Mindy Newell: 60
Yes, this past Thursday I hit the big 6-0. Yeah, yeah, I know a woman isn’t supposed to reveal her age, but just who the hell would I be fooling? Not my family. Nor any of my friends. Not even those who read my comics back in the 80s and 90s and care to do a little homework and math – IIRC, the New Talent Showcase issues included bios by all the tyros whose work appeared in that book. Mine lists my birthday. And as long as I talking about that bio, for the record I was not particularly inspired by Star Wars or – with absolutely no disrespect intended, and I’m not saying I don’t love their work – to George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Gerry Conway, or Doug Moench. This is how I remember it happened.
Joey Cavalieri (who wrote the bios) asking me who my favorite writers were. “Edna Ferber, Herman Wouk, James Michener, John Steinbeck, Sinclair Lewis, Theodore Dreiser… “ I said off the top of my head.
He laughed a little and said something about readers not getting that or caring or not knowing who they were. (Which I still find hard to believe.)
“How about Gerry Conway and Doug Moench?”
“Uh-huh,” I said. “They’re good, too.”
“How about movies?”
Again off the top of my head. “Oh, The Searchers. Bridge On The River Kwai. Sunset Boulevard. Casablanca.”
Joey didn’t seem too happy.
Oh, wait, I get it, I thought. And wanting to please, being the good little Jewish girl, I said,
“Star Wars, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Alien.”
So after thirty years, I’m glad to get the chance to correct that little bio. Although if it was happening now, I wouldn’t be the “wanting-to-please good little Jewish girl.”
By the time you get to 60, you just don’t give a crap.
Oh, I still give a crap about a lot of things. This country and its future. (It doesn’t take a writer’s imagination to think that a second Civil War is not exactly out of the range of possibilities.) This Earth and its future. (Whether you want to call it global warming or climate change there is no denying that we, the population of this planet, have majorly bug-fucked Mother Gaia.)
And when I think of the future, I think of my niece Isabel and my grandson, Meyer Manual (who was five weeks old on Saturday) and I really give a crap.
And then I get really scared.
But then again…
We Baby Boomers have lived through temptuous times when many believed the end was nigh. The Bay of Pigs. The Cuban Missile Crisis. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The assassination of Martin Luthor King. The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. The social revolution of the 60s. The Vietnam War. Richard Nixon and Watergate. Jane Fonda workouts. Disco.
So fuck the Tea Party and fuck Ted Cruz and fuck all the racists who can’t believe a nigger is our President.
Yeah, I can’t believe I wrote that word either, but that’s the damn truth of it, that’s what’s really driving those bastard ignorant asshole Confederate punks and you know it as well as I do, only you won’t, but I will because I’m 60 and I don’t give a crap.
And if you think I’m feisty now…
Well, like a certain Whovian told me recently:
“60 years is nothing for a Time Lord. Just look out for Daleks.”
TUESDAY MORNING: Emily S. Whitten
TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Michael Davis