I’m obsessed with the 2019 limited Netflix series Un-Natural Selection. I don’t know how I missed this show. I’m not sure why whenever I am relying on Netflix to suggest things to me they throw so much crap my way, meanwhile fucking art like Un-Natural Selection or Midnight Gospel come to me late and through the grapevine!
If you haven’t watched Un-Natural Selection, it’s a variety of documentary style episodes following today’s pioneers in gene-editing techniques, artificial intelligence, and people suffering through genetic disorders or currently incurable diseases. The show presents a complex situation of humanity talking about the issues of gene editing, confronting ethical and technological challenges, and allows the viewer to form their own opinions. I love it, and immediately recommended it to my Grandma.
It reminds me of a Love and Radio episode I absolutely loved and have listened to times over: Doing the No No. The episode interviews Adam Zaretsky, a self-described bioartist, mad scientist, and pornographer!
I became in a family way when I was 17. My foster mother started to accuse me of sleeping with her jobless boyfriend and changed the locks, leaving me to sleep outside many nights when they went out to clubs. I reported it to services, my teachers, and my nurses. I told my health teacher that I felt the stress affecting my child. I trusted him, I had no one. He told me not to worry.
At 30 I began to explore epigenetics and the research suggesting that trauma can be passed down through generations. Epigenetics translates literally to “above genetics”, referring to external modifications to a person’s programming. I say programming because that’s how it makes sense to me. If you’re familiar with binary, how the 1’s and 0’s turn lines of code on or off, outside forces can do this to traits within us, turn them on and off.
If you’ve created a child at any time, the 1’s and 0’s within you get passed down as they exist in that moment. In short: these modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but rather, they affect how cells “read” genes. I think about the shared trauma in the world and how it’s sinister nature infects the future; contaminates quite literally the gene pool. Ignorance is certainly not bliss.