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Friday, 18 January 2013

Recreation wrecks the nation


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Residents of the Century Village retirement community in south Florida take part in organized daily exercises



RECREATION WRECKS THE NATION

-- Edward Dorn, Bumpersticker, 1979




Some of the male residents of Century Village retirement community meet each evening to play water-polo in the club pool


Residents of Century Village retirement community gather around pool for daily exercise session


Playing "Mah-Jong" at the clubhouse of the Century Village retirement community


"Mah-Jong" at the clubhouse of the Century Village retirement community



"Mah-Jong" at the clubhouse of the Century Village retirement community


Bicycle Club of the Century Village retirement community meets each morning



Tricycle Club of the Century Village retirement community meets each morning



Residents of Century Village, a new retirement community, sun themselves at poolside. The entire village of 7,838 Units (individually-owned condominiums) Is due for completion in the Spring of 1974.


 

Residents of Century Village, a new retirement community, sun themselves at poolside. The entire village of 7,838 Units (individually-owned condominiums) Is due for completion in the Spring of 1974.


Organized daily exercises at the Century Village retirement community


Residents take part in organized daily exercises in one of the public pools at Century Village retirement community



A member of the South Beach retirement community enjoys the sun and sea air. Most of the retirees in the area live in inexpensive residential hotels within walking distance of the public beach.



Resident of a South Beach retirement hotel


Lives of the many elderly persons who have chosen South Beach for their retirement years revolve around the beach. It Is the longest stretch of public beach in the area.




Lives of the many elderly persons who have chosen South Beach for their retirement years revolve around the beach. It Is the longest stretch of public beach in the area.


 

A resident of the Century Village retirement community waters the flowers in front of his apartment. All units in the complex are individually-owned condominiums.


On the croquet court at Century Village retirement community


A sticky wicket on the croquet court. Century Village retirement community.


Photos by Flip Schulte (1930-2008), 1973, from the DOCUMERICA series, an Environmental Protection Agency program to photographically document subjects of environmental concern, compiled 1972-1977 (U.S. National Archives)

7 comments:

Wooden Boy said...

How measured our leisure time is. The call to order is pervasive.

TC said...

Yes, it's all drill and regimen, this desperate ordeal of forcing physical existence to be eked out beyond the shelf life.

Looking at these images, what's acutely noticeable for me (being old) is the fact that in this country there is no such thing as a respected village elder who's at least left to woolgather in a corner without having to be sequestered into these miserable waiting-room-for-death bins... er, "retirement communities"... where "recreation" is a compulsory form of that legendary sort of Work Which Makes Free.

Sandra said...

the life of the old is something important that society does not face well...maybe that is the fault of man himself unable to think about the "end"...

TC said...

Yes, Sandra, I think that is, unfortunately, the case.

To my mind it bespeaks not so much the uselessness of the old, as the inhumanity of this form of society.

Sandra said...

or they do not know what they want...

Elmo St. Rose said...

let us not give the word
RECREATION a bad name

Dorn looked for ironies
of the disordered psyche
among quotidian order

When talking to my patients
about depression I talk about
the word RECREATION

Simply broken down, it is
RE CREATE

revive, live again, make it new
as some older deceased poets used
to say

TC said...

Elmo,

The troubling aspect of the term "recreation" right now, for me, in this senior-citizen context (my own context I guess, though I'd have to be dragged kicking & screaming into it, as presently constituted), is the unconscious substitution of "regiment" for "recreate".

A society in which the old are rendered useless may find it convenient to shunt the body-bags off into organized drills and "activities", but this feels more like an architectural elaboration of the waiting room for the beyond than any sort of true involvement in life... as one however nostalgically insists on remembering it.

By that I mean -- unprogrammed.