In 1816 Mary and Percy Shelly went to Italy to stay with Lord Byron at his villa. At the time, Mary was eighteen years of age and could never have imagined that the story she was about to write, would not only create a new genre of literature, gothic horror, but would also be prophetic. Why do I mention this? Today I read some interesting scientific news regarding artificial life and it immediately made me think of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. We are all familiar with the story and to say it is less than epic is to do the story and the authoress a great disservice. Mary Shelley not only wrote a novel, she drew a blueprint with her words, one which would describe an area of science that didn’t even exist in her time. Any writer who is being honest, will tell you, the good stuff, the really fantastic words are otherworldly and don’t come from them. The important works that move, inspire and motivate thought or feeling in a reader, are from somewhere intangible and mystical. Because of this, artists of every stripe are the true prophets on this planet. We don’t have an agenda, we are fluid and open about experiences and don’t shy away from the unexplainable but rather, we embrace it. This is specifically why we are the messengers of so many things that not only benefit humanity but also enlighten it. Mary Shelley knew that the story of the modern Prometheus and Victor Frankenstein didn’t came from her. She dreamed it, wrote it and then delivered a message to her generation, one that was actually meant as a warning to ours. We can’t even control an oil well in the sea off the coast of Louisiana, yet we think we know how to control a life created in a laboratory without the benefit of a human host. If Mary was correct, this should be an interesting and tragic experiment in the reach of humanity exceeding its grasp.
*One last thought. There is a man who is a professional shit disturber. Whenever a whale floats too close to shore, a seal is being hunted or a dolphin or tuna is in a fisherman’s net, Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd are greenpeacing their way through the muddy waters of public relations. He scores more face time in the media than most other activists and yet, during this nightmarish smothering oil leak in Louisiana, I hear one thing from him, SILENCE. Hey Paul Franklin Watson, oil man got your tongue? 😉