Invisible Older Women 2

Invisible Older Women
I was sad to hear of the recent passing of South Africa’s first black woman novelist, Miriam Tlali. A loss for the country, I also felt it personally. Because I once met this world-famous author and spent a few days in her company. Unfortunately, I now realise, I failed to make the most of this experience. ...

Snowflake Generation: Insult of the Year

Snowflake Generation: Insult of the Year
I am not happy about the Insult of the Year. Not because it was hurled at me – I’m too old for it. This insult is targeted at the young. Their elders call them the “Snowflake Generation”. “Young adults of the 2010s, viewed as less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations” ...

Youth tell Mandela era elders: Shut up! 1

Youth tell Mandela era elders: Shut up!
There’s a joke about the alumni of an elite South African boys school that poses this question: “How do you know if someone went to…?” The answer: “They tell you.” There’s a similar joke now doing the rounds: “How do you know if someone was in The Struggle?” Fighting apartheid used to be something to brag ...

Ali Aged Well 1

Ali Aged Well
A champion with his fists and his mouth, Muhammad Ali was also a champion at getting old. And a champ at living, and aging, with Parkinson’s disease. The contrast between the Ali we remember dancing like a butterfly in his gorgeous youth and the sight of him starting to lurch, slur and tremble could have ...

Same Old Same Old for Women at Cannes

Same Old Same Old for Women at Cannes
There are more women directors with movies in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. But in terms of older women it looks like Same Old Same Old. The Cannes 2016 main jury is headed by George Miller, director of the Mad Max action movie franchise. At 71 he is NSP (No Spring Chicken) but I haven’t ...

Face it, it’s about Face Value 3

Face it, it's about Face Value
I just watched a movie starring some of Hollywood’s top talent and everyone was looking old. In a good way. If you think that’s not possible, read on. The movie itself doesn’t really matter. It’s the looking old part that is my focus. For the record, the film is called Homesman. The title is a reference ...

Gaga can go gray but grannies can’t go Gaga 2

Gaga can go gray but grannies can’t go Gaga
It was my niece’s 13th birthday party and about a dozen 12- and 13 year-olds were playing a party game. (How heartening that children still do, when so often they’re all just staring at their phones.) The game called “Who Am I?” starts with a name stuck on your forehead (or back), then you have a limited ...

Dylan’s new album: we’re his target 1

Dylan’s new album: we’re his target
Bob Dylan is marketing his new studio album, the 36th of his long and winding career, to the biggest retirees organisation in the US. His first interview in three years, the only one for his new album of Frank Sinatra covers, was not in Rolling Stone. Dylan gave the exclusive to the monthly magazine of America’s ...

Art in late life – a fountain of youth?

Art in late life - a fountain of youth?
My New Old Self is intrigued with the notion of old age as a second childhood. Not a baby-like return in one’s dotage to being fed, dressed, bathed and having diapers changed. I mean In A Good Way. Throughout Western history scholars and writers have characterized old age as a period of a second childhood and ...

Enough already with the mother-in-law jokes

Enough already with the mother-in-law jokes
My New Old Self was not amused by the story of the “mother-in-law from hell going free” that was recently in the news. Presented as a light-hearted feature, it was about a man o­ffering his mother-in-law in the Adopt a Pet section of a classified ad website. In a twist on the usual in-law dynamic, ...