?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Total honesty

And therefore, not very nice.

It's been on my mind for some time, and even as I write it, I wonder if I should leave it for later. I've got a lot of pregnant friends now, and I congratulate them with all my heart. So please, if you are one of those friends, understand this post is not aimed at you, at criticism of you personally, or disrespect for your decisions. It is an examination of my own feelings, and an attempt not to be hypocritical. Be warned, I do use the word 'You' generically behind this cut.



This feeling I've had crystallised into harsh form when reading the programme for WARHORSE. An interesting fact; a million horses shipped across to the war...and do you think most of the survivors, having been forced into the most disgusting conditions, facing bombs and bullets, starvation and horrors they couldn't comprehend, were then brought home? Most were rewarded for their valour by being sold off to French butchers for sausage meat.

That's humanity for you. Who is proud about adding to that?

I have a lot of chums on the show; Got to love humanity, they say, love humanity. Why? What humanity does wrong is so much greater than what humanity does right. Humanity is cruel, ugly, evil. I am not talking about rapists and child molesters and murderers, I'm not talking Darth Vader. I mean everyday evil...bullies in the playground, cowards who fall in with the crowd. Banal evil.

Ah yes, but look at the grand things Humanity does...let's talk music and art...all for humanity's benefit? Rubbish. The musician/artist creates because they must, because it pleases them, and if no-one else saw it, they would still be driven to do it. The applause isn't mandatory for the work to grow.

And when humanity shows pity, it is first and foremost, to that face that looks most like its own...the further away from the ego's perception, the less likely compassion is to emerge. And what is a baby then, but a mini-me, a love insurance, a desperate validation of self? After all, if you have achieved nothing else, you can probably make a baby. Turning it into an admirable human being is a challenge many fewer manage, but at least you will feel important. While the beasts die out and the forests fall, you will have done...what will you have done? It's not genius, it's the default. If the only person you can guarantee to love you is the one that poops out of your body, you're not doing well, even on a human level, so what lessons of strength and adequacy can you possibly pass on? How it's better to have someone entirely rely on you cos then they'll have to love you? Isn't this just another mediocre monkey?

Of course it will be very important to you to think otherwise. Your baby will be startlingly beautiful, intelligent, funny, amazing, the point behind your life, and they'll do great things...you can see the school, the university, the Nobel prize. You could take them to see tigers (oh wait, no tigers left by then, well you can tell them about tigers) you can play with them on a beach full of washed up condoms and hypodermics, (well jesus, can't someone clean this sh*t up?) You can show them a world someone else should have made better, a world you would have made better only you were too busy bringing up a child to become...well, possibly not a world cup holder, possibly ever so ordinary. But never mind. Ordinary's OK, at least no-one feels threatened by ordinary and they'll always fit in. They'll carry on believing that actually this world is a backdrop to human drama, that all life on earth is secondary to the soap opera they make. They'll get a job. And a house. They'll avvababy.

There, I've said it. To my parenting friends, and parents to be, I can't emphasize enough that this is not meant to hurt you. You know I care for you, you know I don't want to break your hearts. I congratulate you when you tell me you're pregnant, not because you are bringing a human being into the world, which I consider a dubious, potentially irresponsible act at this juncture in history, but because you are happy, and that is worthy of celebration. When or if I meet your child, I'll get to know them like I would any person, I'm not going to automatically assume that they are a boon to the earth because they're yours, and I won't cluck over them just cos they're a baby. They might not like me, I might not like them. I'll never treat them like dolls, but I will treat them like people. That's a promise of respect.

Now let's see what they learn to respect, in the classrooms of humanity.

Comments

( 79 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
smokingboot
Jul. 15th, 2010 10:09 am (UTC)
Love to talk about it face to face! Looking forward to that evening!

Extinct as a race? Possibly better for the planet. Certainly there are way way too many of us...raising the values of our kids is better than not doing so of course, but, if we are going to drain the planet of more resources, surely that's the very least we can do. And these small steps, gallant though they are, may indeed just be too small.

Everybody seems to think that the way to make things right is to teach our children how to do it. The teaching continues, the action barely starts. When do we stop teaching and relying on the next generation to clean up after us, when do we clean up ourselves?

