GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019 - 9

the future of aging

Why the 'old' story of aging no longer applies
BY KAREN SANDS - EXCERPT FROM HER BOOK,
THE AGELESS WAY

T

he 1976 movie Logan's Run, based on the premise
of the novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton
Johnson, depicts a future in which humanity lives in a
dome, shielded from the destroyed, poisoned world outside.
The dome is a hedonist utopia of sorts except for its dark
side-no one lives past age 30. The society is run by a central
computer that tracks an implant in the hands of the citizens,
which changes color with age, alerting the computer to the
approach of a citizen's last day, when he or she is killed.
Runners, who try to escape their fate by running to a mythical place outside the dome (called Sanctuary), are chased
by Sandmen, the society's enforcers. Logan 5 is one of these
Sandmen, who begins to question the society after meeting
Jessica 6, who plans to become a Runner.
Logan is tasked by the computer to seek and destroy
Sanctuary by pretending to be a Runner, so he leaves the
dome with Jessica 6 only to find that the world outside is
not destroyed and poisonous but lush and overgrown. In the
ruins of the U.S. Senate chamber, they encounter an elderly
man who explains the outside world and tells them there is
no Sanctuary. They bring him back to the dome, intending to

"

"In this story, we have a woman,
Jessica 6, leading the way out of a
society limited by ageism, just as
women will lead the way into our
own Ageless Future."

9 GRAND

JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

show people that it is possible to live much longer, intending
to overthrow the computer's control.
This story of an alternative future is clearly more cautionary
than aspirational! Yet I see in this story so many themes that
resonate with where we are in our story today and what that
means for our future story.
The society in this mid-1970s movie mirrors views of
the Boomer generation at the time-hedonistic, not trusting anyone over 30. Now, many would just as easily see the
Millennial generation depicted here, which more than anything shows us that the stories we tell about youth are based
more in stereotype than reality. Similarly, the man Logan and
Jessica discover outside the dome demonstrates the falsity of
the myth that life ends after 30 (or 40, 50, and so on).
In this story, we have a woman, Jessica 6, leading the way
out of a society limited by ageism, just as women will lead the
way into our own ageless future. We also have a livable Earth
only when we choose to break free from an ageist society's
constraints, only when multiple generations come together,
instead of isolating themselves from one another. The central computer is our society, churning out the same old story
about age and the world to the point where few think to
question it. This is just the way it's always been. In the end,
when the computer captures Logan and learns from him that
Sanctuary doesn't exist, that there's just the world out there,
the computer-the old story-self-destructs. Then Jessica
and Logan lead everyone out of the dome, showing them the
man they met outside, and they all see what is truly possible
for them. For the man who had lived alone and isolated for
decades, this is a moment when he becomes visible.
Continued on next page


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GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019

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