Sometimes, you just have to laugh at the absurdity of the world we live in, and when Ms. M.W. sent this one to me in an email, I did laugh, and am still laughing. Sadly, however, my laughter, if previous historically documented habits of the people we're going to be talking about in a moment remain consistent, may be all too true, and if that's the case, then we may be watching the demise of agribusiness, hoist on their own petard. So, follow me here, because for once our high octane speculation really is about to be high, and the results may be kind of fun.
So, what exactly am I talking about? A few weeks ago I blogged about the wonderful business and profit-making opportunities that GMOs, engineered to make designer drugs, might be. Little did I know that our friends at DuPonzanto and Mon(ster)santo were already thinking along similar lines:
Now, just imagine the wonderfully humorous possibilities this sets up. Let's assume a big heartless American agribusiness corporation manages to genetically engineer the World's Best Mary Jane, and, best of all, it's Roundup ready. Having engineered this wonder, its patent lawyers stagger into the US Patent Office to file their corporate patents on the wonder drug of the year, maybe the wonder drug of the century (they're staggering because they've smoked a bit of the stuff, and they're having just a wonderful time). The agents at the patent office accept the filing, and, curious, demand vials of the stuff to test before awarding the patent. Soon, the US Patent Office is stoned silly. Under these circumstances, how could the patent be denied?
At one fell stroke, all current debate about legalizing the substance cease; Congress, high on the stuff itself, passes a sweeping law not only legalizing the stuff, but making only the new GMO blend the Federally-approved Pot of Choice (after all, the FDA, already bought and paid for by the GMO lobby, had but to sample the stuff to recommend sweeping regulatory changes). As the new legislation giggles its way through Congress(imagine Senator McCain actually laughing while he plays poker with a slap-happy Diane Feinstein), it reaches the White House for the President's signature, who assures us that he is inhaling, and that he's sending a 420 of the stuff to Putin "to help the dude chill out."
The Pentagram quickly invents its own chemical weapons version, called the Fuel-Air Reefer Optimum Use Technology (FAROUT), which makes you stoned with the force of a tactical nuke(A project sponsored by DARPA), which is immediately and with Congressional kuddos dropped on Damascus. Fighting ceases.
Everything is going smoothly until...
...the wonder crop is sold to a consortium of Central and South American agribusiness concerns, who in turn sell it to some farmers, who plant it. A few of the stray seeds land in some fields that are not growing GMO Mary Jane, and the fields happen to be owned by Siegfried von Zohenhohenblohenholler y Rodriguez de Corleone, a member of a powerful Hispano-German-Italian mafia family whose German ancestors came to the region shortly after the end of World War Two. Hearing of the illegal plants that they're not getting their royalties from, Mon(ster)santo sends in their spies and lawyers and threatens gigantic international lawsuits and WTO injunctions, and von Zohenhohenblohenholler y Rodriguez de Corleone calls a meeting of the top Capos, and decides to make Mon(ster)santo an offer it cannot refuse: a share in the profits. After a few car bombs and kidnappings of genetic engineers who are forced to work on recreating the crop for the Mob, an agreement is reached and Mon(ster)santo opens corporate offices in Caracas with von Zohenhohenblohenholler y Rodriguez de Corleone as the branch president.
The problem is, folks, that it really is just about that bad.
See you on the flip side.