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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

I'm Not A Geek, I'm A Unique Weasel

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: January 2013

I feel confident that having a child is not something I will ever experience. Never have I ever been able to see the process of pregnancy (culminating in an incredibly painful, juicy finale), as anything but revolting. This isn’t to say I hold myself above the idea of motherhood, quite the opposite. Whatever gene females usually possess that imparts the desire to spawn has simply been lost on me. I am not strong enough to bear children, not physically, emotionally or psychologically, and I have no qualms about admitting it. 

Also, the fact that the world is a vastly overpopulated place weighs heavily on my dumb brain, so the idea of procreating simply for the innate pleasure of seeing my own genetics perpetuated feels like a selfish and egotistical choice. But I digress. I know that being a woman comes with certain chemical booby traps, one of which being the predisposition of desiring offspring when in the 25-35 age range. Since I’m in this age group, I figured it would be pertinent to have a backup plan, a fail-safe trick to pull in case my body and/or brain tries to pull the wool over my ovarian eyes and pull a fast one on me. (I just grossed myself right out with the idea of my ovaries having eyes).

My plan, in the unlikely case that baby fever strikes, is to get a puppy. First of all, I love dogs in general, and puppies specifically. Secondly, the chemical that floods a mother’s brain while breastfeeding her baby (oxytocin) is the same one released while petting a dog. Take that, body! Baby fever = conquered. Now to tackle my anxiety and depression.

If any of you female readers out there find yourselves rolling your eyes at my admission, and feel they just can’t wait until they have a human growing inside them (gross), then you might want to head over to the good folks at io9.com, because they have a future proposition for your uterus. A magazine in Germany recently published an interview with famed geneticist George Church in which he discusses the idea of cloning a Neanderthal. In the aforementioned interview, he explains that in the near future, we’ll have the ability to clone humans, and why shouldn’t we clone a baby using Neanderthal genes? Church explained the benefits of bringing a Neanderthal into the world:

“Neanderthals might think differently than we do. We know that they had a larger cranial size. They could even be more intelligent than us. When the time comes to deal with an epidemic or getting off the planet or whatever, it’s conceivable that their way of thinking could be beneficial.”

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m totally on board with this idea. Mostly because it’s like Encino Man finally might become a reality, and I’ve only been waiting since 1992 for this to happen. Also, holy crap. 90’s Brendan Fraiser and Pauly Shore were so great together. Like champagne brunch and naps. Weeze the juice, guys.

Arielle Mullen