Category Archives: Misc. Snobbery

The Existential Angst of Being

When I read about why one woman chose not to have children (hat tip to Missy:  thanks for giving me something to post about!), and then why another has remained single, my heart ached for these ladies.  A light-hearted rant about why it’s better to “die alone” than face motherhood didn’t cheer me any, so I wrapped up my research with an explanation why sleeping until 10am is proof that childlessness is the better choice.

My sympathy doesn’t stem from reasons one might expect:  the sadness of childlessness!  the loneliness of an old maid!

The problem is deeper than that, don’t you think?

Children, spouses, families:  as all-consuming as they can be, they are still just trees in that deep dark forest called Your Life.  The above-linked souls seem well and truly lost in their own forests, regardless of the kind of trees growing there.

Let’s pull back and try a broader perspective.  The further away our view, the less details can distract.  The picture becomes simpler, people turn into ants, then disappear, then bam!  The forest is right in front of you.

The question isn’t whether it’s better to have kids or not, or whether it’s better to marry or not.  The real question is, how do I find meaning in life?  Oh, that pesky human need to feel that life is meaningful:

I’m doing the right thing, right?  What’s it all for, anyway?

Interestingly, the articles written from more experienced perspectives (here and here) seem particularly riddled with doubt and worry, although I suspect the basic question–why am I here?–drifts like mist through every forest.  Perhaps the younger two authors haven’t wandered around long enough to feel the damp chill of worry yet.

Now, on to the meaning of life.  Having kids is pretty much the quickest, no-brainer kind of way to find meaning.  Those wiggly, squalling little blobs of secretion are great “purpose-givers,” are they not?

Yet children are only one of the myriad ways toward a meaningful life.  If you decide not to have them, or if circumstances decide for you, then what?  Life’s meaningless?  Of course not.  Let’s see, a thousand different religions, causes, good deeds, great adventures, ardent competitions, grand visions, or creative ambitions might fill up your life quite nicely.  Might.

The younger two writers point out the more practical benefit to childlessness, here:

“Because we are not having kids, I’ve been able to leave my old career and go back to school full time to pursue a new passion. My husband, forever the car enthusiast, has his sites [sic] set on a new Nissan GTR.”

And here, in an inverse fashion:

“Having kids is making a decision to live a life with strollers, diaper bags, breast pumps, sleep deprivation, and the withering looks from strangers like me, who wonder why you thought it was a good idea to bring your toddler to a Victorian painting exhibit.”

These explanations encapsulate the hope that living for yourself will provide meaning enough.  After all, if you don’t seek after your own interests, who will?

“For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.  But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.  Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Oh, dear.  I’ve gone there, haven’t I?  To the very thing that would probably provoke eyerolls and scoffing from the kind of person who writes things like:

“I believe women who are supported by men are prostitutes, that is that, and I am heartbroken to live through a time where Wall Street money means these women are not treated with due disdain.”

It’s funny how that quote doesn’t bother me.  Me, the stay-at-home whore mom.  I’m no more insulted than I am when my younger son gets really upset and claims he’s going to run away.  How can I take the insult to heart, when the same article holds this angst:

“Convention serves a purpose: It gives life meaning, and without it, one is in a constant existential crisis. If you don’t have the imposition of family to remind you of what is at stake, something else will. I was alone in a lonely apartment with only a stalker to show for my accomplishments and my years.”

And more angst:

“I have lost my life. I had a lot of friends, saw people, had full days. I don’t know where anyone is anymore, and I can’t even remember who it is that is gone.”

Jeepers.  I hope Ms. Wurtzel finds good answers for those existential questions, and some peace in life.  If she or anyone else should happen to read this post, and if she or anyone else should further happen to find themselves unable to satisfy that need for meaning, no matter what is acquired or accomplished, well.

That particular Bible quote I used is Luke 20:30-32.  You could start there.

UPDATE:  Thank you Glenn Reynolds! eleventy!  To new commenters, sorry for the delay in approving comments last night, and thank you for your thoughts.  I’ve changed the settings to allow you right in, so do behave yerselves. ;)

UPDATE:  David Lat knows more than I do about Elizabeth Wurtzel, if you’d like more background.

UPDATE:  This Andrew Patrick fellow’s post on the subject is fantastic.  I highly recommend it, even though his superior wit chafes me slightly.

The Need to Post and Politics

I need to post, but for several days I haven’t been in a posting place.  Tonight I shall post come hell or high water, not because I have something new or especially incredible to say, but because the posting itch is unbearable and I must scratch.

I left my first gas station note regarding the price of gas today.   It had $$ signs and a frowny face and a question about hope and change.  This question is worth asking, but some can’t stand the public scrutiny.  They can bury their heads in the sand, but the DNC’s message tonight seems beyond bizarre, something like:  “churches & charities are cool, but they don’t mean sh^t compared to government which can’t fix it but ain’t the problem and also I approve of gay marriage.”

