Friday, 6 May 2011


I ASK YOU AMERICA: ARE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT WE BECOME?? SHOULD WE BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE?? Down there is a small town---and I've got a project in mind: Go engage some old people and see how I feel about the experience. This morning I found myself momentarily trapped in a grocery store behind a doddering old geezer. I got annoyed at his wheezing obstructiveness wishing he would get the hell out of my way---and out of everybody's way. As I passed him, I noticed that he was likely younger than me. I tried to talk to him and discovered he coundn't speak any better than he could walk. My irritation increased--- And the above questions flashed in my mind. ---Hence my resolve to do some first hand research.

My first stop is the senior center---having lunch with them ($3) and engaging several of them before and after the meal.

Not a bad lunch as you can see.

I took this surreptitious photo because I think it shows a general dispiritedness.

Try as I may, I could not find a sense of humor or a love of life. These souls are not polished---these personalities do not sparkle---I detected no reservoirs of wisdom.
Then I went to a nursing home----walked around---looked---talked--and came out quietly enraged.

RANDY RANTS-----HOW DARE ALL THESE PEOPLE ARRIVE AT OLD AGE WITH SO LITTLE TO SHOW FOR A LIFETIME OF LIVING. HOW DARE THEY COME GIMPING INTO OLD AGE, HARD OF HEARING, SLOW OF MIND, CRANKY, UNGRACIOUS, NEEDY---AND PLOP THEIR WRETCHED ASSES ON SOCIETY'S DOORSTEP TO BE LOOKED AFTER IN GRAND STYLE. I fantasized entering the nursing home with a whip---Jesus like--and drive most of them into the street. I am outraged at what it cost to keep these geezers in a nursing home---and even more outraged at what it cost to give them end-of-life medical treatment. They are evil for allowing this kind of money to be spent on them and we are morally blind for doing it. Collectively, they are bankrupting america. I think we all should live frugally and die frugally.
PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY BECOME. We all have a shot at becoming a well rounded personality--77 years on average--- to learn life's lessons---become---smart--alert--funny--wise---into our nineties and beyond. Buckminster Fuller, Frank Lloyd Wright for example and you probably know old people who have not lost their mind or their health or their dignity.

1. CREATE A FOSTER CARE SYSTEM FOR THEM. (google foster care for the elderly---Saves 2/3 the cost ---gives employment for many now unemployed and the added value of living within the embrace of a family-------see NY Times article 3/8/94)

2. Legally give people the right to die if they wish by assisted suicide. (Oregon law plus) (currently if the health care system gets you in its grip--it won't let go)

3. Change people's attitude toward death---seen as natural-or-a new adventure or Heaven, reincarnation or just moving on. (google near death experiences---note their insights.

4. Create Death Panels---yes!---for the tough cases like Terry Shivo--a body of experts who can assist families see situations rationally.

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