Sunday, February 16, 2014


In wintertime I am a member of a folk-country band called the GRAND TRUNK TROUBADOURS (GTT).  Outside the busking season, we entertain for shut-ins, mostly at hospitals and retirement communities.  We have been doing this every Thursday evening from 7 o’clock until 8 o’clock for the past 13 years.  Our fee for this community service is zeroth. 

Doing over 300 such performances, I have decided that … I do not want to grow oldnor do I want to live among the aged.  To live is to suffer is the skinny of Zen, and to candidly comment as a GTT band member, I can very much imagine the zombies of tomorrow being a direct result from the senior citizenship of today.  

ZOMBIES.  Their lure began during the United States military occupation of Haiti in 1915, as the American soldiers brought back zombies from the tales of Haitian Voodoo folklore.  Since that time, these tales have waxed into a global zombie infestation, now an entertainment staple of our modern culture.

Precisely from this folklore came the foundational zombie film, George A. Romero’s 1964 cult classic, Night of the Living Dead.  And thereafter, Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Juan of the Dead, 28 Days Later, Fido, Resident Evil, and my favorite, Zombieland.   

These mindless monster-like automatons continue to fascinate and attract movie goers across the world, making it to the screens of England, France, Italy, Spain, Korea, Japan, Canada, and elswhere.

Zombies are those who are the undead, decomposed, mindless, speechless, moaning, guttural, mechanical, emaciated, expressionless, mouth-twitching and drooling, discolored and translucent, having clumps and scraps of hair, torn clothes, and blood shot sunken eyes.  Zombies are dead people revived; they are the living dead. Zombies are mindless, reanimated corpses. They simply stagger about, continually hunger for human flesh, and in particular, human brains.  Though they have difficulty communicating, they do have complete use of their senses

BOOMERS.  They were born from 1946 through 1964.  In America alone, 76 million babies were born in this time frame, and these babies meant business.  The boomers across the world seemed to come of age simultaneously.  Britain had the Beatles, Americans had Woodstock. As a group, the boomers became the wealthiest and most politically active ever.  But alas, as soon as the boomer nostalgia passes, the ravages of age shall begin to takes its toll.

Right now in 2014, the oldest boomer is 67 years old.  The boomers will soon be dying off in large numbers of heart attacks, strokes, and cancer, and this particular group demise shall be in full stride by 2015.

Boomers are now those who are the medicated, brittle boned, arthritic, frail, dental decayed, dry mouthed, constipated, diminished sighted, hearing impaired, staggering, falling, thin haired, dried and wrinkled and hanging skin.  They are the ones with skin tags, liver spots, slow mobility, gasping breathy voices, rapid weight decline, muscle loss, and brain growth at a stop.

The cost of caring for these elderly and infirmed boomers, the nation’s largest demographic group, will be economically and psychologically enormous.

FACT:  ZOMBIES rage as BOOMERS age. 

The ZOMBIE and BOOMER phenomena and cultures can easily be compared, especially when considering the social issues, the retirement patterns into conformity, the loneliness, the lost sense of self-awareness and identity, and eventually the acknowledgment of the facts:

FACT: 1 in 3 seniors will die with either Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
FACT: 1 in 7 Americans age 71 or over has some type of dementia.
FACT:  Nearly 10% of all people over 65 and up to 50% of those over 85 have Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Among those 85 and older, when they fall, one in every ten will suffer a hip fracture.  And twenty-five percent of those who do fracture their hip die within six months of their injury.  And, fifty percent of those who survive having fractured their hip, are discharged to a nursing home.

I do not want to grow oldnor do I want to live among the aged. 

Sadly, statistically, we are all of us going to be zombies.  We will, everyone of us, be staggering about our communities. Already there are two million Americans and 200000 Canadians using walkers to aid in our stagger.

In my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week I have but one marcher to thank:  EMMA REID for her photograph entitled, DEAD TIRED, which is above depicting the zombie in this particular blog.



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