Anybody else got whiplash from the all-over-the-place messaging?

UPDATE:  slightly edited version of original.

My Mental War

Recently, Missy and I debated whether Obama spoke out of ignorance or calculation when he said that overturning his healthcare law would be “unprecedented.”

Today I find myself mentally debating this question again, this time about Hilary Rosen’s “never worked a day in her life” schtick.

Was it a gaffe, in which she let the mask slip?  Or was it calculated to distract us from The Real Issue?

I wrestle with this mental debate a lot, and I can never truly make up my mind.  Neither answer satisfies my rather unfortunate urge to understand these people because either way, the truth is unsettling.

Take Ms. Rosen’s case, for example.  Either she is disdainful of women who (if they are “rich enough” to have the “luxury” of the choice) decide not to work, or she is willing to say anything with a straight face if it will benefit her political party.

Which is it?  And did you notice how clever that little limitation is?  The disdain is reserved only for the rich stay-at-home moms, ‘natch.  Disparaging the opinions of all stay-at-home moms would be beyond the pale, even for the most leftist of the left.

Of course, this limitation only works if it’s true.  First, it must be true that rich persons cannot understand the difficulties of the poor.  In other words, there is no such thing as empathy in Ms. Rosen’s world.

Second, it must be true that staying home is a luxury reserved for the wealthy.  And oh, looky, right on cue, the President enters stage left with his ridiculous claim that they couldn’t afford the “luxury” of Michelle staying home.  (Never-you-mind about the First Lady’s opinion.  That was way back in 2007 when she said that staying home makes her ill.)

Do you know what?

I’m tired of wondering whether these people are actually thick enough to believe the ridiculous things they say.

Is it purely partisan political hackery?  Or do they really believe that only the rich can live comfortably on one income?  If so, then the Obamas and the Rosens may as well live on the moon, they are so far out of touch.  Come on over to my house, guys.  Meet me and all my stay-at-home mom buddies.  We exist.  None of us are even the teensiest bit rich.

Oh, no.  See what I’m doing?  Mentally debating the “ignorance v. calculation” question.  Again!  I may need professional help.

It’s just . . . I’m confused.  I can’t even keep up with the various lines of reasoning.  Does the left believe there is a real Republican War on Women?  (In which women are dying!  Dying!  Because evil conservatives are killing them during childbirth!)

Or not?  Because we have Ms. Rosen saying the Democrats had actually never used the phrase “War on Women,” and that it was a Republican invention.

Wait.  Is it really . . . Obama’s War on Women?

Okay.  I guess I’m done.  I thought I’d have something more meaningful to say about The Left and The Right and The Staying Home and The Mommy Wars, which is normally like crack to my little brain.

Yet, here I am too far into a post to just delete it, and with nothing more meaningful to add than this:  it doesn’t matter what we say anymore.  We’d probably be better off not responding at all.

Ann Kane at The American Thinker says it best:

“Wouldn’t it be cool if he next time the Left entices us with some manufactured crisis, we just ignore it and continue on with exposing what’s really going on?”

UPDATE:  John Malcolm takes a stance opposite from Ann Kane, and his argument (via Red State) is quite effective:

“Contrary to what a lot of folks on our side are saying these attacks are far more important to defend against than obsessing over Romney’s position on Afghanistan or the capital gains tax because this election is not going to be fought over issues and ideas. . . .  Obama . . . doesn’t have issues and he doesn’t have accomplishments so all that is left to him is to tear down Romney.

If he can convince you that Romney is a cross between Scrooge McDuck and Moe Howard who adheres to a very strange set of religious beliefs then he wins.”

Cross-posted at Disrupt The Narrative.  Hop on over there, too.  You know you want to!

On Royal Weddings

Diana’s royal wedding provoked nothing more in me than a mild puzzlement at the length of her train.  I was ten, what did I care? 

Now that I’m forty my reaction has matured, evolved . . . into a serious stupefaction at the sight of those hats.

Yikesters.

And the daughters of Prince Andrew and Princess Sarah . . . oh dear, shall I admit it?  When I saw the photo over at Innocent Bystanders, here’s the first thing that came to mind:

 

I know, I know, I’m really mean.  But they are grown women, right?  They did choose their attire?  Who among you cannot see the similarity?  Well, except the cartoon hair accessories are less ridiculous.

In a futile attempt to make this post seem less catty, I’m not embedding the photo.  Hop over to Innocent Bystanders to see.

Really, I’m sure they are lovely young women.  The attire is the sole subject of my derision, not the humans beneath.

