This whole genetically-modified food debate has been very difficult for me. On the one hand you have reactionary hippies pitching a fit, and I'm pretty used to agreeing with those people. But on the other hand you have mad wild-haired scientists violating the very laws of God and Earth, and I love those guys too! It's like if Gabrielle got into a fight with Agent Scully. How could I choose?
Well, I finally decided to stop waffling on the issue, because genetically modified food has restored my sense of wonder and delight in the future. It was the beans that did it. Apparently the mad wild-haired scientists in India are spending their research budgets figuring out how to make beans less farty. I guess in India they eat a lot of beans, and the farts really add up. It's a big social problem, right up there with the nuclear tensions and the Thuggees. In fact, I think it might contribute to the nuclear tensions.
Anyway, in my reconstruction of events, these mad wild-haired scientists were sitting around watching the fluids gurgling in the Erlenmeyer flasks and playing poker for brains, and one of them lets a big smelly fart rip, and as the others jump up and start opening windows the first one gets kind of shamefaced and he says "Hey, let's see what GAMMA RAYS will do to the beans!"
As everyone knows, gamma rays are what transformed mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner into The Incredible Hulk. This is the issue that hangs in the air unspoken as the crazy scientists blather on about their radioactive fartless beans. Apparently the gamma rays do make the beans less farty but who cares! These goddamn single-minded scientists are going to loose some green behemoth upon the world and they're going to go, "Look! He doesn't fart!" And we'll all say, "What the hell do you mean he doesn't fart! He's leaping across oceans and smashing tanks! How are we supposed to notice whether or not he's farting!" And then the hippies will write angry letters to the editor saying that the cumulative effects of fartless invincible giants on the global ecosystem are unknown and perilous and there ought to be warning labels.
"Flatulence is an important indicator of a healthy gut system," said lone-microbiologist-in-the-wilderness Glenn Gibson. "Moreover, the abrupt transformation into a massive being of superhuman strength and endurance could have a traumatic effect on the digestive system, long-term."
But I just can't go with the hippies on this one. I can't wait to have all these Incredible Hulks jumping around India. Because how cool is that?
There probably should be warning labels though.
Editor's Note 4/15/02: Ethnobotanist Gayle Fritz would like to point out that radioactive fartless beans are not actually genetically modified foods, unless the fartlessness is heritable by future generations of beans. It is similarly unclear whether Bruce Banner's transformation into The Incredible Hulk should be technically considered a "mutation," or merely an example of "whack-ass freaky shit." Scientific accuracy is of the utmost importance here at Pigdog Journal, and this editor regrets the error.