25 May 2005

A future of custom chimeras

In a newspaper editorial titled “Humans don't stand outside nature”, Professor David P. Barash (author of The Myth of Monogamy and Madame Bovary's Ovaries: a Darwinian look at literature, among others) asks: 
Is there a chimera, a hybrid or some other mixed human-animal genetic composite in our future? I certainly hope so. This may seem perverse: Even the most liberal theologians tend to shy away from advocating the production of half-person/half-animals. Why, then, am I rooting for them?
He's rooting for them because:
When -- and I mean when, not if -- geneticists and developmental biologists succeed in joining human and non-human animals in a viable organism, it will be difficult (perhaps impossible)…to maintain the fallacy that Homo sapiens is uniquely disconnected from the rest of life.

It is one thing to ignore the fact that human beings share roughly 99 percent of their genotype with chimpanzees; such ignore-ance [sic] will require even more intellectual sleight-of-hand when human and non-human cells literally are conjoined…the benefits of such a physical demonstration of human/non-human non-separation will go beyond simply discomfiting the nay-sayers...I am thinking of the powerful payoff that will come from puncturing the most hurtful myth of all times, that of discontinuity between human beings and the rest of life.1

Four decades ago, Lynn White wrote a now-classic article in the journal Science, "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis," which forcefully made the point that much of the painful and destructive disconnect between human beings and their environment derives from the Judeo-Christian proclamation of radical discontinuity between people and the rest of "creation."2

...So let's hear it for our barrier-busting, hybridizing, chimera-creating future, anything that promises to wake up Homo sapiens to its glorious connection to the rest of life, whatever rubs our species-wide nose in the simple, yet sublime universal password proclaimed in Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book": "We be of one blood, thee and I."
While no one can predict with any certainty what effect genetic engineering will have (I agree with Professor Barash that it is inevitable), isn’t it more likely that the ability to manipulate the genome will result in a severing of human beings sense of connection to nature? Genetic manipulation is a freeing from the constraints of nature, a genetically altered creature is not a product of nature or the working of a natural process over time, but merely the product of a lab.

Barash states there is a "line that exists only in the minds of those who proclaim that the human species, unlike all others, possesses a spark of the divine and must have been specially created by god". But the erasure of this line erases another line as well, one that acts as a barrier to human beings conceiving of themselves as god-like.

1Why is this "myth" hurtful? The professor doesn’t say. I'm guessing it has something to do with whales and spotted owls. But if human beings are only a contiguous part of nature, it isn’t obvious to me why it does not follow that any harm human beings do to the environment isn't natural as well. As Love and Rockets once observed:
You cannot go against nature
Because when you do
Go against nature
It's part of nature too
2I find odd the professors contention that the disconnect that humans feel with their environment is entirely the result of a "Judeo-Christian proclamation". Why would human beings be so amenable, and for such a long period of time, to such an idea if it were not at least partially natural for humans to believe so?

23 May 2005

Oh my honey do come and hurry to the Zoo

Obese Woman Referred to Zoo for MRI


In other stupid news:

A man was injured when he jumped from a car traveling 55-60 mph in an effort to retrieve a cigarette blown out of a passenger-side window.

Why did this man act so foolishly? The authorities explanation is the man has an excessive fondness for cigarettes. But I think there is another explanation. From an early age American children are bombarded by anti-littering propaganda. It has no effect on most, but some individuals are more susceptible than others, and in his drunken state, this man’s conditioning took over. I’ve long advocated that large diameter ashtrays be placed every 50 yards or so along the highway. Perhaps this man’s near death will finally spur our stupid government into action on this matter.

22 May 2005

Bestseller

Steve Sailer is taking suggestions as to what subject he should write a book about. A subject I hope he doesn’t choose is saving Social Security via the creative storage of oldies (in lava tubes, in cars at the bottoms of ravines, on cruise ships, etc.), as that’s a book I plan on writing myself.

What does market research tell us? According to the New York Times, the current hardcover nonfiction bestsellers are:


1. THE WORLD IS FLAT, by Thomas L. Friedman
2. FREAKONOMICS, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
3. A LOTUS GROWS IN THE MUD, by Goldie Hawn with Wendy Holden
4. BLINK, by Malcolm Gladwell
5. MY LIFE SO FAR, by Jane Fonda


So in order to have a bestseller, one must either be a bullshit peddler or a has-been actress (Goldie Hawn??). A sex change is easily obtainable, but I wonder if Mr. Sailer isn't too busy for acting lessons.

