Or maybe not so much demographics. Out of a cohort of more than two hundred acquaintances roughly my age whose doings I’ve followed on Facebook in recent years, I can readily account for only 32 children born to their entire lot and another four on the way. I’m not talking about the elderly here: the cohort I have in mind runs roughly from the ages of 23 to 36. These are not Tri-Met’s honored citizens. For that matter, more than a few of them can hardly be bothered to honor their own citizenship by vigorously exercising their own civil rights and shit, in some cases because so doing would interfere with their unquestioning submission to the every dictate of their religious rulers but more often because the scheduling would conflict with singing and husband-catching contests on television or with being a total schmuck in real life.
These people are in their prime childbearing years. I met most of them when we were undergraduates, but most of the ones I met in high school or after college have completed bachelor’s programs elsewhere. Most of the remainder have completed extensive associate’s-level coursework, usually in nursing. As a group they’re affluent. I’d be surprised if their median household income weren’t above the national average. Many of them almost certainly have household incomes of over $80k, since they include attorneys, physicians, registered nurses, engineers, career geoscience drones, and schoolteachers, and many of them are either married to or cohabiting with other well-paid professionals. (To be fair, being a geoscience industry lifer isn’t necessarily all that professional, and the lifestyle requires either kissing or intimidating all too much frustrated middle-management ass to be tolerable for anyone who can cobble together an alternate career.)
If this crowd is interested in having kids, it should be popping out lots of babies right now. But as any observant student of Doge knows, Wow Much babies Very annoy does not necessarily mean that the newest generation is anywhere near the replacement level for its parents. Here’s the breakdown, as I’ve been able to piece it together from Facebook:
Only children: 14.
Only children in utero: 4.
Children in sibships of two: 6
Children in sibships of three: 12
Total miscarriages: 4
Execute arithmetical summation command Wow Much Maths for total yield=40. This counts four babies lost in miscarriages. This entire crowd of over two hundred, it seems, has attempted to reproduce a grand total of one fifth of itself.
Is all of this probative of some shit? I dunno. Probably. I didn’t do an exhaustive search for kiddos on all active Facebook accounts maintained by current and former acquaintances (that’s right, Zuckerberg, we ain’t all friends), but I have a pretty good running idea of who has and has not gotten into the family way, largely on account of everyone trumpeting news of every positive life development on teh social mediaz for positive social feedback, or, as I prefer to think of it, circle-jerking.
There’s nothing really wrong and a lot really right with honestly discussing negative happenings in one’s life on password-protected social media, in part so that the media in question are not turned into fora for abject group wankery. “For most of my time in Seattle I’ve been depressed as fuck” is not a White Whine. It’s a legitimate cry for help, correspondence with friends and close acquaintances serving as a form of help in such a case, and it may offer the added benefit of reducing the need to submit to psychiatrists.
Yes. We aren’t even to six hundred words and Drs. Karadzic and Hasan have been already been paged for a stat psycho consult. What the hell else did you expect from wandering over here? The point is that few parents, and not many more prospective parents, are reticent about plastering their Facebook feeds with baby stuff, so I doubt that my Facebook contacts are riddled with bashful parents who have some kind of temperamental or philosophical objection to inflicting constant news of their kids on everyone else. True story: a family friend once sent us a round-robin letter including the news that her husband had “got the old snip-snip.” Her words, not mine, and a joyous Advent to you and yours, too. One just knows that people who didn’t have boundaries in the first place will have even worse boundaries once they go online. Actually, I’m surprised that there aren’t more PMS/menstrual cramps/tampon troubles/late period/I just took a huge messy dump/my girlfriend’s on the rag/my boyfriend always comes too soon sob stories floating around the internet with names attached than there are. NB: “My precious snowflake just went poopy in the potty” isn’t any more tasteful. Arguably enough, it’s even worse.
Bottom line: I’ve gotten news of practically every firstborn conceived by these two hundred-odd bougies, and it ain’t a whole lot of kids.
It’s worth paying attention to who exactly is having the kids. One of the four babies on the way is being carried by a Catholic mother of three, a college acquaintance of mine whom I knew to be an absolutely batshit fucking crazy sex scold with a resentful, prurient interest in the contraceptive use of total strangers. Within the past two years I caught her berating another woman on Twitter for using oral contraceptives and their “cray-cray evil hormones.” Three of the four babies lost to miscarriage were lost by friends of mine, also Catholics but not batshit insane busybodies, who have subsequently had three healthy kids in the space of less than three years. By this count, two couples have attempted a full quarter of the reproduction undertaken by a group of my age peers that must contain over a hundred sexually active heterosexual members. All four of the three-plus sibships in this group are being raised by devout Catholic parents.
