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Nolan Pop Culture Review, 2003!
This week's
La Floridiana
Deadguy's Dementia
Movie Review
Mike's Rant


  Number 146  (Vol. 4, No. 2). This edition is for the week of January 6--12, 2003.
Attack Of A Clone
Alien DNA and double trouble

It seems that tens of thousands of years ago, we were seeded here by extra-terrestrials in order to provoke advancement of our species to its next evolutionary level. The benevolent aliens responsible for this had, evidently, perfected the art of cloning, i.e., making a perfect copy of a living organism, thus paving the way for tinkering with our primitive chromosomes, fusing them with their own, which by that point was, I'm sure, beyond temptation. It would only be a matter of time before we earthlings uncovered--or re-discovered--this lost art..or science...or whatever.

So say the Raelians, a religious/cult/UFO organization who recently came forward to claim that one of their organizations, Clonaid (that's like Live-Aid, or Farm-Aid, or maybe Kool-Aid, but Clone-Aid), had, in fact, produced the world's first human clone, named "Eve" (snark, snark), somewhere in Korea, and would be parading the miracle baby before god and everybody in the near future. Unfortunately, real, actual scientists also came forward and demanded to see proof of the baby's existence, and further, wanted very much to perform DNA tests. The Raelians reaction? They were fine with that..at first.

Then a lawyer filed suit in Broward County, FL, asking the state juvenile system to take custody, saying that cloning children is tantamount to child abuse since the young-un would face a life of heath mishaps as a result of the cloning process. The Raelians' founder, Claude Vorilhon (also called "Rael") announced he would not separate the clone from its parents in such a manner, so therefore all bets are off. On a follow-up interview on CNN, Vorilhon was confronted with the accusation this was all a hoax and a publicity stunt. His reaction? He couldn't hear the question and other evasive answers.

Scientists, skeptics, naysayers and critics are, not surprisingly, all screaming "hoax". Ignoring for the moment a later report of another Clonaid baby coming over from France, I want to say I'm not sure I get what all this is about. If it is a hoax for publicity to drive up memberships, well, didn't they go to an awful lot of trouble to get all this attention for a claim they couldn't possibly prove? Don't they know the difference between cloning and, say, in-vitro fertilization, or did they think they invented that?

I recall many folks coming forward many times over many years with so-called absolute proof of an alien autopsy or some such thing, only to be shot down because they won't give up the evidence. Therefore their claims wind up languishing in that nether-hell of eternally vague phenomena like Bigfoot or ghost lights. If the Raelians have truly created a successful human clone, it is BIGGER than the reach of state juvenile laws! That lawyer (who I blame more for holding this up--unless he, too, was a plant of some sort) would have to prove clone-child endangerment, before any state agencies come swooping down.

I should probably clarify for some folks the one big reason this baby WOULD be a big deal if it's a true clone: with all the scientists and all the equipment working all over the world all the time to perfect human cloning technology (except in the US where it's banned--so no one's doing it here, right?), only "Dolly", the sheep, was ever successful--and that was a "qualified" success since it suffered from miserable side-effects constantly. Human cloning has been said to be way too complicated to attempt, and there are moral dilemmas too (I don't get them either).

Cloning is basically making a twin of yourself, but at the present time, the growth process can't be accelerated. So if you want to make a clone of yourself to go to work while you stay home (I wish), it won't work that way, it has to grow up the same way you did. Plus, like identical twins, your identical clone won't be identical--it will have minor differences in appearance due to growing up in a different environment. But most importantly, a clone of you is an individual. It's NOT another you. It looks like you, but it is another person.

There is talk of repeatedly "downloading" your personality into a succession of clones in the distant future to achieve immortality, but that's beyond the scope of this column. (There's also talk of downloading your personality into a computer to achieve immortality--that's a different topic, but I just want to say let's hope Windows has improved by then.)

I say leave the Raelians alone, maybe they'll hang themselves with their own rope (or umbilical cord in this case), let them bring the baby into the country with enough legal immunity so scientists can have time to do the DNA testing. Then, we'll see who's right. If this whole thing is a stunt, well....some of my UFO buddies will not like what I have to say about another "typical" hoax. If the Raelians are right....we'll have a lot more important things to talk about.

Focus on Florida Film    by William Moriaty
Clips Productions
is looking for actors to fill roles in the upcoming production of "The Urn". Please see the website for details, and/or contact Brandon@clipsproductions.com
Gus Perez Update. So just what are the latest exploits of Florida Folk Hero and Tampa actor Gustavo ("Gus") Perez? Well for starters, Gus is featured in a full length ad for the National Football League with Jerry Jones which can be viewed at: ww2.nfl.com/ticket........ In the movie realm, a premiere party for the Mark Nash movie "Raging Bells", which features Gus as the lead character, is slated to be within the next two to three weeks. The movie is due out between April 10th or 13th. This is one movie I'm really looking forward to watching and giving you, our valued reader, a review on......... Gus will also be be in the movie "Forbidden Tango". Produced by El Gato Productions, this movie is slated for prelease in April........Lastly, Gus will be starring as a high school teacher in the Louis Grimaldi and Vito Trabucco production, "South Florida". Like the first two movies mentioned, this is also slated for April release, making April a month to really look forward to.
Here's wishing Gus the best in all four of these features!

La Floridiana
This week's issue
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
Book Review-- "Millennium Drive", by Richard F. Gatehouse. In addition to abundant sunshine and beautiful seashores, Florida is also blessed with an abundance of colorful artists and writers. This column has reviewed books by Florida authors Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey, Dan Allison, Bill Miller and Randy Wayne White. I am honored to dedicate this column to yet another fine Florida writer, Mr. Richard F. Gatehouse. ...... .................Click here for more.

Movie Reviewmovie review
This Week's Movie Review:

Review by Mike Smith.
Ah, Broadway! Many of the finest actors and directors have made their way to Hollywood via the Great White Way! Rob Marshall, took a small detour to television, where he directed the outstanding version of "Annie." Now, with his first feature film under his belt, Marshall may join his friend Mendes in Oscar's club thanks to his work on "Chicago." .................Click here for more.

Deadguy's Dementia
This week's issue
Deadguy's Dementia by Michael Scott
EMPIRE OF THE DEAD. This is another case of wondering where your body's gonna' go when you die. In the US, it's a safe assumption that when you're buried, other than possibly a slight relocation, you're essentially done, and where you go is where you'll stay. The question that arises is how LONG your body will lie there..... .................Click here for more.

The Digital Divide
This week's issue
The Digital Divide by Terence Nuzum


Matt's Rail
This week's issue
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg


Mike's RantMike's Rant
This week's issue
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
ED-DIE! ED-DIE!........NEWS AND NOTES........ PASSING ON........SURVEY SAYS .................Click here for more.

Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.
I have officially been the 20,000th PCR visitor at 3:13 pm, Thursday, January 9, 2003! Congrats, Nolan! (OK, I refreshed a few times. hehe)

Love ya,
Richard [Sousa].

Congratulations, Rick! It couldn't happen to a nicer guy! I appreciate all the support.---Nolan

To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

"Mike's Rant" is ©2003 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2003 by Matt Drinnenberg    "La Floridiana" is ©2003 by William Moriaty    "Deadguy's Dementia" is ©2003 by Mike "Deadguy" Scott    "The Digital Divide" is ©2003 by Terence Nuzum       All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova

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