Could Jimi Hendrix Mk. IV's Disappointing Synth-Funk Output Spell The End Of The Vat-Grown Celebrity?

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2056: Future Issue

Report: 40 Percent of American High-School Students Mind-Reading At Sixth-Grade Level

CHICAGO2—According to Department of Telepathic Education officials, standardized Rhine-Zener testing shows that two of five North American high-school students are reading minds at or below the sixth-grade level. "Psycholiteracy is essential for survival in today's world," said DTE director Ruth Edgerton2008, founder of the "Mind-Reading Is Fundamental" project. "It's a shame that some students are graduating from high school lacking the basic telepathy skills they need to compete in the current job market." Edgerton2008 then thought about the need for increased funding for the national MindStart program.

Surgery Required For New Sexual Position

ISLA LOS ANGELES—Plasmic surgeons at Cedar Sinai Medical Center are among the more than 100 doctors nationwide performing the surgery required to enjoy the sexual position "Feast Of Forty Fingers Supping Upon The Nine-Branched Lotus," as popularized by the Neo Sutra. "Attempting the Forty Fingers position without proper bio-augmentation could result in needless maiming, so please ask a doctor about the required procedures," said Dr. Joshua Mendelbaum of the Adaptive Procreative Therapy unit. "Home surgical kits and even sophisticated nanodoctor booths are no substitute for the care of a licensed sexual surgeon." Mendelbaum would not comment on the 30 percent ecstasy-induced-mortality rate among those who successfully achieve the position.

Abraham Lincoln's DNA Now Available Over The Counter

DC—Responding to pressure from vocal consumer groups and gene-gineering giant Merck-Maibatsu-Pfizer Monday, the FDA announced it will allow the DNA of America's 16th president to be sold without a doctor's prescription. "The legalization of OTC Abe is great news for expectant parents, gene-therapy patients, and history buffs," said MMP marketing director Wayne Lincoln. "Americans will no longer be shackled by the genetic heritage of their forefathers, a tyranny of flesh which condemns all men to be created equal. Now, four score and seven credits will ensure that presidential DNA for the people shall not vanish from the earth." Those using Lincoln's DNA are warned that side effects may include mild gigantism, arthritis, and severe depression.

Hemmed-In Seattle Mayor Calls For Emergency Deforestation

SEATTLE—Seattle Mayor Frances Bean Cobain-Osment issued a call for the emergency deforestation of the Pacific Northwest Monday. "Please, major logging companies, I beg you, send any spare sawmilling, pulping, or chipping equipment you have as soon as possible," said Cobain-Osment, invisible within the branches and overgrowth on the steps of City Hall. "We cannot fight off the encroaching trees and spotted owls any longer." The mayor's message concluded with a spirited condemnation of 2001's controversial Healthy Forests Initiative.

Remainder Of Ross Ice Shelf Now In Smithsonian Freezer

DC—The 25-meter-long remains of the Ross Ice Shelf, the floating Antarctic ice sheet that was once the size of France, will be displayed in the Smithsonian Institution's basement freezer through August. "We thank the generous citizens of Philadelphia, who donated this polar-cap remnant when it washed up on their shores earlier this year," curator Tim Riley said. "The ice sheet is a valuable artifact of the earth's geological past." Guests at an upcoming fundraising dinner will be served cocktails made with chunks of the shelf.

Repopulation Of Africa Begins

OLDUVAI GORGE, FORMER TANZANIA—The UN announced Monday that it has begun the directed repopulation of Africa, the continent that has lain desolate since the 2042 Saharan Scourge. "The time has come to reclaim this land from the effects of war, famine, disease, and devastating commercial exploitation," ReAfrica project head Marcus Mtume said, motioning toward the bare rock of the Serengeti shield plain. "At this very moment, scouts are determining the viability of a New Lagos settlement." Critics argue that the ReAfrica project is beyond the scope of current terra-reforming technology, and the UN resources required would be better spent on more fertile territory, such as the Marianas Trench or Charon, Pluto's only moon.

Ozone Repletion Project Nearly Finished

MCMURDO, ANTARCTIC STATES--Franklin Serwacki, lead project administrator of the Global Ozone Restoration Initiative, announced Monday that the earth's ozone layer will be restored to pre-Industrial Revolution levels by the end of the month. "With our new Bering Strait facility operating at full capacity, repletion of the ozone layer should be complete by... oh, I'd say next Thursday. It's been a busy couple of weeks, but soon we'll be able to look back on a job well done." Serwacki then offered his apologies to the more than 6 billion people who were irreparably harmed by solar UV radiation in the several decades the project was delayed by tripartisan bickering.

