Friday, July 3, 2015

Yay! you reproduced!

NYTimes photo

The greatest thing you can do for the world is add to its population...

Or at least that's the message I've been getting.

It shows up in all those "Awww" moments when the talking heads on the morning news feel compelled  to share the baby pics.

Or the defiant rhetoric of the far right proclaiming it's most solemn duty is to protect the sanctity of marriage by limiting it to those with opposing genitalia.  Seemingly to ensure procreation of course...

Even the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage can't escape it.  Those folks want a gaggle of kids too even if the biology of the situation makes the whole thing somewhat difficult.

It seems the endless drumbeat to perpetuate the species is intertwined with the culture.  The bulk of your population may be living in the streets but nothing is more critical to a society than ensuring its numbers continue to grow.  

As though all ills would solved by simply creating more generations.  

Which of course is ridiculous.  More of anything is just more of the same condition.

Hey, I'm not against kids but I admit I don't have any so I suppose that shining moment of achievement will forever be lost on me.  It seems most parents have a belief that whatever personal failures they've had in their own lives will somehow be rectified by their offspring.

Or perhaps it's much simpler than that.  

Paris Hilton
Let's face it, unless you're one of the fortunate few who enjoys a lifestyle of fame and/or fortune there isn't much to compare to participating in the creation of life.  

I mean, c'mon now!  How can you deny the most tangible of mortal accomplishments!  We are no closer to god than when we create a child...


A point of view I both understand and recoil from.  Sadly, regardless of your religious indoctrination the reaction is purely biological.  Arguably no different than a mother housecat's reaction to her litter of newborn kittens. 

And by the way...Some of you are actually having "litters."  19 and counting?  For such devout piety it seems like you're in competition with the cat.  Supremacy of all those lower creatures is kind of taking a beating here. 

I'm not so arrogant as to believe that reproduction is any great feat.  As the song goes, "Birds do it, Bees do it" etc. etc.  In fact I'd suggest that for humans, it mostly happens by accident.  Once it does, however, somebody's got to step up to the plate at least until junior or little miss gets through college.  

An event that signals to society that a contractual requirement has been fulfilled.  You are now free to die having accomplished successful procreation and taxpayer replacement.

I don't mean to be flippant about parenting or imply that the rearing of a human child is easy.  In fact I'm cognizant of the fact that I'm probably not the best candidate to participate in the practice.  I like kids, I like talking to them, teaching them but then I like to send them home.

I guess I'd be a pretty good grandparent then except for the whole "Parent" prerequisite that is.

But the truth of the matter is that after many millennia of human generations we still judge people on the color of their skin, social station and who they choose to sleep with among other trivialities. 

So much for "fruitful and multiply" being the cure for all our evils.

Ah ha! you say, The children are our future!

No they're not.  In fact I despise that phrase for all its selfish baggage.  Their future is their own and you've got nothing to say about it aside from how badly you screw them up with your own insecurities.

Our children can be nothing but a reflection of ourselves.  Even if they reject most of what you try to teach them, at their core they have you to thank for who they are.  Not just that they...are.

So I'd submit that the only way to ensure succeeding generations be better than their progenitors is to admit that there's nothing divine or particularly unique about having children.  

Until we drop all this religious and cultural pretense, we as a species will never rise above the petty concerns of 30 second sound bite sensationalism.

Saddling  our kids with dogma and ignorance does nothing for the species.  Want to give your kids a brighter future?  Stop thinking the greatest gift you gave them was existence.  Stop falling back on the cop out of ancient religious dogma and prejudice and prove that humanity is more than just the sum of its biology.

That or start scoping out caves, clubs and bearskin boxers.