What strikes me about this isn’t that I know all these Catholic breeders. What strikes me is that not even a minority of the devout Catholic students I knew at Dickinson who have since gotten married have had more than one child. Some of them are still childless years into their marriages despite much carrying on about how marriage is ordered to the conception and rearing of children, and I’m pretty sure that reproductive health problems are not the explanation. The other striking thing is that, as far as I know, none of the many devout Protestant and nondenominational students I knew at Dickinson have more than two kids. Most of the parents among them have one child apiece. Probably a quarter of my Facebook contacts were active in the Dickinson Christian Fellowship, our college’s chapter of Intervarsity, and a number more were active in the Newman Club, so the group of two hundred-some peers under discussion here is very disproportionately Christian.
Hearing about this failure of the tradcon religious to duly reproduce in furtherance of Western Civilization, Ross Douthat wept. And by “wept,” I mean that he maintained a pensive half-smirk like a psychotropically calibrated Cheshire Cat.
The proliferation of only children in this group doesn’t inspire my great confidence. I don’t say this out of the usual handwringing concern that only children are spoiled and turn out poorly adjusted because they never had to share stuff with siblings. I say this as an only child who is personally discovering, to his dismay but not entirely to his surprise, that shit starts getting hard for only children as the journey that we call life goes on (read here, if you’re so tasteless, about ways to take on fuel for this journey). For those of us who are the only children of Silent or Boomer parents, dear mother and father’s senescence is going to be really fucking fun. That is, if it’s even appropriate to phrase that in the future tense. As certain self-help dipshits catering to aging Boomers say, today is a gift–that’s why we call it “the present.” Haw haw. More than a few of them swore that they’d never get old, just like Bob Seeger’s long-ago girlfriend Janey swore that it never would end. Wish they didn’t know now what they didn’t know then, I guess. No, let’s reverse it: I wish they knew then what they still don’t know now, because that degree of future orientation would have produced a less barren and (praise God for the futile thought) less obnoxious generation. At least, as a friend’s mother once told me, “We’ll be playing Van Morrison in our nursing homes.” This sounds excellent until one considers the possibility of the perseverative honored citizens scooting around the hallways on their final trip out to lunch, loudly mewling, “Radio! Radio! Radio! Radio!”
With siblings, there’s at least an opportunity to have some family support in caring for aging parents, since there’s a less than 100% chance that all siblings in a family will be completely and intractably estranged from one another while one or both parents are still alive, and this likelihood drops as family size increases. This is not just grass-is-greener carping from an only child with aging parents; I’ve personally witnessed examples of these dynamics in my extended family. Contrary to the usual bellyaching about selfish only children, quite a few Boomers grew up with stratospheric self-esteem and a great capacity for other-effacement in spite of their having been raised in large families. Listening to musical outfits like the Eagles, one gets the feeling that many of their women were evil temptresses of a sort who would have brought knowing smirks to the faces of Salem’s witch hunters. Listening to the Rolling Stones, one gets the feeling that the men were equally rotten.
There was some bad shit in the zeitgeist, dude; not so groovy, man, why did you have to harsh our mellow, brother, no need to be such a mofo. In terms of care for the Boomers’ aging parents, however, what made the difference between pedestrian obnoxiousness among the children and an Aquarian hellscape at sunset was that the sheer size of the families that the elders had raised. Family size gave these parents redundant care options in their old age, and when mother is wandering around lost in her neighborhood at odd hours or beshitting herself or in need of help getting around the house, you damn well want some redundancies.
Of course the Silents and Boomers wouldn’t take any of this into account. Why you gotta be such a square, mofo? Jesus fucking Christ. Another way to look at this is, no, fuckheads, y’all made your own beds when you were younger, now lie in them while we take salacious pictures, Jacob Riis-style, as an object lesson for future generations.
Radio! Nurse! Rosebud! Radio!
Mercy, this is turning into a nightmare asylum scene from Boardwalk Empire. There’s totally not enough wholesome pornographic vaginal sex on that show and way too much in the way of psychotic people yelling crazy shit while having violent tremors in wicker rocking chairs. It’s like the teens and twenties were a really shitty time for a lot of Americans, like they were really violent and disordered or something.
Don’tcha know, they were exactly that.
