Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Modern Face of the Other?

I've been reading Foucault again, and it made me think about the natural progression of the Other. Foucault describes the natural progression as beginning with the lepper, in which exclusion is as necessary to the sufferer as to the society; after the threat of leprosy dissipated, it was replaced by criminality and houses of correction; and soon that socially constructed Other was replaced with the face of Madness. I believe that science has subdued our anxiety of the Madman, and has now replaced it with a fear of the Aged.

When we look at the withered face of Age, we see in it that skeletal grin of Death. We try to disguise Age; we avoid it. We cut open our faces, lift up our skin, wear our masks, all in an attempt to conceal the Truth of our own mortality, to silence that uncomfortable wailing that is screaming back at us. And those prophets of death who cannot be silenced, the truly Aged who cannot hide their identity, we imprison in our own modern day lazar houses and asylums: the formidable Nursing Home.

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