"Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?"
In a couple of weeks, I'll be celebrating my 64th birthday. Oh, I'll be celebrating it, but my heart won't be in it: considering that I've been HIV+ for over 33 years, I guess I should be celebrating the fact that I'm here at all, but while I should celebrate all the wonderful things and people I've experienced in my life, I don't feel like celebrating my future one bit. Why not?
I'm getting wrinkles and I can't afford them. You see, thanks to America's slash-everything conservatives, wrinkles cost money. Sure, face-lifts cost a lot, but the fierce Republican Congress, by threatening to eradicate Social Security and Medicare, have made wrinkles just as expensive. It won't be long until wrinkles will become a status symbol because anyone lasting long enough to have them will obviously be rich enough to afford them.
And the nation's politicians have made it clear that Town Halls are filled with elderly demanding to know why their elected officials have come to consider them so ... expendable. They've met with some blunt and, frankly, cold-hearted answers.
Former Rep_ Tom Davis (R-VA) tells an elderly woman with diabetes "good luck" finding insurance*
Anyway, the poor elderly have no right to exist, even God says so:
According to Pastor Matt Trewhella :
3. Social Security violates God's work ethic. The Bible has much to say against laziness. Sluggards and sloths are mentioned 15 times in the book of Proverbs alone. Proverbs 26:14 states, "As the door turns upon its hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed." The Bible extols the virtues of hard work, yet says nothing about retirement. God requires us to be honest and industrious and to help our neighbor in their need. Retirement is what Americans look forward to in order to pursue their own self-interests such as golf and fishing. Rarely is retirement used as an opportunity for further service to God.
And God-fearing Dominionists know that programs like Medicare are not God's economics.
Am I missing something here? Is the Right Wing (esp. the Christian Right Wing) conducting some kind of poor senior genocide? OK, I won't go into any stupid conspiracy theory,*** but open disdain for the poor and elderly has become alarming.
Guilty To Die Too Soon
I'm a caregiver for my ex partner who is only 48 and has terminal liver cancer. The irony about his situation is that he feels guilty about dying too soon: he doesn't want to leave me or any one of our friends in the quagmire that will be the fate of what he sees as a vicious, greedy and righteously arrogant society. And while I'm angry at becoming one amongst the ranks of expendables, I'm angrier that it worries him even more than it worries me. His concern makes me feel like going into a "senior closet": if the people in power want us to disappear, then I may have to get a fake ID, some facial spackle , a skate board and join Rick Warren's Saddleback Church (it has a skateboard park).
I may have to cancel my birthday party as well. Pity. I was going to have the DJ at the local bar play a life-affirming tune:
"When I'm 64."
*I would have provided the YouTube link, but the corresponding video has been pulled. I wonder why?
**Most of the people with AIDS who were evicted from their homes were God-fearing Southern Baptists. I know. Ask me about it.
*** Since I've succumbed to the Conspiracy Theory craze, I actually do have one, but you'll have to read about it later.