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Joan Z. Shore Headshot

Bring on the Clones!

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I can envisage the day, maybe a few generations into the future, when we will all look alike.

Women will have straight blonde hair and pert noses. Men will have spikey haircuts and six-pack abs. Both genders will have Malibu-tanned skin and perfect teeth.

Wife-swapping will end, as will all forms of adultery, because there will be no perceivable difference between one woman and another, one man and the next.

There may still be noticeable differences in voice, strength and IQ.

But with everyone reading the same news and watching the same TV, there will be very little divergence of opinion. Harmony will reign.

In short, what was not accomplished by political means in 1984 will be easily attainable through cosmetic surgery and genetic engineering by 2044. We're just running a few decades behind.

Looking back at the 20th century, one wonders how we survived those years of confusing, multifarious individualism. Hollywood stars, for example, were identifiable icons: you would never mistake Dietrich for Garbo, Rita Hayworth for Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford for Bette Davis.

Nor would you confound Clark Gable with John Wayne, or Spencer Tracy with Cary Grant. Among them, you had your favorites. Today, it doesn't really matter if you're watching Angelina Jolie or Cameron Diaz, Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears, Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt. Homogeneity has simplified our lives.

Homogeneity will be the order of the day in politics, too. It is already happening. Some Republicans are starting to sound like Democrats, and some Democrats are starting to act like Republicans. This will make things much easier for us when we go to the polls: It won't much matter whom we vote for.

Fashion, of course, has always been a copycat institution. Whoever was unable to afford Parisian haute couture was sure to find inexpensive knock-downs two months later at Macys. And now, as cheap counterfeits flood the market, any woman can look as rich as Paris Hilton, with a faux Vuitton bag and faux Prada sandals.

I'm sure there will be pockets of resistance to this trend -- stubborn folks whose identity is tied to a crooked nose or crooked teeth or a hand-knit shawl. They will refuse the surgeon, the orthodontist, and the pashmina. But I assure you, they are fighting a losing battle.

Conformity is taking over our world. Fear it not; in its milder form, it was known as Democracy.