Just putting up this because I have to do a bunch of stuff today.
These are some of my thoughts on old age:
I was reflecting on the social critics in the 1950s who believed Americans were too optimistic. They thought we were deluded in our notions that life could be wonderful. From their standpoint, if you were safe you should have the sense not to ask for more.
I've never forgotten The Lonely Crowd, which I read as gospel as a very young person, and I took seriously what David Riesman said about old Americans being pumped full of a "cultural preservative" that kept them looking and acting young well after their pull date. Today, I say, "What nonsense!" Sure, we all fall apart eventually, but why rush it? People like me totally believed in the notion that people like Lasch, Marcuse, Riesman, etc. were telling us what we were really like, where we had gone wrong, and how we could be better people, gracefully submitting to our fates by being all inner directed and stuff. Bugger that! I think it's best to fight those tendencies to live in one's own world all the time, something I am prone to as a matter of fact but don't think is very healthy.
Right now I'm debating whether to go to Palestine with a Nation group in November.