By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
Technology has advanced exponentially since my birth nearly a quarter-century ago. These days, computers ensure that the first letter of each sentence one types is capitalized, the Internet provides information and pornography to anyone capable of clicking a button, one space station is nearly used up and another one is near construction; the examples are endless.
These breakthroughs are at once enthralling and fear-inspiring. Take, for example, the sheep named Dolly and the scientist who loved her. This cloned wonder sent waves of paranoia through not only the laymen's community but the scientists' as well. The prospect of the intellectual elite being able to replicate those individuals that they deem superior is a spine-chilling one indeed. Even the fearless and moral leader of the free world, Bubba Clinton, was compelled to call for a moratorium on human cloning.
But friends, there are advances in science that the Americanpublic, indeed the whole world, has not been made aware of, and alas, it is now too late to stop. The alien life forms that compose the space/surf-rock combo Man . . . or Astroman? (spitefully named Birdstuff, Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard, Dexter X from the Planet Q and Star Crunch) have, with the cooperation of the Billions Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy, completed the initial phase of the Astroman Genome Project, wherein perfect DNA replicants of the original astromen were cloned in the aliens' Georgia lab. Fewer things strike fear in the hearts of us Earthlings than the prospect of being overrun by alien clones, except perhaps being overrun by clones of Newt Gingrich and Bill Gates.
Not only do the clones exist, they are being dispatched to cities across the United States to disseminate the propaganda of their DNA batch providers, the original four astromen. Under both direct and remote supervision by their "fathers," these astroclones will take the stage at Boston's nightclub in Tempe to subvert the audience members through use of the astromen's patented Dick Dale on Battlestar Galactica surf noise, billed under the sinister moniker of the Man . . . or Astroman Clone Tour Alpha.
Being that I am both a self-sacrificing humanitarian and a daredevil investigative reporter who shuns no risk to get the real story, I procured the astrolab's phone number from my expansive web of underground sources and spoke to the astroman named Coco, the bass-playing alien devil who will be accompanying and supervising the clones on their mission of subversion. Read on if you must, but be warned that the nefarious nature of the astromen's intents is made wickedly clear; this is not for the faint of heart.
Revolver: Tell me why, what could have inspired you to take on such a dreadful miscarriage of science and nature?
Coco: We are from outer space, as I'm sure that you realize, and we had to take on Earth bodies so that we could blend in and everything that goes along with that. The trick is, we look like Earthlings, we look like humans, but it's only exterior. Our internal anatomies are substantially different than that of a human, and what this amounts to, what the crucial element of this is--and it left us with a very startling realization--is that Man . . . or Astroman?, while stuck here on this planet, cannot reproduce. This is dreadful news, if you think about it.
R: I would beg to differ, but nonetheless, did you even attempt other methods of reproduction?
C: Oh, yes, absolutely. We have done substantial research in trying to interbreed with humans and other such experiments, but they only produced partial astromen, and that, of course, won't do. We have to be able to continue our whole pure astroman status, even beyond our own mortal astroman existence. With this thought in mind, for the past five, maybe even six years, we have devoted a fair amount of our research to coming up with some sort of way to prolong our specific lives and the existence of pure astromen on the planet.
R: My sources inform me that the future may hold many more astroclone tours, a veritable franchise, if I may say so; is this information correct?
C: Absolutely, with the ability to clone successfully and with the clones being able to exist viably on their own, which is what this tour really is, kind of a viability test. There will be some portion of Man . . . or Astroman? at probably all of the shows. With that technology in hand, it opens up the door to multiple clone tours going on simultaneously. We could have one or two going on in the U.S., one in Europe, maybe have one going on in Australia, and the original DNA batch providers could be touring somewhere else. We have more clones than will just be out on this tour, we have more here in the lab; this is like the first public test. We're gonna give this a shot. It'll probably require a little tweaking after we get the initial data, and that will give us more information on how to proceed.
R: Have you experienced any rebellion or envy from the replicants?
C: Not yet, although there's always a potential for that, you always have to look out for that. The portion of MoA that isn't on the clone tour will be monitoring and somewhat controlling the shows from headquarters. We will be there interacting in two dimensions; our image is going to be beamed via satellite onstage with them the whole time. We will be there monitoring, interacting and controlling them just to make sure things go safely and smoothly. Star Crunch is going to attempt to actually sing with the band on a song or two via satellite, so it should prove to be interesting.