Wednesday, May 24, 2006

ANOTHER SAD SACK IN THE CULTURE WAR. Ol' Perfesser Reynolds writes about how society done made child-rearin' too tuff. The article clearly takes the POV that we whi -- uh, I mean Americans should get populatin' post haste. But while Dr. and Dr. Mrs. "Maw" Reynolds bravely do their part by raising a single young'un, despite the demands of tenure and podcasts, they insist that not enough clucks are having bushels o' brats "because parenting isn't prestigious in our society," as demonstrated by... the prevalence of SUVs:
People in the suburbs buy SUVs instead of minivans not because they need the four-wheel-drive capabilities, but because the SUVs lack the minivan's close association with low-prestige activities like parenting, and instead provide the aura of high-prestige activities like whitewater kayaking. Why should kayaking be more prestigious than parenting? Because parenting isn't prestigious in our society. If it were, childless people would drive minivans just to partake of the aura.
Alas, childrearing -- undone by an unfortunate aura! Like just about every scoundrel these days, the Perfesser says we must look to "culture" for solutions, then runs out the door before anyone can ask what the hell that means.

It amazes me that a person can attain adulthood in this century and civilization and continue to think that a "culture" more in keeping with his fantasies can be ordered up like National Guard troops or government cheese. Yet the Perfesser is obviously not alone in this. For further evidence -- well, just read my archives.

(The Perf's commenters are even funnier. For example, one W.B. Allen complains that when he and his wife had a third child, his fellow academics [!] treated him with "barely revealed contempt." W.B. takes heart that "the future Republicans and Libertarians out number the future liberal Democrats by a healthy margin." The populationist doom-cry can't be so urgent, I guess, if one can rejoice that in its death-throes American society will be, at least toward the end, liberal-free.)

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