This business of highly educated, affluent, married people waiting until they’re pushing thirty to have one and only one child indicates to me, more and more, that there’s something quite disordered about their attitude towards children, and that children per se are tangential to the most disordered aspects of their worldview. I can imagine a number of socioeconomic and policy ramifications of Bougie’s barrenness, none of them good. There are shades of Idiocracy in these dynamics, but what’s worse than any actual dysgenic effects of the poor outbreeding the affluent is the perception among the affluent that they’re being demographically swamped by the poors, especially those of other ethnicities. A tacit objective of the affluent, especially in highly stratified countries with serious racial problems like the United States, is to divert public funds to affluent jurisdictions and away from poor ones, but usually under euphemisms such as “local control of the schools.” A major result is solipsistic complaints from overachieving careerist parents with one or two children each complaining about how the wetbacks/hood rats/white trash/mudsharks/maybe the Cambodians have too many fucking kids and hence public policy providing for social services for their kids, including education, is just a gussied-up form of moral hazard for sexually incontinent untermenschen. With our fertile poor and immigrants, barren affluent, pervasive propaganda from the obscenely rich and their lackeys in government, and ever nastier class structure, the United States is due for a resurgence of really ugly eugenics rhetoric. So far, it’s limited mainly to marginal corners of the internet, but as historians of Austria’s washed-up army corporals know, some really nasty angels of destruction can march in from the margins and burn down the capitol.
Natalist tradcons who complain about the affluent having an aversion to children are barking up the wrong tree. Exceedingly few of the people I’ve known, and even fewer of the women, have ever shown any sign of being truly put off by babies or children. Most of them, again especially the women, obviously love being around the little ones, as broadcast by the eleventy billion Facebook photos showing them with nieces, nephews, and friends’ kids. Most of the complaints that one hears about kids from the barren fall into one of two categories: 1) categorical smears that are actually inchoate reactions to specific bratty behavior suffered at the hands of specific little brats; and 2) shrill, and ultimately insincere, posturing driven by a desire to score points against fertile political opponents, many of the latter being insufferable themselves.
When I’m half-asleep on a couch at a friend’s house and one of my quasinephews is rhythmically smacking me on the thigh, I don’t construe it as anything other than the kid being a brat like any other little brat, and his parents are quick to put a stop to it, so it’s all good. And good grief, the senile elderly are ever so much worse. Some people suffer the same juvenile thigh-drumming and prejudicially construe it as a problem with their parents, and by extension with all parents, especially those who are raising large families, and ultimately a problem with family life, but I’m sure that few of them would really feel that way if they gave it some thought. The little brats are just proximal justifications for lashing out at parents for adult obnoxiousness most of which is in fact completely extraneous to childrearing. In other words, it’s parents with poor boundaries and political sticks up the ass concern-trolling their own children while the childless and hyper-K-strategic parents concern-troll society in its role as the victim of the former parents’ irresponsible parenting and insufferable little brats.
People who are sincerely and abidingly hostile to babies and children are aberrant and vanishingly rare. It’s quite daft to construe deliberately childless couples as having some sort of hatred for the very young, even if they make comments to this effect. Offhand, I can think of no fewer than five sexually active but childless women I’ve known, all of them now over thirty, who came from sibships of four to seven. Some of these women described having had extensive childcare duties for younger siblings by their teens, and at least three have taken very active roles in the lives of their nieces and nephews, sometimes to the point of changing their diapers. That’s another thing: anyone who sincerely believes that family values have been trashed in the United States would be floored by the amount of niece and nephew shiznit in my Facebook feed.
Beyond a certain point, serving as day care for nieces and nephews is a credible get-out-of-babymaking-jail-free card. One of my best friends from college is still childless nearly three years into his marriage, but he and his wife are routinely roped into babysitting his two nieces, roughly 7 and 5 years old, while his brother and sister-in-law, a surgeon and an anesthesiologist, do the doctor thing. Anyone blaming them for not having kids already is either immoral, tyrannical, or insane.
What does worry me is the number of my acquaintances who are married or the next thing to it, established in lucrative careers, and practically unencumbered by childcare duties for relatives, who nonetheless seem to think that this is still not a good month to conceive a child, and if past is prologue, next month will be no better, because a nebulous assortment of professional, financial, and recreational goals keep getting in the way of starting a family. It’s notable that the poor don’t often think this way. Are their modest means the cause or the effect of this mindset? It’s hard to sort out, and I don’t give a particularly huge shit since this question is extraneous to much more serious questions, such as whether public policy will be geared to help the poor raise their children well or used as a cudgel to punish them by way of satisfying the socioeconomic and psychosexual resentments of their betters. If you’ve spent any time around the manosphere, you’ve probably noticed that the specter of attainder has been raised in a demagogic appeal to undersexed men to punish children for being raised by slutty mothers, so it isn’t a febrile parlor game to think about these possibilities.
