FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Texas A & M Cloning

by David Vest

Those of us with fond memories of the “Aggie Cold Fusion” debacle and bizarre reports of long-term alchemical research (well-funded, too) by top Aggie scientists could hardly have been more delighted by the triumphant production of “Copycat,” the kitten newly cloned at Texas A&M University.

Why does it seem to have surprised no one that this was done at A&M? For that matter, why should anyone have failed to suspect that the Aggies spent years trying to turn lead into gold? Hell, they turned an “Agricultural and Mechanical Institute” into a “University,” didn’t they?

Whether Aggie science has succeeded in turning DNA into gold is perhaps the more relevant question. The theory is that the commercial potential of cloning is in pet reproduction. People with plenty of money will be willing to pay to have their pet cat or dog “with them always.”

Why, you may ask, shouldn’t institutions of higher learning get in on the action and extract their share of funds from the idle rich? (We can be sure that Little Orphan Annie couldn’t afford to get her pup cloned without a check from Daddy Warbucks.)

The rich may be different from you and me, but they are demonstrably no less gullible.

Architects exploit them shamelessly. When I lived in Houston, people were making a killing selling nuclear bomb shelters in River Oaks and Memorial. Lead-lined rooms in the center of the house were de rigeur, as essential as Audubon prints and books supplied by decorators, who bought them by weight. People with a little less money were all buying the same cast-iron curbside mailboxes. Musically-inclined lawyers would want to sit in with blues bands, having spent upwards of $40,000 on hobby gear to try to recreate the sound Lightnin’ Hopkins got from a borrowed guitar and his fingers.

So ubiquitous were the custom stretch limos that entire cities appeared to be caught in warring funeral processions. When the limos reached the cemetary, the occupants would sometimes pay an arm, a leg and a neckbone to be buried near the big carved face of Jesus with the eyes that “follow you everywhere, in any direction, seeming to move as you move.” That they would not themselves be moving could be counted upon to escape the attention of a reliable few.

The stupidity of new money is one of the oldest, not to say richest, American stories. Can you say Enron?

New money combined with access to advanced technology can be one of the scariest.

It was enough to make even that old reactionary, Allen Tate, “view with alarm,” to use one of his favorite phrases. In 1950, in a talk called “To Whom is the Poet Responsible?” he raised the question of “how much natural knowledge should be placed in the hands of [people] whose moral and spiritual education has not been impressive?”

What sort of people was he talking about? “By such [people] I mean the majority at all times and places, and more particularly the organized adolescents of all societies known as the military class.”

Or, in the case of Texas A&M, the “faux military” class, complete with make-believe uniforms. Never mind Tate’s dismissal of majority rule — what else would we expect from a reactionary? And it is safe to assume that by “moral and spiritual education” Tate did not quite have in mind Jerry Falwell or Bob Jones.

To observe how far the level of Tory discourse has fallen since Tate’s day, we need only ask when was the last time we were able to imagine an institution such as Texas A&M being effectively attacked from the right?

The Aggie kitten is indeed cute. A&M’s estimate of the commercial potential of pet cloning is probably shrewd.

But Texas has already given us Bush II. How much would you be willing to bet that no one in Texas has yet discussed — in the presence of someone with plenty of money — the possibility of cloning Ronald Reagan?

David Vest is a regular writer for CounterPunch, a poet and piano-player for the Pacific Northwest’s hottest blues band, The Cannonballs.

He can be reached at: davidvest@springmail.com

Visit his website at http://www.mindspring.com/~dcqv

DAVID VEST writes the Rebel Angel column for CounterPunch. He and his band, The Willing Victims, have just released a scorching new CD, Serve Me Right to Shuffle. His essay on Tammy Wynette is featured in CounterPunch’s new collection on art, music and sex, Serpents in the Garden.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail