Saturday, January 1, 2011
This isn't my story - let's call it a dream -
And yet it needs telling; a warning, perhaps,
For, though I would hope that this never would be,
I wonder if we might fall into such traps.
The time, then, let's say is a few short years hence,
When genomic programming now has arrived,
And DNA changes show promise, immense,
For those who would risk it, to truly have thrived.
Some biotech firm which may not yet exist -
Let's call them "TAGATCAT" to coin a new name,
Has programmed improvements and offered them, free,
To all who would choose never being the same.
This upgrade's attractive to many who wish
To outlast their weaknesses, rise to the top,
Spawn new generations of human-plus kids,
And live to see all of this, years without stop.
Now, I know I'd refuse this, except - heck, it's free,
Just pure benefit, no immediate cost,
And, you know, lots of things need improving in me:
It seems like all wins, can't think what could be lost...
I'm all supered up now, synthetic and strong,
I'm fit and I'm healthy, attractive and smart,
And thanks to TAGATCAT, I'll live very long;
My first hundred years may be merely the start!
Now, TAGATCAT, of course, is in business to earn
And pay for their research, and dividends, too.
Their loss-leading changes to my DNA
Enabled all kinds of improvements anew.
My menu of choices, all optional, mind,
Can bring me success, make me feel love's first thrill,
Increase my endurance, build memory depth,
And each for the price of a needle or pill.
One fellow I know, who just couldn't afford
To purchase such treatments, took unapproved shots,
And when he got caught, he got sued straight away
For breaking the contract (it's happening lots).
You see, when we signed for TAGATCAT's free gift,
We gave them sole rights to the platform they built,
To sell us all upgrades, improvements or cures,
Or face consequences arising from guilt.
But what about kids who inherit these traits?
TAGATCAT apparently covered that well:
While still with their parents, the terms were the same;
When coming of age, brand new terms would compell.
Through patents and contracts and other such means,
TAGATCAT could claim an infringement if they,
Unwilling to sign or to excise these genes,
Proceeded to medicate them without pay.
The saddest of cases, perhaps, though, were kids
Whose parentage wasn't as clear as they thought,
Who knew of no contracts and thought themselves pure,
Till ruined for life when, by random tests, caught.
Perhaps it was some of these hapless results
Who coined two new sayings you hear all the time:
"TAGATCAT owns all of us, no one is safe."
And, "Sad: being born's now considered a crime."
Now, personally, I've no reason to gripe.
I've lived many years and my health has sustained.
I've paid my "TAGATCAT tax" often enough
And reaped the rewards that these upgrades contained.
If I have one regret, I'll admit that it's odd,
But, long past the age when we ought to have died,
Most still have no prospects of mortal decay;
Our only way out looks to be suicide.