Front Line Analogy

I like to think of Life as a journey to the WWI frontline trenches, said trenches being old age, where death is almost certain if you stay there long enough.  (Feel free to spin this out in your imagination.)

I was drawn to the analogy when reading about Bruce Willis being given birthday best wishes by his ex-wife Demi Moore.  Willis is suffering from aphasia , and has just turned 69.

I’m 69.

And here’s why I’m thinking of old age as being like being in the trenches.

There are so many ways to die, at any age, but if one dies at a young age it’s more a result of either a random tragedy (brain cancer at 39, or a heart attack at 18, and so on) or else the equivalent of playing Russian roulette, say by smoking a pack of unfiltered Camels every day, riding a motorcycle without a helmet or living in the South Side projects of Chicago.  (The WWI equivalent would be dying in a car accident while driving to the station or losing your head by sticking it out of the moving train’s window, i.e. going before your time.)

But once you’re in the frontline trenches — that being old age — there are any number of ways that can snuff out Life’s Little Candle, because the Boche are throwing all sorts of shit at you:  shelling, poison gas and snipers being the equivalent of kidney disease, aortic aneurism, stroke, heart attack, diverticulitis and so on.  You get the picture.

I have been extraordinarily lucky so far, in that pretty much all my ailments have been recoverable either by my own body’s healing function or else by medication.  (That said medication becomes more necessary is borne out by the fact that pills once taken for a day or two are now a permanent fixture and the morning routine involves something like a saunter along the Rx shelves at CVS.)  And my physical condition has actually improved recently in that I’ve shed a lot of weight — granted, through said medication, but whatever — and I’m reasonably spry as a result.

But there’s no fucking cure for aphasia, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease or any of the brain ailments which end one’s life horribly.  And sure, you can get those at any time during your life — but once you reach the Golden Years, those illnesses become more and more likely, and the Golden Years become more like the Golden Shower Years, where Life pisses on you from all directions.  (And I’m not even talking about extraneous squirts of urine like the IRS or Bidenflation, don’t get me started.)

What the hell.  So far, so good.  I’m in decent health for my age, the doctor tells me, and would be in better shape if I just quit eating all that shit that’s bad for me but which gives me such pleasure that I refuse to quit.

Screw that.  If there’s some Boche sniper out there loading up a bullet with my name on it, I might as well eat that piece of lovely, fatty boerewors, right?

And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my Breakfast Gin.  Cheers.

Too Old To Rock ‘N Roll

…but too young to die, as a wise man once sang.

Now we have the political equivalent:

Former South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley said over the weekend that politicians should have to take mental competency tests once they hit 75 years old to ensure they are fit to serve the public.

“We need to have mental competency tests for anyone over the age of 75,” she said. “And I don’t say that to be disrespectful. I don’t care if you do it for 50 and older. What I’m saying is, these are people in D.C. that are making decisions on our national security.”

Of course, this tin-eared politico uses this argument to score a point off the noticeably-senile Joe Biden, but she does have a point nevertheless.

We don’t let people go into public office when they’re too young, because even among a poulation of ignoramuses, youthful wannabe-politicians are no more than the primordial ooze of society.  Young people, as it’s been said, argue with passion, vigor and conviction;  except that they’re almost inevitably wrong.

So given the inescapable fact that old farts start losing their marbles as they approach senility — forget the numbers, stats and medical studies on this, it’s an inescapable fact of human life — why not set an arbitrary upper limit on public service?  Forget that “testing” bullshit as suggested by Haley et al., that’s just busybody government attitude on display.  Carve it in stone — hell, stick it in the Constitution, why not? — but make it impossible for any Olde Phartte to govern.

Yes, I know:  some old people are commendably active, mentally speaking, and denying them office would have denied us of, to name but one, Ronald Reagan (at least his second term, anyway).  But even in Reagan’s second term, it was apparent that the old boy was losing his marbles.  And taking our cue from that, it’s not really how old a President is when he takes office, it’s how old he’ll be at the end of his first term that’s important.  Think about it:  70 years old on Inauguration Day means 78 towards the end of his Presidency, when he’ll still have his finger on the nuclear trigger and be proposing legislation that may suit the present but be a hopeless long-term proposition. Older than 70?  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:  Joe Biden.

Which brings me to the next issue about senior-citizen politicians:  the “I’ll be dead by then” attitude that is as inescapable a mindset as physical senility.  Oh sure, we’d like to think that our politicians are going to be statesmen like Washington or Jefferson and think of generations to come;  but the most likely scenario is that they’re going to be more like Barack fucking Obama.  (Tangentially, the only reason to allow older men to become president is because they’re more likely to die soon after leaving office, unless they’re named Jimmy Carter in which case they continue to meddle and foist their horrible ideas and opinions on us long after they’ve exceeded their useful date.)

If we think about this logically, politicians and lawmakers in general should have to live with the consequences of their actions, because then the urge to just say “oh fuck it, let the kids deal with it” is a lot less appealing.

