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Confessions of a clone

| Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bioethicists are raging. Technology has taken a step too far: You cannot clone humans.

Alas, it is too late. We already have.

Dystopian novels forewarn of clones disguised as humans. In reality, it is the people who have disguised themselves as clones. They have disguised themselves so well I forgot they were people to begin with. They have forgotten too.

I have likewise succumbed to clonation. I was once a homo sapien, but I have since become a homeostasian.

For Latin and Greek scholars out there (not me, I had to rev up the good ole Google engine), the following terminology will be elementary. Feel free to skip it. Feel free to read it and pat yourself on the back, relishing that you already knew what you have just read.

‘Sapien’ means ‘wise.’ ‘Stasis’ means ‘stagnation.’ It also means ‘reduced motility of the intestines with the retention of feces.’

As a human resisting clonation, I would rather be wise than stagnated. I would rather give birth than retain feces. Why, then, have I coded myself into a clone?

Fear of sticking out. I stay in line. My head is down.

Looking up could result in eye contact. I could be called on, called forth to be who I was created to be. Not a clone. Not someone programmed to follow a formula to achieve something that has already been achieved.

Moles are whacked. I do not like to be whacked. I shall remain in my hole.

Venturing out is venturing into the unknown. It is safer to stay in my hole where I will not be whacked, where nothing will be asked of me. I shall stay here, curled up where others and I have lived our entire lives, ready to die.

There is a time for everything under the sun, and my time for exploration has expired. Until the age of 3, I was allowed to gurgle insensibly. Now I must be sensible. From 4-10 years old, I was allowed to explore writing, piano and tennis. After that, I was instructed to choose one and master it, whipping it into submission.

If I had enough discipline in any discipline, I could either A) write myself into an esoteric liberal arts college, B) maestro myself into a performing arts academy or C) lob my way onto a Division I tennis team. I failed to write a novel about saving orphans in Guatemala. I stopped piano lessons in high school. I quit tennis after one summer camp.

My time was up. Kids my age were already Olympic gymnasts and Teen Jeopardy winners. I was not among them, the exceptional human achievers. Back to the hole with me.

In the hole was darkness, but within that darkness, I felt warmth — body heat. There were moles with me in the hole. I was not alone. I was surrounded by ex-human mole clones.

If I were a human, this might be a frightening realization. But if I made myself into one of these mole clones, I did not have to be scared of them. If I adopted their way of life, their doctrines, their past-times, their sense of humor and disgust, I could live comfortably in their company for the rest of my days.

I just could not do anything stupid like try to become human again. Ex-human mole clones attack humans in the hole viciously, since they cannot reach the ones above ground. I could not dig a hole to the light and stick my head out either. It would expose the whole community. What kind of team player was I?

I was no longer an I. I was one of them. I would follow procedure and stick to the program. I would let myself be reprogrammed and convince myself I had always been programmed this way. I was meant to be a cloned mole in a hole. I never would have thought it when I was above ground, but destiny is a strange beast.

If I felt the silly urge to paint a watercolor, I reminded myself: Cloned moles do not paint. They leave that to the individuals above ground. If I had wanted to paint, I should have done it years ago and become a master painter. Now my painting has no utility, no value. I do not have precise brush strokes. My work will never be displayed. What is the point?

What is the point? Maybe to experience joy through creative self-expression and exploration without worrying about recognition.

Only I can express myself. Only I can be me. This seems obvious, but obvious is self-evident, and self-evident is often surprisingly true.

If I stay a mole clone, my human self shall never walk the earth. No one else is going to be me for me.

It may be scary to abandon the mole clan and dig to the light. It may be hard to force oneself to walk when it takes less effort to crawl. But only in walking, skipping and dancing will I delight. Only in shedding expectations will I be free. Only in freedom will I love. Only in loving will I be human — an uncloned, undroned human.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Erin Thomassen

I am a freshman double majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) and French. PLS (aka the Notre Dame Book Club) is the history of ideas through literature, philosophy, math and science. It was the perfect major for me, because I couldn't possibly choose one subject and hurt the other subjects' feelings. French was also a natural pick, since I have been prancing around my house under the pretense of performing ballet for eighteen years. If someone asks me what I do in my free time, I will tell them that I run and read. What I actually do is eat cartons of strawberries and knit lumpy scarves. If you give me fresh fruit, we will be friends. If we become friends, I will knit you a scarf for Christmas. It may be lumpy, but it will be in your favorite color. And if enough people become my friend, lumpy scarves might just become a trend.

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