Friday, 18 March 2016

Three Score And Ten

Bill Wyman is a musician who played in the rock band 'The Rolling Stones'. As such he is a minor celebrity, and so in our fame orientated society, that warrants some media attention. So the fact that the information that he had cancer made the BBC news is not too surprising, but what made me wonder, was the inherent suggestion in running the story, that it was a somehow a surprise that a 79 year old man was getting an illness. When I was younger, and certainly when Mr Wyman was growing up, 'old' men often died at around age 68 (women somewhat later), and anyone in their late 70's had done very well.

Three Score And Ten Was Our Allotted Lot ....

Have we in the pampered West, moved so far out of touch with the reality of life and deaths rhythms, that the discordant melody of death approaching, is now a startlement to our ears? I recently went on a couple of longevity predicting websites, such as this one on the Office of National Statistics life web site.

These visits suggested that for a male aged in their late 50's, the years 85 and 86 are the new age 70 i.e. the replacement for the biblical 'three score year and ten', but that for someone aged 79, it was actually 89 (having got so far your chances of getting further increased), and in fact you had a 1 in 4 chance of reaching age 94, so in that regard he's maybe unlucky to get ill at age 79, BUT lets face it, he's a rock star from the 1960's and 70's (with all that entails and suggests about lifestyles), and he's avoided the ravages of Alzheimer's unlike poor Prunella Scales, so he could perhaps count himself lucky.

I may have touched on this subject before, and I understand that many people in their teens now, could easily expect to pass the age of 80 - 85, and then bravely head on into the realms of 100, but as quality of life is all, that's not necessarily a good thing in of itself. However as far as I am aware, Mr Wyman has actually avoided all the pitfalls associated with reaching a good age, until now, and so no one can really feel that he's been robbed by the onset of a late in life illness.

As for myself until I read this story, I truly expected to only make about 80 (in goodish health), and to hopefully avoid Alzheimer's in the process, so to me it seems strange (as I am not even retired yet or even aged 60), to see why getting to the age of 79 before getting ill, is considered too much of a surprise?

Perhaps we deserve the fate of being swamped by the third world masses, that currently threatens to overwhelm our western societies, because we have become ridiculously molly-coddled in the last few generations, and seemingly incapable of appreciating our longevity, achieved in comparative good health and wealth .... something its possible that future generations, operating with less resources per person, and in an overcrowded segregated land, may not live long enough to enjoy.

As the song says ... 'Who wants to live forever'?


  1. Being stuck in seniors home is not something to look forward to is it? Your health really is the most important thing in the end, otherwise a long old age is just a misery.

    1. Amen to that brother (or Sister) ... no point in a long life with out the health to enjoy it. Thanks for the comment.


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