In an interview yesterday in The Sunday Times (of London), English novelist Martin Amis called for euthanasia booths on street corners to facilitate the death of elderly persons. “How is society going to support this silver tsunami?” he said in an interview. “There’ll be a population of demented very old people, like an invasion of terrible immigrants, stinking out the restaurants and cafes and shops. I can imagine a sort of civil war between the old and the young in 10 or 15 years’ time,” he warned. His answer? “There should be a booth on every corner where you could get a martini and a medal.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented on this issue today:
If it was the goal of Martin Amis to gin up publicity on the eve of his new novel, The Pregnant Widow, he succeeded: his sick comments have received wide coverage in the U.K. But now he’s stuck with his mad idea, and attempts to walk it back are too late.
Already, English pundit Toby Young is coming to Amis’ defense saying, “He didn’t mean it.” Young says it was just satire. Not so fast. If what Amis said was in jest, then are we to believe that he was similarly joking when he said, “There should be a way out for rational people who’ve decided they’re in the negative. That should be available, and it should be quite easy.” Sure, like having death booths on street corners.
Do we think Amis is going to start a campaign to establish death booths? No, but if someone followed up on his idea, we’re confident he wouldn’t lose a night’s sleep. In any event, we hope his dream world fantasy doesn’t migrate to our shores.
In short, it’s too late to rescue Amis. Besides, he could have gotten just as much publicity by denying the Holocaust. But he would never say such a thing, and that’s because such an idea would strike him as morally repugnant.