There is no point in teaching our children to save the gorillas if by the time they are grown, there are no gorillas to be saved. The dynamic act of saving, of working, of funding should be ours, not deferred to others. Our responsibility not theirs. We should be doing because teaching alone is not enough. Let me add, that this is not to decry your personal efforts - I know you well enough to believe that you are a fine and powerful inspirer to those around you. But I think few if any of us are doing enough to counterbalance the damage humanity does.

Salutations to Izzy's birthday! Now, how do we make sure she does not grow up in Blake's charnel house of apes, or Soylent Green?


Edited at 2010-07-15 10:16 am (UTC)
caffeine_fairy
Jul. 15th, 2010 10:11 am (UTC)
May I ask what prompted this rant? Was there a particular incident?
smokingboot
Jul. 15th, 2010 10:27 am (UTC)
It has been in my mind for a long time, it was just the fact about the horses that made it spill out. The casual injustice of what humanity does. So painful.

It does not mean I don't love my friends, it does not mean Jason isn't welcome in my home - he is, because I love his parents, and because they look after him with tact and grace. When he is a grown man, if I know him by then, I hope to be a good friend to him. But...

Sometimes I would like to blame this on a disorder within myself, depression perhaps... I could look at my background and credit a lot to that. But however much I try to offload this realisation, or tear it down into some internal nightmare of my own, I cannot avoid the single truth, that homo sapiens, whilst not cruel individually, is a terrible force en masse.

Edited at 2010-07-15 10:27 am (UTC)
(no subject) - caffeine_fairy - Jul. 15th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smokingboot - Jul. 15th, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - caffeine_fairy - Jul. 15th, 2010 12:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
smokingboot
Jul. 15th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC)
Very interesting, though as something of a thickie, I didn't understand the last bit! Does it mean that capitalism needs population expansion unless we shift our viewpoint and develop different technologies?
squintywitch
Jul. 15th, 2010 11:09 am (UTC)
Got to agree with the caffeine fairy - I have even more of a stake in improving the world thanks to the Juliaboglin. Of course having a child is a terribly selfish act, but another way of looking at it is that at least if the sensible educated minority continue to reproduce, we won't get outbred by thoughtless ignorami.

Do people tirelessly labour away to improve the world because they have extra free time due to not being a parent? Not so much - they do it because they want to. Many of the most socially committed people I know support themselves, their family, and do their bit to try and change the world.

I was thinking about the great war recently, and how it won't be within living memory for JB - and how it's so important to me that she doesn't forget the lessons we should have learned by now, about the criminal errors, the horror and the slaughter, and the desperate heroism and compassion that came from it. All future children should be taught these lessons, not just mine.

Having children isn't an excuse to stop trying. But nor for many people is it a reason to, either.
smokingboot
Jul. 15th, 2010 12:18 pm (UTC)
I hear what you say about the minority and the ignorami, and concede it as a very good point.

I just don't know if it's enough.

WARHORSE is based on a child's novel (10 and upwards) if I had seen it when I was 10, I'd probably have topped myself - I have been crying for three days since I saw it, and it's got a happy ending!
I agree that it's important the lessons of WWI are learned. But from World War II to Rwanda and onwards, is that what's happening?
(no subject) - caffeine_fairy - Jul. 15th, 2010 12:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
blackcurrants
Jul. 15th, 2010 11:27 am (UTC)
I've always been irritated by how messily cruel the world is (not systematically cruel, not deliberately-run-by-tyrannical-despot cruel, but lackadasically awful due to the selfishness and cravenness of humanity.)

The Phenom is a motivating factor in agitating for the world to improve, absolutely, in that I desire to protect and promote the spawn's wellbeing. But I'd do what I do anyway - and probably not a lot more. I think Jude has a point - not sure people who DO improve the world do so because of all their free time, so much as because of all their incredible motivation. Perhaps those who are motivated by their (real or potential) offspring, therefore, also have valid and useful sources of motivation?

