We haven't much bothered with Althouse this year. That's mostly her fault; she can't even troll worth a damn anymore. And say what you want about Althouse, all of it accurate and justly cruel, but back in the day she could certainly troll.
This class of thing is just lame.
In the NYT Daniel Callahan writes something sophisticated and important about death and health. Althouse tries to shoot it dead from a helicopter, with spitballs.
I have often been struck, at funerals of the elderly, of the common phrase that while the deceased will be missed, he or she led a “full life.” Adding years to a life doesn’t necessarily make it any fuller.
We may properly hope that scientific advances help ensure, with ever greater reliability, that young people manage to become old people. We are not, however, obliged to help the old become indefinitely older. Indeed, our duty may be just the reverse: to let death have its day.
But no, no, no, there are no death panels. Just nudging, withholding, moralizing, disparaging.
What is the social benefit of these old people?
It used to be considered immoral to ask that question.
Well, actually, no it didn't.
And there aren't any "death panels."
But everyone should think carefully about The End, because that is an essential part of Life. As Joe once remarked,
Past humanity is not only implicit in each new man born but is contained in him. Humanity is an ever-widening spiral and life is the beam that plays briefly on each succeeding ring. All humanity from its beginning to its end is already present but the beam has not yet played beyond you. Your earthly successors await dumbly and trust to your guidance and mine and all my people inside me to preserve them and lead the light further. You are not now the top of your people’s line any more than your mother was when she had you inside her. When I leave you I take with me all that has made you what you are – I take all your significance and importance and all the accumulations of human instinct and appetite and wisdom and dignity. You will be left with nothing behind you and nothing to give the waiting ones. Woe to you when they find you out!
Althouse is the beginning of the unfinished, the re-discovery of the familiar, the re-experience of the already suffered, the fresh-forgetting of the unremembered. Althouse goes round and round. Her blog: in shape it is circular and by nature it is interminable, repetitive and very nearly unbearable.