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I read a few pages of 50 Shades of Grey. It seemed about as stimulating as a telephone directory.
Reverse is in operation: only people who are wealthier and have more safety have resources and spare interest to visit museums and historical buildings.
Wouldn't it be likely that people who have the time and money to develop an appreciation of the arts also have the resources to take better care of themselves through life and this carries over into old age .?
Actually many cultural activities are totally free. Require zero $ to participate.
What is required though are -
(2) willingness to participate;
(3) perhaps the hardest, willingness to think a little (Instead of rejecting anything the rejector perceives as an assault on his comfort zone. We see many of this sort in political parties of one particular type.
Examples of free for the take culture -
(1) Library books free for loan
(2) One day each week free museum pass for seniors in most large US cities.
(3) Free excellent television programming in US Public Television (in lieu of boobs and butts and twerks on Reality Shows - the anti-culture favorite of a particular "sort" who would rather troll on internet forums with the aim of finding a race, a gender, a nationality to insult).
(4) Inexpensive ethnic restaurants explored, frequented and explained by the late culinary master Boudain.
(5) A stroll in Central Park of New York City where professional artists (musicians, stage actors) perform for free (they also get to rehearse for a formal performance).
(6) A walk by the seaside where natural habitats of vegetations are in abundant display.
(7) A hike to the mountains for the same
(8) A bookstore where one can read a few books in one sitting without spending a penny unless the book is a keeper, in which case, you buy it, generally for no more than $15 to $30
Etc.etc.etc. The list is by no means exhaustive. But if the person lacks curiosity and is phobic of anything and everything unfamiliar, then there is really nothing the person could do. Indeed, the person is dead before his time. And whining all day and looking for people to insult will become the only "cultural activity" left before the person kicks the bucket. Not a pleasant way to live, but some prefer it. They do it openly in cyberspace.
Typo - master Bourdain. Anthony Bourdain.
Let's be optimistic ashbird - I believe some of the truculency in cyberspace may just serve as a safety valve, allowing the online bullies to be quite pleasant in their non-virtual surroundings. Everybody has some aggressions and must deal with them; some play ego-shooters, some work out at the gym, and yet some let off steam in online forums. For me, playing Chopin helps; too bad for my neighbours!
Hahahahaha! Thank you, Swiss Reader! You are always the sage one. I listen to you.
Re aggression, I think you are right, but up to a point. When folks say things like some female oceanographer should have been strangled in the cradle, the clinician in me does pay special attention. In real life, that is committable homicidal ideation. And death threats are serious as well; those are reportable to FBI. It isn't just the words uttered. It is the level of agitation exhibited and/or ominous wish to control another person by brute power. That sort of things cannot be encouraged. Many young people, for example gays and trans, have been known to be taunted and bullied in social media to the point they committed suicide. Those are not matters to be minimized or denied.
Of course everybody has some aggression; nobody is aggression-proofed, myself certainly included. There are ways, as you pointed out, to deal with or manage aggression so that it is not acted out in destructive ways. A few mass murders could have been stopped if the murderers had learned how to regulate or modulate their aggression a few years before it culminated in killing innocent people. As you said, work out in the gym, sports that involve wrestling with Nature, the biggest and most unpredictable aggressor of all, and any kind of competitive sports....
Funny you play Chopin for modulating your emotion. I play him when I feel I could not be more effervescent - imagining myself to be some poet like Li Bai in writing the poem Moonlight. Schubert is for the most serious contemplation. And if I could handle it, a roaring Beethoven Sonata (I can't handle it!). I know exactly what you mean, though. There is nothing like playing the piano to let off what is sad, what causes despondence, sometimes indeed despair (which is anger thwarted).... anyway, I'd better stop. I can talk all night on the subject. :)
Try the Pathétique... it's hard but just about what an amateur can handle, and also great for managing emotion.
Ha!! I am working on Opus 31, #3. I heard Ashkenazy play it a million years ago when I was a young girl. For some reason, both the 2nd and 3rd movements caused me to cry like a baby. So a million years later, I try to learn it. Pathétique is hard too. They are all hard, if the standard is Michelangelo or Arrau, or Argerich. I am also working on Tchaikovsky's The Seasons. Beautiful lyrical pieces. I think you might like them. They are not as hard technically to play. I particularly like June and October (Horowitz liked to play October for encore, and of course Schumann's Traümerei too). But a pianist friend of mine told me don't ever listen to those guys if you are learning a piece, or you will kill yourself. :)
I have to prepare for a meeting for tomorrow. Will stop here for now. Enjoy your piano. It is the one of greatest things Man has invented. Much better than bombs! And all the composers are muses with wings. They soar in ethereal beauty. :)
I last played piano seriously when I was less than 20, when I was quite good, but have never forgotten how to play despite lack of regular practice. My dexterity, particularly with the left hand, is not what it once was, and likely never will be again. So I can't handle anything technically challenging, but I still know how things are supposed to sound. What I find is that I can still play slower pieces. So first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight, second movement of the Pathetique, and various of the slower Nocturnes and other small pieces by Chopin. I can't do the fast stuff, but I like the slower pieces more anyway. I have been singing in choirs most of my adult life rather than playing instruments. It's a more social activity, and requires less of a commitment in time than playing an instrument well. Most community choirs are chock full of retired people, by the way. I'm surprised that being in a choir didn't make the list of activities in the article. I know several old people who occupy much of their social lives with 3-4 choirs.
