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Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch, the Dalai Lama: Living proof that no one is too big for retirement

By Marina Hyde

11 Apr 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

The Dalai Lama has apologized for telling a young boy he wanted to “suck his tongue.” The incident highlights a wider trend of gerontocracy within politics, business and religion, argues The Guardian.

“His holiness often teases people he meets in an innocent and playful way,” announces an apology from the office of the Dalai Lama, sounding for all the world like one of those statements issued in the first wave of #MeToo, as various older men made pained and absurd reference to “unwanted hugs” (Pixar’s John Lasseter) or a belief that they had been “pursuing shared feelings” (talkshow host Charlie Rose). Students of these mea-not-really-culpas were left with the impression that the victims’ misunderstanding was the real tragedy here, unless you counted the very belated losses of various glittering careers, which were obviously also desperately sad.

The specific “people” to which this current Dalai Lama apology refers are, in fact, one person – more accurately one young boy, who was invited to “suck my tongue” by the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, on stage at a temple in India. The event took place in February, but has only just gone viral, meaning an apology has only now been deemed necessary by his holiness, or rather by his holiness’s office.

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