Satire -- Andrea Bocelli and Elvis Clone Appearing Together
Well, someone finally did it, i.e., cloned a human being. You would have to be living under a rock not to already know this basic fact, but we want to provide some necessary context. For most countries this venture is simply off the table, but a few scientists operating secretly in Albania ignored conventions and successfully cloned a human being. For the sake of our American audience, renowned for its geographical ignorance, we provide the following map.
International reaction was swift and almost unanimous in expressing contempt for the experiment. Knowing that they faced condemnation, this small group of scientists waited 18 years before publishing their results. This firestorm of controversy was only fueled to an explosive level once the world was also informed that the group had specifically selected the DNA of Elvis Presley for their experiment.
How they got their hands on Elvis' DNA has not yet been revealed, but their report (now available on the Internet) describes the rearing of the clone/child. According to their own records, the child was brought up to believe he was an Elvis "love child," someone born out of wedlock -- in short, a bastard son of the legendary rock star idol.
Mercifully, the boy was handed over to a couple and not raised in a laboratory. The couple told the clone, whom they named Adam, that they adopted him in a secret settlement with Elvis.
The couple were American expatriots, so the boy grew up knowing how to speak fluent English. He received a proper education but was always pushed toward music and to respect his "father" even though he never received proper acknowledgement of his lineage.
From about the age of 16, Adam began singing lessons, and to the delight of his lab fathers, the boy displayed a natural gift for this art. By 17 he was able to "mimic" Elvis very convincingly -- even though he lacked a Southern twang and couldn't dance very well.
The report includes a zillion pictures of the boy growing up, so we can see him in detail at every year of his life beginning with being inside a petri dish to becoming a very handsome young man -- still only in his teens. His resemblance to Elvis is uncanny, but this is to be expected.
But leaving resemblance aside, he grew under completely different circumstances and in a foreign country. It is said that Adam feels very alienated and lonely. Only recently has Adam picked up his first girlfriend and started to look upon his existence with more optimism.
Adam was presented with a wide variety of music. He has an appreciation for rock but actually prefers the classics -- especially Beethoven, Brahms and Mahler. His ambition is to someday be competent enough to compose music of his own. He considers his voice to be amateurish and very limited, but many others think otherwise. Just for fun he made a recording of an old Elvis classic "That's Alright (Mama)," originally released by Elvis in 1954. The similarity is eerie to say the least. He sounds nearly identical to Elvis but maybe even better, given the state of the art recording and synthesized tweaking possible today. The recording was the catalyst for opening up the full record on Adam.
In a recent BBC interview exclusive, Adam is asked how he feels about being the first cloned human being and about his DNA connection with Elvis. In the interview he expressed that he was still getting over a state of shock but was slowly learning to cope with the reality of his existence. For a man of a mere 18 years of age, he displayed a lot of fortitude. In his words: "When I don't focus on the subject, when I don't regard myself as a freak, I feel okay. I love my parents dearly, and if my genes are part of Elvis, well, it really doesn't matter. Elvis was a pretty cool dude in his time, so I could be made up of worse stuff. I've talked with Priscilla and Lisa, and they have been incredibly supportive. They've offered themselves as a kind of extended family, and I hardly know how to deal with their emotional generosity. They keep telling me not to become shark bait -- don't try to become the best Elvis impersonator. I understand that completely, and I have no wish to capitalize on anything."
But public demand is putting a strain on Adam's convictions. He puts the dilemma this way:
"I've gotten hundreds of offers to do recordings and live performances. So far I've managed to avoid the temptation. When someone offers you a million dollars to do one performance in Las Vegas, it's not an easy thing to turn down. I could do a lot for Mum and Dad with a million dollars, and I have to admit that I go through periods of real confusion. My heart tells me to stay on track, follow my instincts toward becoming a musical composer, but another side of me says what the hell, take the money.
"I feel extremely fortunate by being contacted by Andrea Bocelli on the phone. The guy is one of my biggest idols. He offered me a chance to do a duet of "Time to Say Goodbye" for a charitable cause. I'd earn nothing by doing this. But, who can decline the chance of standing next to Bocelli on stage? I told him I didn't think my voice came anywhere close to his, and he replied that I shouldn't worry about that. He said that he's sung the same song with about everyone, and some of them were downright miserable, but he didn't mind because his counterpart was a preconceived draw and that for the sake of charity we sometimes have to suffer some humiliation and not take it too seriously.
"He told me that to this day he still finds it embarrassing to need someone to find his spot on stage. Bocelli said that we would make a draw and almost all of the proceeds would go toward helping hungry people. How can you decline such an offer?
"I have a lot of self-doubt. Performing next to someone with Bocelli's level of talent isn't something to be taken lightly. It would be like Elvis performing next to Frank Sinatra only a thousand times worse. I told Andrea that I'd think about it, and I have. I'm inclined to accept -- even if I look like some kind of cartoon figure. I have to keep telling myself not to be so proud as to not help out in a charitable way -- even if this means putting myself up for ridicule or laughs."
We can only hope that Adam acquiesces to Bocelli's request. He underestimates the quality of his own voice. Sure, he isn't an operatic tenor, but for his age he displays tremendous potential in this area -- a potential that he cannot see himself. He has a lot of public support, and hopefully it will be strong enough to lead him to his spot on stage.
As for the woman who donated an egg for the experiment, no one has been able to pry open the scientists about this question. All they will offer is the fact that no disclosures on this subject will ever be made public, as this was part of the original agreement. The lab crew continually throw journalists to their attorneys who just reiterate the same nondisclosure agreement and that if they were to reveal any information about the female donor, they'd be opening themselves up to a tremendous lawsuit. Even the Elvis clone himself knows nothing about his biological mother. He says he'd like to know (wouldn't we all), but as time goes by he is reaching a point of apathy about the subject. "I'm coming to accept that I'm an adopted child," he says. "I know who my dad was and that's more than a lot of adopted kids ever get to hear about. What I miss is not knowing how much of me is Elvis and how much of me is some unknown woman. In this sense I'm not really a true clone. From what I understand you can take the DNA from a single individual and reproduce it. I wasn't born in this way. The guys who made me required a female egg to complete their weird experiment -- so I'm really only half an Elvis and half of someone I guess I'll never get to know. Sometimes the not knowing bothers me but usually I feel okay -- probably on the same level as any other adopted kid. What do I think about the experiment? I think it was really nuts but most of the time I'm enjoying my life and feel fortunate that I wasn't a product of pairing human DNA with some animal. Can you imagine? Try to picture a zebra with a human brain. I cannot help but feel freakish at times but I feel completely human. I feel fortunate to just be alive and the circumstances of my birth are definitely weird, but I'd pick this over being someone like the Elephant Man who was so severely disfigured that he either had to hide himself or enjoy being a circus show freak. Man, that would be real punishment, so I can hardly complain."