• Middle Ages

    Poetry Corner

    “During the Middle Ages,” a poem. You should read the whole thing.

    It would be a very hard time
    When the sun revolves around the earth
    And kings are just unbelievably selfish
    And it’ll be a really long time before Pop Art
    And meerkat videos and cotton candy
    And Kurosawa and fish tacos and girl bands

    Hat tip to the TueNighters Facebook group.

  • Middle Ages

    If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries…

    While I’m pleased to see McSweeney’s morphing into a middle-aged publication, some of the humor hews too closely to Gen X Erma Bombeck for comfort. Then again, satire has never resonated with me much.

    This is dangerously close territory to “I’m trying very hard to understand this generation. They have adjusted the timetable for childbearing so that menopause and teaching a 16-year-old how to drive a car will occur in the same week.”

  • Middle Ages

    Invisibility Isn’t a Superpower

    The whole invisibility thing is still upsetting to me, no matter how many older women claim that it’s empowering. Emily Flake isn’t there yet either in her rebuttal to the gross French guy story.

    Unfuckable is one thing, invisible is quite another. The idea that you just look through a person if you don’t want to put your dick in them—again, not a shocker, but a fucking gut punch as a human being no matter how many times it’s been drilled into your head that your worth is determined by your sexual desirability.

  • Middle Ages

    We Were Harassed, and We Liked It

    It’s not surprising to me that Janeane Garofalo is defending Louis C.K., similar to sentiments voiced by Sarah Silverman earlier.

    Also, Garofalo and Silverman are friends with Louis C.K. and relationships are more nuanced than all-in or ostracizing, despite the current vogue for black-and-white thinking.

    I’m definitely not excusing Louis C.K. or any other sexual harassers, but this is just one of many subjects where I’m starting to see a stark generational divide. Gen X were socialized to just suck it up or be tough or gloss over any abusive behavior while younger women aren’t putting up with badly behaved men anymore. It’s hard to change your worldview when you’re so years’ deep into it.

    Frankly, I’m jealous of the young women coming up who’ve always thought their voices matter.




  • Gen X'd Out,  Middle Ages

    You Say Burnt Out, I Say On Fire

    Apparently, adults in their mid-20s-to-late-30s can’t complete tasks like mailing packages, scheduling dermatologist appointments, or vacuuming a car because they are burnt out.

    I can’t even because I’m too burnt out to read the whole thing and I guess I don’t have any excuse (though I thought that sort of task paralysis was anxiety or ADHD related, which isn’t the exclusive domain of any one generation).

    And once again, I’m dreading 2021 when the oldest millennials turn 40. I’m already bracing for a decade of thinkpieces on aging when I know I should be focusing on what energizes me rather than what enervates. Being on fire is my theme for 2019.


  • Middle Ages

    Old Ladies Be Crazy

    I wished for the mainstreaming of menopause in the media, and little by little that has come into being, but like 90% of it is demoralizing. The latest is estrogen’s role in schizophrenia and menopause triggering psychosis in women who had no history of mental illness. Great!

    Yet just as our reproductive organs are thought to make us fragile, emotional, and irrational, we are expected to endure their effects on our bodies and minds stoically and without complaint. Boyfriends and husbands perpetuate this bias, but so do doctors, even elite ones. And if menstruation remains taboo, even in an era when little girls strut around wearing T-shirts that read the future is female, then menopause is worse, because the only thing more disgusting and shameful in culture than the manifestations of fertility — the blood and the egg-white discharge and the hormonal cloud — is the absence of all of that. In the Bible, an infertile woman is labeled cursed.