Richard, seated panhandler with sign reading "Please help"
Scientists announced this week that they have deciphered the three billion
figures of human DNA. What do you think?
I saw it on the news, but I don't know nothing about it. I don't
know if it's pro or con for cloning food or stuff like that.
This is supposed to have important ramifications for prediction and treatment
They said that back in the seventies and eighties, and violence was gonna be stopped.
And it never happened; it got worse. It just goes to show you, if you're not filthy
rich, if you're not out of the city and the urban plight, then you're in a living hell.
And that's what I'm going through now.
Are you concerned about the possibility that employers or insurance
companies might use genetic information to discriminate against employees
All these small towns are running out the homeless
and they're coming to the big cities and that sucks, because when you start in the
cities you've got to start in the ghettoes and it's all a bunch of crack excuse me
but it's all a bunch of crack niggers, and they'll kill you because you're white. And
that's what I'm going through. If
you're trying to live an honest life it's one of the hardest fucking things to do. If
you didn't get an early education and stick with your job and go through the ranks
and be a business person, and know how to run computers and be an expert, then
you might as well be driving a trash can, because you're going to be making more
than you would trying to work at McDonald's.
Our local McDonald's has help wanted signs all over the place.
At McDonald's you get nowhere. You've got a different color skin than they do,
you go in there speaking English and it's all minorities in there. They're going to
run you around and stick you in the butt if they can. That's just the way it is. And
it sounds biased and prejudiced, but if you look at the true fact of the matter for what
it is, it's the same thing all over California. You can go up to these small towns up
north and it's all Hispanic. And they hate your white-boy guts.
Ed, Street Sheet vendor
Do you have any physical ailments you're hoping they might be
able to treat more effectively now that they have all this genetic information?
No, unless they can reduce my age by about 20 years.
Debbie, wheelchair-bound chain smoker
What do you think of the potential for breakthroughs in treating hereditary
It would be great if they could do it. I really don't think they can, though.
I just don't think they can really do all that. I know they can do a lot with DNA, though.
Any concerns about privacy of your genetic records, and the possibility of
discrimination by employers or insurance companies?
That's always a possibility.
Ken, Street Sheet vendor
What do you think of having the entire human genome mapped?
I think that's invading your private realm. It's an invasion of your privacy.
Do you think research like this should be left to government organizations
like the National Institutes of Health or to private companies like Celera?
If it was left to anybody it should be the government.
Which has more impact on your life your genetic makeup or your
The government, because they have more resources.
Jeff, seated panhandler on median strip
Have you heard about the genome breakthrough?
I haven't been reading the paper in the last couple days because
I've been so depressed.
Having all this genetic information is supposed to have profound
implications for medical treatment. Are you optimistic about that?
Well, my liver isn't doing so well because of past you-know-what past
But that's not genetic.
I've had hepatitis C, and I've probably had it for 20 years. I don't drink anymore
like I used to, not to excess anyway. I might drink a couple beers now and then,
but that's it. It don't do me any good anymore, and I'm not enjoying it.
Kay, Street Sheet vendor
Have you heard about the genome breakthrough?
Oh yeah, where they mapped the whole...
I've been following that because, what happened was, nobody in my family
my mother, my father, my sister and brothers don't have diabetes. And all
of a sudden I developed it. So I talked to the doctor, and he said, "It's in your genes."
He said, "It could have come back from six generations, when your people were in
Africa." He said it could come back. So my sister did a family tree, but they didn't
keep records back then. But I have developed what's called Adult Onset Diabetes,
and it's type 2. It's in my genes, but I don't know it could have come back from seven or eight
generations ago. But they said they could pinpoint that's something else,
where they can find out what's gonna go wrong with you. I've been listening to
So do you think it's good news? Because a lot of people are concerned about
privacy: If they know all your genetic information they can discriminate against you.
Who cares? If it's gonna help you with your health, who cares? I wouldn't care, if
they could find out how to stop this diabetes. I wouldn't care where it came from.
There's a dispute right now: Some scientists say we have 50,000 genes, some
say 100,000. Which do you think it is?
