The title of this post might refer to the notion that you’ve been hearing that infernal song for 80 years. But in this case it does not. It refers to a whole bunch of folks, some well into their 80’s dancing around to that infernal song. Which is happy-making indeed. And I feel like sharing this video with you because I feel like we could all use a little happy in our lives today.
It’s been kinda a rough week. Many of us have been deeply saddened by the passing of Robin Williams, a deeply talented movie icon who brought joy to so many of us. And many of us have been deeply angered by George Takei’s need to not only present a deeply troubling meme bashing disabled people on his feed, but also his ridiculous need to defend his actions using the tired “people are just too sensitive trope”. I’m not going to post the awful meme here on my blog. In case you’re curious, I am going to post a link here to Lisa Egan’s article about it which explains the whole thing so much better than I ever could.
Nope, today, I am going to simply post this video and share a little of the love I feel about it:
I am aware that there are some problems with this video. I think it’s pretty likely that this is a branded entertainment piece for the retirement community. And the super high production values lead me to believe that the retirement community spent a whole lot of money on this thing. That said, I love the fact that there are so many people of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities doing their thing in here. See that George Takei? Old people dancing! People with walkers boogying down. Put that in your meme and stuff it, George.
I also love the way the video depicts old people as being powerful and vibrant and fun. I think as a society, we are so quick to dismiss older people. We see them as a problem or an expense. We see them as a throwaway society. But all people in our society have value. Everyone has something to give. I was reminded of this yet again with another amazing video I came across in my Facebook feed today.
As a person who works as a producer this is something that I think about constantly. How can we get everybody involved? How can everybody contribute? How can we help everybody not only feel valued but also be valued?
If you’ll forgive me for feeling all the feels in this very public way, I just want to tell you this. We are a deeply troubled world. We can make things better, but we need all the help we can get. So let’s begin with a deep commitment to not exclude or throw away a significant percentage of the population who don’t meet some arbitrary standard of age, ability, weight, sex or beauty, OK? Every BODY has value.
Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)
P.S. We are only 10 days away from the Fat Activism Conference. Join us in making the world a better and more inclusive place for people of all sizes. Register today at www.fatactivismconference.com.
I was glad to find out that George Takei posted a very decent apology on his facebook page, both for publishing the meme and then for his initial response.