Royal kidneys

A woman in France, Francoise Gaellar, believes she’s in possession of one of Princess Diana’s kidneys. She received a kidney transplant two days after Diana’s death, and claims to now be suffering an unusual side effect:

[Gaellar] says something strange happened following her operation - she found herself peppering her conversation with English phrases.
"I found myself speaking English to my friends, something I don't normally do because I have no reason to," she says. "I cannot explain why I did this."


Oddly, my good friend Professor Glen Morangie also claims to be in possession of one of Princess Diana’s kidneys, which he keeps in jar on his desk. He purchased his from a highly reputable dealer in curiosities who understandably wishes to remain anonymous.

The most disturbing aspect of Ms. Gaellar’s story (which has not been remarked upon elsewhere) is, if it turns out to be true, it would possibly mean that the cannibals, who thought one could acquire another person's attributes by eating him, were right.

Many of them lodged on the men’s hats

John Harriott in 1809 recounts, presumably from his own observation, the following phenomenon:

"In a heavy shower of rain, while our army was on the march, a short distance from Pondicherry, a quantity of small fish fell with the rain, to the astonishment of all. Many of them lodged on the men’s hats; when General Smith, who commanded, desired them to be collected, and afterwards, when we came to our [camping] ground, they were dressed, making a small dish that was served up and eaten at the general’s table. These were not flying fish, they were dead, and falling from the common well-known effect of gravity; but how they ascended, or where they existed, I do not pretend to account. I merely relate the simple fact."
- "Rains of Fishes", By E. W. Gudger. Natural History, November-December 1921.

18 May 2005

Bad news from the world of Science

Scientists may have invented an anti-nicotine vaccine. This is terrible news, for I happen to enjoy smoking, and if the vaccine works, it is only a matter of time before smokers are forcibly injected with it. Once the vaccine becomes mandatory for school children, in a generation smokers will be extinguished everywhere, and civilization will be poorer for it (ponder for  a moment how many great artists and writers didn’t smoke).

The anti-nicotine vaccine is obviously a precursor to the invention of many more vaccines and medications to suppress all sorts of normal human urges the bureaucratic class deems unacceptable. A vaccine eliminating any urge to drink alcohol will surely be next. Then ones to eliminate negative feelings toward homosexualists, negroes, oldies, etc. I can even imagine science finding a ‘cure’ for inappropriate laughter. I don't want to live in a world where no one smokes while drunkenly laughing at homosexualist negro oldies falling down. I think the solution is to smoke more, and hope to get cancer before the perfect medicated future arrives.

16 May 2005

As soon as he's healthy send him back

Despite the amount of tedious debate regarding Social Security ‘reform’, never mentioned is the extravagant oldie lifestyle of air conditioned apartments, golf, cable TV, and brunch at Denny’s. None of which, as this recent incident demonstrates, are essential:
KINGSTON - A 75-year-old man is doing OK after spending an estimated five days in his car after it rolled down a 30-foot embankment near Kingston...Apparently, the man had been attempting a U-turn when he accidentally went backwards into the ravine. Physically incapable of climbing out, he told crews that he spent the next five days in his car. Until the car battery failed, the man entertained himself by listening to the radio.
It is now undeniable that oldies are more durable than they would have you believe, they’re capable of living in unusual habitats (from ravines to lava tubes), they require little food to sustain their shriveled bodies, and when forced to be creative are able to devise inexpensive ways to amuse themselves. It’s time to stop wasting our tax dollars on these pampered, greedy complainers.

15 May 2005

Marshmallows

Now, more than a dozen deaths later, Newsweek says the Quran desecration story they reported wasn’t true. (Notice no major media outlet is denying that nearly all of America’s celebrities enjoy wiping their asses with pages torn from the Quran, and it seems the Mohammedans continue to be unaware of this practice.)

Reflecting on the amount of agitation resulting from the flushing of one Quran down a toilet it occurs to me we may have overlooked a valuable tactic in our clash with the Mohammedans. Why not tell them that if they don’t behave themselves, we’ll get as many Qurans as we can, stack them in a huge pile, and light it on fire? It’s worth a try, and even if it has no effect on the manners of the Mohammedans children could take advantage of the blaze to roast some marshmallows. I will forward the idea to my confidants in the White House.

Professors

I received a telephone call this morning from my good friend the noted thinker and ethicist Professor Glen Morangie. He had read a story about Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Diana Griego Erwin who resigned when it was discovered that "several sources that Griego Erwin had identified by name, age and sometimes by the neighborhoods in which she reported they lived" did not exist. He wondered if I had ever done such a journalistically unethical thing, and I assured him that all of my sources are real.

