“I Didn’t ask for this”: On (Bio)ethics, Rhetoric, and Video Games

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2 Responses

  1. 'Tacious says:

    Nice post Sam. When reading the Skloot book in our RhetorEthics class we kept bringing up one specific anecdote when discussing ethics and the human body (paraphrased)–researchers now don’t trust HeLA cells specifically because they’re so far out of the realm of “normal” cancerous cells on account of their quick and drastic mutation.

    When I went to this Chicano Studies conference last year, I watched a documentary screening/panel that focused on Mission, Tx. (where I went to High School). Up until the mid-60’s Dow, along with several other private and federally funded companies, had a plant that produced (among other things) Agent Orange, mustard gas, pesticides, etc. This factory was in the middle of a residential neighborhood, literally across the street from a school. There were interviews with (now deceased) adults who were children at the time–they described “rainbow” rivers where, after raining, they would play in the semi-flooded streets and watch as the chemically laden water would reflect a rainbow. They talked about playing in piles of “powder” just laying out in the parking lot of the plant. The infant mortality rate skyrocketed, and generations of families are suffering from drastic health defects. Oh and what happened to the plant after it closed? The company moved its operations to Bhopal, India. Yeah…

    This and numerous other experiments that you’ve talked about, specifically with impoverished women in Latin America, make me wonder: why is the burden of proof placed on the subject? Is it because he/she lacks the social capital of an M.D? Is it the media’s unwillingness? Or is it fear of being stifled by government entities that keeps word from getting out.

    I’d type more, but this is all aggravating me right now and I need to teach in less than an hour…

  2. dr. b. says:

    I didn’t even get into the “heroization” of the early eugenics project that they called”The Pill”. They tested the early iterations on women “below the border” (ie your folks ‘Tacious) and, of course, claimed that the deaths of any of the test subjects had nothing to do with their use of the pill.

    We could also consider other cases of environmental racism….can you say above ground power lines in poor communities? Nothing like whole neighborhoods full of kids with leukemia when there is no family history. But this is shit you rarely hear about and when you do the politicians and lobbyists come in and accuse us all of wearing tinfoil hats.