That's a hard question.
Yeah, even they don't know the answer.
So why you asking me?
Everybody's entitled to an opinion.
I don't know. But at least we know it's in the genes. Because my mother
don't have it, my father don't have it. My grandparents on each side didn't
have it. And I didn't get it until I was 52 years old.
You're 52 years old?
I'm even older than that.
You don't look a day over 40. And your parents are still alive?
So you've got hearty genes anyway. You've got a long-living family.
That's good news.
Yes. But like they say, they can go back and find out anything.
Supposedly most of the genes don't seem to be doing anything. Have
you got any genes like that, that you don't think are doing you any good?
I don't really know about all that.
Well like, if I could I'd get rid of my nearsightedness genes. Get myself
some better eyesight. I've been going blind since I was about seven.
I've been going blind since I was about five. Look at these glasses.
Wow, they're like mine. That sucks. But at least you'll live to be a hundred.
I don't think so. But I believe in the man upstairs.
David, seated panhandler in front of Walgreeen's
What's your opinion on the genome breakthrough?
I think it's potentially dangerous.
Because it gives people the ability to pick and choose what other people will be. There'd be
nothing random in nature if they succeed in what they're trying to do.
Do you have any concerns about privacy? Some critics have expressed concern
that employers or insurance companies might discriminate against you if they know you
have a disposition toward a certain disease.
Or if you're somebody like me who is HIV positive. See, there's a
good side to this coin. With that genetic information they could take away
the diseases like the one that I have, find out which people fight it off and which people
don't. Cancer, glaucoma, all kinds of hereditary diseases.
Should this kind of research be left in the hands of the government or of
I think the companies should have control. I don't think the government should have
control. I think Thomas Jefferson was right: We should have a revolution every
five or six years, so the people can control the system rather than the system taking
control of them.
Initially, scientists said humans have a total of 100,000 genes, but now
many of them say the number is closer to 50,000. Which do you think it
Probably 100,000, I would say. 50,000 doesn't sound like that much. There are
a lot of traits in a person. There are probably a lot of proteins and such that create
all the traits.
But overall you're more concerned about this news than optimistic?
I'm not a religious person, I'm a spiritual person. But I think we could be
playing with dynamite.
Which do you think has more impact on your development: heredity
I think the environment has more to do with it. If you're talking about whether
you succeed or not, has that been proven to be in the genes? Because there
are morons in genius families.
Five white men off sides tackling a black man and
where's the ref? Don't tell me you didn't see that Michaels. A
whole nation just saw it and you didn't? A nation saw it, a nation
wants justice. Now look me in the eye and tell ME what happened.
Wow, the Colts are dying out there. Who's their coach
KEVORKIAN? They gotta wake up or did they all just get elected to
CONGRESS? Heh, heh, no really, those cheerleaders are hot. And
speaking of CLINTON ...
Al Michaels: Just say something funny or interesting, son. Like
we're really calling a game.
Imus: The Packers are scumbags. Flat out, whoring, scumbags.
Al Michaels: WHAT?
Imus: (long, awkward pause) You're supposed to laugh at
anything I say. That's how I work.
I don't know. Every quarterback I see makes
me think of all the cute guys who would never go out with me in high
school. It brings up a lot of body image issues ... I'm not going to
lose weight for this job. Well, ok, ok, a little ... God, I hate
Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathie Lee: Why not?
Al Michaels: Well, you're aggravating, but after we fired Frank,
it'd be weird.
Kathie Lee: You think I haven't come close to firing him?
I can do this. It's not personal.
Al Michaels: It'd be weird.
The former Navy SEAL from Survivor
I'm irritating? Hey, if you
guys knew how to do your job you wouldn't need to be irritating. You
can't sell football to the American public?
While fans cheer an 85-yard return by a superannuated
salesback, the widest receiver of all is ABC sports honcho
Don Ohlmeyer, whose casual ellision of gridiron green and
dollar drab seems like a late hit on Theodor Adorno, himself a
hard-hitting example of...