Saturday, March 10, 2012

Disney Pixar's Cars and Eugenics

I just had the most scathingly brilliant idea, and I just had to blog about it!

My sister and I were wondering what things that are cold and spicy must taste like and she brought up the wasabi "ice cream" that Mater eats in Cars 2.  Of course, I got a mental image of Mater licking up the wasabi, going crazy, and proceeding to make a scene.  I remembered with pride how Lightning McQueen had invited Mater to the party, even though he was a rusty old tow truck.  I remembered with horror how McQueen proceeded to shun him after he made a scene.

But the way Lightning treated him was not what caught my memory.  It was the way the other cars treated him.  The entire scene was obviously made to mimic one of those high class, who's who parties.  The entire time Mater was there, the other cars looked at him with disgust.  Even though half of that disgust was probably at his childish antics, I think even if Mater had perfect manners and no rust, he still would have been looked down upon.

Why? Because he's a tow truck.  He's a working class car.  He's part of the proletariat simply by the way he was born...made...come into being...whatever happens in Cars world.  Even if he had a spiffy paint job and a hoity toity French accent, he would at best be able to pass himself off as a maintenance worker at that party.

As all of this passed through my mind, I thought back to my Bioethics class and our discussions on eugenics and selective genetic engineering.  In case you don't know, I am referring to parents engineering embryos for a wide variety of characteristics and implanting a few in the woman's womb, hoping one will take, and aborting any extras that are conceived.  Genetic engineering leads to the abortion of great numbers of embryos, which is really the most horrifying aspect of it.  Another terrifying consequence, however, is that genetic engineering would almost certainly divide us into "genetic" classes.

My Bioethics teacher likes to talk often about the threat of the world splitting into "genetic" classes.  If genetic engineering were made available on the market, it would be very expensive to begin with.  Who would be able to genetically engineer their kids?  The rich, the powerful, the elite.  These people would theoretically start having really-really-ridiculously-goood-looooking, physically resilient, whiz kids.  How would poor people compete?  One would expect they couldn't.  Eventually the world would be split into those who are enhanced and those who aren't.  Would those who aren't engineered eventually be considered subhuman?  Possibly. Who knows?

My point is, the poorer people and quite possibly middle class people may eventually end up like Mater, seen as workers but nothing more.  They will be seen as ugly and stupid.  They won't have a chance right from the start.  The "naturals" would look just as ridiculous as Mater did at that party.

So that's my two cents.  Hope you like it.

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever seen the film Gattaca? It basically explores this whole premise. I think you'd appreciate it.