Thursday, October 13, 2005
I don't judge people. Sure, I'll make sure I point out the things people are doing that I feel are wrong--body piercing, tattoos, underwhelming personal hygiene, giving children stupid-ass names, being fat, being foreign--but that's not the same as judgment. When I point these things out (often loudly and in public) I am doing so motivated by intent to help. Help. Motivation is what separates bad action from good action. Hit-and-run accidents are generally bad, but if the person is jaywalking across a busy street wearing dark clothes at night, well, you're teaching them an important lesson about road safety and potentially preventing stupid genes from getting passed down to another generation. Sometimes you have to swerve on to the sidewalk to get them, but as long as your motivation is pure, that's perfectly OK. Your local police department may or may not agree, but it sounds fine to me. I don’t judge, remember?
I reserve my most serious non-judgment for issues of human sexuality and reproduction. The intensive Brain Reorientation Therapy that I was subjected to upon registering as a Democrat took care of that. My friendly Caretakers from the National Organization for Women and the American Civil Liberties Union set me straight on all that stuff. It's amazing how open to suggestion one can be when 72 hours of sleep- and sensory-deprivation are followed up by hypnotherapy and false-memory-implantation. The electrodes on my nipples and testicles, I feel, really strengthened their arguments as well. Scientology has nothing on the DNC.
So when I read stories about the lady in Arkansas who just had her 16th kid and is "ready for more", well, I just keep it all to myself. The most I feel comfortable with is a quiet little "You go, girl!" as I celebrate this woman's ability to fully exercise her reproductive rights with no input from me, an evil, evil man, whatsoever. Of course ideally, as a Democrat, I would prefer it if she would at least mix one abortion in there somewhere just to keep The Man guessing, but again, Her Body, Her Rights, yes?
The flip side of it, of course, is that we Democrats are permitted--nay, encouraged--to make fun of people who are from the South. These are from the great state of Arkansas. So big fat CHECK there. As a smug, intellectually superior Blue State Dweller, I am free now to impugn their intelligence with impunity. So that's one in my favor.
Seriously, her husband's name is "Jim Bob". I'm not kidding.
Another avenue of criticism open to be is Patriarchy. While I can (and must) celebrate this woman's vaginal fortitude, since she is not in a committed same-sex relationship, that means there is a man involved. Somehow this overproduction of children must be an expression of his desire to dominate her, to make her into a servile beast of gestational burden for nearly every single day of her adult life. In this way he can claim her as his property, thus denying her the opportunity to fully express her Goddess-given sexuality by running out and getting knocked up by some other dude. By keeping her most intimate space--her uterus--occupied, he controls her. It's exactly as painfully invasive and personally demeaning as if he had branded his initials on her forehead--or on her... uh... you know... not forehead... don't make me say it--with a red-hot branding iron. At least that's what Kim Gandy tells me.
So now that I've got a little bit of wiggle room, I would also like to point out that all of her children have names that start with the letter "J": Joshua, 17; John David, 15; Janna, 15; Jill, 14; Jessa, 12; Jinger, 11; Joseph, 10; Josiah, 9; Joy-Anna, 8; Jeremiah, 6; Jedidiah, 6; Jason, 5; James, 4; Justin, 2; and Jackson Levi, 1.
First of all: poor Jackson Levi. By the time he gets Joshua's hand-me-down shirts, they'll be down to a collar and one sleeve. Also: his name is "Jackson Levi".
I think that girls name is supposed to be "Ginger" but with a "J", but I'm sorry, it just looks like it rhymes with "finger". At least she'll be popular in junior high school.
All those J names... that's a lot of trouble to save money on monogramming. I guess when you pretty much guarantee you'll be borderline poor by over-weighting the demand side of the Meals Per Day ledger with all those kids, you have to compensate for the expense of upper-class pretense somehow. All I know is that if I'm Jackson Levi, I don't want the handkerchief with the script-embroidered "J" on it when it's my turn. They'll be enough DNA in it by then to constitute a whole 'nother sibling.
The reason I find this so personally amusing is because my mother's parents, good Catholics that they are (or in ole Granddad's case, were) had 12 kids of their own. Both their names began with the letter "C", so they decided (and this is absolutely true) that all their children's name should start with the letter C. Any time mail comes to that house for "C. Jones", it causes no end of confusion. Mostly because their last name is not "Jones".
But in this other family, the dad's name is Jim Bob and the mom--remember, the lady with the perpetually torn peritoneum?--is named... Michelle.
So basically every one of these 16 kids is named after the father and the mom don't get shit. Well, nothing outside a whole shit-load of stretch-marks. And the eternal love of the God of the Old Testament.
Oh, and also now she's got three daughters whose names are Janna, Joy-Anna and Johannah.
And a whole passel of grandkids coming. It all sounds terribly expensive. If it were me, I'd be exercising my full reproductive rights and selling advertising space on my birth canal. I mean, look at all the attention it's gotten already. Her next birth could be brought to us by Motorola. Or Netflix. Or Trojan.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 2.3