Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Not long ago I wrote a short poem for mules that went:

A hale of a torse

A hule and a morse
made love to a horse
but went about it back-ways

To the hule said the morse,
"'Twas a hell of a horse,
I can't wait to see the donkeys"

A mule is the offspring of a male donkey (a Jack) and a female horse (a mare). They don't really exist much in nature, except perhaps where lonely mares and Jacks commingle.

So, it occured to me that this animal is the result of crude genetic engineering, although nobody seems to be running about protesting them as Franken-Mules the way they do bio-engineered corn.

Why isn't the mule, or molly, or hinny regarded as a threat to our ecosystem? Is it because it has been around a while and that we attribute more foresight to our ancestors?

Our ancestors were dopes that tried to cure the plague by massing together in prayer. They tried to heal the infirm by bleeding them. They thought the earth was flat and they'd fall off the edge if they weren't careful.

Shouldn't we be more concerned about the unnatural byproduct of these rubes uninformed experiments than the careful, cross-examined work of modern genetic scientists?

I think a lot of the public hostility towards genetic manipulation is because many modern, informed advances produce oddities like: sterile seeds (more money for Monsanto), tasteless tomatos (that have a long shelf life), corn with insect toxin (Bt) throughout, vegetable/mammal combinations, goats that produce spider-silk, and other Quixotic accomplishments.

If money is the root of all evil and we continue to let market forces direct our genetic experimentation, then it stands to reason what will happen. Someone is sure to cross-breed a prostitute with a dog.

The humble mule stands as a gentle reminder that genetic engineering isn't all-bad, but the four-legged prostitute is clearly an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.

Down with progs!
Down with drostitutes!
Yea Mule!

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Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin