Saturday, February 16, 2019

Weekend Post

Writers.  Do you think ageism is a new thing?   Here's an article from 1927.  Thanks to reader Ron Rettig for sharing it. 

12 comments :

Phil said...

I wish you had posted that nurse article too.

Frank Beans said...

True fact: The iconic MGM lion roaring was really a tiger's roar dubbed in. I used to think the reason for it was anti-tiger discrimination, but it turns out that the tiger was just too old (I think he was 10).

YEKIMI said...

it's not just writers, it's any job. When I lost my "good" job in my early 50s [and by that, I don't mean as a DJ....those were GREAT jobs] I figured "No big deal, I'll catch on elsewhere just as fast". Boy was I mistaken. I literally walked in the door at one place and was told that I was too old and I wouldn't be hired. Not even the courtesy of an interview. No matter the fact that they violated age discrimination laws. The guy basically laughed in my face when I brought that up and said good luck in proving it. [Now I record any interview I go on and I'm not telling them I do] Joined a group for older unemployed workers and one guy with white hair was told to dye his hair and beard a darker color. Now ten years later, I have a job that barely covers the bills and no health insurance....and I don't see it getting any better for me or anyone else in any job.

Pat Reeder said...

Thank you a million times for doing the ageism podcast. That's a particular hot button issue around our house. Thank God I am a freelance comedy writer for radio/Internet. I never have to worry about age; as long as our material is funny and current, our clients keep paying us for it because they never see me and have no idea how old I am or even what race I am (and with a name like Pat, what gender I am, either.)

Also, my wife and writing partner, Laura Ainsworth, hates ageism so much (being a retro jazz singer, she prefers music from 70 years ago) that she wrote and used to perform a one-woman cabaret show about the pressure (especially on women, but men, too) to keep young and beautiful forever. She has since transitioned to pure retro jazz and has recorded three CDs so she doesn't do this show anymore, but there's still an old demo reel for it on YouTube that I thought you would really appreciate.

https://youtu.be/VphPaL_mflM

BTW, one song not included in the demo was a parody of "Why Was I Born" called "When Was I Born," about trying to hide your age from employers ("When was I born?...You've no clue!") She actually led into it with a bit about nobody wanting comedy writers over 40 that mentioned the stories about writers for great shows like "MASH" being hesitant to put it on their resumes for fear it might date them. She added that these days, you can't even get a writing job if you're old enough to have watched "MASH"...even in reruns.

Mike Bloodworth said...

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 1:9 KJV

By the way, I had to look up the word, "surfeit." Back in the old days...people, apparently had larger vocabularies. Or they were more pedantic.
M.B.

Ron Rettig said...

For Phil here is link to letter about nurses in film, it is on page 22 http://www.archive.org/stream/filmspectator19200film#page/n140/mode/1up/search/Fox

Janet Ybarra said...

I'm not sure if this counts as ageism or is ageism-adjacent, it would be swell if someone in Hollywood still developed series for those older than millennials.

I understand the traditional "needs" of advertisers for a certain ad-friendly younger demographic.

I wonder, in today's world, in a media-saturated universe, if that thinking still entirely holds true.

Andy Rose said...

Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve felt that baby boomers are a bit oversensitive to the idea that “they don’t make shows for me anymore.” A typical generation dominates pop culture for, what, 15 years or so? Mass media started catering to baby boomers in the late 60, and then they were in control of mass media from the late 70s until maybe ten years ago. That’s a remarkably long run. I think a lot of Boomers just assumed it would (and should) last forever.

Filippo said...

I used to think a lot about when in a writer's career the best work is done. I surely never abandoned the idea that a career is a curve with peaks and lows. And surely what I look for usually are the so called works of the maturity, but I'm not sure what I mean by this.
I don't care for the 'an old writer is better because he knows life' theory. What I require, though, in a writer is that he writes about what he knows. That's why Seinfeld, e.g., hit the target.
Another thing that could be said is that with age increases not only the knowledge of life, but craft too.
Although, and this is very personal, I would also say that there can be something divine in youth that summons a form of inspiration that can make up for the lack of knowledge.
Having said all this, I of course agree that job employment discrimination based on age is wrong.

Honest Ed said...

Doesn't young really equate to cheaper and easier to control?

Todd Everett said...

Mike Bloodworth said...
By the way, I had to look up the word, "surfeit." Back in the old days...people, apparently had larger vocabularies. Or they were more pedantic.
M.B.


We knew words. We had the best words. Got 'em from books, not TV or the internet.

Brian Phillips said...

This must have been online for a long time. The content has yellowed. Was the internet different in 1927?