As I’ve said, this stuff is fucking ugly. It’s a good argument for making preparations to divide the United States into Mexican, Cuban, and Canadian sectors. There was a time, after all, when Germany couldn’t govern itself in a morally conscionable fashion, either. I know, the rest of us gave a quarter of it to Stalin, but he was all up in everyone’s face with threats of scorched-earth invasion, so give a Caucasian a break.
The bougie zeitgeist in the United States is still one in which committed couples with stable employment histories and living arrangements see obstructions to their responsibly raising children popping up like whack-a-moles. This is the opposite of the young adult zeitgeist in the decade or two after the Second World War. The WWII generation wanted to have children, and it quickly set about doing exactly that instead of bellyaching about how pregnancy or childrearing right now would get in the way of this, that, and the other excessive or frivolous goal. It probably isn’t a coincidence that there was exceptionally little public resentment after the war directed at ethnic minorities and the poor for breeding too profligately. Bougie was popping out babies, too. It was what one did. “Take away school funding for their children because we didn’t give them permission to breed” and “sterilize the fuckers” were not especially viable political platforms, although versions of the latter, at least, had been quite popular during the Gilded and Progressive Ages.
The Baby Boom also fell entirely within a secular collapse of socioeconomic inequality. These things are of a piece.
One of the big problems is that Bougie no longer loves the virtue of raising families. In the postwar decades this virtue spoke for itself. Condoms were on the market, and many veterans were familiar with them, but why the hell would newlyweds, of all people, use contraceptives? This was less a question of moral outrage as one of pragmatic bemusement, the assumption being that only a strange ranger would not want to knock up his wife.
Even the argument that Theology of the Body absolutists in the Catholic Church love the virtue of raising families is suspect. Think for a moment about the moral framework that they aggressively promote for marital sexuality, natural family planning. The absolutists can’t even figure out how to consistently define marital sex in positive terms. They insist on defining it in negative terms, using a neologism that was coined within living memory in opposition to artificial contraception. It’s a latter-day companion to the Levitical “don’t screw your menstruating sister-in-law” class of sexual injunction. You know, here’s a clutch of sexual vices that are utterly contrary to God’s will, so we’re going to refrain from shutting up about them or about the half-cocked but endlessly analyzed variation of them that we contrived through a synthesis of mostly sound reproductive science with the crazed obscurantism of celibate clerics who blatantly resent other people for their sexual freedom.
Natural family planning is to reproductive health what the Holy Roman Empire was to late Medieval geopolitics: neither is any of the things that claims to be. NFP works wonderfully except for when it doesn’t. If a woman makes a minor mismeasurement of her basal body temperature or has a delay in ovulation, oops, and this ain’t no Etch-a-Sketch, homeskillet. Bizarrely, its very unreliability is trumpeted as proof that it is the only form of family planning consistent with sexual holiness, since it’s mostly comprehensible and reliable but just inscrutable and unreliable enough to allow God opportunities to spring unplanned (but very much Intended) pregnancies on those using it.
The natural law arguments, so called, in support of NFP are even worse. These are separate from the very straightforward natural law argument that sexual intercourse is ordered to the conception of babies, full stop. From a fundamental biological perspective, one free of any context concerning the world into which these babies will be born, that’s all there is to it. In point of fact, there are a number of conflicting natural law arguments against procreative sex, but they’re extrinsic to the natural law argument in favor of it. These arguments concern things such as overpopulation, severe poverty, disease, ecosystems science, and overburdened parents. Responsible adults with intact critical thinking faculties and a big enough pair to do their own thinking will find ways to balance these conflicting interests and come to a reasonable accommodation without turning into slobbering idiots. Not surprisingly, however, NFP is highly favored by servile, easily intimidated, authoritarian personalities who are uncomfortable challenging official institutions on matters of conscience. In their particular case, the most important official institution to honor with abject, groveling submission is the Roman Catholic Church.
This worldview is maybe a wee bit inimical to self-government, a self-government that may not be restored until after the war, when it will be restored piecemeal, if at all, in the Canadian, Cuban, and Mexican sectors.
