The Shaggy ClonePosted: June 17, 2010
At the bagel shop where I pick up breakfast while I’m at work, they have a new employee. He is an exact replica of Shaggy, from the Scooby Doo cartoons. Perhaps saying he is an exact replica is not stating things quite strongly enough. He is the living, breathing, cream cheese smearing, down to the hair on his chin, precise reproduction of Shaggy.
If cartoons had DNA, I would be convinced that this guy is Shaggy’s clone. He is evidence that cartoons may actually have DNA.
I see the Shaggy Clone several times a week. I have come to a shameful, horrible realization about myself as a result of my interactions with him. In true 21st century form, I am going to admit the cause of my shame here on the net.
A painful revelation.
I am prejudiced against clones.
There. I said it.
I have to tell you that putting it in writing is quite helpful. I recommend writing things like that out when they bother you. It feels like the first step in a big change in my life.
I’ve been pretty accepting of people differences in my life to date. People are who they are and they ought be allowed to be so. I don’t take issue with people’s culture, sexual identity or any number of identifying factors. So why clones?
First, let me be fair to myself. My prejudice against clones is based on the one and only clone I have met. I’m still hopeful that other clones will represent themselves better.
Now, the Shaggy Clone is a polite and efficient worker. However, if I were a business owner and he was moving up from bagels, he would have no chance at getting the job. He would walk into the interview room, I’d look at him and while I was shaking his hand I’d think to myself, “you look like Shaggy”.
With that thought, the game would be over for Shaggy Clone. He could regale me with tales of databases built, procedures streamlined and academic awards. He could toss in buzz phrases like paradigm shift and goal setting. He could be the unquestioned best candidate for the job. I would not hire him. He would be bad for my business.
My Anti-Clone Bias: A Business Case
If I hired this clone, I would forever be watching him, waiting for the moment he acted like the real Shaggy. His Shaggy behavior, or the fact that he was not acting like a cartoon character, would be a constant distraction for me. He might be the most productive worker in the world, but waiting for that one moment of Shaggy-ness would destroy my work habits.
If my work slips, can I really expect my employees to produce? No. So that one hire of that one clone would ruin productivity in my company.
How could I, or any thinking person be expected to avoid asking him about Scooby Doo issues that have concerned me for decades, like:
- What did they do for money? They never got paid for solving mysteries. How did they keep gas in the van?
- Since better than half the monsters they met were people in disguise, why didn’t they just start out by hitting the ghosts with an aluminum bat. Better than half the time, that act would reveal the culprit.
- How uncool I think it is that they seemed to exclude anyone with any sort of ethnic identity.
I would not hire the Shaggy Clone. Period.
My Bias – His Fault
Astute readers (and lets face it, only the most astute read Blurt) will argue that all my reasons not to hire the Shaggy Clone are about my reactions to him.
Yeah, there is that. But…
It can not be the case that I am the only person who sees how closely this guy resembles Shaggy. His friends, his family, his co-workers all see him. Someone must have said something to him some time. I know I can count on my friends to tell me if I start looking like Elmer Fudd or He Man, Master of the Universe.
Also, he sees himself in the mirror every morning. Would it kill him to shave off the scraggly beard? Get a hair cut that is not a loyal reproduction of the original cartoon? His Shaggy-ness rests in his own hands. He chooses to embrace it.
I blame him.
I’m very hopeful that clones I meet in the future seek their own identities and personalities. I’ve got no ethical concerns about cloning. In fact, there are a lot of people I would like to have clones of around.
Maybe it is just clones of cartoons I have a problem with. I hope so, this prejudiced side of me is a harrowing thing to find.