Heh. I'm not having a child to save the world, ("here, you do it" - third worst reason out there!) nor because I think I'm so awesome the world needs more of my genetic material. I'm having a child because I love babies and children and I want them closer in my life than nephews and nieces. It was a fascinatingly urgent need (and I've always had it, but it became MORE urgent) - akin to thirst, or being extremely tired. It's entirely selfish in motivation, which is interesting in itself (narcissistic, moi?) but there are ways to be unselfish(er) in actual practice. Mindfulness about the amount of material and emotional space one needs to take up in the world is a valuable practice, and I've no illusions that having a child means I get to carve out more than our fair share.

Oh dear. I don't think this makes any sense. But I'm interested by your thoughts, as I am always interested in the thoughts of my childfree-by-choice friends, because I share almost all of their reasoning, right up to the point where I say "yes of course you're completely right, but I absolutely must, must, have a child, you see. They smell so good, and they're so soft..." - and then everything gets murky.
smokingboot
Jul. 15th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
I do consider the drive to have a child somewhat selfish - I never understand how, if the need to nurture is so strong, it can't be diverted into adoption - but if I am honest (and my post really is about total honesty) I am very fortunate that my analysis and my inclination so closely match. What would I do if I really had that deep need for a child, and yet knew that it was an inappropriate thing to wish for? Would I be good, or just say, 'Heck with it,' and sprog anyway? Very easy to be agin it if you don't personally have a desire for it...



Edited at 2010-07-15 12:18 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - blackcurrants - Jul. 15th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lucyas - Jul. 15th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Genuine question - november_girl - Jul. 16th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Genuine question - lucyas - Jul. 17th, 2010 06:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lucyas - Jul. 15th, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - blackcurrants - Jul. 16th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - squeezypaws - Jul. 15th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smokingboot - Jul. 16th, 2010 09:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - november_girl - Jul. 16th, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
lucyas
Jul. 15th, 2010 12:12 pm (UTC)
I completely agree with you. But then I do rather fall into the child-free camp myself. There are too many humans in the world already without me wanting to be responsible for bringing more into it.
smokingboot
Jul. 15th, 2010 12:37 pm (UTC)
Glory be to Wiki...
6,855,900,000 at current estimates...Jesus. That's a lot of cars and faeces.
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 15th, 2010 12:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - thalinoviel - Jul. 15th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 15th, 2010 01:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - november_girl - Jul. 16th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 17th, 2010 07:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 15th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - thalinoviel - Jul. 15th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 15th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - nyarbaggytep - Jul. 15th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 15th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - november_girl - Jul. 16th, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 17th, 2010 07:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - november_girl - Jul. 17th, 2010 10:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 18th, 2010 09:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 17th, 2010 08:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - november_girl - Jul. 17th, 2010 11:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lucyas - Jul. 18th, 2010 09:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - november_girl - Jul. 16th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 17th, 2010 07:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - squintywitch - Jul. 15th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 15th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - smokingboot - Jul. 16th, 2010 10:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - november_girl - Jul. 16th, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - november_girl - Jul. 16th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - lucyas - Jul. 17th, 2010 07:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - caddyman - Jul. 15th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - smokingboot - Jul. 16th, 2010 10:17 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Glory be to Wiki... - caddyman - Jul. 16th, 2010 11:28 am (UTC) - Expand
thalinoviel
Jul. 15th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)
Humanity (and technology in particular) have definitely f*cked up the planet. Each of us uses a huge amount of resources.

And yet, when it comes to doing something about it, us mediocre monkeys are the planet's only hope. It's gone too far now to fix by just making small changes. Even going extinct isn't going to work (not to mention that, of course, it isn't going to happen, because only the people who think that far ahead and have the means to do so are going to stop breeding.)

I think I know how to save the world. Most of the stages involve serious, radical technological shifts, aimed at making the first world lifestyle most people want as sustainable as a third world lifestyle. Unfortunately, as I discovered in my second year at university, it won't be me directly doing these things because I am not smart enough. (I'm quite smart. But I can't do theoretical physics well enough to save the world.)

