Saturday, March 31, 2007


I don't feel my age bodily so as much as I do virtually, every time I use a drop-down menu to designate my birth year on a website signup and the black bar scrolls down into the last century for godsake, like a time machine traveling back past most of the folks now living, plunging through the just-now nineties (when today's teenagers were born), the yesterday eighties, the last-week seventies, the spectacular sixties (was all that immediacy really half a century ago?), the seminal fifties (Elvis, Chuck, Jerry Lee, Fats, Little Richard!), mygod the forties, right to 1940 the year I was born, teetering now on the cusp of antiquity, and by the time I finally click my birth year it feels like I was born in the dark ages it was so different then, when I pause and remember-- I'm a pre-boomer, born before WWII, before Strontium-90, before household television, when there were still horse-drawn deliveries and icemen and radio at night, and now the boomers are reaching this age back home, a social phenomenon that will result in serious economic problems because like the government itself, many of them have been living only in the here and now, so a dark time looms, but here in Japan, the developed world's coal mine canary, it's going to be a lot more folks and a lot sooner, for by 2025, less than 20 years from now, nearly 50% of Japan's population will be 60 years of age or more. But they are dedicated savers, so the impact will be more social than economic. I feel grateful for having gotten to this age first, but even moreso for having gotten here at all.

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