Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Maiden, Mother, Crone. Those are the stages of life for all wonderful women. Do men have similar milestones? I think so. One could argue for Lad, Dad, and Sage.
The seasons are circular, but our lives follow a line. If we're lucky, and healthy, the later decades are made magnificent by our accumulated knowledge. That's when we become Crones and Sages.
I'm thinking of this today for two reasons. Reason number one: Walter Cronkite died. Reason number two: I just watched Harry Potter and the Plan to Make Millions. (Maybe I got that name wrong. But it's irrelevant.)
Do you remember Walter Cronkite's final newscast? I think it was in 1981, or thereabouts.
On Countdown last night I heard a commenter say that Walter Cronkite did not want to retire from CBS. He wanted to keep working. But the brass at CBS wanted to replace him with a younger news anchor -- Dan Rather.
I don't know about you, but Walt's final news broadcast on CBS was the final time I watched CBS news. I didn't like their glib young anchor. I trusted the old dude. The one who said the Vietnam War was joke. The one who dabbed his eyes while reporting on JFK's death. There was not a single reason for that man to retire, other than being seen as "too old" by clueless executives. Who are now, HA HA! Old themselves!
Walter Cronkite could have worked at least a dozen more years. He was on t.v. all the time and didn't seem to have slowed down a bit. Which brings me to Harry Potter...
In Harry Potter, a fiction, the characters greatly respect and fear Professor Dumbledore. There he stands on the movie screen, long white beard and flowing white locks, face lined with wrinkles, yet with all the wisdom of the ages radiating from his eyes. Yes, he buys the farm in this episode, but he commands until the end. Previous installments of the saga proved that replacing him with a younger specimen only led to chaos.
Walter Cronkite was the Dumbledore among us, and he got dumped into cheesy specials about wildlife. This was a waste of talent, intellect, and integrity.
We're supposed to be a thinking species, but most of our best thinking goes into our legends, fictions, and spirit paths, where the elders of both genders are the decision-makers and the repositories of experience. (Has God ever been pictured as a rosy-cheeked lad of 17?)
In the real world, we're still hyenas, watching for the first signs of frailty, ready to cut down the king as soon as the prince is ripe. This can be catastrophic for women, but it's by no means confined to them. Men get the shaft too.
Walter Cronkite didn't die yesterday. He died in 1981. And what a waste -- every bit as tragic as watching the very elderly Dumbledore topple off a tower after yet again saving the day.
When it's dog eat dog, the vittles are very poor.