Pamela Adlon on Aging as Content and Allen Ginsberg Just Being Content


At first we loved this exchange between Pamela Adlon, creator and star of the TV show “Better Things”, and Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, discussing aging and the sudden changes of her body:

I finished shoot season two last year, and then I’m in my closet, I’m trying on clothes and I’m like what is going on, like what is this? I have all these — my pants didn’t fit, they just fit — so I was like I can’t believe this is my life. But I have the advantage of having my show so I knew this was going to go in the show and that it was going to be great. And that it didn’t hurt so much being in my closet, and knowing that my clothes didn’t fit my anymore.

I’m 50 now, and I got thicker, and so what, I have a way that I can share it….

We thought she was saying “I’m 50 now, and I got thicker, and SO WHAT? We thought how amazing that she is so accepting. Then we heard the codicil: I have a way that I can share it. 

Steven Colbert responds:

It’s content.  Content excuses almost anything.

And then at 4:00, you can see the clip from “Better Things” where Adlon uses that moment in her closet. It is spot on.

Adlon became more accepting of her getting “thicker” because she could share it, use it for her show, commodify it, legitimize it, glorify it, turn it into art of sorts. We related to her time in her closet. We’ve BEEN there. Would she have been okay if she didn’t have a way to use it?  Or is turning ourselves into art a way to bear oddness and discomfort?

Allen Ginsberg had this to say when asked “What has remained for you, now at age 70?*

Well, a big pile of books, a big pile of records, a big pile of photographs, a big pile of drawings, a big pile of memories, of friends, imprints of their spirits on my own, imprints of their breathing and of their minds…

Not a breath of “content”. Just big feeling and awareness of his life as he’s aged. Contentment perhaps.

Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews (Allen Ginsberg)

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