So the only plan I have is to try and help the person or the people who will, for example, solve the energy crisis. I do this through my work, trying to get kids from a wider range of backgrounds into Maths, Science and Engineering, because we must leave no stone unturned. But maybe these people aren't born yet. If there's any genetic advantage, crossing 5 generations of engineers with 3 generations of pure mathematicians has to be a good start. Then, the tricky bit: raising them to develop their potential and actually care about the problem.


Edited at 2010-07-15 01:01 pm (UTC)
smokingboot
Jul. 16th, 2010 10:29 am (UTC)
us mediocre monkeys are the planet's only hope. How come? if the mediocre monkeys were extinct, the planetary abuse would stop. I'm a bit confused by this one.

As to your argument about helping for the future, I understand it...but isn't this just a well meaning rehash of 'It's too late for us, let's help generations to come?' the next generation is always the golden one. But with this problem, if the rescuers aren't born yet, they may well be too late - tough titty for us and them. Perhaps they will recreate the orangutan from frozen genes, or replant trees...or maybe they'll just live in the smell of each others' armpits, avoid seas empty of all except radioactive turds and play with the latest iphone.

If you know how to save the world, why not teach many, and write it down? I would give a great deal of time to reading it.
How to save the world. - bytepilot - Jul. 16th, 2010 10:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: How to save the world. - smokingboot - Jul. 16th, 2010 11:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: How to save the world. - bytepilot - Jul. 16th, 2010 11:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thalinoviel - Jul. 16th, 2010 12:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smokingboot - Jul. 16th, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
nyarbaggytep
Jul. 15th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
I don't at all feel offended by you writing this.

I sometimes despair of the horrors mankind are capable of too, but I guess I have a sense of balance with it. People can be astoundingly kind too, and not just to their own kin. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that.

Seeing a child as an extension of the parent, or as a doll is also something I feel desperately uncomfortable with.
smokingboot
Jul. 16th, 2010 10:49 am (UTC)
I am relieved that you are not offended.

Yes, people can be kind. I believe in it less and less though, and I don't see the balance; the sausage meat fact really upset me. This lack of respect and kindness wasn't dreamt up by a Hitler or a Stalin. It'll have been ordinary people any one of us could have given birth to - people any one of us could have been.

Apparently, there is now a plaque or memorial at Hyde Park in honour of the animals in the wars. I don't know if this is true. If so, I should go find it and perhaps it would make me feel a bit better.

Edited at 2010-07-16 10:49 am (UTC)
(no subject) - nyarbaggytep - Jul. 16th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
bytepilot
Jul. 16th, 2010 11:28 am (UTC)
Thank you.

For various reasons I'm also looking at the future with some degree of horror.

Partly because I'm going to have to beat some of my chums over the head with a clue bat.
No he's not a likkle widdums, he's a stinky wee noisemaker who would probably like to learn to speak properly. Nor is he utterly beautiful, he looks like an angry winston churchill on a bad day.
As darling Boot said he's a person, and will get every lesson I can think of in the art of moving through life like a tiger through rainforest. Even if I have to build the forest and the tiger from blueprints.

Treating a small child like the world's most special snowflake is one of the things that's driven us towards the vile mess we find ourselves in today.
The seemingly universal idea that everyone feels they should be given whatever they happen to want and that anyone who is not actively making that happen should be punished somehow.

The world is a harsh place, and the ecology here is far _far_ more robust than homo sapiens is as a species. If we screw up too badly then life on this planet will not be over. The climate will change, the sea levels will rise, the panda will become extinct and the next species to crawl onto the top of the new earth will find only our bones left behind.

Boot my dear, remember The Reverend from back in the day(night?)
There he is, stood facing Clan Gangrel with a small child in his arms.
He's still here.

It will not happen.

