Some of you who perhaps have read my bio here on And Magazine might have spotted that I am also a humor writer and a local comedian. I've done some standup before a live crowd, but I decided to take my act to Youtube.
I also post to a British website called LiveLeak.
I did a comedy bit of about three minutes making fun of the institution of marriage titled 'So, You're Getting Married.' I was thunderstruck at the reception. I wouldn't describe it as 'viral,' but in a little over one day I got 25,000 views of this video, when a second best (earlier) video of several months ago has to date generated 3,000 views.
A lot of people evidently have strong opinions about marriage.
Some of the viewers were complimentary. In comedy, if only 30 percent of your audience chuckle, you've done well, like in baseball, where three hits out of ten times at bat is a 300 average.
But many of the comments were insulting. I offended a lot of people. Some were the usual taunts, calling me a 'dumb-ass,' 'jerk,' 'butt-head' (I don't consider this an insult, because I like butts), and 'dumb-sh't,' to name a few.
I'm not against hecklers. That's part of the game. I even enjoy them sometimes. I memorized a few lines to use on hecklers, like 'I remember when I had my first beer too.'
Not everybody likes my routine and that's just fine.
The potential problem is, many of the responders were evidently young people, and they attacked me because of my age rather than my opinion. I was called an 'old man' over and over. One said 'this old guy is obsessed with money and should be buried with it,' and another said, 'a grumpy old fu'k,' while yet another called me a 'retard and a stupid old fu'k.'
Still another said I was a '15 year old kid in an old man's body.' I was almost ready to agree with that one because it is partly true and at least it showed a sliver of imagination.
Nevertheless, these people attacked me in what is pathetically the only way they know how-----my age. I'm 64. There are a lot of people around who are older than me.
I can still do 100 pushups and run uphill for three miles. There are other people my age or older who can do more than that. Diana Nyad who is my age swam from Cuba to Florida.
Ageism, or age discrimination, is the only safe haven left for bigots. If I was black and you called me the N word, you'd be called a racist. There would be a penalty. If I was a woman and you called me 'Babe,' you'd probably pay for it. You'd be tabbed a male pig, a sexist, and you don't want that. If you called me a dirty Jew-boy, you'd get labeled an anti-Semite.
If you called me a dirty Catholic, you'd get called'well'you'd get called anti-Catholic.
People, even bigots, don't like being labeled. When there is a penalty attached to being a bigot, by publicly being called one, it makes a lot of bigots think twice.
All these disparaged groups I mentioned above, and more including Latinos, gays and others, have learned to hit back against their tormentors.
Racism, sexism and the rest are still with us, but more often today they get called what they are.
For example, a cattle farmer who became a 24-hour hero to conservative groups blew it when he said African Americans would be happier as slaves. Racists, including this cattle farmer, have learned there is a penalty for injudicious comments.
But discrimination against those more gently referred to as 'seniors,' on the other hand, carries no taint. Nobody, mostly the young, gets called on the carpet for deriding someone because of their age.
Why do the young in particular despise older people as worthless? They themselves will one day be my age, and they won't feel worthless. That's called being a 'hypocrite.' In fact, if they are like me, they won't feel old either.
They do it because this is a throw-away society, plastic bags, junk food, and people, even our own people.
The older among us, not all of us, but many of us, have achieved a wisdom that can only come from living life---from experience. It also produces a mellow sense of balance, rather than the foolish and often rash passions of hormonal-fed youth.
The older among us should be valued for the knowledge and experience they have gained, and I'm not saying I have those attributes. But I can honestly say I have never looked down upon someone because of their age.
I think it's time that older people learn from other denigrated so-called minority groups and start hitting back, making people who engage in age discrimination pay in discomfort for their remarks.
I have included a link below to the film clip that caused all of this.