“Hope Dies Last”

From a 2006 interview of Studs Terkel by Michael Shapiro at The Sun:

You’ve got neocons and neoliberals: I’m a neo-Neanderthal. But my ingratitude to technology is the real irony, because were it not for technology, I wouldn’t be here talking to you right now. Eight weeks ago, at the age of ninety-three, I was in the hospital with a broken neck. While I’m there, my personal doctor and my cardiologist say, “Your whole valve is shot, and you’ve got about three months to live.” I’m ninety-three, so I say, “What the hell. Ninety-three. Let the damned thing ride.” But they say the odds are a little better than they were nine years ago, when I had a quintuple bypass. So I say, “OK, I’ll do it,” because I’m curious. My ego wants to know: what’s the world going to be like? It may be in terrible shape, but I want to be around . . . sort of.

So my ego got the best of me. And the next thing I know I wake up, and they’re pulling me out on a gurney, and the surgeon says, “It’s all over.” I say, “You mean I’m dead?” He says, “No, no, you’ve got about four more years.” Four more years. I’m ninety-three — I don’t need four more years! It sounds so Nixonian: four more years.

Read the whole interview here

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