I stopped reading Ms Hanson (Guardian G2 Tuesdays) for a while because I couldn’t stand her negativity but I’ve now gone back to her because I’ve decided it’s healthy to raise your hackles once in awhile and boy, does she ever raise mine. I can’t remember who I heard say of an elderly male relative that he was a cantankerous old bastard but that it was being cantankerous that kept him alive. It’s good to get the adrenalin of anger racing through the body from time to time.
I suspect that Michele Hanson actually leads quite a good life so why does she always (well, almost always) have to focus on the negatives of later life? Take the column of Tuesday March 5th which focused all too closely on a large black lump on her scalp (which turned out to be a senile wart) with, as an added bonus, a comment about her dog’s ulcerated eye!
I think that what she was really writing about was fear and that fear – particularly of ill health in old age – is very real and scary so why couldn’t she address the issue in a realistic way that might be helpful and enlightening?
Probably you will say because the Guardian pays her to be amusing so she has to start with something negative and turn it into a laugh (well, I assume some people laughed – I didn’t and, before you label me, I’m not a curmudgeonly sort of person).
There are plenty of amusing and interesting things that happen to old people which really are funny and reflect the positives in the lives of old people. So please, Michele, write us funny column that leaves us thinking about the good things in our lives. In other words, as the masthead on my blog says ‘Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and don’t mess with Mr Inbetween’.
If you have examples of negative ways in which older people are represented in the media, please share them with us.