Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lives Outlived

In yesterday's post, Ken Lum cites Walter Benjamin, and how a life can be outlived.

What is it to outlive one's life?

Among those old enough, there are occasions where, in the course of a conversation, we pause on what was once possible, but like a building that no longer stands, is gone, lost, extinct.

A common lost narrative is one that many first-born Baby Boomers rebelled against in their youth: that you finish school, get a job, then retire from it 40 years later, with a pension to keep you warm, dry and well-fed.

Who among us in the unliveable city of Vancouver would not welcome that security today? Not that narrative, but that security? Or if not that narrative, then that narrative with revisions?

Even through the deregulatory 1980s it was, at least for me (b. 1962), unimaginable that those of us born during the Baby Boom years would finish our working lives without a pension. More so today is a reality that has the promise of that pension, once activated, as empty as Al Capone's vault.

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