Saturday, November 05, 2011

Andy Rooney, R.I.P

I always liked Andy Rooney.  The more curmudgeonly he was, the better I liked him.  There's something appealing about a grumpy old man, at least one that you only have to listen to a few minutes every week.  The Daily Beast had a write up about Rooney, and I was horrified by some of the snarky comments. 

No one was abashed or ashamed to speak ill of the dead.  Rooney was not universally beloved.  One would think those who didn't care for his weekly rant would have had the courtesy to shut up, but they didn't.  From the "handles" on the Daily Beast site I would guess that most of the negative comments were made by young men.  Youngish men. 

Old people have a hard row to hold in this country.  No one likes them or likes to be around them.  Maybe they remind young people of the future coming their way like a freight train.  Hollywood ignores them except for an occasional comedy about The Bucket List or Grumpy Old Men. Nothing really believable.  They're anathema on TV.  When was the last time you saw a senior citizen in an ad that wasn't for false teeth fixative or Depends?   The best an old person can hope to be is invisible.  Rooney, of course, was not.  He spoke his mind, always a dangerous trait.

In England, they've always had cool television shows about seniors, and frequently they are even the stars.  Of course they are not rocket scientists or brain surgeons, but they have weight and occupy space. 
The Republicans who have a lot of rich old people, want to dismantle Medicare and Social Security.  They have no clue, and the middle class folks supporting the Tea Party have even less clue.  One could even say they are clueless.

I have a friend who is impoverished.  I mean he has zilch due to bad judgment in the market and too many ex-wives.  Yet he always identifies with the Republicans and the upper classes.  Thinks he's one of them.  Go figure.  Without social security and Medicare he would not have the proverbial pot.

Andy Rooney was a true patriot who never was shy about speaking his mind.  We need more Andy Rooneys in this country, more loud old curmudgeons. People who bravely shout, "Horsefeathers!"  or "Balderdash!"  Rooney was never afraid to put a stake in the ground and he didn't hide behind anonymous screen names.  Today The Daily Beast really was a Beast.   Slouching toward wherever. 


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