Saturday, August 31, 2013


An article in the current New Yorker (2 September 2013) apprizes me that, as of my last birthday (54), I have entered the final year of living in “the demo”: “viewers aged twenty-five to fifty-four, known collectively in cable news as ‘the demographic’ or ‘the demo,’ because it is the group that advertisers pay to reach.”

Leaving aside for the moment the fact that I’m not a “viewer” in the sense prized by cable news, I wonder what will change in my life once I am truly no longer in “the target audience”—I wasn’t, really, by virtue of my leading lights, but, in one scant year, it seems, I will no longer be able to join up even should I wish to.  I fall off the precipice into the world of the senescent and irrelevant.  Cable news, with its many beacons of clarity and fonts of wisdom, will blithely sail on, making no effort whatsoever to court my long-withheld attention.

Sounds to me like my next birthday should be one I celebrate mightily as the first step—doddering, no doubt—into the realms of dotage, where being a curmudgeon, at odds with the temper of the times, will no longer be simply a matter of temperament, but an actual benefit of reaching “a certain age.”

O sir, you are old. / Nature in you stands on the very verge / Of his confine. You should be ruled and led / By some discretion that discerns your state / Better than you yourself.—Regan to Lear in King Lear


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