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Steve Likes to Curse
Writing, comics and random thoughts from really a rather vulgar man
Randumb Thoughts 
Saturday, March 21st, 2009 | 11:27 pm [commentary, film, personal, random]
Steve
It’s Saturday night. Do you know where your children are? Just asking. I apologize; I realize it’s no business of mine. I’m just grasping for something to write about. What ever happened to those gravely serious public service announcements they used to show late at night? The ones about the lethal dangers of drug addiction, or the imminent threat of kidnapping that hung over the head of every child in America? They used to scare the shit out of me when I was a kid.

Other stuff that’s scaring the shit out of me (or at least crossing my mind) presently:

—A few days ago I was listening to the radio when Matthew Steel, radio personality extraordinaire on WARK, read the following from an Associated Press story: “More babies were born in the United States in 2007 than any year in the nation's history, topping the peak during the baby boom 50 years earlier, federal researchers reported Wednesday. There is both good and bad news from the more than 4.3 million births: The U.S. population is more than replacing itself, a healthy trend. However, the teen birth rate was up for the second year in a row.”

Too bad about that teen birth rate, eh? That’s not what concerns me. How is the U.S. population more than replacing itself (i.e. getting bigger) a healthy trend? Do we not have enough people? Because I was under the impression that there were way, way too fucking many of us walking around. I recall seeing the ecologist David Pimentel on C-SPAN a few months ago saying that the idea population of the planet is around two billion. He’s not some crackpot eugenicist who advocates mass sterilization or passing laws against having children. He believes that by being realistic about the problem, and by making it worth it to people to have fewer children rather than more (for instance, inverting the tax code so that it doesn’t pay to bring forth a whole goddamn tribe), the population could be down to around that level in one hundred years. So, you know, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy any of the benefits ourselves, but our great-great grandchildren could live the high life.

The stirring selflessness of this scenario should be enough by itself to ensure it never actually comes to pass.

—Last week we went to Wonder Book and rented Speed, wanting to bask in the awesome, awesome badness of Keanu Reeves at his Keanu-Reeves-iest, and Tropic Thunder, which I instantly fell in love with much to Ashley’s green-eyed chagrin. This week, we rented Vicky Christina Barcelona, which was pretty good (though I found the narrator precious and annoying [though not as precious and annoying as that parenthetical {or pointing out my own annoying preciousness (or — . . . I will stop)}]), and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which was fucking horrible. Hey, Kevin Smith: Time to make a different fucking movie. I dug Clerks, I seriously dug Chasing Amy and Dogma, and I even enjoyed Clerks II, but now it’s time to drop the eighth grade sex gags and the compulsive Star Wars references, stop writing black characters who overreact irrationally to perceived racism, try out some new fucking camera placements, and do something else. Seriously, when a special feature on the bonus disc of Justin Long improv-ing as a gay porn star is funnier than anything in the actual movie, it’s time to change directions.
Comments 
Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 | 06:25 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
I agree there are those who seem to be making a very decent living by doing nothing more than procreating, but aside from programs and tax perks, I fail to see anything else within our society that encourages people to create their own "tribes."

Isn't the average household size something like 2.5? That's half a kid per couple, sort of...Whatever the numbers are on paper, I think it would be an accurate observation that it's pretty rare to see families these days with more than three kids. And there's good reason for that. It's hard as hell to raise a family in our society. Most people work their butts off to pay for the way they want to live, and children are pretty counterproductive in the ratrace, and not only that, kids are a lot of hard work and responsibility. I think most people understand that no amount of tax perks can make the sacrifices and challenges of raising a family somehow payoff. Maybe some wait to do the math after they've had their first kid, but those new little bundles of reality, cute as they may be, have a way of hampering get rich quick skeems. I guess what I'm getting at is that as a whole, you don't see many people with 8 kids anymore because having very large families nowadays is more of a burden than benefit, and that's a good thing, because it's its own population control.

Maybe we don't need to take any extra measures on population growth...maybe it's self- controlling? If births truly exploded in 2007, maybe there's a reason for it beyond our conscious manipulation..or maybe it will correct itself....I don't know. What if we go messing with population purposely slowing it down and some catastrophic plaque hits and we needed those extra people to buffer the extint of damage to the human species????

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 | 09:00 pm (UTC)
Families with large numbers of children may be relatively rare, but the fact remains that the population continues to grow, and I don't find that to be a healthy trend given where we are environmentally and economically.

What I worry about is that things like this are self-controlling; if the population continues to grow unchecked, eventually there will be more people than the planet can sustain, and billions will starve to death or die in conflicts over scarce resources. Wouldn't gradually reducing the population to a more optimum level over several generations be preferable to that?
Sunday, March 29th, 2009 | 08:55 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
Can we really stay one step a head of mother nature? Avoid a plague by keeping the population low? If, by evolution, or designed, a woman's body is perfectly capable of having 10 kids, (not all at one time mind, you) then maybe there is a reason for it. I'm not saying I want 10 kids...and I seriously doubt the sanity of anybody who wants 10 kids...I'm just saying, if it wasn't a necessity for the human race... why would that capability be there?

This whole thing reminds me of a history/discovery channel thing I saw. It was about the neandrethals. The neandrathals had this habit of killing their young. The narrator said that the neandrethals might still be around if it wasn't for their high rates of infanticide.

I'm surprised no one has brought up octo-mom, yet.
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