Friday, April 23, 2004

PT Barnum was right
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution cloning foes spent yesterday getting in a lather over the activities of a fictional fertility institute. The marketing folks for the movie Godsend must be in heaven today.
The folks who spent Tuesday angrily signing an online petition against a Massachusetts fertility clinic could be the grandchildren of those Grover's Mill, N.J., residents who fled their homes on All Hallow's Eve 1938.

Like Orson Welles' creepy radio drama broadcast of "War of the Worlds," the Godsend Institute is an ingenious hoax, timed to hype the upcoming Lions Gate thriller "Godsend," starring Robert De Niro. The Web site,, boasts pictures and glowing testimonials from families who have successfully cloned their deceased children. Raves one family unit with 2.5 kids: "We didn't think it could be true, but we're a family again!"

The site seems so real that people have been signing an online petition against the institute.

In the sci-fi thriller, due out April 30, Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos play parents of a dead and eventually re-born 8-year-old boy.

Cloning foes, suckered by the scam, have been signing the anti-Godsend Institute petition at www.petitionspot .com. Raged one poster named Robin: "We have no right to be creating lives in this manner."

Another poster, who identified herself as Snowflake, succinctly responded: "It's a movie, you morons!"

I'm sure this will start showing up in a few days as anecdotal proof of the failure of the American public education system, but I'd rather be a liberal elitist and blame it on home schooling and vouchers.

PS - Yeah. I know PT Barnum never said "there's a sucker born every minute," but a careful examination of the origin of the phrase goes against the principle of succinctness in headline writing.

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