No, please, please hold the applause. And mainly, as time goes by, the best thing I can say about having a birthday is that it’s better than the alternative. I think about that kind of stuff a lot by my age.
At the moment I cannot understand where all the time has gone, but it has gone and you can’t get it back. If you are younger than I am, and many of you are, then heed the wisdom of carpe diem and if you want to do ‘something’ (preferably legal because time in prison is time really badly wasted) then do it. You may not get another chance.
That’s a bit of conventional wisdom I wish I’d paid more attention to and that perhaps always opting for the conventional, and safe, and approved route wasn’t always the best for me. I know that now.
Do I have regrets? Oh, a few hundred of them. But, as I reflect, I also had moments of moderate glory and even genuine fulfillment. My domestic track-record hasn’t been great, but it has indeed been ‘interesting’ and generally I don’t resent the way it panned out. It was, shall I say, ‘diverse’. “Now, who did you say you were?” That last bit isn’t true. I’m really a lot more caring than that.
At times I think I was maybe too caring and looked out for the feelings of others ahead of my own well-being on this planet. And at other times I was a thoughtless prick. Now, who can’t say that? Be honest.
I was just reading an article that made reference to the fact there is a huge boomer generation – geezers triumphant in culture, or some such – and it was pointed out that filmmakers have recognized that there is an audience that isn’t enchanted by vampires, (badly) revamped fairy tales, or comic books on the big screen, but that wants to see some of their own kind telling tales and living their lives, and rather than vapid looking female waifs whose names I can never remember and whom all look exactly the same, they want a Meryl Streep who is aging very nicely, thank you.
I like that. A few weeks ago we rented Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which was replete with old farts of both sexes coming to grips with where they were in this universe and finding themselves. I enjoyed it immensely. I related, I must confess.
There are many prominent performers who reflect this demographic change, and I like it. Here are some particular favorites:
- Dame Helen Mirren: Quite frankly she could turn down the comforter on my bed any day of the week.
- Dame Judi Dench: Still hitting it big in the bond epics, and I loved her lovely husky voice and ‘cute’ demeanor in As Time Goes By on TV.
- Dame Maggie Smith: For me there would be no Downton Abbey without this amazingly appealing actress and her character, Lady Grantham in the series. She reminds me of the fact, however, that age doesn’t always translate to charm. I didn’t care at all for the Shirley MacLaine episode and found her character charmless. But, to be honest, I found MacLaine relatively charmless at age 30. Old doesn’t necessarily translate to delightful.
- Clint Eastwood. Made an idiot of himself during the election campaign, but I’ll still forgive him for the wonderful entertainments he’s provided and especially for The Unforgiven.
- Morgan Freeman: Regardless of your ethnicity, wouldn’t you want him to be your uncle? I would.
And special kudos to Emmanuelle Riva who has been Oscar nominated for best actress for her lead in the film Amour. Mml Riva is 86.
Maybe I should get off my ass and do something more. Maybe there is still a goodly chunk of time. Or maybe not. I have no control over that.