Editor's Column

"Not since the atomic bomb have we had something with so many frightening implications as genetic engineering. Hollywood took full advantage of the atomic bomb in the '50. Unfortunately, it's not doing the same in the '00s.During the atomic scare era we had radiation causing colossal men, minuscule men, humongous women, giant spiders, giant ants, giant rats and giant rabbits, among other aberrations. Humankind barely escaped the peril, fighting hundreds of 90-minute celluloid battles in black and white, and prevailing in all of them, thanks to a horde of B actors who didn't know the meaning of the word surrender, or many other words as far as that goes.Hollywood's response to genetic engineering has been tepid. Lack of imagination may be to blame, or perhaps people are harder to scare than they once were. The present box office smash stars a cannibal who eats faces off living people, so maybe it's difficult to get too worked up over genetic engineering. This could be due to lack of imagination, or perhaps revolting reality is occurring so fast that imagination can't stay ahead of it.All Hollywood really needs to is put a little twist on reality and it's got itself a hit movie in the '00s. Take cloning, for example. The first humans are expected to be cloned shortly because scientists have already registered at the Bon's infant department for a dozen of everything. And political parties are likely funding their own cloning efforts, which could result in a movie like this:CAPITAL CLONES: Democrats clone hundreds of Bill and Hillary Clintons, who march in Washington, D.C., each one surrounded by a dozen lawyers, intent on taking back the White House. Unbeknownst to them, the Republicans have a like number of Newt Gingriches and Trent Lotts, also with lawyers, ready to meet them. The resulting battle requires at least three barf bags to sit through, but ends happily when Hannibal Lecter clones eat the very last politician.Another bit of genetic reality was reported in Sunday's paper. Scientists have placed sexy jellyfish genes in sterile but sexually active moths, who are supposed to mate crazily with regular moths that eat cotton, thereby stopping another generation from being born. This is an idea Hollywood is ready for if you've read about recent gross-out teen films. It could result in a movie titled:AMERICAN LIE: Scientists solve the teen pregnancy problem by inserting jellyfish genes in sterile cheerleaders and flooding the high school with them.The student body continues to mate their eyes out, but nobody gets pregnant. As an added plus, the cheerleaders glow in the dark so the football field lighting costs are reduced.The genetic movie possibilities are endless. Once Hollywood gets off the cannibal kick, maybe we'll get some real movies like they had in the '50s. "

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