Natural family planning is a ridiculous attempt at an end run around the natural law of sexuality. It is contingent upon an advanced scientific understanding of the menstrual cycle, thermometers capable of reading body temperatures to within a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, and preternatural self-control on the part of married people with strong sex drives. Its very purpose is to thwart reproduction while maintaining the disingenuous pretense of openness to new life, as the total willingness to have another baby right now because oops is politely called in NFP circles. Contrary to the proposal to divide all gall into three parts after the war as outlined above, hardcore NFP partisans are a marginal set both within the Catholic Church and among reactionaries at large in the United States. The reason that they bemuse or alienate or alarm other Catholics, by the way, has little to do with the latter being hostile to family life or generally beset by sin and a lot to do with the louder NFP sorts being objectively disordered, especially in their thoughts on sex. Reasonable people simply do not want their societies to be taken over by sexually disordered authoritarians. It shouldn’t be necessary to explain why.
NFP has surprisingly little to do with promoting fecundity. If that were the true goal, the sex advice on offer would be much simpler and less repressive: go have some. The choreographed sexual repression of NFP is the real historical aberration in a much longer history of unencumbered sex between spouses trying to have large, sometimes stupefyingly large, numbers of children. There are good reasons for modern couples not to replicate such teeming family demographics, and of course efforts to this end will have an effect on their sex lives. The idea that mores, including sexual mores, must never change in response to changing conditions is amazingly daft. But ultimately, NFP isn’t really about demographic stability or marital stability or a wholesome family life. It’s really an authoritarian social control on its practitioners’ sex lives, a mass of ulterior motives with an aboveboard motive popping out of the woodwork now and then, as if by chance.
And yes, I’ve been dogging on the family planning (sic) method (sic) used by the handful of couples who have attempted to have nearly half of the babies conceived by my two hundred-odd bougie peers. But it’s also the method avowedly used by at least one couple in the latter group who, as best I can tell, are trying to put off babymaking for reasons of professional advancement. I’m not objecting to their sex lives, since it’s their problem, but some of them might object to my sex life, which, by their unilateral reckoning, is also their problem. As a rule of thumb, those who complain about other people going to massage parlors are the same ones who need to get the hell into a massage parlor. This goes for chicks, too. All finger-wagging and no fingering makes Jill a very tense girl. It isn’t profane of me to say that prostitutes, in their discretion after the fucked, serve as secular complements to priests bound by the seal of the confessional; it’s merely vulgar, and if you came here for unadulterated highminded spirituality, LOLZLOZLZOZLO, ’cause I ain’t sellin’ that shit straight. And again, my problem isn’t that these people aren’t getting enough; it’s that their lashing out at others because they aren’t getting enough.
But maybe I’m approaching this thing from the wrong angle, as he said. Acceptance of this unhinged, totalitarian moral framework for sexuality seems to be one of the most reliable markers of those few couples who are willing to reproduce at above the replacement rate. In other words, the emotional barrier to fecundity is so high that the only way to surmount it is to submit to an overbearing crackpot sexual morality that has been stripped of any meaningful historical or general ethical context. The problem here is not that NFP is stone nuts, although in its more extreme forms it is exactly that. The problem is that the mainstream bourgeois culture in the West is so reflexively hesitant about procreation that being an obscurantist extremist or kook is practically the only way to stave off a coming demographic decline of Japanese proportions. In any society there is a significant minority that is unable or unwilling to bear children. In the developed world today, this minority is huge (in some places, it’s a majority), and it’s up to the remaining breeders to make up the difference. When the breeding pairs have one child apiece, that difference won’t be made up, since they’re only going halfway to reproducing themselves.
Sure, it’s shrill and facile to compare people to endangered wildlife by using the language of wildlife biology, but it’s worthwhile to consider how alarmed wildlife biologists would be by exactly the same reproductive patterns among apparently healthy animals. Advocating a return to a state of nature is morally wrong (nature raw in tooth and claw ain’t for people any more than we ought to eat one another), but the comparison of our own reproductive patterns to those of tigers or elephants is something that we’d do well to keep in mind, lest we veer from overpopulation to an extreme form of depopulation, which is likely to bring its own social pathologies.
