Who you gonna clone?

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 13, 2003

For just a few minutes, let’s forget about the moral issues that surround human cloning and think about the amazing possibilities.

Human Cloning Inc.

could go around digging up bones and create a generation of the greatest minds of the ages. Just think what they could accomplish.

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Democrats and Republicans could dig up bones instead of slinging mud.

Just think who could be sitting in the Oval Office.

If the great musicians of all time were cloned, surely they could put melody back in music and maybe the rappers and rockers would take a slow boat to China.

There could finally be parody in athletics. Every football team could have Johnny Unitas at quarterback and Vince Lombardi as its coach. Babe and Lou could be on every diamond and Jessie Owens on every track — just think of the Olympic moments.

And, for once and for all, the argument over whether one is influenced more by heredity or environment could be settled.

A half dozen little Beethovens could be cloned and scattered around the world. Would one emerge from Africa playing &uot;Ode to Joy&uot; on the bong drums? One from the foothills of the Appalachians with a foot-stomping, toe tapping bluegrass rendition of Joy? And another jazzing up the Ode in N’Orleans? Would one be found riding rodeo in Cody, another tuning transmissions in Tulsa and another trading stocks on Wall Street?

Or would the Beethovens be a six-pack of sameness – beautiful sameness, no doubt, but still sameness.

Thinking about cloning is fascinating and I’ve given a lot of thought lately to those I would want to see emerge from the ages. So, I came up with a list of my Top 10 Clones, but not in any kind of order.

My first thought was to clone Elvis and me and eight servants to take care of our every need on a deserted

island in the South Pacific. That would have been wonderfully selfish and I was tempted but the Jiminy Cricket of my soul got the best of me.

So, here’s my list;

1. Abraham Lincoln. Abe would be a shoo-in. To my way of thinking, he was the greatest president of all times. If he had lived, we probably wouldn’t be facing many of the problems that we face today. That sounds a little Trent Lottish. Hope I don’t lose my job.

2. Albert Schweitzer.

He was the total package – physician, musician, missionary, philosopher. He would have much to offer and would do much good the world over.

3. John Muir. If things keep going the way they are, the whole world will soon be a concrete slab. We need John Muir to save what hasn’t been destroyed or commercialized. Maybe, I should clone Teddy Roosevelt at the same time so there would be a president in office who would look favorably at John Boy’s suggestions.

4. Davy Crockett. That’s the kind of man we need in Congress. A man with a great sense of humor, a great love of the land and a soldier/politician who is willing to lay down his life for his country. I don’t believe we have a one of those on &uot;The Hill&uot; today.

5. Will Rogers. Every generation needs a homespun philosopher to put things into perspective. Mark Twain would have been my first choice here, but his satire was often deep cutting and a gag order would probably be put on him.

6. Robert Frost. A country without a poet is a country without a heart and soul. Frost would be that heart and soul.

7. Jim Thorpe. No athlete has every gotten the raw deal that Jim Thorpe got. He was probably the greatest athlete who has ever lived and he got stripped of his Olympic Medals. He deserves a second chance.

8. John Wayne. Every generation needs a hero and who better than the Duke.

A Boy Scout camp was named in John Wayne’s honor and he remarked that he would rather see his name over a Boy Scout camp than on all the marquees in the world. He upheld the principles of the Scout Law. Who better as a role model for young people than a man who believes a person should be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

9. George Washington Carver.

Carver once asked God why he made the universe, then why he made man. God told Carver those things were too big for his little mind. When he asked God why he made the peanut, God told him that was something he could handle. Carver found more than 300 uses for the peanut and revolutionized farming in the South. He did what he did for the good of man and without seeking monetary compensation or fame. He was a spiritual man and the kind of man the world needs many more of.

10. George Patton and William Tecumseh Sherman. Couldn’t decided on one and thought the United States would need both to bring the Middle East to its knees. That will be a hot spot until the end of time and Patton and Sherman would be crazy enough and mean enough to have ’em shaking in their boots over there.

There were honor mention clones choices — Albert Einstein – to find what is relative;

Ernest Hemmingway – he had stories yet to be told;

Chief Seattle – as caretaker of God’s creature and his creation;

Winslow Homer – what an artist;

Carrie Nation, — to give ’em %$%#; Roy Rogers – every generation needs a cowboy;

Mother Teresa – to spread the goodness; Billy Sunday – to provide a dose of old time religion; Benjamin Franklin – just to see if he would stick his finger in a light socket;

the Wright Brothers – because they tried harder;

Hank Williams – to write tear-jerkers for country folks;

Jonas Salk -maybe he could find a cure for cancer; Walt Disney – to bring fun into the world; Norman Rockwell – to depict the lighter side of life; and John Denver – just in case someone cloned me. His music keeps me going.

Maybe you agree with me; maybe you don’t.

If not, who you gonna clone?