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Excerpts from: When I Move I'm Flailing, Now Getting Old Is Gonna Suck

By Jeff Somers

Consider that the majority is aging, and the unique problems of old age take on epidemic proportions. The Health Care system, already ruthless and expensive and crass, will become a nightmare of loss management and risk prevention. Social Security and other programs will be feeding frenzies before they snap and dissolve, bled white. Unless you believe the Fed will be able to salvage Social Security and its ilk. In which case I have some marshland in south Jersey I could sell you. So, getting old in America is probably going to be something out of a 70s science fiction movie. Future World may be a horror show of ageism and heartless crowd control, but there are solutions: The Logan's Run Option: We could simply make aging illegal. You turn forty, all your friends throw you a big party and toast you with cyanide Kool-Aid. Runners would be hunted ruthlessly by Michael York lookalikes (yikes!). Upside: There would be no elderly generation to worry about, and your newly defined twilight years would be filled with great parties. Downside: I get the feeling there'd be no Farrah Fawcett for me to boink when I ran like a scared rabbit.

The Lottery Option: Just like the story by Shirley Jackson, we could hold a drawing in every community once or twice a year, and the "winners" would be stoned to death in public. Upside: This would significantly reduce population in general, creating more room and resources, and would promote a true sense of community; also, through Darwinism, mankind may actually become luckier. Downside: Even today, when I rely on my luck I usually sustain a physical injury.

Soylent Green Is Old People: Looking toward American Hero Charlton Heston for guidance, we could give the aged and infirm purpose and use by grinding them up and processing them into a filling, tasteless gruel. Upside: Everyone could feel like they were serving a higher purpose, and there'd finally be a cheaper alternative to Ramen Noodles for starving artists living on the cheap. Downside: Actually, I can't think of any.

John Glenn, Trailblazer: Thanks to Senator John Glenn, we can now consider just rocketing all our older citizens into the dark uncharted depths of space. If some of them survive to add to our neat pile of knowledge, so much the better. Upside: Someone besides you and me would find out just how dangerous space is for carbon-based life-forms, until your turn came, and then you could look on it as a grand adventure. Downside: The Reticulans would make first contact with someone's 85-year-old Uncle Maury and destroy the planet on general principle.

The Reality of the Situation: Or, we could simply price quality health care far out of reach of most folks, forcing them into increasingly ghettoized HMOs and group plans, strip away their basic rights and privileges one by one until they are prisoners of their care facilities and "loved ones," creating a whole population of second-class citizens whose only crime was getting older.

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