1 January 2067
The last surviving member of the baby boomer generation – Jake Patch – passed away today at the Woodstock Retirement Village, cradled in the arms of his robot carer, Mia.
A few months before his death, Jake was interviewed by the BBC (British Breitbart Company), and an excerpt is reproduced below.
Thanks for sparing us your precious time, Jake. Could you start by reminding us what it was like growing up in the middle of the last century?
Well, you could say it was a black-and-white world – in more ways than one. Television wasn’t in colour at first, of course (if you had one), but the rest of life was like that too. Things could be tough. It was normal for teachers as well as parents to beat us, even little children. Imagine that! Racial discrimination was perfectly legal. The same went for harassing people sexually. Being homosexual was against the law, however. Gay people were just thrown in prison. There was litter everywhere. The food was crap too. It sounds like a dystopian movie, doesn’t it, but I swear it was true.
How about when you got older?
Only a tiny proportion of people went to university, about 3%. When you did finally get a job, it was expected you would stay there all your life until you retired. Everybody smoked all the time, even in offices and restaurants. If you got pregnant, you were sacked. There were times that inflation was rising daily – staff had to race around supermarkets changing the prices every week. If you wanted to buy a house, mortgage interest rates were as high as 18%! Why people got nostalgic about those days, I have no idea . . .
It sounds grim. How did your generation respond?
We went rogue. We invented pop music. We grew our hair and became hippies. Later we cut it again and became punks. We took all the drugs we could find, discovered the secret of the universe and forgot it by the morning. We made a sexual revolution, invented feminism, bent genders, knocked down the Berlin Wall and destroyed communism. We were the generation that ran away from home and travelled the world. We went environmental back in the seventies. We went to the moon. We invented the Internet. Is there anything I’ve forgotten?
So how does it feel to be the only baby boomer still alive?
Like being the last Regency rake – a member of the Hellfire Club – surrounded in old age by stuffy, repressed Victorians.
Yes. That we brought our children, and our children’s children up to be such whining, self-righteous, over-sensitive, puritanical pricks.
Isn’t that a bit judgmental?
Of course! I should have added ‘deaf to humour’ too, after talking to you for 10 minutes!
*** A break in the interview as Jake’s laughter turned to a coughing fit. After a reviving shot of morphine and a head massage by Mia, the interview resumed.***
You’ve lived for well over a 100 years. Lowlights and Highlights?
Lowlight – definitely the year 2016. That’s when everything changed . . .
Highlight – seeing the Rolling Stones perform their farewell gig at Burning Man on Mick’s 100th birthday.
Your hopes for the future?
That I live long enough to vote at the next election. Four terms is enough for President Ivana!
The music for your funeral?
Neil Young, ‘Harvest Moon’.
Any last words?
Après nous, le déluge.