Laughing at my own jokes ha ha ha
smokingboot
Jul. 16th, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC)
*Sobs*
*Pulls self together*
Heart, I will believe you xxx
(no subject) - bytepilot - Jul. 16th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Be careful when you breathe out. - smokingboot - Jul. 16th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Be careful when you breathe out. - bytepilot - Jul. 16th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
cyanidemigraine
Jul. 16th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
i wasnt sure what to write when i first read this, there are bits i vehemently disagree with, bits i agree with, and bits i am non commital about.

im worried that if i say i feel sorry for your sad thoughts, that it will sound patronising and belittling, rather than sympathetic and concerned.

so i guess ill sort of half say it above and hope it wheedles more of the latter rather than the former :)

the post hasnt offended me, but i do wonder if i must seem very naive, or selfish, when viewed through the lens of the above. You see, there are some things i cannot argue with, that the sum of human cruelty is greater than the sum of kindness, that many things are driven by greed and self interest, that we have wounded the earth to her heart.

and yet...and yet.

i just cannot live with letting this dominate my view of stuff. This is where i worry i must seem so naive, or blinkered, because i still take great solace in kindness, beauty, love, feeling, passion, truth. Which all seems fairly...selfish when compared to the above, or crushingly naive, but...i just couldnt live like that,

If held at gunpoint i may spout something about how if all thought as i, the world would be better, but...i would be being disingenuous, i dont act as i do to lead by example and save the world, i am a creature of the small picture, my immediate surrondings, i eat whats put in front of me, buy responsibly when i remember, give to charity when someone thrusts a tin in front of me, and comfort people when they are upset in front of me. I wont have children, and i wont change anything. ive sort of made my peace with that.

Ive had people tell me my religion is nonsense too, a crutch and willfull delusion, because i am incapable of dealing with the harsh realities of death and life and so on. I also cannot answer those people, how would i know if they are right and i am deluding myself? and yet....it gives me such comfort, once again, another selfish blinkered self centric sensation i cling to.

im not quite sure if i have a point you know.

I wont stop finding beauty in things, and kindness in people, and i wont stop trying to help people, and...i think its a good thing im not doing it to make a difference, because the odds as you say are fairly stacked against us.
smokingboot
Jul. 16th, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
You come across as neither naive nor selfish. You come across as human...quite a nice human, to my mind, and honest too. We are all creatures of the small picture - Jeez, I just spent weeks obsessing about a pond, and then I moved my obsession to a play! What will I be about next week?

Absurdity!

No need for a point. There's understanding and beauty. There's kindness. They do exist, but I want more. Maybe that's my problem, not humanity's. In my own way, I'm very greedy. And you are very gentle.
(no subject) - cyanidemigraine - Jul. 16th, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
november_girl
Jul. 16th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
Brain dump
Thank you for this thought-provoking entry. I know you and I have touched on it in conversation previously, but having it written down (and when I'm sober, at that) has given me a lot more of a chance to pore over it and gather my own thoughts. For the record, they do not include being offended.

It'll come as no surprise to hear that I fundamentally disagree with you. I do not believe that humanity is fundamentally bad - or fundamentally good, for that matter. If anything, it's fundamentally variable.

Yes, there are awful cases like the warhorses, but conversely I could cite just how many sick animals are nursed back to a full and happy life in thousands of homes all over this country. How many people put out bread for the birds when the ground is frozen, for example? If you're really that down on humanity, surely the logical thing to do is go out there and kill a bunch of people and then yourself (which clearly I do not advocate, people!), isn't it? You don't do that - doesn't that mean you put some value on human life?

Obviously I hope that my daughter will do good things that I will be proud of. I daresay that she will also do some bad things that I will be ashamed of. I shall try to bring her up to do more of the former than the latter, and will be absolutely mortified if I discover that I've failed in that. I would like to think that she will have a positive effect on the world - okay, my values may be very different to other people's values, but I can immediately cite the way that she makes people smile everyday, just by grinning and waving at people she passes. I don't think she's unusual in that, before you think I'm using some sort of "my child's an angel" argument. I daresay she's pissed a few people off here and there, but I can only think of a couple of examples of that, and whereas I can think of almost daily examples of people complimenting me on how lovely my daughter is, I can think of none of anyone directly saying that she's annoyed them or anything similar. Still, I feel responsible for everything she does, and terribly guilty if I feel she's inconvenienced anyone e.g. when you came to stay and she woke you up at 7am I felt terrible about it.

So no, at this stage, I feel very happy to have added to humanity. IF she's one of those few people who turns into a mass murderer or suchlike I may well change my tune, but I shall do my very best to ensure that doesn't happen.

