A friend suggested that “corporate personhood” shouldn’t transcend the length of the human lifespan. She was generous, and suggested 100 years as a good round number, after which corporations would be liquidated. All and all, it seemed somehow fair that legal personage be subject, like us, to the laws of nature.
Then it occurred to me that, once Disney’s lawyers got involved, they’d do the same number on the human lifespan as they did on copyright extensions with the result being the legal lengthening of our lives. Fine by me, as long as I can show the statute to the Grim Reaper when he comes and explain that the Mouse House says I’ve got another 50 years, or whatever.
I rarely think of immortality as an abstract construct, at least not since the ’80s, when every girl’s bedroom I wandered into boasted Natalie Merchant’s “Tiger Lily” CD and a copy of Milan Kundera’s “Immortality.” Even the Goth girls, with whom my pursuit of a “little death” was most aptly aligned, had copies of “Immortality.” Of course, they all grew up to be vampires and real estate agents.
Suffice it to say, back then, preventive health care had yet to be invented, my high school still had a smoking section and there weren’t any helmet laws. We weren’t the “Young Invincibles” upon which health insurance is apparently dependent. We were future organ donors.
I don’t mind getting old. It’s the aging that’s killing me. Deathlessness is nothing without agelessness. Imagine living to 150-years-old. You’d look like a walking corpse. And, as these matters go, you’d also boast about how you drink two dry martinis and smoke a pack of Virginia Slims everyday. (Sidebar: Seriously, has there ever been a centenarian who didn’t brag about their daily drinking and smoking?).