Dou­bling Up

Imag­ine if there were two Bon­nie Bur­tons…

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Opinion - Bon­nie reck­ons the rea­son it didn’t work for Michael Keaton in Mul­ti­plic­ity is that they were dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions of his per­son­al­ity.

Clones get a bad rap. Sci- fi movies have been flood­ing our brains with anti-clone pro­pa­ganda for ages. Poor clones are ei­ther shown as mere obe­di­ent sol­diers as in the Star Wars pre­quels or as walk­ing or­gan farms in movies like Parts: The Clonus Hor­ror ( 1979) and its dumber 2005 Michael Bay ver­sion The Is­land.

But what about those of us who want hu­man cloning to be a real op­tion? Don’t worry; I don’t want to clone my­self so I can swap liv­ers af­ter con­sum­ing a life­time of strong mar­ti­nis. I want a clone for some­thing much more ba­nal than bet­ter or­gans. I need a clone to get stuff done. I can’t ever say no to party in­vites, writ­ing as­sign­ments, pod­cast in­ter­views, web se­ries ap­pear­ances and con­ven­tion pan­els. And then there’s all the re­ally bor­ing stuff like gro­cery shop­ping, stand­ing in line at the post of­fice, walk­ing my dog, clean­ing my house, do­ing pa­per­work, fil­ing taxes, or­gan­is­ing my book­shelves, do­ing laun­dry, an­swer­ing end­less emails, and so on.

I don’t want a slave. I prom­ise to send my clone to just as many celebrity- in­fested in­dus­try par­ties as I have her plant­ing tulips in my backyard. I just don’t have time to ac­com­plish ev­ery­thing I set out to do on a daily ba­sis. Granted, if I stopped binge- watch­ing Game Of Thrones and The Flash, and didn’t waste so much time scrolling through Twit­ter, I might be able to bet­ter pri­ori­tise my To Do list. But who does that?

I want to squan­der my hours on so­cial me­dia and make a dent in my Net­flix queue just like ev­ery­one else, while writ­ing my next novel, shop­ping around my screen­plays to Hol­ly­wood and hav­ing a so­cial life too. Is that so much to ask?

And the only way to get ev­ery­thing done like a pro means I need to in­vest in a hu­man clone of my­self. I can’t send a robot into par­ties to im­per­son­ate me! What if I short cir­cuit at the buf­fet ta­ble or accidentally in­jure my dance part­ner with my metal left foot?

Ro­bots and Repli­cants can only do so much be­fore some­thing goes hor­ri­bly wrong. If I learned any­thing from Blade Run­ner, it’s that syn­thetic hu­mans can’t be held re­spon­si­ble for ram­pag­ing through rain­storms and hav­ing panic at­tacks when asked about tor­toises.

The main dif­fer­ence is that I won’t be made of metal or have a fi­nite ex­is­tence of a few years. I’ll be hu­man still, and my clone will know she is a clone. I don’t want to give her the im­pres­sion that she’s my twin. She ex­ists be­cause I paid for her to be cre­ated to share both my work­load and my so­cial obligations. Heck, she doesn’t even have to live with me – just do my bid­ding.

It’s not ex­actly slav­ery if I cre­ate her, right? She didn’t have a life be­fore I came along. My clone has life be­cause I came along. Her sole pur­pose is to make sure we both lead an ac­tive life – my life. Of course, she can’t go around mak­ing her own de­ci­sions on what to do, where to go or who to hang out with – those choices are all de­cided by me. But she can still have fun, just as long as it’s with none of my exes.

I need a re­li­able fac­sim­ile of my­self, and the only way to fool friends and fam­ily is with a hu­man clone that looks, thinks, drinks, eats and dreams just like me. That means I need a dou­ble that still says inane puns and can’t seem to refuse a dozen donuts. I don’t want a bet­ter ver­sion of my­self – that would give me away for sure. Plus the last thing I want is my clone to have a bet­ter so­cial life than the real me!

I need a clone that has the same de­sires and pas­sions as I do. But per­haps, I do need a clone that isn’t as lazy as me, or else I’ll just have an­other ver­sion of my­self to share the couch with as we shame­lessly watch an en­tire sea­son of Ar­row all at once.

My clone can have fun, just as long as it’s with none of my exes

Our colum­nist Bon­nie Bur­ton, a San Fran­cis­cobased au­thor, has writ­ten a num­ber of books in­clud­ing her lat­est – The Star Wars Craft Book. B onnie ap­pears on the mas­sive “Geek & Sundry” and “Stan Lee’s World Of He­roes” YouTube chan­nels. M ore of her writ­ing can be found at www. grrl. com.

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