May 13, 2012

Are You Mom Enough? The Question Is For What

attachment parenting.jpg
at what age does it become incest?

"Has Time Gone To Far?"  "Time Cover Causes Controversy."  I heard people are actually offended by this cover.  Which is worse, seeing this or a picture of two gays kissing?  No, two gay women, of course, come on, don't be stupid.  Alright, fine, but what if one's named Loshanda and the other one may as well be? Yeah, graphic design is hard.

I'll leave the discussion of the merits of attachment parenting to people who actually have parents and attachments, but it's kind of a moot point, I've seen more Taliban snipers than I've seen boob sucking kindergarteners.

So forget what Time is showing you, ask instead: what does the magazine want to be true?

Postulate: Time doesn't like breast feeding. If you disagree at least grant me that no one at Time thinks four years of it is admirable.  Right?  So you are supposed to hate her.  Ok, how?

"Umm, 'how?'  Well... there's a kid sucking on a boob..."  Come on, man, that's weird but it's not hatable, hating her doesn't somehow reinforce who you are-- unless you're a woman who didn't breast feed.  What if you're a guy?  "Well, she's hot..." Right.  The secret fear of marriage is that the kid wins the Oedipal drama.

At some point someone needs to notice that the intensity of the emotions about this issue are way out of proportion to the... prevalence of the issue.  I'm pretty confident breast feeding  on the way home from Webelos is a terrible idea but is it worse on your kid than getting divorced?  Or staying together, depending?  Extra year of boob or lifetime without a father.  Hmm. Is this open book?

Other than the volume of your voice, do you have any reason to be sure of what you think?

So since Time has created a controversy out of thin air, we should consider that the controversy is a proxy for something else.

She's a billion, so either Time was writing a story on Attachment Parenting and found the hottest subject they could find to make it be ok, or they chose the hottest subject they could find to make it NOT be okay. So hot= shallow egomaniac using her boobs and then her kid to get noticed.

time cover mom.jpg

That's what Time wants you to think, anyway.  But there are things you don't see that I can't unsee, which is why I've been at the bottle stashed behind the big rock at the creek's bend since I was a pre-teen.  She's 26 and the kid is 3, subtraction= 23, so you have a super hot well manicured blonde having kids way the hell too early for a super hot well manicured blonde.................... and there are only two reasons why such a person would be pictured in American media: she's from Utah or Jesus is her co-pilot.  Amen.  The fastest way to get Time's Hatable Person Of The Week cover is to a) work for Goldman Sachs or b) praise the Lord.  I guess it's possible she works on a trading desk but my money says this is a story about why religious people are insane.

So while the rest of you bah bah black sheep are led to complain that she's hatable because she breast feeds, when the Time comes-- and praise be to Jesus, it is coming-- for you to learn she's nipples deep in the Lord Is My Shepherd maybe you'll then remember which candidate you're supposed to hate. 

There's hate in them there pictures, the worst kind of hate, the kind that makes you hate without knowing why, without knowing that you hate.  The kind of hate that ends up defining you as a person in opposition to something else.  And then you disappear.

Once you've made this prediction everything else is downhill.  She'll homeschool the kid, which is hatable.  She'll be wealthy for no identifiable reason: hatable.  She'll be carrying around that kid 24/7 with no nanny yet still weirdly find time for mani/pedis and barre class.  So hatable. And co-sleeping doesn't mess up her sex life or her sex interest because her husband plows her on the deck, in the car, in the pool, in elevators. Sigh hatable.  You can't make a right on red but this woman is forcing the world to accommodate her, bend to her way, her life, and she appears to be succeeding and happy.  Bitch. 

Look at the comments as people struggle to explain why breast feeding a 3 year old is bad: they sense it's bad, but can't come up with a concrete reason to explain it.  Well, Time is the magazine for you.  They offer you a blonde cypher trusting that you'll solve it: she co-sleeps because she's a religious nut.  Phew.

"When you think of breast-feeding, you think of mothers holding their children, which was impossible with some of these older kids," Schoeller says. "I liked the idea of having the kids standing up to underline the point that this was an uncommon situation."

That's Time's photographer explaining that simply having her breast feed wasn't good enough to make his point, he needed to stage the scene to "underline the point."  This is why the sentence before that one is this:

Using religious images of the Madonna and Child as reference, Schoeller captured each mother breast-feeding her child or children.

If you have the urge to email me complaining that I'm defending religion or attachment parenting, please don't, your brain is broken.  The point is to show you how the media e.g. Time manipulates you to hate some things by linking them to other things: it polarizes you, which means it makes you irrelevant.  E.g. when an election "is determined by" one particular group of "swing" voters-- whom you deride for being too stupid to have made up their minds yet-- it doesn't mean your vote has been factored in but that you are so predictable that you don't count.  Power never thinks of you as an individual.  Power never thinks of you at all.

Maybe attachment parenting is good?  Bad?  Time doesn't care to find out.  It could easily have PubMeded the story and found a hundred scientific articles to discuss.  Nope.  It needed space to tell me that Dr. Bill Sears was a Catholic, converted to evangelicalism, and back to Catholicism, and his wife goes to Mass every day.  Oh, I get it, they're crazy people.  This is a typical media trick, rather than exploring an issue it explores a person, describes him, his background and his faults, this is the kind of person who believes this, this complicated issue that is too difficult to understand on its merits.  You're free to choose.

Do you think Time cares about breast feeding?  Do you think Time cares about you? Time hates you.  It hates everyone, especially its readers, it thinks of them as credit card numbers, as registered voters, as organ donors.  It wants what it wants and if we have to throw a kid under a boob, so be it.  Like Marshall McLuhan once yelled, there's a war going on out there, and it isn't between liberals and conservatives or atheists and believers or attachment parents and detachment parents, it's between us and them, where them is defined as everyone who is not us and us is defined as me.  You lose.