Professor Wants to Raise His Own Clone

In a draft of his upcoming book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, the economist Bryan Caplan mentions that he'd like to clone and raise himself:

I confess that I take anti-cloning arguments personally. Not only do they insult the identical twin sons I already have; they insult a son I hope I live to meet. Yes, I wish to clone myself and raise the baby as my son. Seriously. I want to experience the sublime bond I'm sure we'd share. I'm confident that he'd be delighted, too, because I would love to be raised by me. I'm not pushing others to clone themselves. I'm not asking anyone else to pay for my dream. I just want government to leave me and the cloning business alone. Is that too much to ask?

I'm surprised that Caplan takes it as a given that his son would be "delighted" by such a scenario. His clone wouldn't be raised by the same parents that he was, but instead would have a father with an extreme sense of his child's likes, dislikes, talents and flaws. That influence -- likely to be domineering and a little creepy -- would produce a much different person over the span of a childhood than how he turned out.

Caplan writes that he has twin sons, but they must not be very old yet or he'd realize that his clone will reject some of dad's traits on principle. Kids have a natural inclination to do things differently than their parents. With my three partial clones, if I'm trying to persuade them to try an activity or a hobby, the least persuasive argument I can use is that I liked it when I was their age.

So no matter how many genes we share, none of my sons will watch One Life to Live with me.

Dismembering the Eighties

SoapNet airs reruns of the cancelled soap Another World, digging 16-year-old episodes out of the Procter & Gamble archives.

Tina Fey in the 1980sThey've reached June 1989, and every time I hit this show during a channel surf I can't find my way back out -- it's a hypnotic time capsule of excruciatingly bad '80s fashion. Movies that mock the decade, such as The Wedding Singer and 200 Cigarettes, don't come close to how ridiculous we looked. There may be no more unseemly spectacle than men in feathered mullets, Member's Only jackets, and wedgie-tight acid wash jeans looking for love from women in shoulder pads, molasses-thick mascara and giant Dee Snider hair. If not for beer goggles, my generation would have single-handledly cured overpopulation.

I was reminded of this when I saw old photos of Tina Fey, who sang at a blogger's wedding.

Fey, who may top the list of attractive female celebrities with corrected vision, appears in wedding photos wearing a flowery Homer Simpson mumu under a dense hair helmet. The only recognizeable feature is her wry lockjaw smile, the universal gesture that tells the world I'm not sure I flossed.

Don't Tune in Tomorrow

On March 31, SoapCity is cancelling a great TV subscription service: commercial-free program downloads.

The service, which required Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player, offered shows from the last four weeks for download over the Web, charging $9.95 a month or $1.99 per episode. Digital-rights management expired the files after four weeks.

Considering the popularity of TV show DVDs and illegally traded episodes on file-sharing services, it seems like a no-brainer to milk a few more dollars from viewers over the Web. No reason is provided for the shutdown.

I thought that the Internet had freed me from years of television addiction, but wasn't prepared when TV followed me here. After experimenting with SoapCity a few times solely to judge its technical merits, I became hooked on As the World Turns and Sarah Brown.

I hope she can beat those drug charges back in El Paso and keep sleeping her way across Oakdale until she finds a suitable father for JJ.

Routh, Justice, and the American Way

Hoping to recreate the legendary casting of little-known, lantern-jawed soap actor Christopher Reeve as Superman in the '70s, the producers of a new Superman film have chosen Brandon Routh, a little-known, lantern-jawed soap actor, as the next actor to don the cape.

Routh grew up in Iowa and looks the part, but as someone who saw his work as "Seth Anderson #1" on One Life to Live, I'm surprised at this casting. Perhaps he's gotten better since he was fired from that soap in 2002, but back then he was acting Kryptonite.

When Routh was fired, he ranted on his Web site, claiming that producers would get their just desserts in the afterlife. He deleted his comments quickly, but a few soap sites saved a copy:

On Thursday I was released/fired/terminated (whatever you wanna call it) and replaced. There will be a new Seth Anderson.

I am not truly saddened by this turn of events ... in fact I am quite relieved. I have gained much and will now move on. I am saddened however by the lack of respect and humanity expressed by those in control of the show. Instead of being open and honest with me they were conniving and malicious. They actually had me come in to work Thursday, for four hours ... then called me up to tell me they were releasing me! I do not stand for such treatment and this is one reason I am happy that I am no longer in league with people who can't give me respect. They would rather hide than be confronted with the actions they take. Know this everyone, if you can't deal with the consequences of your actions ... seriously rethink your action ... because you may get far in this world ... but this world is not the world that matters.

That said, I will leave God to judge those who have wronged me. And I do forgive them, in hopes that someday they will understand what they have done.

You gotta love someone who evokes God's patient but ever certain wrath upon the people who trespass against him.

Brandon Routh (Seth, OLTL) announced on his web site that he was fired last Thursday. How is he taking the news? Routh: "I will leave God to judge those who have wronged me."