Thursday, 15 August 2013

Forty-Four and Counting

As if the world isn’t already enough of a messed-up place,
We now have doctors whose aim it is to persuade you that it is 
   tantamount to an illness to have lines on your face.
“Holy Grand Canyon!” he shrieks as you walk into his plush, private 
   surgery. “I’ve never seen a face with lines so disordered and erratic.”
You’re too alarmed by this professional diagnosis to notice the shiny 
   shredder on his desk marked OATHS: HIPPOCRATIC.
And thus it is, with legs of jelly and heart full of despair
That you collapse into his plastic consulting-room chair.
“No need to worry: a few cuts here and a few slices there,
We’ll soon have you looking like a bulimic octogenarian in the throes 
   of an anaphylactic shock brought on by eating one too many 
   Walnut Whips,”
He professionally quips.

If ever I had to propose somebody as an Enemy of the People, this man 
   would be it.
How infected with existential bile
Do you have to be to massacre the beauty of a well-worn smile?
Wield the knife? Don’t even tempt me.
These people must be ethically empty,
Because otherwise they’d say, “I can’t make you any more beautiful 
   than you already are.
All cosmetic surgery does is turn your face into a massively ridiculous 
   and repulsive scar.
Fine – if you want a face that looks like the aftershock of a dozen 
   different drafts of Edvard Munch’s “Scream”,
Then go ahead, cosmetic surgery’s obviously for you, and I wish you 
   all the best in your mentally-ill quest to realize your nightmarish 

Of course, something’s got to get you into the consulting room in the 
   first place;
Something’s got to get you feeling that an old face is the worst face,
And this is where we meet those first-class despisers of all humanity,
Those people whose job it is to persuade you to buy into their particular 
   brand of insanity:
The Advertisers.

It could almost be funny,
If it was simply a case of, “L’Oreal – because you’re gullible and we 
   want your money.”
But it goes far, far deeper than that.
It’s not just an exercise in pickpocketing your wealth;
These people are out to undermine the very way you feel about yourself.
“Combat the Seven Signs of Ageing,” they assert, as if this was a 
   well-established scientific fact, so specific it must be true.
SEVEN. There are SEVEN signs of ageing, and they’re all coming for…
Seven signs of Ageing? Sounds more like bollocks to me.
One: deteriorating eyesight.
Two: having to get up for a piss every night.
Three: repeating yourself.
Four: repeating yourself.
Five. Deafness.
Six:                  . I said, “INCONTINENCE”.
Seven: Death.
What kind of cream are these magicians selling?

They’re not selling cream; what they’re selling is insecurity 
About the inevitability of advancing maturity.

Don’t buy into it; it’s all lies – and you know it.
You’ve got a new line on your face? Then celebrate it; show it!
Look at me – my life has given birth to a new line today!
Sing – if you’re Glad to be Grey!

When I am old, if I ever get to that stage,
When people look at my face, I want them to know my age:
Forty-four, and counting.

(27th July, 9-ish – 11-ish a.m. Bank-Balance-dels-Aspen-Colorado)

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