Speaking of professors, UCLA professor of law Steven Bainbridge observes that without illegal alien serfs, wealthy gluttons like himself would have to pay more to get drunk on California wine. Bring this up the next time you encounter some pathetic slob who doesn't know Merlot from Pinot Noir complaining about illegal aliens ruining his children’s schools or driving up his costs of buying a home, it should shut him up.

14 May 2005

They all do it

Mohammedans enraged over the alleged desecration of the Quran by the US military interrogators continue to riot, with at times deadly protests spreading in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and now Indonesia. I wonder what these people would do if they knew that most of Hollywood’s biggest stars wipe their asses with pages torn from the Quran? Let’s hope no one tells them about this common practice.

13 May 2005

Aloha, aloha, suit up! Luau, luau, luau, luau.

The morons who run our government strike again:
Hawaii Evicts Woman Living in Lava Tube
WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) -- The state has evicted a Maui woman from a lava tube she has lived in for the last three years. Karen Mayfield, 50, has pleaded innocent to three misdemeanor charges for illegal camping, disturbing a geological feature and littering. Her trial is scheduled to start May 31.
Mayfield said she isn't allowed to stay in the lava tube while her court case is pending.
Hawaiian authorities have it backwards - oldies should be forced to live in lava tubes. It’s an inexpensive and space saving way to store them. I wish I’d thought of it myself. This Karen Mayfield woman is not a criminal, she’s a pioneer, and one day surely will be recognized as such. To those who object that oldies are too delicate to live in lava tubes, there’s a growing body of evidence which suggests oldies are far more durable than previously thought.

12 May 2005

She's my sunshine, my moonshine

The pseuds at Crooked Timber are aghast Roger Kimball dared to blaspheme Gandhi, the diaper wearing, urine drinking idol of the modern Left. A fool and windbag, Gandhi is arguably the most overrated figure of the 20th century, and the 20th century is a century filled with overrated figures. Those interested in learning more about Gandhi, including details of his love of enemas and his idiotic views regarding Hitler, should read the essay The Gandhi Nobody Knows by Richard Grenier, which I cannot recommend highly enough.

11 May 2005

Drawing derogatory cartoons was mostly what I did in school

The reviews are saying that the new movie Kingdom of Heaven is not so good. I’m refusing to see it because it’s not explicitly pro-Crusader. Before he became a Hollywood big shot, Kingdom of Heaven's screenwriter William Monahan wrote a funny little novel called Light House (before he wrote Light House Monahan wrote for Spy Magazine).

In other news involving Mohammedans, the Pakistainis have become enraged by the “desecration of the Holy Quran by the US military interrogators and publication of an allegedly derogatory cartoon about Pakistan by an American newspaper.” In response, the Pakis are planning legal action:

Apparently referring to the cartoon carried by the daily Washington Times depicting Pakistan’s role in the US-led war against terrorism as that of a faithful dog, he said: “I think a legal notice will be the best option.”

Law and Justice Minister Mohammad Wasi Zafar said he thought a case against Quranic desecration could be instituted under international and US laws and called for a trial of those who committed this act.


This would be funny, except for that with the right lawyers and the right judge they might actually win. Note the Law and Justice Minister assumes that “Quranic desecration” is against the law in the United States. Would Pakistan still be our ally if its leaders knew that in America a man can wipe his ass with pages from the Koran if he wants? Perhaps we should send Minister Wasi Zafar some photos and find out.

09 May 2005

Crises Averted

Exciting news from Kenya, where the locals have stumbled upon a solution for the ‘child care crisis’ that threatens working mommies throughout the West:
A dog foraging for food retrieved an abandoned baby girl in a forest in Kenya and carried her to its litter of puppies, according to media reports yesterday.
The stray dog carried the infant across a busy road and a barbed wire fence in a poor neighbourhood in the Ngong Forests area of the capital, Nairobi, a witness, Stephen Thoya, told the independent Daily Nation newspaper.
Notice these clever Kenyan pooches can care for children from instinct alone, so I imagine with minimal instruction the dogs can be taught to also care for oldies, thus solving that expensive problem as well.

Proof

A hidden camera photo of a North American Bigfoot. Note the slender, delicate fingers, which Bigfoots use for nose picking and for the playing of Neanderthal-style bone flutes. One expert theorizes that Bigfoots are Neanderthals. I notice this same expert nonchalantly claims to be in possession of a photograph of a Neanderthal. Interesting.