The humor in Andrew Hornery’s entertaining play about trying to stay young belies the deep melancholy in our society (“The Pressure to Look ‘Hot’ Takes the Joy out of Getting Older,” May 28). Aging is not acceptable. We fight it and pretend it doesn’t happen to us, and the efforts we make to maintain the semblance of youth must, Hornery points out, be exhausting. The trend has sadly gone mainstream, fueled by the relentless and ugly power of social media, with some aging faces stripped of any sign of personality or uniqueness and looking like cold, smooth marble presumably admired and desired. We used to revere our elders, their authenticity and the values they represented. Now it seems we are putting ourselves at the forefront of the younger generation, trying relentlessly and desperately to be what we are not. Frankly, it demeans the very nature of aging and shames me.
Judy Finch, Taree
Finally, the statistics underscore the magnitude of the problem in chronic student absenteeism (“Record Days Missed,” May 28). When students live in a culture where they spend the day of school their birthday with parental support, the elephant in the room is right in front of us – parental responsibility in the educational process. When we look at our educational performance in comparison to other countries, our students’ attitudes towards going to school is crucial. Your own motivation to succeed in the educational process determines success and ultimately a better society for all of us. Schools use strategies such as breakfast programs and individual bus pickup at the doorstep, but it’s still the family who must support the desire for a better education. One day every two weeks equals 20 days a year – equals one month of school days. Secretary Prue Car deserves credit for identifying the issue in a public forum.
Robert Mulas, Corlette
Calling out the mob is spot on (“Mob Mentality Infects Society,” May 28). But mobs are groups of people who imitate each other. We’re not as autonomous as we think we are. Education, literature, and advertising require imitation, as does all human progress. Public figures are considered fair game on social media for people who want to alleviate their own chaos by attacking others, or who simply enjoy copying evil anonymously. It’s so easy to throw a stone when someone else did it first. But humans can also imitate decency. Because imitation is inevitable and contagious, perhaps the most important choice we all have is deciding who to imitate.
Susan Connelly, Lakemba
Parnell Palme McGuiness rightly deplores the trolls left and right who target individuals through malicious personal attacks on the internet. What she fails to do is acknowledge that much of the recent attack on Stan Grant was orchestrated by right-wing media. By not mentioning this important fact, she lets the main culprit off the hook. Yes, we who are outside the tent must be more polite in our own utterances. However, journalists must also consider their own responsibilities.
Brian Everingham, Engadin
Incredibly, during this difficult economic time, the recent Liberal Party Senate election vote took place at the Fullerton Hotel, a five-star hotel (“Kovacic Beats Constance in Senate Vote,” May 28). Still, Peter Dutton and his shadow cabinet continue to bitch about cost-of-living issues.
Peng Ee, Castle Cove
Her story is bad news for both snow sports enthusiasts and ski resorts (“Slippery Slope for Ski Resorts in Climate Battle,” May 28). To the Climate Council Research Director, Dr. To quote Martin Rice: “If we want to protect our winter sports, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Otherwise, the beloved ski season could come to an end.” If the Albanian government continues to support the fossil fuel industry and before its king, the gas companies, would kneel; and with major economies like China, India and the US continuing to go down the fossil fuel path, there is little if any hope of saving Australia’s – or the world’s – snow sport resorts.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin (ACT)