Would You Want to Age Backwards Like Benjamin Button?
You're born, you get old, your body turns to shit, you die. Booooring. Wouldn't it be nice to have some variety in the whole "we get older the longer we are alive" cliche? For instance, what if we Benjamin Buttoned? That is, wouldn't you want to be born old and with the mind of an infant, then get physically younger as you matured? So when you had the physically fit, hangover-immune body of a 23-year-old, you'd have the maturity not to puke all over the place and make out with strangers at the bar. And when you're 85 but have the body of a 12-year-old you could get the senior citizen specials AND the kid's meals at Denny's. Wait, what was that noise? Was that the sound of your MIND BEING BLOWN? We asked the people of New York if they would want to age like Benjamin Button
Pete, casting director: Yes. I love that movie. I would do it. When you get old, it always becomes so depressing. I’d rather die out young and happy.
What kind of job would you have to make sure you stayed happy?
Porn. Porn would be the best. You could pull off being older the entire time you’re mentally young. I would forever have babes.
How would that work?
By the time your body is 18, you would have been doing it already for 70 years, so you would be bored and not care that you couldn’t legally do it anymore. Babes. Forever.
Amelia, student: I feel like that a lot of the time already. Because there are certain limitations when you’re young that I don’t consider. But no. I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t need it.
What does that mean?
In some sense, I’m already growing younger. Going in this direction makes me freer.
Tygar, actress: Yeah. I think it’s pretty much the same thing. We start off and end in the same place.
What would be different about it, though?
Well, you’d be mentally 18 in a 60-year-old body. I think I’d probably have a better sense of my mortality. I would have more youth as I go on.
Would it make you happier to age in that way?
No. I think it would be more difficult to accept my death because I’d be reaching my peak just as soon as I was finished.
Gitte, a Danish person: Yeah, that could be cool.
What would be cool about it?
It’s so difficult to be a child because you don’t know anything about anything. So it might be nice to be perceived as a child but actually know everything.
What about the physical bonuses?
Well, as a child you are mentally free and physically free. I would just be growing free again.
Chris, Target corporate employee: I don’t think so. I like how bodies and minds go together.
But they only go together because that’s how it has always been. What if it was the other way around?
It’s fine. This is what I’m used to. It’s what I like. I don’t like it the other way.
Dan, father: No, I don’t think so. Then I’d be getting smarter as I get younger and I like getting stupider as I get older.
So this is the stupidest you’ve ever been?
Yeah. I realized after having kids that I don’t know much.
What would be the best thing about it?
Well, would you die when you’re… Would you just die? As a baby? Would you die being a baby? Is that it?
Well, yes, assuming you’re not killed before you reach that point.
I guess a good thing would be that you died and you wouldn’t care or really know what it meant or felt like.
Excerpt from the Novel ‘Family Life’
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