Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 2, No. 2, 2003

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Robert J. Lewis
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dube
Phil Nixon
Mark Goldfarb
Robert Rotondo
  Music Editor
Emanuel Pordes
  Arts Editor
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
Mady Bourdage
Emanuel Pordes
  Past Contributors
  Noam Chomsky
Robert Fisk
Pico Iyer
Mark Kingwell
Arundhati Roy
John Lavery
David Solway
Tariq Ali
Rochelle Gurstein


Comments from Mark Goldfarb, contributing editor at A & O.

Have for quite some time now been meaning to comment on For Whom The Genes Toll, to voice my disagreement with your stance:

It would seem you propose to relegate human existence to the status of mechanical devices. Hmm. I'll just jump in by saying I don't believe DNA is our worst enemy any more than those microbial organisms which sometimes kill us but often enough have zero effect on us. Are those nasties the enemy? Is disease the enemy? Should our objective be to kill them or is this thing we call 'life' in all its aspects and on all its planes (the mental, physical and spiritual), something we need to make balance with? As for scientists turning us into a gentler kinder species, I think that responsibility rests with educators, humanists,'the wise and insightful' for lack of better words and, in fact, each of us - not gene splicers.

Your comment about politicians rising to the gravity of the situation gave me a cynical chuckle. There's an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Easily the densest people on the planet bar none(and I mean that seriously), politicians are ruled by power, money, greed and the tips of their dicks. Your generous ascription to them of altruistic motives strikes me as unrealistic at best, foolhardy at worst. The path you propose resembles the option scientists had and chose in the early 1900s to do research and experimentation on the A-bomb. Which led to nuclear proliferation, which led to Star Wars, which will in turn evolve into deadlier weaponry. That there will be abuses and misuses is a gross understatement. Pandora's box has already been opened. Genie's out of the bottle and there ain't no puttin' him back in.

It almost seems as if you've lost faith in humanity (and who can blame you?) and replaced it with faith in science and technology. What strikes me as out of place in your argument is the implicit presumption that humans can control and master Nature, plug up the dike with our fingers so to speak, when all evidence points to the contrary. The future you envision offers me the same destiny and quality of life as your computer or fuel pump. I hope things don't go your way. But if they do, here's to me being as far the hell away from it as I possibly can. That being said, I would still like to have e-mail. I say this as I sit and type in front of a monitor that is killing me slowly with radiation. If I had any sense I'd stick the stupid thing in my microwave oven and ...well, you get my drift. That is if I had a microwave. Which I don't. And never will.

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