Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Why George W. Bush Paints

Forget all the damn immigrants for a minute, those huddled masses yearning to be free and grasping at our welfare handouts without doing a blessed thing to earn them, and consider this: The way old people are treated in America is worse. In fact, it's all the way to macabre. Being old myself now, I can say with pride that I have never been one to disparage the elderly, always finding them so interesting and yes, trite as it sounds, full of wisdom culled from their years of living. But most people find them annoying and useless, certainly unemployable and usually deemed unexciting as sex partners, hiking buddies and even lunch or dinner companions.
Picasso's self-portrait at 90. He died at 92.

For most of the elderly their only crime is not dying young, and isn't that what everyone, except suicides who foretell the bleak future awaiting them and opt out, hopes for at the get-go? Still, the old are treated as criminals. The weakest submit to plastic surgery, with all its inherent risks, hoping to fool themselves, along with Father Time and his golfing buddy, Death, into believing they are younger. It doesn't work.

At this very moment I am 70 and, as I read in the newspaper just this morning, can expect to live another 10 or 15 more years, although some go on for much longer. (Financier and philanthropist David Rockefeller died yesterday at 101.) I worry about getting treated worse every year by all the young people who, ironically, are hoping to stay alive long enough to be as old as I am now, at which time they will be treated badly by the generations following theirs.

It's a quandary and I have no answers. But when I'm parked in front of my easel, surrounded by brushes and tubes of paint and faced with a blank canvas, alone except for my cat and the occasional neighbor passing by my window, I am ageless. I'm betting former President Bush, who is exactly my age and took up painting four years ago, feels the same way.

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