Sure there’s Betty White and Tony Bennett, but you could make a case for the most hip octogenarian out there being none other than Shimon Peres, Israel’s venerable president.
At age 88, Peres is a new media star and has spent this week, after holding a face to face with President Barack Obama and addressing the AIPAC conference, touring California hi-tech hotbeds as the toast of Silicon Valley, with heavyweights like Mark Zuckerberg and Serge Brin clamoring to pose next to him like he was a rock star.
Zuckerberg helped Peres launch his official Facebook page, which is aimed at creating a dialogue with Arab users. The president repeatedly praised the social networking site as a way for people to bypass failed efforts of governments to seek peace.
And if that’s not enough for you to press like, Peres’s people recruited celebrated Israeli DJ Noy Alooshe to put together a techno mash-up of a Peres speech to promote the page. Alooshe, a member of the techno group Chovevei Tzion, was propelled to international success after his parody last year of former Libyan despot Muammar Gaddafi, which included excerpts from one of his speeches during the early stages of the Libyan civil war.
Accompanied by a pulsing techno beat, the Peres clip features Peres rapping his way through a “be my friend, for peace” riff in his endearing Old World English acent. Visually, we see the presidentin various scenes, from scrolling through his page on a Tablet to meeting international leaders and celebrities like Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, comedian Jerry Seinfeld and the Pope.
The clip appears, of course, on Peres’s own YouTube channel. The man’s a modern marvel. Meanwhile I’m still trying to figure out what Twitter is all about.