Tag Archives: genetics

Mix

A mix
Of limbs
And diverse sins.
Some get their kicks
From rhyme.
Time
Passes
For lads and lasses.
Bodies intertwine
Genes travel on
Though we are gone,
Whilst others leave a rhyme
Behind, for posterity to find.

Daily Prompt – JusJoJan the 7th, 2020

When Scientists Have Analysed You and Me

When scientists have analysed you and me,
To the nth degree,
And found that there is nothing ethereal
And we are merely
Genetic material,
What will be
Left of you and me
Save for genes
And mechanical dreams?

Windswept

Windswept
He almost wept
At the impermanence of things.

Day brings
On the night.
Rome once shone bright.
Man’s desire
For empire
And a girl’s bright
Eyes
Soon dies.

This table
So stable
Must go.
The wind will blow
And snuff out the light
Bringing down the eternal
Night.

There is no fiend infernal
Just the knowledge that I
And all things will,
One day die.
Would that my mind
Could be still.

In humankind
We find
The wish to procreate,
Ere it is too late
And our candle dies.

Man sighs
In a girl’s arms.
The wind will blow.
Her charms
(And his) must go
But perchance
Passion’s dance
Will leave one behind
To walk on a windswept day
And know
That as the wind does blow
All this will pass away.

Why When?

Why when
Middle-aged men
See young women
Are they drawn to them?
Tis the fear
Of the Reaper, who draweth slowly near.

Tis a dread
Of being dead,
Of dust
That causes them
To satiate their lust
In thought and sometimes deed
For the seed
Lives on
After we are gone.

Who is the I in I?

On Tuesday evening (23 May), I had dinner with 2 old friends. During the course of our conversation my friend, Jeff asked “Who is the I in I”? My response was that we are composed of a mix of genetic data inherited from our parents, environmental influences and the culture we absorb from a young age. All of these factors, I said, help to determine who the I in I is.

The snippet of conversation related above, reminded me of my poem “Genes” which is reproduced below:

“Are we just our genes
Means
To a meaningless conclusion,
A confusion of arms, legs and bed?
The head
Is often overruled
By the fool
Lust.
Into eternity we thrust
Desperately hoping to leave one of our kind
Behind
Ere our dalliance ends in dust”.

(“Genes” can be found in my collection of poetry, “Refractions”, which is available, as a Kindle download in the Amazon Kindle store).

North Korea is Murdering People With Disabilities North Korean Defector Says

On 30 November I published a post entitled “Lets Talk About Eugenics”, (http://newauthoronline.com/2014/11/30/lets-talk-about-eugenics/). In that piece I wrote about how eugenics has been embraced by people with divergent political views, including leading socialists, conservatives, liberals and, in the most extreme manifestation of eugenic measures Nazi Germany.

Eugenics lead, in it’s most virulent form to the Action T-4 Programme (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/t4.html) under which the Third Reich sterilised and murdered thousands of disabled people. One would hope that the attitudes which lead to Action T-4 perished with the defeat of Hitler’s Germany. However according to defectors from North Korea the killing of people with disabilities continues apace, (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2869792/Dwarfs-castrated-babies-left-suffer-horrific-deaths-Defector-claims-North-Korea-purging-disabled-population-humiliate-regime.html), with the disabled being used as guinea pigs in medical experiments and being forceably removed from their parents. Words such as horrific can not do justice to the barbarity of what the North Korean regime is inflicting on people with disabilities and the populace in general.

Lets Talk About Eugenics

In 1913 the British Parliament enacted The Mental Incapacity Act. The legislation had it’s origins in the Eugenic idea that the poor, the mentally incapacitated and other marginal groups where placing an intolerable burden on the state and should be sterilised and/or confined to secure facilities (hospitals for “the mentally defective” as they where then frequently termed). Eugenics was predicated on the belief that defective genes where responsible for poverty, unmarried motherhood and other things which the eugenicists wished to eradicate. As a consequence of the Act 40,000 individuals where confined to institutions, those imprisoned ranging from those with learning disabilities through to petty criminals and unmarried mothers.

Eugenic measures where widespread with America being particularly zealous in their promotion via the Eugenics Society (a similar organisation existed in the UK). As a consequence of the murder of people with disabilities under the Nazi’s Action T-4 Programme eugenics, not surprisingly became a dirty word but as late as the 1970’s eugenic measures where being employed in Sweden against people with certain disabilities.

Support for eugenics has come from people with divergent political views. The Socialist Fabians (Sidney and Beartrice Webb) where strong proponents of Eugenics and the Labour MP Will Crooks described the poor as “almost like human vermin”. The Liberal Beveridge (the man responsible for drawing up the modern welfare state) advocated for Eugenics while Winston Churchill (a Liberal and, later a Conservative politician) advocated for Eugenics.

In “An Act of Mercy” I imagine a UK in which eugenics has been adopted as official government policy. Individuals are tasked by the government to visit families and identify those with disabilities. Anyone so identified is removed from their family and subjected to special measures. Such an idea was, in fact proposed by Leonard Darwin in the early 20th century although he did not support the killing of so-called “defectives” but their separation from the rest of society.

 

For an interesting article on the support for Eugenics by people on the Left please see the following piece in The Spectator, http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/5571423/how-eugenics-poisoned-the-welfare-state/. (The article is skewed as it fails to mention that many non-socialists also advocated strongly for eugenics, a fact mentioned in the comments following on from the piece. It is, none the less worth reading).

The New Statesman has a good article on Eugenics which can be found here, http://www.newstatesman.com/society/2010/12/british-eugenics-disabled.

For information on Will Crooks please see, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Crooks.

For my collection of short stories, An Act Of Mercy And Other Stories please see, http://www.amazon.com/An-act-mercy-other-stories-ebook/dp/B00EHS74CS. An Act Of Mercy is free in the Kindle Store until Monday 1 December.