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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Age of Adaline

Friday night is usually my movie night out here in the desert and there was nothing in particular I really wanted to see. After perusing the options, I settled for ‘Age of Adaline‘, the story of a woman of the 1920’s who through an accident and a process explained through a bunch of made up technological gobbledygook stopped ageing at twenty-nine.

Part of the movie was fairly good, a study in the fear of being different and the pain of watching those you love grow old while you remain the same and try to stay under the radar.

There were two things I found wrong with the movie, both of which are ignorable if you just want an unusual love story. Whomever came up with the narrated ‘scientific’ explanations should be taken out and shot. They were painfully idiotic. The script writers would have been better off if they’d just said she had a genetic mutation which did not kick in until her body was put under a life threatening stress she’d never before experienced.

And second of all… Hollywood cannot deal with the idea of people living long lives. They believe that healthy extended lives must by necessity lead to boredom and emotional problems. They nearly always fall back on a plot device that anyone who has it will yearn for a return to the Mayfly life or even immediate joyful death as in “Zardoz”. This movie is not as bad as some. It hints that the accidental process which gave her long life would be discovered in 2035, with the implication that perhaps it was then used.

What I find humorous is that very wealthy A list actors, producers and directors will be among the first in line to embrace the initially very costly technologies of life extension and anti-aging technologies, perhaps right behind the techies who are already inventing it for real in labs all over this planet. They will sing a wholly different tune when it is they who face age and death as fashion options.

Personally, I long for the day when we eliminate both of the presently unavoidable scourges of humanity: death and taxes!

19 comments to Age of Adaline

  • Ellen

    Personally, I long for the day when we eliminate both of the presently unavoidable scourges of humanity: death and taxes!

    While we’re at it, let’s see what we can do about the plague of wealthy A list actors, producers and directors.

  • Dale Amon (Belfast, Northern Ireland/Laramie, Wy)

    Wealth is a good thing. More wealth is even better.

  • Dale Amon (Belfast, Northern Ireland/Laramie, Wy)

    Here is an example of things to come, one of many I have read in just the last two years.

  • Link does not seem to work. Never mind, used my godlike powers to fix it 😀

  • Dale Amon (Belfast, Northern Ireland/Laramie, Wy)


  • Regional

    It’s not called the Idiot Box for nuffing.

  • William O. B'Livion

    I’d settle for just getting rid of taxes because someone deserve death.

    No one deserves taxes.

  • William O. B'Livion


  • Thailover

    “…stopped aging at 29.”

    Fat lot of good that would do me, being a half century old. Naaah, I want fiction where I can mentally invade and possess someone else’s hot young body, effectively hyjacking it for myself.

    …not that I would do that of course. 😉

  • Thailover

    Perhaps a more emotionally satisfying movie would involve the aformentioned discovery, the A-list of rich and hypocritical hollywood actors lining up for the procedure and it’s discovered that 10yrs down the road, they gradually become sad mutated monsters. Maybe then they would stop whining about the “horrible capitalist 1%-ers who flit around in private jets filling the skys with carbon” whilst being painfully non-self aware that the’re referring to themselves.

  • Thailover

    A nice exception to the typical hollywood narrative that one would welcome death if one were made immortal is in the, well, just OK movie Wolverine, where Logan was presented with a gift from an old decrepid Japanese warrior that he saved back during the atomic bombings in Japan. The “gift” was the change to become mortal and live a normal life, grow old with loved ones, etc. “Wolverine” essentially said, ‘get bent, and adios’ and walked away.

    But this did make sense within the movie since “Logan” is like myself…an asshole. 🙂

  • There are hints that cannabis might be a very good anti-aging drug. Look up “cannabis cytokine” for more information.

    We do know that regular cannabis users have a life expectancy of a few years longer than average.

  • bloke in spain

    “We do know that regular cannabis users have a life expectancy of a few years longer than average.”

    Having known quite a few regular cannabis users, over the years, I’m struggling to work out if this is an all round benefit.

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    People may say they don’t want to live for ever. But I’ve never heard anyone say that there are too many doctors, as a society we spend too much on healthcare, or that research into life prolonging treatments should be stopped.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  • Veryretired

    The theme of vastly extended life spans, for one or more, is common in science fiction, and rarely handled well.

    In the movies, given the utter paucity of any creative thinking or writing coming out of that cliche factory known as Hollywood, I’m not surprised at your comments about the sterility of the story line.

    What you are seeing as a depressing, flawed story line is only a reflection of the pathetic mind-set of so many allegedly creative people, who can only conceive of an extended life as being just more of the jaded, emotionally bereft, and intellectually stultified existence they lead.

    In fact, as I’ve discussed with my own children, the extended life spans coming onto the horizon of medical research will present the generations enjoying them, and the later generations having to deal with them, with some of the most complex and difficult moral and practical dilemmas any human beings have ever encountered, and for the very first time, as well.

    I would humbly suggest we not allow cliche-ridden idiots to be the ones tasked with humanity’s response to this marvel. The major difficulty in exploring the galaxy, for one obvious example, is the time it will take in comparison to current life spans.

    Immortality, or it’s approximate, would resolve that critical issue.

    The future, to the inquisitive, optimistic mind, is not a threat. It’s an opportunity for extended exploration and enrichment.

  • Nicholas (Self-Sovereignty) Gray

    Let’s hope that it happens soon! Hollywood, though, will go on looking for a victim to publicize. Apparently, successful people are not interesting enough. I wonder if the fault is in us- do we love the victim-to-victor story too much?

  • Nicholas (Self-Sovereignty) Gray

    Veryretired, if you want a good book about what regeneration might be like, Peter Hamilton has written a great book called ‘Misspent Youth’, about a brilliant old scientist (who gave away a device that makes computer memories vastly more efficient, though not for the altruistic reasons that people assume) who is given the first practical regeneration treatment by a grateful Europe. He then finds himself attracted to his son’s teenage girlfriend. Also, there are other consequences, such as the jealousy of his contemporaries.
    All in all, a good read.

  • Mr Ed

    There is a character in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, Bowerick Wowbagger, who becomes immortal by accident. The happy smiles he wore at other people’s funerals began to fade, he had no friends and became embittered. He decided, with the help of space/time travel, to personally insult every living thing that ever lived, and in alphabetical order. One trip is across several galaxies to insult a slug, he called it ‘a brainless prat’. A warning to all of getting what you might wish for.


  • bloke in spain
    April 26, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Given the laws and all – the people who do it openly are not a representative sample.


    I’m 70 and have already lost a few friends and acquaintances. Every death is a heartbreak. If everybody lived longer it might be nice.