I heard a piece on NPR the other day that pulled me into the Rabbit Hole. It was about something called Crisping which was (at least what I could make of it) another advance in genetic splicing and the vast potential it had (both good and bad) for cloning in the future. In the Rabbit hole it occurred to me that in the not too distant future we could probably start toying with the idea of bringing dead people back to life. Lose a child in a car accident or a fire? Sorry for your loss but hey, no worries. Just mail in a locket of their hair and we’ll make you another one. Maybe you’d like blue eyes this time or blond hair instead of brown? No problem.
And what about long dead people? Let’s make another Jack Kennedy…(eh, and make a point not to kill this one.) Better still, we can probably request an upgrade. We can get a president without a weak back…without Addison’s disease and we might as well slice and dice his DNA and take a little edge off Jack’s overactive libido. Maybe add an extra Y chromosome so he’s…I don’t know… just a little gay. You know...just a little, this Kennedy might grow an impeccably manicured goatee, work out a lot and find Broadway musicals irresistible. Can we get Lincoln’s DNA? We could make him again too. This version would be a little claustrophobic, less prone to go to the theater and take a box seat. What about Jesus? I’m betting the Vatican has a usable relic they’re not talking about…a toenail clipping…something.
Come to think about it…what about me? Could I be cloned? If my grandchildren, great grandchildren get a hold of this…”Hey kids….dig me up and bring me back. I’m not sure you’d like the present me all that much, a short, bald, grumpy smoker with high blood pressure and a weak heart, but I’m pretty sure you’d get a bang out of the new and improved me.” And if I did get another shot at life…would I carry any of the memories of my present existence into the next? How cool would that be…or not. Could science purge the bad memories…the beltings from Dad, the heart shattering breakup with the most beautiful girl in the world, sweet Nancy in high school…and save the memories that brought my greatest joys…my first kiss (young Nancy again..)…lying in bed and reading to my children at night….
How about getting rid of all the bad traits I carried with me into adulthood that tripped me up every step of the way as I humped along with fifty pounds of false egoism, self fascination and guilt on my back? Hey, could you make me a little kinder? That would be nice. I would love another pass at life as me…but I would have to insist on some physical enhancements. Let’s start with a better brain, one with a stronger grasp of music…of math…of astronomy. I don’t need to be a genius by any means but if I could just go through the high school experience without my teachers shaking their heads in dismay, without listening to my physics teacher for a half hour and finding a puddle of drool collecting in my lap. And what the hell, since you’re in there mixing and matching chromosomes…how about a few more inches of height, better teeth and a full head of hair. I don’t need a bigger dick but what the hell…another inch…inch and a half added to the Irish pencil stump I was born with…who’s that gonna hurt? Come on, you’re already in there…Oh…and green eyes, Okay…hazel is so lame.