Ageing Disgracefully - Spear's Magazine

Ageing Disgracefully

We’re all getting older, that much is obvious. And try as we might to reverse the effects of ageing, no amount of Botox can straighten out embarrassing taste in music.

We’re all getting older, that much is obvious. And try as we might to reverse the effects of ageing, no amount of Botox can straighten out embarrassing taste in music.

Collectively we’re getting older, too, as Ben Goldsmith points out, and this will have a huge effect on both the economy and society in years to come. As the number of working adults declines compared to the number of retirees, we’ll all have to work harder to keep up Grandpa’s golf club membership.

Healthcare will take up an ever-larger proportion of the national budget, and the health system will come under increasing strain. Huge, beautiful swathes of the world will be converted into Saga holiday resorts. Engelbert Humperdinck may be the wrinkly face of Eurovision contests to come. And the wise will see opportunity in this grey outlook, not least the purveyors of anti-ageing snake oils, walking sticks and stairlifts.

Every few months or so a new ‘scientific’ report predicts that babies born today can expect to live to 150 or thereabouts — a recent Daily Mail article quoted an expert on ageing as saying that the first human to live to 1,000 will be born within two decades. The problem is, it’s not obvious why anyone would want to live that long.

Even if medical miracles could guarantee that both the Times cryptic crossword and Ashtanga yoga are still possible at 343, wouldn’t life get boring by then? After 343 years of living, wouldn’t life’s small annoyances — novelty T-shirts, people who misspell your name in emails (or their futuristic equivalent), iPhone autocorrect malfunctions (ditto) — become unbearable? And either we’ll have to work to 340 or face centuries of snoozing in front of Countdown, television’s equivalent of Ambien.

And that’s without factoring in the stress of having scores of great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren waiting with undisguised impatience to get their hands on your inheritance. Not to mention that by then the earth will be so warm that the UK will resemble the Empty Quarter, but much smaller.

Regardless of how long you extend your horizons, thoughts of ageing are rarely pleasant. Which is why at Spear’s we have a rule that one should always be old enough to know better and young enough not to care. And we intend to live by that motto through the centuries. 



 

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