Corporations, by the way, recognize this issue quite clearly, which is why we have mandatory-retirement policies in so many professions — airline pilots at 55 65 being the most noteworthy — and why so many people prefer middle-aged doctors to both young and inexperienced doctors and old doctors who may not be up to date with recent advances or do things “because I’ve always done it this way”.  There are limits to experience, of course, and particularly when that experience stands in the way of proper action.  Most corporate boards, by the way, have no age limit but that’s because the proper function of a board is advisory and not executive.

Here’s my suggestion:  all public servants, regardless of position, should be banned from running for public office after the age of 67 — the de facto  “retirement” age of current society.  I know that medical advances are wonderful and have done so much to ensure that the age of Man is no longer just threescore years and ten etc., but allowing much older people to run for office — yes, Trump as much as Biden — is an irresponsible indulgence that in general and in the long term will turn out to be harmful to society.  (Trump, for example, would be 78 were he to win the Presidency in 2024, which means he’d be 82 at the end of his term of office.  You sure you want an octogenarian Trump flailing around the Oval Office for two whole years?  And that’s assuming he’s still got all his marbles now:  by no means an established fact.)

As a bookie might put it:  yeah, there are some senior citizens who would function perfectly well while late into their seventies and even eighties — but that’s not the way to bet.

If we have a lower limit on political life, why not an upper one?

Yeah, Duh

Via Insty comes this belated news:

IBM faces age bias complaints in arbitration and court proceedings by former employees across the country. A former IBM vice president of human resources said in a court deposition in one of the cases that the company faced talent recruitment problems and determined one way to show millennials that IBM was not “an old fuddy duddy organization” was to make itself appear “as [a] cool, trendy organization.”

In one email chain, an International Business Machines Corp. official described a plan to “accelerate change by inviting the ‘dinobabies’ (new species) to leave” and turn them into an “Extinct species,” according to the filing. Company officials also complained about IBM’s “dated maternal workforce” that “must change,” and discussed frustration that IBM had a much lower share of millennials in its workforce than a competitor, but said its share would increase following layoffs, according to the filing.

Of course, IBM denies all this, oh no we’d never do a thing like that:

An IBM spokesperson said in a statement that the company never engaged in systematic age discrimination and it terminated employees because of changing business conditions, not because of their age. In 2020, the median age of IBM’s U.S. workforce was 48, the same as it was in 2010, according to the statement.

The spokesperson also said the language cited in the emails “is not consistent with the respect IBM has for its employees and as the facts clearly show, it does not reflect company practices or policies.”

Lying cocksuckers.

It’s an open secret that old farts get shafted in today’s workplace:  “Become a Wal-Mart greeter” used to be the dismissive term leveled at us.  Only now (at the Wal-Marts around my house anyway), the cheery old duffers who waved you in and checked your Sam’s Club purchases on the way out have all — all — been replaced by younger Indians and “efnicks”.

Fuck all of you corporate assholes, and enjoy the taste on your tongues as you lick the rank feet of Millennial wokedom.

I hope you all die  painfully.


Because I thought Sunday’s date was October 30, yesterday’s post would have appeared today, except I caught the mistake late last night.

Everybody got that?  (I can go over the middle bit again…)

Sorry about that.  Here’s a pic of a gun to make everyone feel better:

Hey, Winston Churchill used one to kill fuzzy-wuzzies, so how bad can it be?

Wrong Strategy

…or strategery, if you prefer.  Here’s the question:

To my mind, that’s a silly worry.  Unless you’re blessed with 20/20 forecasting powers, my bet is that the cost of your favorite booze will climb way beyond your poor (and probably belated) efforts to be able to invest your money to buy it at some point in the future.  (As far as I know, there’s no such thing as a Booze Index to which you can tie your savings, more’s the pity.)

The answer, of course, is to buy booze now in sufficient quantities to support your intake in your retirement years.  This is sound advice, provided that you aren’t one of those people who, if they have more booze, simply drink more of it.

Mr. Free Market, of course, has a wine cellar which would even satisfy a hundred Richard Burtons;  but being the crafty sod that he is, he stores it not at Freemarket Towers, but in a climate-controlled room at a remote location a hundred miles away.

However, we are not all like him, not having access to his bloated plutocratic fortune;  and if I read the situation correctly, even if any of my Loyal Readers do have a climate-controlled room, it’s most likely filled with guns, ammo and SHTF supplies.

Nevertheless, I recommend stockpiling booze now, rather than hoping that your retirement savings will be able to sustain your alcohol needs in the future.  And for those interested in such things, I rather think that putting away a case of (e.g.) J&B or Maker’s Mark (~$240) each month will be a guarantee of future Booze Self-Sufficiency.

And if you happen to snuff it prematurely, the remainder would be an excellent (and tax-free) inheritance for your Wretched & Ungrateful Heirs as they climb over your still-warm corpse and begin pillaging your house.

Just a thought.