The steady decline and collapse of the old people as the Reaper's purposes become clear and the pale horizon closes in: I read today in the Independent that some time next week (Thursday) Joni Mitchell turns 70. That's three score and ten, all the life you are biblically entitled to, after that time is borrowed like some exorbitant pay day loan that can be cruelly cashed in at any time; apparently. So all my once bright and incandescent heroes and heroines are reaching the end - though there are some who some hardy made it to a reasonable age at all. Now they are all bundled like antiques and celebrated and referenced by other fresh artists, poets and celebrities, most of whom I've never heard of, the dreaded younger generation that grows all too quickly. So we are left to walk alone in a shadowy world of crusty memory, grey zombie hippies and dried cadaver punks, junk-shop rockers and arthritic artists chasing down squinting directors and producers. Chewing the last few dollars from some decrepit career carcass or other and for the most part still looking cool if tired, the truth hidden by dark glasses. So it's got to be tough for the younger generation, tough to make a unique mark and show some originality to the angry new audiences with all that soft parade of old and raw material still teetering towards death and legend. That's what you get in the end, death and legend.