And I have no problem at all with selfishness as a concept. Of course I'm going to protect me and mine before everyone and everything else. It simply makes sense to me. Whether that relates to pitying someone who looks like me or making sure my kid gets her fair share of the instruments in the music class, then I'm going to do it, often without apology.

Having a child has been nothing to do with having someone to love me (I have a husband and a family and friends - there's no lack of love in my life) and only a little to do with leaving a part of my genetic structure about on the planet. Unlike many others, it's not a pressing hormonal need either. For me, it's partially social conditioning - I was brought up to assume that I would have a child, and therefore always believed that I would one day. Therefore a child was in the life plan at some point in the unspecified future, when I got around to it. As I got older I began to be a bit scared of it and questioned when and why, and sought to put it off as long as possible. I actively avoided children as I had nothing in common with them and never knew what to say.

Then I actually got to know a couple of them and started to see how spending time with them can be immensely rewarding as it teaches you to see the world anew, through innocent eyes. It reminds you of the wonder and of the terror. It reminds you what is important and what is not. I genuinely believe that there is nothing else like it, and that's why I wanted a child. Not to love me, but to show me the world through innocent eyes. To show me learning in a way that I could really see its wonder. To show me progress. To show me growth.

They're the aspects of motherhood that I love, the ones that blow me away. The dependence is, I am afraid, a huge downside.

november_girl
Jul. 16th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Brain dump
And why not adopt? This bothered me for a while, but I think the truth of the matter is that I don't want to be saddled with someone else's cast off. I don't want to be in a position where the child plays up and I can allow myself to wonder whether it's my cock up or something genetic. I want to feel like my child is my product - and that may not always be a good feeling, but at least I won't get into "oh she's only behaving badly because she was rejected and rehomed" or suchlike. And, I want to continue the family genes - after all, all my female ancestors did so and I should thank them for it. Wouldn't it be supremely ungrateful to discontinue the line now?

I do happen to think that she's stunningly beautiful and intelligent and funny and amazing - but that's because I'm her Mum and it's my job to think that. However, she's certainly not the point to my life - goodness no!

And I think ordinary is great. Without ordinary we'd never have extraordinary. If she wants to be ordinary that's just fine, so long as she's happy. That's my main concern. I don't think that being ordinary is necessarily equivalent to believing one is superior to everything else, as you appear to suggest.

I have no problem with you not clucking over my child - hell, I'd be a little suspicious of you if you did. In fact, I think I'd much rather you didn't make any attempt to be polite or nice and just came out with things like "I'd really rather avoid being at your house too far before her bedtime as I don't feel comfortable with her around" if that's what you're thinking. I say that I think that, because I've not been on the receiving end of that so don't know how I'd actually feel in the circumstances, but I think we're good enough friends that I could deal with that in the spirit in which it was meant. I like you because you're you, and watering you down doesn't sit too well with me.

I do really appreciate what you say about respect and treating her like a person and with respect though. That's nice to hear - too many people (in the past, myself included) seem to think that children are not deserving of any respect at all and that it's fine to hate them in a way that the said person would find deplorable if it was aimed at any other class of people e.g. the disabled.
Re: Brain dump - smokingboot - Jul. 16th, 2010 10:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Brain dump - november_girl - Jul. 16th, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
november_girl
Jul. 16th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, and I don't see the logic in suggesting that by trying to get someone else to do something one is necessarily avoiding doing it oneself. I think it's possible to both campaign (for example) and to raise someone with values consistent with carrying on the campaign.
smokingboot
Jul. 16th, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
My God Anita!
And I have no problem at all with selfishness as a concept. Of course I'm going to protect me and mine before everyone and everything else. It simply makes sense to me.

As ever, your honesty and strength win my admiration, but of course, I feel very differently to you. To quote Christ on the subject of looking after one's own before anyone else, 'Even the demons do that.' Isn't Love confined to our own 'products' just extended ego?

If you think this is truly a way to be, a way to feel, I am not surprised that you need the innocence of a child as specs through which to see the world. Would it not be more appropriate to try and create that world rather than relegate it to a sweet fantasy of childhood?

