Back In NYC

My father’s situation having stabilized, I’ve just got back home. Thanks to you all for your kind comments and emails.

Old age is a terrible thing. Each crisis leaves you a little lower, a little weaker, a little frailer than the last. It’s hard to see aging as anything but a terrible, progressive, wasting disease, universally fatal.

Given that the body is a machine, aging is merely a technical problem, a matter of engineering. I have no doubt that it will be solved. Then we will have some new problems to solve.

Will the solution be expensive, perhaps extravagantly so? That will soon lead to a world divided between an immortal plutocracy, with all the time in the world to learn and master everything they ever wanted to know, and the rest of us.

Will it be cheap enough to be universally accessible? What will become of the world when all the old folks stop dying and getting out of the way?

I know this: it’s hard to think of a graver affront to human dignity than what old age does to a person.


  1. JK says

    There’re a few friends I’ve shared with Malcolm, not your Dad – but our Dads having something the least littlest bit in common (but it was your entry [so nearest my own Dad … ] …

    Ahh … Jeff. And as I began reading Duff, then back to Jeff. Then I met Peter, TheBigHenry, … Dom …

    You and I will never meet in the flesh Malcolm. But here you and me first breathed oh, maybe a month or so apart. Our Dads …

    I’m gonna be unable to type this right Malcolm … but I know who my friends are … … and I weep.


    Now that I think of it …..

    What were Steve Job’s final words ???


    My Dad’s last words’ll be no comfort in the first hospital evert in northern Arkansas – and my Daddy and Doctor Carl bilt it – I know my Daddy spoke ’em but I wasn’t in the ER when Carl was there …

    My Daddy’s last words were, “Uhm Carl… looks like I’m not gonna make it outta here … well maybe: if you can get Bill Clintion’s lobbyist outta here … yeah you fucker!!!

    I, … although I expect yout “leopard’s hand” is extended toward mine and I know what it is to get, as we say in Arkansas – black panther black panther

    Ah Malcolm. It’s 4:03 CDT 11/21/2001…

    Posted November 21, 2012 at 5:09 am | Permalink
  2. Dr. Strangelove says

    Relieved and happy to hear that your father’s situation is better.

    Like yourself I am also sure that we will at some future point solve the aging dilemma but I’m not looking forward to such prospect as the outcomes you’ve described are just two of the horrible possibilites that could come to pass from everlasting life.

    Posted November 21, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink
  3. Dom says

    Malcolm, so glad your father is doing better.

    JK, thanks for including me among your friends. It means a lot to me.

    My father died when I was only 10, and my mother passed away, age 92, just last year, then my brother died 3 months later. There is nothing as bad as being the care-giver for a parent (or sibling) at the end of life. I don’t know if it helps, but I know what you are going through.

    Posted November 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  4. Claire Brown says

    Hiya Malcom
    Yesterday I was thinking of you and the extended family at Thanksgiving – and I was thinking about Bill – I’m not sure if we knew over here of the latest news? But just looked at the blog and saw he has not been doing so well…does Shiena keep in touch with you at all?
    In any case, please take a big hug over the big pond from your UK cousins and we all wish Bill well – please send him our love- Claire

    Posted November 23, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink
  5. alex says

    Hi Malcolm,

    Claire told me about your blog – how is Bill now? I was also thinking about you all over Thanksgiving … time flies doesn’t it. Hope the move went well, where are you now? We are all well – Claire is moving to a lovely country house – mum is keeping (too) busy but doing well, going out lots with friends etc, I am hoping to move my Charity into a new place with grounds, Stuart (Sal’s youngest) has gone to Leeds Uni up North & loving it! love to everyone xxx Alex

    Posted November 24, 2012 at 3:55 am | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Hi cousins! Good to hear from you, and I’ll email you back.

    Bill (my father) is not doing well at all, and we are concerned that the next round of care he receives will be in a hospice.

    Posted November 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink
  7. I had experienced a similar situation with my own father, Malcolm. I feel your pain. You must brace yourself for more …

    The only thing to do is to embrace whatever love and comfort is offered by family and friends while you continue to tell your Dad that you love him.

    Posted November 26, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

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