Me and GMO
Me, You, and the GMO
Is it in your food? Are Genetically Modified Organisms safe? For breakfast? To share a basketball court with? What’s really in their DNA? Did life really come from space? Music by Paul Simon.
GMO’s could be quite safe, after all, and offer some real benefits to an ever-hungry world. But then, maybe not.
Here’s just one you might have heard of, The Goat Spider. They added DNA from a spider’s hormones to a goat, so that the goat can produce milk containing an extra protein. This is extracted and spun into spider silk thread. The silk has potential applications in artificial ligaments and tendons, bullet proof vests, and car airbags. Yeah, read that again: a Goat Spider.
Paul Simon, the singer/songwriter, once shared his views of this emerging science a few years ago. An artist who revels in contrasts, in mixing metaphors and far-flung imagery, both in his art and personal life. Turns out he is quite the closet geneticist. Consider some of his titles: “My Little Town”, and its nature vs. nurture ruminations. “At the Zoo” his early celebration of anthropomorphism. “Myth of Fingerprints”, which was apparently about nothing at all, but it had that in the title. “I am a Rock”. Really? Shale or limestone? Then, not to be outdone by his own sedimentation, followed with “Loves Me Like a Rock”. There was “One Trick Pony” a tribute to ‘god’s immaculate machine’. “Hearts and Bones”. “Allergies”. Shall I go on?
Okay, he might just as easily be a covert theoretical physicist, but who’s counting?
Here, Simon Says words to songs that have been left off the liner notes of more familiar albums. These are songs from the obscure ‘Me and GMO Down by the School Yard’ album which had a limited pressing in the early 80’s, and was made available only to members of the Life Sciences community. And then, you had to know someone. This writer was once involved with the music business, and ran into Simon one night at Elaine’s, the Manhattan watering hole popular among the literati. That’s where we got our well-worn copy (shown). And our karma.
Sample Song #1- To this day, no one knows what the ‘Pajama Mama’ saw, not even Simon himself. That, together with the concern neighborhood activists in Corona had at the time, that the song would cause an influx of basketball-playing Yuppies from Long Island who would inundate the public playgrounds of this Queens neighborhood. This motivated Simon to pen this GMO alternate:
Sample Song #2 – This favorite, which Simon had originally planned as a song called ‘Going Home’, and which was barred from some radio stations because it had the word ‘crap’ in the first line. That, together with trademark issues his lawyers had warned him about, caused him to keep this version at the ready for use instead:
Sample Song #3 – Of course, songs entirely about basketball-playing Perch do not a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame songmaker make. Here’s a lament about the proliferation of GMO’s in the foodchain:
Of course, GMO’s are not only common in these works unpublished by The Only Living Boy in New York, they’re in our food, perhaps more than you think. It’s just about everywhere. GMI’s (Genetically Modified Ingredients) are in such things as cornbread mix, English muffins, waffles, chocolate bars, salsa, veggie burgers, frozen pizza, pretzels, nearly all soft drinks, carbonated and not, clam chowder…it’s a very long list.
Of course, if you’d like to roll up you sleeves and get to work expressing your own combinations of GMO DNA for your next dinner party, try this, the World’s First and Only Online Realtime Interactive ‘Genetic Engineering Reassembulator’. It’s entirely random, and you use it at your own risk:
If you’d like to submit your own combination of genetic ingredients, please ‘Leave a Reply’, below: