Best Of The Web
“Open your browser. Start typing, “40 is the new…” and what do you imagine pops up? I’ll tell you. It’s “30,” with 87 million results, and “20,” with a shocking 121 million results. Click on any number of the top articles and you’ll read bloggers’, columnists’, and health experts’ exultant claims about how and why 40 is no longer old. Of course, implicit in this argument is the perennial bias against aging, the assumption that everyone — if given the choice — would stay forever young.
I’ve been pondering my own 40th birthday, which arrives in a matter of days. I’ve talked to a number of people at all ends of the age spectrum and read dozens of articles like those I mention above. And based on this highly unscientific research, I admit that in some ways, I’m convinced: To be 40 now is certainly very different than being 40 at any other time in our history.
As a white, cisgender, more-or-less middle class American, I have the privileges of a longer life expectancy and better health outcomes than previous generations. I, like many others, have reinvented myself professionally, and to some degree even personally, more than a few times in my adult life. I have the freedom to choose my career, my spouse, and what I do with my time — a freedom most women in all of recorded history did not have. I have the benefit of access to information about nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction. I even have a little disposable income for things like moisturizer and eye cream. Taking all that into account, 40 for me feels unlike my mother’s 40, or my grandmother’s 40. It’s certainly different from what I might have imagined as a kid.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"At 12:42 a.m. on the quiet, moonlit night of March 8, 2014, a Boeing 777-200ER operated by Malaysia Airlines took off from Kuala Lumpur and turned toward Beijing, climbing to its assigned cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. The designator for..."
"“I hereby sentence you to death.” The words of Judge Clifford B. Shepard filled the courtroom in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 27, 1976. Shepard was sentencing Clifford Williams Jr., whom a jury had just found guilty of entering a woman’s house..."
"The video footage of Jewish Israelis dancing with Palestinians at a wedding should be something to celebrate. It should be an expression of joy and joint faith in the future. Instead, it has brought danger and disgrace to Radi Nasser, the mayor..."
"In 2013, I was executive editor of the NY Daily News, and we, like every other publication in the country, were covering the series finale of Breaking Bad. As one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows in history, the finale was..."
"Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., tells us that wealth inequality is at grotesque and immoral levels. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has a plan to tax everyone lots and lots to solve this. The slight problem is that the Federal Reserve tells us that..."
"For much of World War I, Sir Phillip Gibbs was one of the few journalists the British War Office permitted to correspond from the Western Front. Gibbs’s mission was to describe, in terms that would be acceptable to government censors, the..."
"In the 1940s, sexologist Alfred Kinsey, who was on the verge of publishing his first major report on male sexuality in the US, enlisted a photographer named Thomas Painter to investigate gay subcultures. Painter, a white, openly gay man, had..."
"What was Postmodernism? In the 35 years since Fredric Jameson’s New Left Review essay “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” — and the 40 years since the publication of Jean-François Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition..."
"My husband and I are proud fathers of a 5-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy. I was grocery shopping with them last week when I saw a sign that made me cringe. Attached to a basket of free fruit, the sign reminded kids to “Ask Mom” before taking a..."
"Family farms are central to our nation’s identity. Most Americans, even those who have never been on a farm, have strong feelings about the idea of family farms — so much that they’re the one thing that all U.S. politicians agree on. Each..."
"The Big Bang is the defining narrative of modern cosmology: a bold declaration that our universe had a beginning and has a finite age, just like the humans who live within it. That finite age, in turn, is defined by the evidence that universe is..."
"After a protracted siege by the Roman tenth legion, the situation of the Sacarii, the Jewish rebels holed up on the mountain fortress of Masada, became hopeless. The Jewish rebels led by Elazar Ben Yair decided to kill themselves rather than be..."