Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dead Penis Skin Cells, The Moral Debate Thickens

it is less often i find an insatiable need to speak about politics at with the rigor i do fashion. actually, that's not true at all- it's instead rare that i find an insatiable need to write about politics with the rigor i do fashion. those who know and love me have at least once heard me ask a self-admitted 'pro-life' man if he's ever been pregnant. (no, the answer is usually no).

however, today i'm typing as violently about stem cell research as i have, in the past, high waisted jeans.

this morning, two well known scientists (Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University and James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison) brought to public attention their notable findings regarding the ability of human skin cells to act like embryonic cells-- that is, these human skin cells are presenting, or appear to be presenting, an ability to help other cells regenerate. both scientists have modestly acknowledged the relative immaturity of their work, and the numerous questions left unanswered. similarly, both men have admitted the use of viruses in making these skin cells do what embryonic stem cells do. which is dangerous, or something. you get the idea.

so they're being humble and with good reason. but it doesn't change the fact that this is sort of a big deal.

on my ride home from starbucks a few minutes ago (first trip to starbucks today, i swear to god), i listened to two dudes, whose names i don't recall, have it out. one was the president of something-pro-life-something-else, the other was super president of some kind of medical association for the advancement of research. it is worth noting, by the way, the the medical research guy was way classier and calmer than the pro-life guy. big shocker there.

anyway so medical research guy first points out something the media seems to be sort of glossing over-- these aren't just any human skin cells-- these are foreskin cells. newborn baby foreskin cells. medical research guy says he understands that millions of americans object to embryonic stem cell research, but, fairly, also notes that these same americans may object to the use of foreskin human skin cells. after all, just as embryonic stem cells necessitate the termination of an embryo, foreskin skin cells necessitate the termination of the foreskin.

yes, there are some of us who disagree with circumcision. and if you think it's all fine and dandy, you should consider that the american pediatric society no longer recommends it, and many medical authorities have acknowledged that it is a myth that circumcision is necessary for hygienic reasons. and in fact, the whole hygienic hoopla is basically bullshit. circumcision is a barbaric ancient tradition with a secular background which basically equates it with genital mutilation, and while we americans think it's 'normal,' only about 30% of men are, in fact, circumcised.

not so normal now, is it?

but i'll put my feelings on the foreskin aside for a second, which is NOT THAT HARD TO DO, OH EMBRYO-OBSESSING AMERICANS. JUST PUT IT ASIDE FOR A SEC.

so let's pretend (and this is quite an assumption), that these dead penis skin cells have all the potential that embryonic stem cells do. wow, that's super great, huh? amazing medical breakthrough. gonna save the world. holy cow. let's have a party. big deal, right?

wrong. i don't really see why this is exciting at all and frankly, i see it as yet another reason to suck funds from well-intended, progressing embryonic stem cell research to take the hit. the bottom line is that while these dead penis cells do apparently have potential, this research is light years behind that of embryonic cell research. i mean, are we going to abandon efforts on embryonic stem cells merely because someone else might have a super great idea about how to do THE SAME THING?!

as medical research guy said, quite plainly, and no this is not a direct quote, this research is not about finding ways to reach a solution. this research is about finding a solution for the millions of people who can benefit from it. and finding it fast.

if you're reading this before i've added citations, please accept this invitation to kiss my ass. it's all true. and if you're reading it after citations have been added, feel free to click on the little blue links which will take you to other sites which will show you were i got my info.

that's all for now.


Anonymous said...

I like my penis.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to think of how circumcision was invented. Was it a man or a woman? Was the baby penis examined or the adult? Were the local tribal medicine men growing tired of repeating the treatment of penal infections?

Now, why do we want the foreskin back on a penis? So we regain 1/3 of the most sensitive skin? I thought woman already complained of a lack of male stamina. Will my loved ones (or the nursing home) take the time to clean my foreskin daily when I am unable to do this practice? My bet; they cut it off when I'm 90 anyways. I would further bet that I would cut it off when I turn 18 because my self-esteem was so badly damaged because everyone in high school knew that I had an ant-eater for a penis. Maybe I'll even cut off the foreskin earlier because I'd like to get at least a BJ after my junior prom because frankly, women enjoy a cut man more than the uncut version. They just don't have to ask "are you clean?" and when you say "Yes" they repeat, "No, did you clean your cock before I stick this in my mouth?" and you say, "Yes, with Summer's Eve."

Loanna Beek said...

i firmly agree. this situation is much neater, cleaner, and attractive without the foreskin. the foreskin is completely useless, so why bother keeping it? in fact, the same could be true for men's nipples. i mean... do they serve some purpose? last time i checked, the male nipple is utterly unnecessary. and having worked as a lifeguard at a community pool for many years, i can say with authority that a lot of those nipples are freaking ugly.

so why don't we just cut them off?

ps in my experience, female 11th graders do not use the expression 'cock.' that's just one of y'alls little depraved fantasies.

Anonymous said...

Sure, take my nipples. I hate wearing some of my shirts on a cold day when I have to move around a lot... they just get so darn sensitive. Besides that, I don't have to do any preventative maintenance to them to ensure they don't get infected like foreskin.

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