Yes Tom! Good to hear from you. Yes, choir! I totally forgot to put that on my list. There are many big positives about choir. First, a kind of camaraderie that is mutually enriching; second, a singer reads music which trains the neuropathways in the brain, equivalent to an aerobic workout of the heart; third, together everybody makes music! I cannot imagine anything more fun! There are some studies out there correlating the brain of professional musicians and neurological longevity, I cannot cite them on the spur of the moment without doing some research. Suffice it to say music-making really gives the brain a good work-out, plus it really helps modulate moods - the best medicine there is without pharmaceutical side-effects. I think the late Oliver Sacks (he passed recently in 2015) wrote a couple of books on music and the brain. He played Beethoven big time. In his youth a motorcycle-riding rebel.
It's great you play the piano, Tom!! Great you've kept it up! If there is a love that will never leave a person, it is one's love for music! I too was a serious student before I was 20. Then I gave it up b/c I knew I couldn't make a living being a pianist. I abandoned it for decades to learn different skills that would allow me to make a living..... I was just practicing Chopin last night - his Nocturne in C# minor (posthumous). That's the one played in the movie The Pianist where the Jewish man's life was spared by a Nazi officer when he played the piece for the officer. I like that piece very much. Again, so glad we all here play a bit of piano. Piano is great. Long live piano!
I realize the UK health system is different from the US in terms of what people have to pay out of pocket. However in general isn't it quite likely, with respect to "Mature Content" that all the people who can afford to do those things on a regular basis, are also the people who can afford better homes, healthier food, premium healthcare, etc? The article implies the experiencing of the content is what adds to one's longevity but I suspect the salient cause-effect relationship is between wealth and longevity.
Interesting topic. In think the link begins way early in life. By the time a person is chronologically old (say "old" is the stretch of time between 65 to death), it might be impossible to develop a new habit of cultural interest, and interest is a prerequisite to participation). This is the flip side of "old habits die hard". You can't make a person read a book if they don't want to, or if they believe they have already read all the books that need be read, or go to a museum or attend a concert if they have absolutely no interest.
I think your views pessimistic. I have seen people change in their later years, particularly when the circumstances of their lives changed. Big changes, like the kids leaving home, a change of a career, or retirement, are sources of dislocation which, while frightening, are also opportunities for a change in attitude and lifestyle. When we see people "stuck in a rut" and seemingly immovable in their outlook, it is often because they are comfortable in how they are seen by their parents, spouse, children, co-workers and friends. When life's dislocations change that cast of characters, or when age and wisdom allow one to stop caring so much about the opinions of others, there is opportunity for change. For instance, I have seen several hard, tough men in their working years become far more cheerful and open to new ideas after retirement. That tough façade was to allow them to cope with their work; it did not survive the retirement. I've also seen mothers whose facades did not survive long after the departure of their children from the home, for similar reasons. We each contain multitudes; change only requires us to let new versions of ourselves free.
Thank you for this. I love it.
"We each contain multitudes; change only requires us to let new versions of ourselves free."
Not only are you right, it gives hope. One hundred percent right! It is so good you wrote it in response to my "down" view, one terribly unfair to folks who might simply not be dealing with the same circumstance.
Retirement indeed is a huge transition in a person's life. It is also a time when a person faces many things that in all previous early years did not have time to think about, and suddenly the person has to think about them all at once. This is not just about money things, but about how-to-spend-one's-time things. Then for many, there are physical or medical issues....
There are a couple of movies, excellent movies, I forgot the names, with Christopher Plummer in it. First off, the guy is an incredible actor; second, his truly golden years in his acting career come rather in the late years of his life. He is still going strong. A marvel to behold. Very inspiring stuff.
Thanks for the chats. Great ones.
Participation in cultural activities is a direct consequence of wealth, health, and education.
The relationship is actually surprisingly reciprocal.
A self-wrought (due to whatever reason or combination of reasons - rigidity of mentation, prejudice against all things unfamiliar, a coiled-up fetal position of fear, an a priori attitude viewing all things different as inferior and therefore to be rejected, or worse, HATED ....) forms the bastion of cultural ignorance which has been observed to be the prodromal signs of of dis-health (both mind and body), of impossibility in advancement in education (in any field of specialty), and ultimately, stagnation in wellness development, which includes wealth. We all know people like that. They are perpetually angry about everything and picking fights with everyone.
In various choirs, I have encountered a wider range of incomes and educations than I have in any other context, certainly relative to work or family. While there is a correlation with education, it is not determinative, as many who did not enjoy school still enjoyed music, and the income range in voluntary arts groups if often very wide indeed. My experience is that what is most determinative is free time, so you see more participation by retired people, empty nesters, and young people without families. People with kids do things with their kids, and have no time for anything else.
It seems that America has been discovered in this survey. A common sense would tell us the same from observing how old people behave and what makes them happy.