New Castle News

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November 27, 2013

The Couch Potato: It’s no trick — aging stars shine spotlight on our mortality

NEW CASTLE — Mrs. Couch Potato and I were watching David Blaine’s magic special the other night after recording it on our DVR, and a couple of things really stood out to me.

First, what is the deal with this guy? He’s done several of these specials and you’ve never heard a peep about trick photography or someone playing along for the cameras. You’ve also never seen a major news outlet pick up a story about a person levitating, which would be pretty big news considering our innate inability to defy gravity.

So what’s the deal? Short answer, I have no clue.

Secondly, how did Harrison Ford get so old? Blaine performed a trick in Ford’s house where he cut open in an orange to find the playing card that Ford was thinking of folded up in the center. Ford’s reaction to the trick was priceless and I encourage you to look it up when you get the chance, but I also found it devastating to think that this man is nearing the end of his life.

Harrison Ford should be forever and always running away from huge, tumbling rocks, punching out terrorists at 35,000 feet and doing whatever he did in those “Star Wars” movies that I still have never got around to watching. To see how frail he looked was hard for me to watch. To the point that I literally teared up a bit, as embarrassing as that may be.

This has been happening to me a lot lately, actually. I recently watched “Thelma and Louise” for the first time, starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, and was disappointed to see that Geena Davis was and still is, the same age as my mother. Growing up, “A League of Their Own” was one of my favorite movies and it’s just disheartening to me that she’s now pushing 60. You can also throw Tom Hanks into that same category of people that I found hard to believe are almost 60 years old.

I’m 31 and will very shortly be 32, and it’s difficult for me to see people that were once so young and virile, now so close to the end. When I was 12 years old, Ford, Davis and Hanks were three of the biggest stars in the world. Now they’re just old and (according to Hollywood, not me) useless. Except for Hanks, who continues to crank out movies, even if they’re not quite as good as they used to be.

To me, it just seems like one second people are hitting their prime, and then the next second, it’s gone. 

I never really considered until recently that I will actually die. I know that sounds juvenile, but until recently it was hard for me to imagine that it will end. I used to count the months until school was out when I was little, now I find myself counting the good years I have left on this earth, and hoping nothing cuts those short.

It's funny how a little perspective will stop you from wishing your life away.

If it all sounds morbid, it is. But watching these old movies or recent appearances by old stars, really has made me sick to my stomach.

I guess all this is just a long way of saying, get out and live — the spotlight’s not on forever.

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