Pamela Stewart, an old who reads VICE. Photo courtesy of the author
Here's a letter from an old person who reads VICE. We don't typically publish stuff like this, but there are a few adorable "old people be crazy and feeble" lines in there, and it's been a while since we posted a letter from a reader, so we figured why not. She's also trying to help a fellow old person who was scammed out of her life savings by some young crooks. Old people be crazy, young people be thieving. Anyway, send us more letters, olds. You shall be heard. The world may be fast-moving and scary to you, but you have a calm friend in VICE. Let us be your most trusted media outlet during your final years on Earth.
If you're lucky, you will all be old one day. Or maybe that isn’t such a good thing. Getting old ain’t fun. Until you experience aging, you really don’t have a clear understanding of what it is like. It’s not just saggy boobs, slack vaginas, and dangling balls—you become invisible. Terry Richardson isn’t going to take your photo, although he is on the slide—one day he will find that his substantial dick doesn’t work without the aid of pharmaceuticals.
I’m in the six percent of people over 41 who read VICE. At 61, I am in the demographic some people like to call “Boomers” or even worse, “Zoomers,” who are apparently boomers with zip, if you read something as equally offensive as some of the articles in VICE.
I’ve been reading VICE since my two sons were teenagers and used to bring the print version home. I’m rarely shocked by anything I read, although sometimes it upsets me. My kids and I used to put together a zine called Dysfunctional Family, and I took a lot of flak for letting them use the word "fuck" and produce art that was disturbing to some people, so I am pretty open-minded about shit.
While the body starts to fall apart, there should be a trade-off in wisdom, but that doesn’t always happen. When I hang out with my sons and their friends, they not only turn me on to some cool music; they expand my inner world, open my mind to new possibilities, and make me laugh—a lot. That’s important. VICE makes me laugh too, especially the “DOs & DONT's,” which is a section I hope I never get caught in.
I’m sorry if we old folks have fucked up the world for you. Some of us had good intentions in the 60s and then became corporate assholes and government lackeys. We have provided some value, even if it's just weed brownies or the beginnings of music that you have taken and made better or worse. We gave you life—that must be worth something. Some of you were planned, and some of you sprung forth from stoned or drunken moments of passion, but we were young then, like you. I know you don’t want to think about old people having sex.
I did a search on VICE for topics about old people. I got: “Old People Having Sex Is Gross, Despite What the Huffington Post Says.” I also got this: “Old People Hate Hipsters, Justin Bieber, and Kurt Cobain, Poll Shows.”
Everyone hates Justin Bieber, unless he or she is someone who really is too young to be reading VICE. Doesn’t everyone hate hipsters? I loved Kurt Cobain, so I don’t fit into that group. Yes, I know this article was about something more important, but the title doesn’t show that—anyone who writes for the internet knows you need a headline that will get hits.
Young people may have invented SEO and all that shit, but old people can be cunning. I’ve used this platform and hopefully got you to read this far for one reason only. I have an Indiegogo campaign. I’m embarrassed to say that I had to explain what Indiegogo and crowdfunding is to my peer group, and they still don’t get it. Some couldn’t figure out how to donate, so they haven’t.
That’s why I have to reach out to you young people, who know about this shit. You aren’t going to be helping me; you are going to be helping a really old person—94-year-old Norma Marshall. She is a Toronto woman who was scammed out of her life savings. The mainstream media wrote about Norma the day the police had a press conference on April 2, and then forgot about her.
I’m running out of time, and my campaign is turning into a flop. I don’t have anywhere near the donations I need, so I am going to the people who know what crowdfunding is. I know I have to compete with all those fantastic tech inventions and Burning Man projects. You are supposed to offer perks on your crowdfunding, but I don’t have any.
If you donate here, I’ll make a deal with you. I promise not to show you my naked, aging body or videos of me having sex, because I don’t want to gross you out. To be honest, I haven’t had sex in a while. Not because I don’t want to, but the pickings are slim when you are an older woman.
I also won’t regale you with stories about my misspent youth when acid was really acid—the Timothy Leary kind. I definitely won’t go on about how you inherited all your coolness from our generation, because it isn’t true. I don’t even know if “coolness” is a word, but it’s on Urban Dictionary, so I guess it must be.
Donate to the Indiegogo campaign for Norma Marshall here.