June 19, 2013
Written by Joe Pisani
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 08:12
I recently stumbled upon a scientific theory that suggests we can live forever, or at least until we’re done paying off our mortgages. Modern science is uncovering the secrets to longevity, despite the fact Americans are suffering from an epidemic of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and nicotine addiction, which means we’ll probably keep living despite ourselves.
The chief scientist at a California foundation that’s committed to “curing” aging claims the first person to live to 1,000 could be born in the next 20 years, as long as we keep him away from McDonald’s and Popeyes.
Life expectancy has been increasing about three months a year, but so has the world’s waistline. By 2030, there will be a million centenarians on the planet if we continue to make progress with stem cell therapy, gene manipulation and what is being called “preventive geriatrics.”
But 2030 is significant for another reason: By then, half of all Americans will be obese and have increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, high cholesterol and hypertension. At one time, I would have looked at this research and sneered, “These nitwits can’t even tell us if butter is better than margarine, and now they claim to have engineered a plan to keep us going like the Energizer bunny.” But I’ve come to believe in the power of science to do the remarkable, the unimaginable and undesirable.
Who would have thought a mere 50 years ago, when you had to get up from your Barcalounger to change the TV channel from 2 to 4 or 7, that the day would come when you wouldn’t have to move your butt off the chair and that by harnessing electromagnetic forces, you could push buttons and select from among 600 channels, which have the total intellectual capacity of what you previously got on 2, 4 and 7. All thanks to science.
This is great news for the recliner and snack food industries, and it could stimulate the economy enough to pull us out of the recession and create jobs in the Cheez Doodle factory. I’m excited about the prospect of never dying because it means I can stop worrying about my shrinking 401(k).
I won’t have to retire, and I can commute to New York City for another 239 years if the office building doesn’t collapse and Metro-North gets those new cars they’ve been promising us for the last 239 years. With all that extra time, I can pay off my credit cards or go deeper in debt.
However, I’m concerned that longevity means the people we can’t stomach will be around forever and probably go on Jerry Springer to attack us in front of that snarling audience. We’ll lose the ability to outlive our enemies, which has always been one of life’s joys.
But there’s a bright side. Hugh Hefner, who already looks like he’s a centenarian, will be able to score with buxom blondes for another 300 years, and his stable of 22-year-old girlfriends will never age. Yes, longevity has its benefits, even if we can’t eat Big Macs.
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