PG13

PG13

by Jon Foyt

             We in Rossmoor can take half a victory lap as a result of this February’s Oscar Awards. Hollywood is finally hearing the message that the American population is aging. No longer is everything coming out of Hollywood produced for—what I call—PG13, or “Pretty Good for 13 Year Olds.” That’s what I was taught about the makeup of the American movie audience in my first screenwriting class given by a Hollywood producer a decade ago in Santa Fe, when my wife, Lois, and I were pioneer sponsors of the Santa Fe Film Festival.

             “The Artist” won big on that recent Sunday evening, as did “Dependents.” While the best acting in the latter was not by King George (Clooney), but by a teenage young woman, the plot was all about mature adults and what goes around and around in those mature minds. The average age for those vetted by the Screen Actors Guild to judge the flicks was 67. Our contemporary friend, Christopher Plummer, looking like he just came out of an event at the Fireside Room, got Best Supporting Actor at age 82, the oldest person to ever win an Oscar.

            Watch “The Artist.” It’s about silent movies from a time preceding many of our lifetimes—especially the many Rossmoor Boomers! Stay tuned, kids, for we’re all advancing along Calendar Way. And take a cue or two from those of us walking arm and arm with Christopher Baby.

            So, what’s this Aging thing all about, really? Silly to ask, you say. But wait, grab onto these thoughts I gleaned last month at the Stanford Medical School from a Symposium on Aging, students and faculty literally hanging from the rafters to hear the cutting edge speakers: In the last decade, and really just during the last five years, medical academia has begun to focus on the concept and the conundrum of Aging.

            Extensive research is being conducted at the relatively new Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging at Harvard, MIT, and now Stanford, along with studies well underway at medical schools and universities in the UK. Today more and more minds are delving into researching and learning about the subject of Aging.

            Here’s one idea for all these probing minds: maybe it would enlighten their findings if they were to conduct an in-depth study of We the People and our lifestyles at Rossmoor. At any rate, the point is that those of us who are living this camaraderie of Aging may soon be reading more about the under the surface medical and physiological secrets of this (for-all-of-us) pervasive condition of Aging.

            Politically, as those of us leaning left approach and live with Aging, our resolve becomes tainted with fearful concerns that Social Security and Medicare and even pensions may not be enough to get us through. Add to those concerns our worries that these social supports may not even endure, as those well-funded corporations continue to raise consumer prices while bankrolling and influencing all of our elections, one of which may soon spell the end, or the reduction of financial and medical benefits. For in our political system today those corporations pay the lobbyists who, in turn, contribute to the candidates of their sponsoring corporations’ choices, with the results being that our benefits and our entitlements may wane or vanish entirely.

            Whereas those on the right approach Aging by living in luxury with pockets bulging, oblivious perhaps to the needs of these less fortunate, who, through the roll of life’s dice, enter the awards arena in tattered togs, while the box seat people revel in luxury.

            But through all this bias, one thing’s becoming perfectly clear as to the subject and the effects of Aging and its attributes, whether you be on the left or on the right: money can’t buy your way out of Aging.

            Now both academia and Hollywood have raised the blinds and are looking in upon the lives and the lore of all of us in places such as Rossmoor, as the role of Aging moves to center stage and the lights, the camera, and the action focus upon us.

             Jon Foyt, a Rossmoor published novelist, has completed his latest novel, Time to Retire, set in an active adult retirement community. He posts his Blog at https://writerlygifts.wordpress.com/  and can be contacted at jonfoyt@mac.com

 

 

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