Having Kids and Having Religion

Most people associate pronatalism with religionism. Either because of its ‘go forth and multiply’ view, its ‘sanctity of life’ view, or its ‘we have to outnumber them’ view. I agree there’s a relationship, even a causal one. But it’s not that religion ’causes’ pronatalism; rather, some other thing causes both religionism and pronatalism.

What is this other thing? An inability to find fulfilment in the here and now. The sci-fi stories featuring a ‘last’ generation always seem to show some sort of widespread malaise, even despair. What, no kids? Many, not content to die in a few years, decide to kill themselves immediately. If I didn’t know better, I’d call it an existential crisis. One not handled very well. (‘I’m too unimaginative or too lazy, or both, to have made my life worthwhile. I know! I’ll have kids—they’ll make my life worthwhile!) (And then in a really clever leap of logic, they even blame the kids for their existential black hole—’How can I be out following some dream when I gotta put food on the table for you kids?’)

The same people insist on believing there’s a heaven no matter how many photographs of ‘up there’ they’re shown. (Never mind the extensive non-visual physical evidence against the possibility.)

In short, those of us who have purpose and value in our own lives have no need of kids—or heaven. Those of us who don’t, pass the buck.

Gay Bashing

Gay bashing. Now there’s something I don’t understand. ‘Queers are disgusting, man. Men touching other men, that’s really sick.’ So, yeah, go beat ’em up. Get real close and touch ’em all over. And they say men are the logical ones.

But of course it’s not just the no-necks roaming the streets at night. It’s also the ones in the highrises during the day. Consider these words of a cable television program manager: “…men French kissing and …caressing …thighs…the scene [was] offensive…bad taste.” But men hitting each other, bruising and breaking bodies with fists, and men killing each other, spattering blood and guts with bullets and knives—this is, what, good taste? I’d rather see men kissing each other than killing each other any time. (But then I’d really rather see Boston Legal reruns.)

It’s weird, the relationship between sex and violence. I don’t understand it. Mitch, the bouncer, says “They’re either gonna fuck or fight.” He understands it. Okay, think like a man. (I can’t, it hurts.) (Yes you can, try harder.) Read the rest of this entry »

Freakonomics’ Big Revelation

So I just read Levitt and Dubner’s Freakonomics, in which they present the astounding connection between access to abortion and crime: twenty years after Roe v. Wade, the U.S. crime rate dropped.

Astounding indeed. That men are so surprised by that! I mean, just how clueless are you guys? —about the power, the influence, of parenting, about the effect of being forced to be pregnant, to be saddled with a squalling baby you do not want, on an income you do not have, because you’ve got a squalling baby you do not want… What did you guys think would happen in situations like that? The women would get “Mother of the Year” awards for raising psychologically healthy adults?

What I find surprising is that access to abortion isn’t related to infanticide. Pity. Given the Freakonomics boys.

I’m not a feminist. Feminism is so over. We live in a post-feminist world.

It used to be that men pressured women to have sexual intercourse with them. And despite the fact that it meant risking years of unhappiness for us (unwanted pregnancy, unwanted children), for ten seconds of bliss or relief for them, we’d do it. How stupid was that?

Of course, without the weight of the patriarchy, fewer of us wouldn’t’ve done it, but still. (And by ‘the weight of patriarchy,’ I include the social bit of being raised to yield to men and the economic bit of having to marry one in order to have children.)

But now? Nothing’s changed. Damn right you’re not feminists, as all you young things proclaim with revulsion. Because you’re still servicing men. Only now it’s with blow jobs. You’re still trading your pleasure for theirs. (Your clitoris isn’t in your throat.)

When a boy makes a girl come and keeps his own pants on, when a boy becomes popular (or a professional) because he knows what to do with his hands and his tongue, then you can say it’s so over.

A License to Parent?

We have successfully cloned a sheep; it is not unreasonable, then, to believe we may soon be able to create human life. Despite Frankensteinish visions of a brave new world, I’m sure we’ll develop carefully considered policies and procedures to regulate the activity.

For example, I doubt we’ll allow someone to create his own private workforce or his own little army.

And I suspect we’ll prohibit cloning oneself for mere ego gratification.

Doing it just because it’s fun will certainly be illegal. And I expect it won’t even be imaginable to do it ‘without really thinking about it’, let alone ‘by accident’.

I suspect we’ll enforce some sort of quality control, such that cloned human beings shall not exist in pain or be severely ‘compromised’ with respect to basic biological or biochemical functioning.

And I suspect one will have to apply for a license and satisfy rigorous screening standards. I assume this will include the submission, and approval, of a detailed plan regarding responsibility for the cloned human being; surely we won’t allow a scientist to create it and then just leave it on the lab’s doorstep one night when he leaves.

Now the thing is, we can already create human life.  Kids do it every day. Read the rest of this entry »