Monthly Archives: December 2002

Clones


I’ve followed the clone thing for a number of years, actually since the first in-vitro baby, Emily (?) Steptoe about 25 years ago.  Apparently she’s perfectly normal, but at the time, ethicists and scientists were all concerned that she would be odd, or misshapen and have an extraordinary fear or affinity for Pyrex glassware.  

None of the those things turned out to be true.  This clone baby is merely an extension of in-vitro fertilization, except there was no sexual reproduction involved: Nobody laid back on one elbow and said “ahhhhhhh”. 

Dairy cows, who must be pregnant in order give milk, never really get the business end of the bull in most commercial herds.  Oestrus and Insemination are commercial tasks handled by medical intervention and we get cheese out the other end of the concept. 

Same with Genetically Modified Organisms.  Humans have been doing this for thousands of years.  Your tomato on your sandwich at noon is a hybrid, a cross-breed of taste, durability, ripening and ship-ability.  The great, Canadian McIntosh Apple is a GMO.  The Mac does NOT exist in nature. Red Durum Wheat is a hybrid that does not exist in nature.  For that matter, all dogs are hybrids, bred for hunting, retrieving, or companion animals.  So the GMO concept is just a more commercialized version of what we’ve been doing all along.

Cloning, as best I can tell, from the pure science side of the subject, is really just plant grafting with a little more control and some closer monitoring of what will come out the other side.  Reducing the chance of an odd hybrid, so to speak.

Ethically?  Well, that’s a later  post….

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Claymation Pulls The Pin


Of course he resigned, Senate Majority Leader, Trent Lott, pulled the pin on his career grenade last week and finally let go of the spoon yesterday.  He really had no choice, as he came across in his Black Entertainment Television (BET) Public mea culpa as a “Crossing Over” audience member channelling George Wallace.   

Then Dubya had a chat with him.  Lott faced two choices with Dubya:  Resign, or become Colin Powell’s Valet and Bootblack.  Since Powell likes shiny shoes and good creases in his shirts, Lott took Choice One.

I suspect Lott will employ the Gore Stratagem.  Go away for a while, then come back and stare wistfully off into middle distance.  I can almost see Trent Lott with a tight curl perm, in a Pendleton shirt, well-worn jeans, used Rockports, sporting a Fu Manchu and a ‘doo rag.  His new job?  Admissions Director for Bob Jones University. 

Although its a lovely dream, the reality is he’s going on the Rubber Chicken Circuit as a lecturer at $5,000 a pop.  This should keep him in marine epoxy for a few years ensuring his legacy of Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.

The real legacy is that the media will not brook even the potential of politically incorrect stain on your record.  If your Daddy’s Daddy belonged to some organization that was/is not PC today, then you’re just as guilty, even if you, personally have never been a member.  The excuse for this I heard more than once from learned commentators was:  “The Apple Doesn’t Fall From The Tree”, which is utter nonsense.

But it seemed to suffice as reason enough to pillory Lott as a sheet-wearing, cross burning, night-riding, fire hose-waving zealot who stood beside Bull Connor and had his own autographed Louisville Nightstick.  Which is also, utter nonsense.

Now, I refuse to defend Lott, as he is an idiot and so far right he makes Nixon look like a Libertarian, but I can’t get past then zealotry of the media in pursuing him because it is a slow new week. 

The part that scares me, is since the late 70’s, the majority of North Americans get almost all their news from Television.  A Roper Poll (mid 80’s or so) placed Television News at the top of the list for credibility, honesty and believability with viewers.  Not just by a few percentage points either, it was something like four times more credible than newspapers, radio, magazines and books. 

If that doesn’t scare you.  Then nothing will. 

Trent Lott


Trent Lott, who looks like an early Gumby model, especially in the hair department, is not wining The Smartest Man award this year.  Mister Claymation put his foot all the way into his mouth regarding his segregation comment at Strom Thurmond’s birthday thing.  Lott is an idiot and always has been an idiot, so I can’t get too bent about it: “Stupid is as stupid does” to quote Forrest Gump.

But here is the real point:  Despite what the politically correct might think, historically, America and (to a lesser extent) Canada, have been extraordinarily racist for most of their history.  There is no excuse for racism.  Hating someone just for their colour or heritage is silly.  Get to know the person first, then hate them for specific behaviours or beliefs. 

At various times in the history of both countries, we have hated Irish, Poles, Blacks, Hungarians, Jews, Chinese, Japanese, Jews again, Catholics, Protestants, English, New Zealanders, Latvians, French, Chinese again and have actually passed laws disenfranchising them, or limiting their immigration, or passing laws that preclude their owning land, farming or having government jobs.

Humans are essentially xenophobic.  We like others who are like us.  Wind back the time machine and you’ll probably see Cro-Magnons with the same features and values hangin’ together.  It still happens today:  Chinatown, Little Italy, Little Saigon, Poletown, Greek Town, Scarberia, BarbecueHaven, The Glebe…ad nauseum.

Since we can’t change history (People were killed, in my lifetime, just because they were of a certain pigment) and Humans won’t change, we can only accept the fact that ‘we’ as a society have done some really stupid things IN THE PAST.

So, to everyone who gets bent with non-PC statements of fact:  That was then.  This is now.  Judge me on my actions today, not what my great-great-great-great grandmother thought, did, or didn’t do.  And get over it.  To quote Colin Powell approximately:  “Racism is the other guy’s problem, not yours.”

What Would Jesus Drive–New Testament Revisited


If Jesus came back today and tried to do the things he is purported to do in the New Testament, would he have a car?  Of course.  Now, what kind of car? 

Some well-meaning eco-nuts have tried to argue that Jesus would never get a SUV because the dreaded SUV is a gas pig, a symbol of conspicuous consumption and bad for the environment as it can be used to drive over spotted-owl endangered species habitat and wetlands.

Well, assuming Jesus does as he did in Jesus V 1.0, spend the first 30 years or so of his life, more or less incognito, then he’d be an insurance agent in New Jersey.  Longish hair, beard, Birkenstock sandals, weekend jeans, probably a pierced ear and a Greenpeace t-shirt.  Sounds like a Volvo driver. A Volvo Station Wagon. 

Shirt and tie during the week.  Might even be a member of the Lions Club or Kiwanis.  Has a “titties and beer” night with the boys about once a year and probably gets a hooker when he’s in Atlanta for the Insurance Agent Convention every February.

I think that if Jesus did come back and do the thing again, the first time he got out of the car in Cookeville, Tennessee or Gatlin, Texas, the locals would either shoot him, shun him as a Yankee Lunatic Socialist or offer to give him directions to the fastest way out of town.

If he did get the whole popularity thing happening, he’d be on Larry King Live with Liza Minnelli and her meat puppet husband along with Michael Jackson.  First forty-five minutes would be plastic surgery, last fifteen of Larry King….Jesus is back.

Next morning, “Good Morning America” “Live with Regis and Kelly” and tape a feature with Maria Shriver for “Dateline NBC”  That afternoon, “Late Night with David Letterman” as the second guest after Billy Crystal.

A week later?  “What happened to Jesus?” on 20/20.  Headlines about “being in rehab” and “Jesus shopping Mall meltdown on shoplifting charges” from the National Enquirer.

A year later?  A comeback, just like Whitney or Mariah or P.Diddy-Puffy-Sean-JLo.

My point? (And I do have one)  In some parts of the world, if Jesus didn’t come back as dinner, nobody would listen to him.  In the Western World, he’d just be another commercial commodity. 

What would he drive?  In my world, a military spec HUMVEE with a .50 cal and he’d take absolutely no crap off anyone.