Aggressive? No, Just Aggressively Annoying To The Left

I’ve been a fan of Adam Sharp for a while.  He has a penchant for showing up at a leftist’s public appearance and confronting them on video.  Rep. Phil Hare not caring about the Constitution is probably Sharp’s best catch, but he’s got a slew worth watching on his YouTube channel.

You gotta check out his latest catch, though.  Big Journalism also features it.

The lady that intercepts Sharp is the best part of the video.  She wants to get rid of this embarrassing person as quickly as possible.  Clearly, neither she nor anyone else was prepared to deal with the attendance of a Person With Opposing Viewpoints (gasp!) at this Washington University lecture.

So she used a method tried-and-true for any time one is unprepared:  the shotgun method.

Her first scattershot was priceless:   “I’m in public affairs, and normally media let us know if they’re coming, so–“

I’m not media.

“I thought you were Fox.”

Sharp laughs.  Who told you that?

Right.  Time for Ms. Public Affairs Lady to blast her shotgun in the dark again.  If he’s not media, maybe he is an anonymous, dangerous creep we can boot out for safety reasons . . .

“Who are you, sir?”

My name is Adam Sharp.

“And, okay, and, and you are here because . . .”

Because Van Jones is here.

Rats!  This annoying fellow is willing to share his name.  On top of that, his stated purpose for attending an event promoted as “free and open to the public” is no worse than . . . to see the scheduled speaker!

Time for the third shotgun blast:

“Well, we don’t um, allow photographs, and it’s intellectual copyright thing [sic].”

Adam Sharp points out three other video cameras in the crowd.  A university policeman had arrived by this point.

Ms. Public Affairs Lady is getting frustrated now.  “Okay, that is the law school.  Excuse me, sir?  That is the law school, and I’m gonna tell every single person, not you, every single person they cannot tape!”

In other words, at first she tries to sell the idea that the other video recorders are exempted from her “intellectual copyright” rule because they attend the University’s law school.  She doesn’t even buy her own line, though, so she switches tact mid sentence:  I’m going to tell them all not to tape.

Yeah, rriiiigght.

Well, none of the verbal buckshot hit the target.  Plus, they don’t want to tell everyone to turn off their video cameras.

You know what that means.  They have to drop all pretense of being open, public, and all interested in education and First Amendment rights. 

They have to indulge in the left’s more fascist tendencies.  They physically assault Sharp and get the officer to throw him out.

They let him back in again with a promise not to film.  Then, Van Jones says go ahead and film.

After the speech, Van Jones takes questions from the crowd.  Well, not everyone’s questions.  He ignores Sharp, who asks silly questions for humorous effect.  (Not like he’ll get a respectful response anyway, so why not?)

And bonus!  Ms. Public Affairs Lady gets back in the game.  She is so fed up that she sneers, “Shut up.”

Sharp’s camera swings to her face instantly, and he nonchalantly remarks, what’s that?

“He’s being aggressive to the speaker,” she tattle tales to the officer, but it’s obvious that Sharp is more aggressively annoying than actually aggressive, strictly speaking.  So he doesn’t get dragged off again.

They just had to put up with him.

Comedy gold.

Adam Sharp, you are going under “My Heroes” category.

Just A Quick Bit Of Snark

I can’t roll my eyes far enough back into my head to properly express my level of contempt for the self-important blather in this Insty-linked Newsweek article:  Divided We Eat.

I couldn’t even finish reading the whole thing, but give it a try.  It’s fun to look down on those who look down on us.

Here’s the bit that jumped out at me:

” ‘This is our charity.  This is my giving to the world,’ says Alexandra, finally, as she packs lunch boxes–peanut butter and jelly on grainy bread, a yogurt, and a clementine–for her two boys. ‘We contribute a lot.’ “

Huh?  Out of context, that quote sounds as if this woman thinks feeding her children is charity work.

No, no, don’t be silly.  It’s not the fact that she feeds her children; what she feeds them is the charity.

She spends more on the local organic stuff, which is like charitable giving to local organic farmers, right?

Riiighhht?

Well, only if you are fully detached from the real world.

Listen up, lady.  Paying extra for something local and/or organic is not charity.  It is merely paying extra for a product because you believe it to be superior in some fashion.  Nothing more.  It is a business transaction.  It is a purchasing decision based on your particular desires and economic considerations.

There is nothing wrong in this.  The local farmer thanks you for your patronage.

Your patronage, however, is not charity.

If you want to be charitable, it works like this:  the next time you visit the local farmers’ market, just hand them a wad of extra cash, and walk away.  That is charity.

Class dismissed.

UPDATE:  Ha!  Moe Lane says the exact same thing as me, only better:  “The Smug is strong in this foodie article.”

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