. . . . . . . . . . . . . George Carlin - 4
It's been obvious for some time that there are no old people
in this country. .They all died, and what we have are senior
citizens. .How's that for a lifeless, typically American, 20th-
century phrase? .There's no pulse in senior citizen.
But that's a term I've come to accept. .That's what old people
are going to be called. .But the phrase I will continue to resist
is when they describe an old person as being "ninety years
young". .Imagine how sad the fear of aging is revealed in that
phrase. .To be unable even to use the word "old"; to have to
use its antonym.
And I understand the fear of aging is natural; it's universal,
isn't it? .No one wants to get old, no one wants to die. . But
we do. . We die, and we don't like that, so we BS ourselves.
I started BSing myself when I reached my forties. .I'd look in
the mirror and say, "Well, I guess I'm getting ... older."
Older sounds better than old, doesn't it? .Sounds like it might
even last a little longer. .Bull! I'm getting old. .And it's okay.
But the Baby Boomers can't handle that, and remember, the
Boomers invented most of this soft language. .So now they've
come up with a new life phrase: "pre-elderly". .How sad.
But it's all right, folks, because thanks to our fear of death, no
one has to die; they can just ... pass away. .Or expire, like a
magazine subscription. .If it happens in a hospital, it will be
called a terminal episode. .The insurance company will refer
to it as negative patient-care outcome. .And if it's the result
of a malpractice, they'll say it was a therapeutic misadventure.
To be honest, some of this language makes me want to vomit.
Well, perhaps "vomit" is too strong a word. .It makes me want
to engage in an involuntary protein spill.