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Aging frightens people. At a deep psychological level, most adults dread the march of time and the inevitable changes that occur with increasing age. Of course, this age phobia has occurred to some degree in every culture throughout history, but never before has it reached the level evident in the past century of Western thought. Even a casual examination of the popular culture of the past fifty years would reveal many examples of the obsession with youth and the glorification of youthful appearance, but perhaps nothing captures the fear of aging better than the blunt lyrics of the rock classic, "My Generation," by The Who: "I hope I die before I get old."
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