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Well Hello Mr. Soul.............

Fetus to Go? I'd like a future high functioning alcoholic, male, babe magnet, defensive of his father and a high earner. He can die early because it'll be after I'm gone, just make his years with me worthwhile........for me.

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, September 27, 2006.

Here in Boulder, a City Councilman got pulled over for bad driving recently and was noted as stoned out of his mind on pot, which he tried to blame on a single fictitious glass of wine, and then deflect to really weak weed. He whined and pleaded, and was ticketed and allowed to take a cab home and will probably lose his seat on the Council, as he should, regardless of whether he specifically violated the terms of office. And this for the simple reason he was driving a vehicle while seriously impaired. That demonstration of public responsibility alone should doom his political career regardless of else, but this is Boulder. We brace for idiotic letters to the Editor about another victim of the War on Drugs. Had he been drunk, then the hoi polloi would unanimously agree he should be removed, but marijuana? Pot is somehow different for those addicted………although pot isn’t physically addictive, they say. They just can’t get through a day without it and they all have that eerie robotic giggle, don’t you know? Eh? Hehehehe.

Two items that may not get such coverage as this Boulder scandal. While we know booze affects the brain short and long term and suspect pot of the same, let’s forge ahead to hormones and divine abilities.

First, science now claims excess testosterone apparently does not play well with brain cells and kills them off, whereas female hormones in excess tend to, well, nurture brain cells. This would explain the popularity of John Madden, the only person in the world less coherent than our President, both more popular with football fans – or males – than those addicted to Oprah who, you know, aren’t.

This is scientific evidence that we should not take steroids for non-medical reasons, and given today it was revealed that football star and likely steroid user Terrell Owens tried to kill himself last night - an event less demanding of time than the number of high school and younger athletes who’ve died, not a few by suicide, while on self-medicating or team doctor steroid regimens - perhaps outright bans ought to be in effect and strictly enforced because it worked so well with pot and other drugs. Or discussed and dealt with openly. I have no evidence beyond his irrational and stupid outbursts that Owens is a steroid user. But I’m willing to bet.

And second, some parents are using prenatal screening techniques to – brace yourself - assure that their child has the same defects, like deafness, that the parents have. If true, those parents need to be slapped upside the head, and in a just world, provide all sorts of discussion involving religion and civic responsibility and abortion and the rights of a child brought to term.

Well, actually, all parents probably do that to greater and lesser extent, starting with a choice of mate, but here’s the illustrative example of why assumptions of parental love and protection are bogus on their face as often as not. Deliberately bringing a child into the world with a physical handicap for your own justification is every bit as sick as people who eliminate fetuses merely because they’re not the preferred gender and so unlikely to endure John Madden or because they have now trivial abnormalities, which is also a current ability afforded by science.

Look where this is headed. Pretty soon, parents may be able to select their future drinking and smoking buddies from among clusters of fetuses because they’ll have the genetic predisposition for booze or pot. They’ll have so much in common. Really, what’s to prevent it? Or worse, what about a John Mark Karr or someone further down the pier being able to select the characteristics he would want in a child of his own?

One of the discomforting issues of our time is the decreasing evidence for a soul, for a character affirming entity not physical and so not subject to drug or knife, and which served in the past as our personal destiny marker. For millennia, the concept of a soul was the basis of both art and law, love and longing. What used to be accepted as a wedding of soul mates now is seen as the melding of a shared addiction for a period of years before they grow out of it and/or each other. More true than not.

I’m an atheist, but reading all this today I miss the concept of soul, character, and a sense of what is right and good that doesn’t answer to physical need or can be instilled or removed by weak parents, coaches, clerics, or science.