Monday, April 25, 2005
Too much of a good thing
I spent pretty much the whole weekend at the Independent Film Festival of Boston with Kate, hence the lack of updates. Eight movies in one weekend is a lot, and it would have been nine or ten, if not for the people in line in front of me on Saturday night. I don't mind holding a spot in line for your wife or boyfriend or brother or what have you, but when one person gets in line, is joined by a family member, leaves, comes back, has the other guy get on his cell phone to other family members and friends thereof, tells people further back in the line to come join him, steps out of line, points a carload of people to where there's parking, leaves, comes back with four other people, etc., until the one person just ahead of me and Kate has become seventeen... That's just abusing the better natures of the other people in the line. Sure, they were the director's family, so I don't really begrudge them getting in, but it meant I had to see the movie Sunday night, which meant I didn't get a chance to see another movie that I really wanted to see, and since it's my blog, it's all about me. And if you think I was upset, imagine the choice words Kate had...
Speaking of Kate and choice words, one of the movies I saw Sunday (by myself, because she had a work thing) was a documentary called "The Future of Food", although I should have known better, seeing it described in the program as being in the same vein as The Corporation. It wound up being as reactionary as one might expect - genetic engineering BAD, corporations BAD, United States BAD, organic farming GOOD, Europe and Japan banning GE foods GOOD... That's not to say that there weren't good points to be made, mostly on the abuse of patent law, but the pitching of it as "new things BAD, old things GOOD" really annoyed me, along with the gushing in the Q&A afterward.
I mentioned it to Kate when we met up later, and she said she was surprised I'd react that way, since who has more reason to be distrustful of science run amok than me? Well, aside from Carter. My feelings are kind of mixed, since as much as I think what was done to the original Martin, Michelle, Carter, and Sam was despicable, I'm not a miserable bastard who wishes she'd never been "born", either. And, besides, I've got too many friends in the industry. This is, after all, what Maggie does. Kate works for another biotech company, too. And it's just cool science.
The patent implications are intriguing to me, though, especially in regard to the mind/body switching process. I gather ownership of it is in legal limbo - Dmitri hasn't given up who actually came up with it, and that person obviously hasn't filed a patent claim. Whoever it is, he or she did it by combining pending patents from two seperate companies. I'll have to ask the FBI about it, but I gather both of them would try to claim the patent(s), saying it's a direct result of their respective nanotelemetry or brain mapping technologies. Of course, at the same time, I can't imagine neither company wanting to go to court over it, since there won't be much good publicity to be had in saying they want ownership of the process to make more of me. What religious group won't call it usurping God's work? Then, once it's revealed that the process appears to only work between a male and a female, you'll get your garden variety homophobes (and people who think it's just weird).
But, anyway, I'm wiped out. I must admit to so far enjoying a quiet day answering phones after all the weekends running from a theater in Somverville to one in Cambridge to one in Brookline and waiting in line once I got there.
I sure wouldn't want to have to argue that it WASN'T weird. If it became mainstream, what wouldn't happen? The urban legend about the man waking up in the hotel room to find his kidney's been stolen would become pretty passe. A new kind of swingers' clubs would spring up. The acronym GLBT would have to grow longer and even less pronounceable. People would be trying to sell their bodies on eBay. (Hey, if they sold grilled-cheese sandwiches, they'll list anything. But just imagine trying to decide on a minimum bid or a reserve.) And all that is without bringing the lawyers into the act, with duties to disclose this or that fact about the body or its genetic history. "Weird" doesn't begin to describe it.Post a Comment