And whilst I applaud your honesty about 'someone else's cast-off,' consider how inhuman this kind of attitude is...I would call it bestial, but there are cases cited about animals adopting abandoned babies and suckling them as best they can. Should the day come when you are no longer able to look after your girl in her time of need, may any power that exists guard your daughter from those who adopt the attitude you consider so sensible. May she be kept far from those who see her as someone else's cast off.

The sad thing is, the view you depict with such clarity is winning. Your daughter will live to see the world it creates, and her daughter, should she have one, may not have so very much to thank any ancestors for.

Edited to add Sorry, more words, you gave me so much to consider! No, I am not down on all human life. I believe we should help those currently alive - animals as well as humans - rather than dragging more people into the world to devour resources. It's a horrible farce that we get so mushy about bringing humans into a world we are swiftly turning into a midden. Let's clean it up first.




Edited at 2010-07-16 11:11 pm (UTC)
velvet_the_cat
Jul. 18th, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC)
Late to the discussion... as always
As well you know, I have zero interest in having kids of my own, never have had (well, apart from a couple of hours when I was told pregnancy would be challenging when I was on certain meds - soon got past that one... and the meds some time later)! I appear not to have a maternal instinct (unless cats count?).

I've never hated kids, just been somewhere between wary and outright scared of 'em. The fear has waned over time, that's all. I certainly don't actively avoid them anymore*.

That said, I don't see things as you do either.

Speaking more of the developed world than undeveloped here**, my only wish is that perhaps prospective parents had to go through some sort of approval process prior to conception akin to that of potential adoptive parents. (I think all the parent commenters here would pass with flying colours BTW.)

I guess that makes me some kind of snob, but having kids are a responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly and I am dismayed by the instances where the kids are neglected and circumstances and lack of opportunity lead them to not be all that they could have been. That might be the saviour of the planet or just Joe/Josephine-average who tries to live a decent life and not harm either the planet or its inhabitants.

We are designed to reproduce (intelligence of that design aside), in that we are no different to any other species on the planet.

We either decide to make ourselves extinct as a species or try to change our ways. The contents of my glass come to the halfway marker: sometimes I take the optimistic view, sometimes the negative as to our collective future, but I'm not prepared to give up on it yet. So to those with the instinct to breed I say a hearty congratulations, provided you do it with due care and attention. :o)


*Probably apparent from some of my LJ entries in more recent months.
**Not qualified enough to understand that properly.
smokingboot
Jul. 19th, 2010 11:24 am (UTC)
Re: Late to the discussion... as always
Thanks for getting involved! Heh, some kind of screening process sounds like a great idea, but I wonder how long it would be before it became some political entity's tool, approving 'More like us, less like them,' whoever they may be.

Then again, short of tethering tubes at puberty, how do we stop them from presenting us with a fait accompli? Especially as baby is often seen also as a key to a home of one's own, or an emotional blackmail of the guy they beg to love them ('I thought if he saw her...how can he not love his own flesh and blood?') neither of which attitude is a sound indicator for parental care.

Re our collective future, I am inclined to think we'll carry on breeding even when we've reached the point of eating each other, waiting for space flight to reach the point where we go to some other place and fill it with trash too. And all the other species on earth? Not even a footnote. Who cares about their future?
croak108
Jul. 25th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
Holy shit, igh have tu c0me back and analyse tHis stuff proper:ly. None of what igh redde up tu over-load point (caffeine_fairy) is new, and igh don't suppoze tHere's enfnk new in the rest of it. Igh remembr tHat tHere wr too many ppl when the population of Earth was <3000m, and ,for s0me ynexplicable reason, planet Earth is still here. Proper analysis anon.
smokingboot
Jul. 27th, 2010 07:56 am (UTC)
Yeah, planet earth is still here...but is that really our baseline standard? No tigers, no whales, no cod, animals we use treated with incredible cruelty, seas full of excrement, air full of fumes and a choice between a dustbowl and a shopping mall for a day out. Can we accept this scenario provided that however bad it gets, the planet doesn't actually disintegrate under our feet?

Sorry it aint new, my dear, but it is true I fear...
( 79 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

default
smokingboot
smokingboot

Latest Month

April 2017
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com