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Battleship and the Fight Against Ageism

If there's one place that Americans seem to honor their elders it's in the military. The veterans of this country may not get all the respect they deserve all the time, but there is a reverence for experience that is built into military training itself. As one young-ish veteran recently mentioned to me, whenever he goes to the VA and he sees the retirees around he takes a few minutes to

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chat with them and thank them for their service. What a great example against ageism. Conversely, in action movies, we don't see a lot of older adults portrayed in a heroic light. So in the midst of young men and big explosions in the movie Battleship, I was pleasantly surprised to see older characters come to the rescue.

The plot of Battleship comes to a climax with our young navy heroes sorely lacking a ship in which to battle a fierce bunch of space aliens. They lost all of their fancy high-tech destroyersin the fight already, and the fate of planet Earth was still hanging on by a thread. "We do have one ship left!" someone proclaimed, and regardless of the protests that the old battleship, the USS Missouri, had been sitting in the harbor for years as a museum, was analog, a dinosaur and ran on steam, they were going to use it to save humankind. One small problem: none of the young crew knew how to operate it or it's weapons. Luckily for them (and for the rest of us earthlings) the retired veteran crew who decorated the old battleship as a museum, proudly smashed the disrespectful arcade games that peppered the deck, and jumped into action. The older heroes and the younger ones then worked side by side in an amazing act of valor to...

...sorry, you'll have to go see it for yourself, and fun as it was, the movie itself isn't my point. Knowing that ageism is a challenge for companies and brands and culture alike, the point of writing about an action film on the Aging 2.0 blog is to note one instance against it. Perhaps we can all take a cue from the military to find innovative ways to retrain our youth to learn from the experience and knowledge of the people around them.

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