Leather-Clad Nomads Seize Power In Australia

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—Following months of terror at the hands of hot-rod-piloting punks, Australian Prime Minister Kellen O'Neill handed power to Lord Humongous, nominal warlord of the leather-clad marauding barbarian horde Monday. "Just walk away!" said Humongous, the official "Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Roll-ah," speaking through his vehicle's PA system from the smoking ruins of the city center. "I will spare those of you who surrender your possessions and your precious juice. Just walk away, and live." Humongous is expected to share at least a portion of his dominion over Australia with midget genius The Master, who several sources said "runs Bartertown."

117-Aerocar Pileup Clogs Troposphere For Hours

BOSTON—Travelers on Interspace 92 experienced delays of up to three hours after 117 aerocars were involved in a tropospheric pileup Monday. "We traced the problem to a malfunctioning holosign over the harbor's low-pressure zone," said Anders Featherston, lead engineer of Boston's Big Draft project. "Four horizontal lanes and three vertical lanes merged without warning, causing the first few propeller-benders, and it only escalated from there." The 22 deaths caused by the accident were only temporary, as EMTs had the victims' cortical memory stacks decanted into fresh bodies within hours.

Economy Given Big Boost By Ramadan Shopping Season

NEWER YORK—Financial experts announced Monday that the U.S. economy was boosted by millions of Americans beginning to purchase Ramadan gifts. "With rampant inflation and record-low consumer confidence, we were on the path to total economic devastation for the year," economist Karen Thewes said. "Fortunately, preparations for the celebration of Eid ul-Fitr pumped nearly Ÿ2.2 billion into the economy. In addition, there was a huge surge in the purchase of Quran plaques dedicated to Allah." Thewes went on to predict that the economy would be further buoyed by a brisk Solstice.
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FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

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Could Jimi Hendrix Mk. IV's Disappointing Synth-Funk Output Spell The End Of The Vat-Grown Celebrity?

HOLLYWOOD—Jimi Hendrix Mk. IV isn't talking to the media anymore.

Seven years after he emerged from his biomold, the 28-year-old artist is tired of having his purpose in life endlessly debated by critics, managers, record-company executives, lawyers, and even fellow musicians. He knows what he was born to do: play left-handed synth guitar like a man possessed and bring the cold, artificial grooves of his trademark synth-funk to audiences the world over.

But Warner-Geffen executives disagree. They say they know his purpose in life; they commissioned him, after all. Jimi was created at great expense at Celebirth Genetic Engineering, where his genetic material was pulled from the same 1965-1990 archives responsible for both sets of Dean triplets, the all-Buddy Holly band, and the recent rash of Elvises. Hendrix Mk. IV was born, Warner-Geffen says, to fulfill the studio-recording potential of the first Hendrix, who died after releasing only three albums.

Executives say they wish that Jimi IV would contact them. They haven't heard from him in months.

Jimi IV says he's got his own life to live. Warner-Geffen says they've got a contract. So who's right?

One thing seems clear: If vat-grown celebrities continue to follow their own muses, it may spell the end of the entertainment industry's latest and most expensive case of sequel-itis.

"Many in the recording industry are beginning to believe that vat-grown artists are no longer worth the expense of revivification," said David Miner-323, a talent-relations specialist at Murdoch-Merck-Viacom. "The public's desire to find out whether a streak of talent was successfully reproduced in a vat-grown celebrity used to be enough to turn a profit—but not today."

According to Miner-323, public curiosity is why Kenny Rogers 2.0 was nominated for a Tony. It's why Re-Streisand still sells some of her poetry chapbooks. And it's why Hendrix II, III, and IV found some success at the beginning of their careers, despite their fascinations with ambient noise and meandering instrumental breaks.

But the curiosity factor is quickly wearing off, Miner-323 said. And each subsequent generation of Jimi has become more unpredictable, perhaps indicating a breakdown in their genetic material.

"It looks like the ancient curse of entertainment—the infamous 'mind of their own' problem—might keep everyone from taking a chance on bringing back anyone else," Miner-323 said.

The thousands of vat-grown entertainment-industry executives (including Miners 282-420) appear to be performing their duties with all the energy and creativity of their models, but there's only scant evidence that the practice works with celebrities.

While the 36 Andy Warhols take obvious joy in their own reproduction, it seems that many artists are resistant to the idea of being a copy.

"I guess I just don't feel like acting," said Sharon Stone Version 3.3, working in her Norfolk, VA glassblowing shop. "Or modeling, either! At my weight, can you imagine? I mean, I'm glad Sony Pictures decided to make me. But the truth is, I couldn't act my way out of a paper bag."

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