Wednesday, April 26, 2006

IF A WOMAN GIVES BIRTH IN THE FOREST AND NO ONE WITNESSES IT . . .

This news piece discusses the apparent societal shift towards of view of pregnancy as glamorous, even hip. No, not hippy, but hip. Yes, that's what it says. As I stood in line this morning at Duane Reade, a cookie-cutter pharmacy chain in NY, I noticed that many of the celebrity magazines featured stories about celebrity pregnancies. Tom & Katie, Gwenyth & Chris, Brad & Angelina. There was even a cover story about Jennifer Anniston and the "baby she should have had with Brad," which was now in Angelina's belly instead. I'm not sure how that works biologically, but let's move on.

The piece in the link highlights a few disturbing developments in society, some of which I'm sure you'll see me prate on about periodically. But, if I may, a few brief thoughts for the moment:

Celebrity As Aristocrat

I'm not certain when this change occurred, but we, as a people, look to celebrities to tell us who we are, who we want to be. What we want to look like. One pregnant woman, interviewed in the piece told reporters, "they are showing that it's OK to be big and beautiful." Uh, sorry to break it to you sweetheart, but it's always been "OK" to be big . . . when you're pregnant! As to the beautiful part, well that's what celebrities are. They're beautiful. And for some reason, that's why we've made them our aristos.

What's Profane Is Sacred

According to the piece, New York magazine described Brad & Angelina's coming little bundle of neurosis as follows: "Not since Jesus has a baby been so eagerly anticipated." Is that so? I guess that explains why I keep seeing Magi on the subways and in the park. Hmmm, come to think of it, that smell the other day must've been frankincense. Or maybe it was myrrh?

40 years ago, when John Lennon declared that Christianity was dying (better song writer than prognosticator), & that his Beatles were "more popular than Jesus," folks burned records, boycotted the group, and crucified a mannequin of Yoko dressed up as Mary Magdalene, before they burned her in effigy (ok, I made up that last part). Yet now a "major" publication compares the unborn fetus of a pretty boy actor and his bat-shit crazy, actress wife to Jesus Christ . . . and it seems normal? While we may be even more Christian, as a nation, than we were 40 years ago, we seem to have lost the line between the sacred and the profane.

Now I'm not Christian, and I enjoy blaspheming everything anyway. I'm sure I'll end up taking cheap pot shots at Jesus and most other sacred figures before long. Nonetheless, we've lost all perspective. I'm not sure what it is I want to see, and public worship & reverence of Christ ain't it. But foolish comparisons of religious figures to frivolous entertainers ain't it either.

Unless Someone Else Sees You Doing It, It Isn't Real

Hell, I'm doing the very same thing right now. Look, somehow my thoughts, my ideas, are "valid" only if I write them in a forum where others can read them. Analogously, these pregnancies aren't real unless they're photographed, memorialized. Captured in their naked glory to show that it really happened.

"It's hip now to be pregnant, everybody's doing it," a woman in the article actually says. As with everything else, it's only "good," it's only cool, if the rich & famous are doing it. So it seems that we now need the implicit approval of celebrities to procreate. To follow our biological destiny, if you will.

Have our lives really grown so empty, so devoid of meaning? Are we really that disconnected from our own experiences?

4 Comments:

Anonymous karen said...

as is everyone wasn't doing it before.

Preganancy worship is part of the backlash against feminism -- remind women of their rightful place as mothers.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous John Royal said...

I've got to disagree with your reading material, the TomKat baby was the most eagerly anticipated baby since Jesus, and that's probably because TomKat, Jr. Is the second coming of L.Ron Hubbard.

And if she's really desperate, I'll fall on a sword and help out Jen.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike:

Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas.

That, IMHO, pretty much sums it all.

The hyperinflated ego of our unofficial royalty meets the subterranean self-worth of our pauperizing masses. The result of the clash is as predictable as inevitable: people who have no life of their own--id est, no sense of self-worth--will desperately cling to the external trappings of those whom they perceived to have one. Regardless of the fact that the trapping is a fetus-induced protruding belly, and completely isolated from the fact that these superstars can effortlessly support the fruits of their loins.

I wanna be cool like Angelina; knock me up now, sweetie....

I'm pretty sure the day superstars start committing suicide--out of some bad drug trip or messy divorce(s)--there's going to be a statistically significant spike in self-inflicted death across our great nation.

'cause at that point being dead will be kewl, also.

Jorge (still cluelessly anonimous)

1:55 PM  
Anonymous donna said...

I was going to say, but Karen already said: yeah, right. Like no one was getting knocked up before. The glorification of pregnancy at this particular time of history, with Peak Population upon us and destroying our planet, is worse than clueless; it's obscene, considering what these children will be inheriting.

At my office over the past year, two of the other women have been pregnant (one was having the beginnings of labor pains today as she did data entry) and the other two became new grandmothers. I've been buried in other people's baby weirdness for the entire time I was discovering Peak Oil with a vengeance. Suffice it to say that it's been very, very hard to hold my tongue around these women. Very hard to appear happy for them, because I'm not. I don't look forward to being in this office when they all begin to realize what the shape of the future looks like.

9:13 PM  

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