care.

My Ross Procedure in 1997 was for these reasons quite different from the one described in the link. There is a point of similarity, it is the reason why relationship and loving support are crucial to nurturing psychological recovery from the terrifying realization of your mortality. It is as if your own body attacked you, followed by a terrible intrusion.

That my brother and fiancé treated me as if I was already dead in view of their history isn’t surprising. It is somewhat surprising that I survived.