So in one of my frantic moments at work, I glanced at this headline:
I didn’t even bother to read the story, because no fucking duh. From day to day, I’m not convinced I want to live to be 43, let alone 120. Why would anyone want to live that long? What marvelous things are going to happen between 80 and 120 that haven’t already happened by 80? I know there are important milestones people want to live to see: your children getting married, your grandchildren being born. Maybe even your grandchildren getting married. But beyond that? Come on! You really want to stick around to see your great-grandchildren get born? Then get to breeding faster. Don’t wait til you’re 30 to have kids. Hell, you wanna meet your great-grandkids? Don’t wait til you’re 18 to have kids.
Plus, don’t kid yourself. You will be a burden at that age. Hell, you’re probably already a burden to somebody. My mother, who is smart and educated, cannot check her email without my sister’s help. My dad can’t program his TV without my sister’s help. They’re not yet 70!!!
At my job, I have 50-something professors who cannot figure out how to use a copier. Or a scanner. Or in some cases, a conference line telephone. Trust me, they’re a burden, and they’re not getting any lighter as they age and the technology advances.
Once we’ve all gone to computers implanted into our skulls, do we really think cranky old people are suddenly going to be able program their intracranial VCR? No! They’re going to be cranky old people with even more serious technological handicaps than my parents are now. They’re going to go around, grousing about how their internal clock keeps flashing 12:00.
And then there’s the economy. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to afford to retire. It’s one thing to contemplate working until you die, when you’re likely to die at 80. Living another 40 years does not appeal if you’re still gonna be saying, “Do you want fries with that?”
So, I’m not surprised that people don’t want to live to be 120. They’re thinking about the last time they had to hire some whippersnapper to fix their computer. Or the last time they butt-dialed a Mumbai sex line with their “smart” phone. Who wants to be an unfrozen woolly mammoth?
What I don’t get is why anybody would think people want to live longer. From what I’ve seen, most folks just want to die at a respectable age with most of their faculties and bladder control. Why can’t science shoot for that?