Once upon a time back in 1967, Hollywood spawned a reasonably funny movie called The Russians Are Coming! The Russians are Coming! In 1967, the Cold War was in full flower. The Cuban Missile Crisis was a very recent memory. We learned to hate the Russians. As Bob Dylan sang, “if another war comes, it’s them we must fight.” In the middle of the Cold War, The Russians Are Coming! The Russians are Coming! was almost unpatriotic because it showed the Russians as human beings. The premise of the movie was that a Russian submarine, the good ship Octopus, accidentally ran aground off a small New England town. Alan Arkin played a Russian officer who leads a small group of Russians into town to try to find a boat to pull the sub off the sandbar before the U.S. Navy blows it up and begins World War III. The fact that Jonathan Winters plays a local cop tells you almost all you need to know about this movie. A Russian sailor falls in love with an American girl and all ends happily.{mosimage}
    In keeping with the ecumenical spirit of the The Russians Are Coming! The Russians are Coming!, we must now get ready to learn to love Cybrids, because the Cybrids are coming. What, you may ask, is a Cybrid? It’s a dandy new invention of our favorite British mad scientists. You get a Cybrid when you plop a human nucleus into an empty animal egg so you can do some souped--up genetic research into some really nasty ailments like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
    The British House of Commons recently passed a law that allows the creation of “human admixed embryos.” Sounds like the name of an English punk band doesn’t it? And now, playing their number one chart buster hit Twisted Chromosomes, give it up for the Human Admixed Embryos! The technical name for a Cybrid is a “cytoplasmic hybrid,” but who wants to say that? Cybrid sounds so much cooler. Cybrids, according to the London Times are “99.9 percent human.” It’s that tenth of a percent animal that allegedly lets you experiment on the almost human embryo without technically crossing over into Dr. Josef Mengele territory.
    The new British law also allows the creation of “True Hybrids,” which are 50 percent human and 50 percent animal. True Hybrids, while a bit grotesque, seem more intellectually honest than hiding behind the fig leaf of 1/10 percent animal. The original intention of the scientists is to help mankind by curing really awful diseases. What could possibly go wrong if science has good intentions? There’s really not much chance of big business buying up patented forms of semi-human life to make Exxon-style profits is there? Technology is always progress. Morals are for sissies.
    Think of the coal miners we’ll get by breeding star nosed moles with people. Mining companies wouldn’t have to pay the mole-people much, as moles are happy living under ground. Carnivals could breed human whack-a-moles to work at county fairs. Put a bicycle helmet on a human/mole and start slugging away at him with a ball-peen hammer. It’s OK, he’s not really human. Any number of dangerous jobs could be staffed with True Hybrids who, if killed or injured, could just be duplicated by a new herd of test tube replacement hybrids. Worker’s compensation laws wouldn’t apply to human/hybrids because they are not human. We won’t have to educate little human/hybrids either because they are not human. Child labor laws wouldn’t apply to little human/rhesus monkey hybrid children so industry could take full advantage of their tiny little fingers in manufacturing processes.
    Haliburton could breed camels with humans to get the world’s most heat resilient oil workers. What NFL franchise wouldn’t want a cheetah/human hybrid as a running back? What would Blackwater pay for an army of wolverine/human hybrid mercenaries? Think of what insurance companies and big pharmaceutical companies would pay for a bunch of skunk/Congressmen hybrids.
    The Cybrids are coming! The Cybrids are coming! They may not be as loveable or as funny as the Russians during the Cold War, but they will be a lot more useful in many economic and medical ways.
Just remember to check your ethics at the door.

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