"The Oldie is an incredible magazine - perhaps the best magazine in the world right now" Graydon Carter, founder of Air Mail and former Editor of Vanity Fair

Subscribe to the Oldie and get a free cartoon book


The Old Un's Notes

Old Un's Notes |

The United States, champagne, Martin Amis, charities and a wrecked Ford Cortina

I’ve been to the United States to spread the word about The Oldie, having been told that most Americans had never heard of it. People warned me that its name would distress them because no American, however old, likes to regard himself or herself as such; and I remembered that the magazine of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) used to be called Modern Maturity, under which ridiculous euphemism of a title it was sent to more than 22 million subscribers, making it the magazine with by far the largest circulation in the country. But I was pleasantly surprised. Nobody on hearing what our magazine was called looked embarrassed or wrinkled their noses. Perhaps people were just being polite, as Americans usually are. But I don’t think so. I think they found the title rather refreshing, for they might by now be getting tired of euphemisms. And when I explained to them that The Oldie wasn’t about pretending that old people were as fit and perky as everyone else but recognised that old age was a perfectly normal condition full of possibilities, even if these might not include running a marathon, they tended to smile and nod in agreement. And when, furthermore, I told them that The Oldie wasn’t principally designed to be of practical use to old people but rather to stimulate, amuse and entertain them, even the young looked rather interested.

This story was from December 2015 issue. Subscribe Now