Of course religious minorities will outbreed the population at large, and of course some of them will be regarded as quite weird. The Mormons in Napoleon Dynamite country think nothing much of popping out half a dozen rug rats by the age of thirty. In the back hollows of Southern Utah, dirtbag polygamist patriarchs do everything unlawfully in their power to do likewise to four or maybe six wives apiece by the time their multiple betrothed are in their mid-twenties. In certain Ultraorthodox communities that embarrass the hell out of other Jews, the custom is to conceive a brood of a dozen-odd with one’s first cousin and then let social services raise the retarded ones. (I have an aunt who made a living in this fashion. Her husband happens to be one of the most incredibly self-loathing Jews on earth, although technically he only hates half of himself, and it’s a half that the rabbis don’t recognize in any event. Don’t hold your breath waiting for him to make aliyah.)
American Catholics used to keep up with these sects, but then they went soft, or maybe decided that no, Father, four in fact is enough, and if you disagree you’re free to father some kids of your own. For “four,” feel free to substitute lesser nonnegative integers to taste. In this context, NFP looks like a pitiful last stand by the breeder traditionalists, and of course it isn’t working, given that it’s totally about openness to life except for the big part about how to not get knocked up while also not resorting to anything like condoms or nonvaginal sex because those things don’t carry a risk of unintended pregnancy. And of course the Mormons and the Amish haven’t cratered their own birthrates: their natalists encourage fertility instead of counseling couples to delay pregnancy while simultaneously fetishizing the rawdog to the point of disrupting their sex lives. That is, they’re straightforward, not duplicitous. (The Lubavitchers have some repressive sexual strictures, and all kinds of other strictures, mostly from that old-time Leviticus. As I said, they embarrass other Jews.)
If these groups sound like a saving demographic grace, keep in mind that they’re tiny subcultures. This is good news for those who hate religious conservatives with high birthrates, not such good news for those who appreciate a viable, well-raised, well-adjusted youth population. If you’re a resentful asshole with leftist politics, raise a joyful voice in the garden, for these enemies are less numerous than they are fecund.
I have some hope that the Mormons and the Dutch in particular can pull our collective chestnuts out of the fire. They raise their children well and have good relations with the gentiles and the English, which are what they call us, even those of us who have German surnames and Jewish blood. I’m less optimistic about the Ultraorthodox Jews because, frankly, some of them are way too inbred and consequently have way too many drooling idiots on public assistance. The stories are obscene. The Ultraorthodox, Latin American immigrants, and a number of Muslim populations seem to present assimilation problems that the Mormons and the Dutch Brethren don’t, although not necessarily serious ones. The epic clash-of-civilizations rhetoric that one finds in #TCOT circles is overwrought, and Muslim political violence would fall dramatically if Western governments stopped systematically bombing the shit out of poor Muslim countries.
No sane modern country wants the birthrate of the Gaza Strip. Israel and Palestine both have unusually high birthrates because they’re at war and their citizens are trying to outbreed each other. It’s madness, and specifically a sort of madness that would lift like so much morning fog under a stable peace. Cut flower producers in Gaza can’t compete against Ethiopian growers in the European market because the Israeli customs inspectors who admit their shipments for transit to Ben-Gurion Airport are total dickwads who happily let perishables rot in inspection queues. If that kind of cruel nonsense is the cost of a fertile society, we might be better off romancing virtual girlfriends in the tradition of Japanese losers, and we’d definitely be better off having public sex with the flowers of England at Magaluf.
At the same time, there’s a happy demographic medium between Japan and Gaza, one that my bougie acquaintances are not on track to reach. If I’ve counted their children accurately, these people are coming into their thirties with a lifetime birthrate of about 0.4 children per woman and showing few signs of getting this number up. In demographic terms, this is tiny. It’s the stuff of a thunderous population crash. David Clayton-Thomas didn’t sing about how there will be four-tenths of a child born in this world to carry on, or two tenths. It’s one of these, I think, but I’m blocking on the math, and by the way, I’ve never learned a damn bit of calculus in my life. He didn’t propose sharing that one child born in this world with four other dying boomers, either.
And before the crash? Radio! Nurse! Rosebud! Radio! That’s why we have Filipinas, so that there will in fact be a nurse. It’s a nice thought, anyway. Our nursing homes are already atrocious.
Thus averreth your loyal 32-year-old childless bachelor. Yes, I live in a glass house, and hey, check out this wicked cool rock in my hand. But this means that I won’t give your little brat undue shit for rhythmically smacking me on the thigh, because I know it’s karma and kiddo’s presence means that you’ve done half your part to raise enough people to wipe our asses when we’re ancient of days.
Enjoy the ride.