Thursday, June 11, 2009

Live long -- but not too long


As a Boomer, I must say I find it hard to believe we will stand for it--aren't we the vainest generation in history that wants to live forever, etc.? Don't we want the full might of the American medical-industrial complex dedicated to devising expensive breakthrough treatments that will prolong the lives of our friends and us? I know I do

Of course the young have always wanted the old to shuffle off to Buffalo as soon as possible.

But I disagree that we Boomers (I'm 58) want to live forever. Our narcissism, vanity and hedonism work against our infantile desire to rule the cosmos -- and live forever.

That is, we want to live -- but as we always said, really live. Sitting in poopy diapers as we drool on our bingo cards in some nursing home that smells of disinfectant -- that's not our thing.

We want to live, but only as long as we can live well -- sky-diving, hitchhiking to Katmandu, etc., to the very end.

But that could work with the Obama vision.

Instead of cash for clunkers, the government could sponsor "Harleys for the Gray-Haired." Give everyone over 55 a motorcycle. We boomers could continue our pursuit of kicks. And it would reduce gas usage. And after awhile, it would reduce the number of people alive and qualified for Medicare.

A similar effect could be obtained by giving Boomers free skydiving and bungee-jumping lessons, etc.

For those continuing their spiritual quests, the government could give away free trips to far away lands where there's great religious ferment. The Swat Valley of Afghanistan, for instance.

Or Woodstock parties. Only now three days of sitting in the mud and rain and ingesting powerful chemicals would again reduce the Medicare rolls.

And didn't Aldous Huxley, before he got into LSD, see this very clearly?

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