I’m as troubled as anyone here over the state of the world today, and especially the state of my country, which I believe has lost its way
completely. I expect a further economic meltdown and more trouble ahead. That doesn’t make me feel secure. But my perspective is decidedly
short-term, measured in decades at best. I don’t expect to be here more than another 15 years, 25 tops. Otherwise is statistically unlikely.
For this Thought Project please imagine, if you will, that you discovered you were going to live forever, or at least until an accident of Providence
got you. Until the magic meteor takes you down for good you would be free of disease, aging, and deterioration. The question is: How would your
perspective change? How would you deal with the issues of the day?
Essentially you would be in a position to witness empires rise and fall, continents shift, languages change, and people engage in the same follies of
today over and over again. You would view the coming economic collapse, predicted by all third-graders, as merely a trough because in 100 years it
won’t matter. In a thousand years, as the world fight to stave off a coming Ice Age, you and your fellow citizens will be baffled that 21st century
“visionaries” could not see their own folly of global warming. And in 10,000 years the world will be a vastly different place.
Would you worry as much? You would still survive. Either the government would give you handouts or you’d actually have to work for a living.
Sometimes you’d be rich; sometimes you’d be poor, but at one time or another you will have owned castles. Hopefully you will have learned enough
to avoid common pitfalls and learned a few useful trades to get you by.
The idea of an immortal person walking the earth is not new. In fact, there are several references in the Bible to a ‘wandering Jew’ named
. The story is in many forms, but the basic plot is that Cartaphilus offended Jesus
when he was carrying the cross. Jesus became angry and said, “Thou shalt tarry until I return.” One of the manifestations of this is in
My First Two Thousand
Years; the autobiography of a wandering Jew
by George Sylvester Viereck, published originally in 1928 and still available. A similar story is
the Twilight Zone Season One episode, Long Live Walter Jamison
, though it is
forced to fit into a half-hour. And, of course, we have The Highlander
. Jerome Bixby himself
wrote the Star Trek episode, Requiem for Methuselah
which deals with a man who claims
to have been everyone from Alexander the Great to Leonardo da Vinci on earth. The book,
, by Pete Hamill, which is actually a history of New York City seen through the lives of an immortal resident.
was a television series that dealt with an immortal New York City cop.
Robert A. Heinlein’s Time enough for love is about Lazarus Long, born in 1916 and still going strong in 4200.
My favorite of these is “The Man from Earth” where John Oldman plays the part of a Cro Magnon who has survived into modern times. I’ve written
an extensive review about it here: www.scribd.com...
The movie web site is here: www.manfromearth.com...
The IMDb site is here: www.imdb.com...
buy it here
script is available here" www.veryabc.cn...
So would you be bored or bemused?
edit on 1/22/2013 by schuyler because: fixed link