Saturday, October 22, 2005

Suffer the Little Children

Mark Morford writes for the San Francisco Chronicle and well deserves the title of most noisome columnist in the Western Hemisphere (he'd easily take the world category but for a handful of loathsome pundits who work in arabic script). Case in point -- Morford discusses the Duggar family (who, even though they have 16 children, have done nothing, so far as I can tell, to deserve the scorn Mordford heaps upon them) in a 1250-word column entitled God Does Not Want 16 Kids:
Who are you to judge? Who are you to say that the more than slightly creepy 39-year-old woman from Arkansas who just gave birth to her 16th child yes that's right 16 kids and try not to cringe in phantom vaginal pain when you say it, who are you to say Michelle Duggar is not more than a little unhinged and sad and lost?

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[T]his might be the most disquieting photo you see all year, this bizarre Duggar family of 18 spotless white hyperreligious interchangeable people with alarmingly bad hair, the kids ranging in ages from 1 to 17, worse than those nuked Smurfs in that UNICEF commercial and worse than all the horrific rubble in Pakistan and worse than the cluster-bomb nightmare that is Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise having a child as they suck the skin from each other's Scientological faces and even worse than that huge 13-foot python which ate that six-foot alligator and then exploded.

It's wrong to be this judgmental. Wrong to suggest that it is exactly this kind of weird pathological protofamily breeding-happy gluttony that's making the world groan and cry and recoil, contributing to vicious overpopulation rates and unrepentant economic strain and a bitter moral warpage resulting from a massive viral outbreak of homophobic neo-Christians across our troubled and Bush-ravaged land. Or is it?

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Why does this sort of bizarre hyperbreeding only seem to afflict antiseptic megareligious families from the Midwest? In other words -- assuming Michelle and Jim Bob and their massive brood of cookie-cutter Christian kidbots will all be, as the charming photo suggests, never allowed near a decent pair of designer jeans or a tolerable haircut from a recent decade, and assuming that they will all be tragically encoded with the values of the homophobic asexual Christian right -- where are the forces that shall help neutralize their effect on the culture? Where is the counterbalance, to offset the damage?

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Ah, but this is America, yes? People should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want with their families if they can afford it and if it's within the law and so long as they aren't gay or deviant or happily flouting Good Christian Values, right? Shouldn't they? Hell, gay couples still can't openly adopt a baby in most states (they either lie, or one adopts and the other must apply as "co-parent"), but Michelle Duggar can pop out 16 kids and no one says, oh my freaking God, stop it, stop it now, you thoughtless, selfish, baby-drunk people.
Lurking beneath Morford's contempt is a real issue. There's a reason he's frightened of people like the Duggars, a reason he would stop them from having children if he could. He fears that, unless they are stopped, they will breed a substantial and permanent majority of individuals that reject his worldview outright. Hence, the piffle about "vicious overpopulation" in a society that barely achieves replacement. He's right to be scared. He may, however, be better advised to counsel those who share his worldview against exterminating their offspring. The Roe Effect is inexorably catching up with the Left.

Reading Morford always leaves me feeling like a need a shower . . .

Linked to Stop the ACLU's weekend trackback party , My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy's Open Trackback Thread, and Don Surber's linkfest.