Film/TV May 6, 2010 at 4:00 am

Lindy West Cannot Lie: She Would Be the White Baby

The source of all the good and all the evil in the world. Look on babies and despair!

Comments

1
Your second last paragraph is outstanding.
2
You are a goddess and this is hilarious!
3
@ 1. Seconded.
4
Thanks Lindy, you are coming into your own as a writer... If you don't already, you should be doing stand-up.
5
I'm sorry - but, not all females think that babies are CUTE. I skirt around the damn things as if they carried plague. Hell, they probably do. Babies are ICKY, not CUTE.
6
May be your best one yet. Or maybe because I like babies.
7
Know what's weird about babies? They always have sticky hands. Always.
8
@5, babies are indeed icky but I'm feeling generous in the babies-are-cute department today after riding the #2 bus overflowing with obnoxious teenagers. Because by comparison, babies are awesome. (Just not awesome enough to have kept me from getting my tubes tied.)
10
Hooray on the penultimate paragraph (so much hooray, you get alliteration)! God, I need to communicate this concept to too many of the people in my life who delude themselves that being irresponsible somehow equates to liberation from the oppressive mores of our society.

On topic: babies are a conundrum. Many look like wee Winston Churchills; some are super cute; all are messy. I suppose at some point I will be involved in raising (and hopefully making) one.

:)
11
Good stuff Lindy. The middle class white lady stuff cracked me up and reminded me of a story the wife told me. A women at yoga told her that she was going to see the Dali Lama (she was a practicing Buddhist), and then described why she was going to call ICE on the "fucking Mexicans" building a house next door to her property. Seems they started too early and interrupted her sleep.

Shit like that makes me adore Seattle.
12
@5: I think they're icky AND cute. Some are more icky than cute, and others much cuter than icky ... all at different times of the day.

It's like how I find sex hot yet hilarious and gross at the same time. Embrace it all!
13
lame... *yawn*
14
I was pretty much responding to this line...

"I'm pretty sure it's biologically impossible not to find babies cute—"

If it's biologically impossible, then I'm a super-freak of nature. I'm a woman, and I practice the baby-making as often as I can, but I make damn sure that the expected result never ever ever happens. Although to @8 - I totally and completely see your point!
15
You know how you can repeat a word over and over again until it loses all sense of meaning and becomes like a mantra?

Great column, but after reading it and the opinions, it's happened with the word "babies."
16
@7

The little-known corollary of that fact is that babies can climb up walls like Spiderman. They mostly don't. But they can.
17
I think my baby is cool...other people's kids?..meh..
18
I like babies. I just, never, ever, ever want to give birth to one of them.

If I go and watch the movie, will I spend the first 15 minutes anxiously crossing my legs as they show the birth scene?

...If so, I'll wait 'til it comes out on DVD and I can skip that part. Sort of like adoption.
19
Great review.

I am another woman who doesn't automatically think babies are adorable, who isn't drawn to them. I don't hate them. I just don't want to have one. Their massive vulnerability scares me and their stickiness is off-putting.
20
@9: Annnnnnnnnnd, don't tell me, let me guess:
You've also got SIX gas guzzling CARS in your driveway, but only TWO of 'em RUN.......?
21
@18 & 19:

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!
WHEW---what a breath of fresh, unsticky air! I thought I was the only woman on Earth who felt this way!

I don't hate babies----I just don't feel any burning desire to give birth to any, either.
What is with all the pro-baby glorification?
Women aren't automatically baby machines.
22
Um...anybody see Children of Men?
23
If men could get pregnant there'd be an abortion clinic on every street corner.
24
They DO get pregnant---it's called a beergut.
25
I find that my child is increasingly endearing as she grows into more of a relateable person. I was hooked when she was a baby, but the baby-ness wasn't why.
26
Dexter, the TV series, had the best line on the subject ever:

"Motherfucking rolly-poly, chubby cheeked shit machines."
27
If only we could download into android bodies that are never sticky, or germy, or wet. We could be dry and sterile and never poop or drool or have gross ugly babies with bodily functions. Humanity is fucking disgusting.

That or I've watched too many soap commercials, and internalized the marketing for bleach and other chemicals.
28
good news for your friend, she is welcome to raise her baby in a pile of dirt if that makes her happy.

also, this is probably the worst idea for a movie ever.
29
"Charles Darwin engineered it that way so we don't eat our own young (right?)"

True - but be warned, babies have no such genetic inhibitor when it comes to *you*.
30
does a goat really step on a baby in this movie? that's the only reason I'd see this thing.
31
No, babies are not cute. A few are, but mostly they are icky and annoying.
32
No, babies are not cute. A few are, but mostly they are icky and annoying.
33
Not cute - loud, smelly, snotty, and annoying.
34
You sound like a baby throwing a fit. Put a nipple in your mouth and shut up! You obviously feel bad about being white and american. You voted for obama - didn't that make you feel better
35
Note to all: you were once a baby. Yes, you.

And your mother was once pregnant with you and someone kindly gave her a seat on the bus.

Babies are what they are which are little growing human being. Hate their parents but cut them some slack.
36
Are you kidding? Um... no pun intended, seriously. I think babies are creepy. I am a woman, too, and I would be seen screaming and fleeing in terror before squealing gleefully over an infant. To me, this is the scariest movie ever made, and I cannot see myself withstanding its horrors any time in the near future.
37
I don't hate babies. But I don't want anything to do with them, either. I don't find them particularly cute. They have the same repulsive features as adult humans WRT smells, stickiness, noise, etc., and fewer filters.

I don't want to be around a lot of adult humans either. But babies really do nothing for me at all. I don't want to hold them, I don't want to coo over them, and I certainly don't want to pay money to watch them do baby things on a screen. More power to those of you who like 'em, but no, we're not all invariably biologically programmed to find them adorable.
38
I do love babies, children, and am charmed by teenagers. My own kids are like the next best thing to oxygen. I'm a besotted fool for them.

I admire people who honestly feel that kids are not for them. I find that they make my life a better place by reminding me to keep looking beyond my own world.

Anyway, thanks for the laugh. Your last paragraph was wonderful, Lindy.
39
I guess I don't actually understand where the "white guilt" lies. From the author's freind's response, as well as the acknowldgment that the baby on the dirt pile was the most amazing baby, it sounds like "white envy" would be more apt.
40
The Darwin line is sublime. Go, Lindy.
41
That biological imperative can be like throwing up. Impossible to ignore.

I didn't think much of babies until I had to watch one for an afternoon. Then click, the machine lit up. Freaking biological response as scary strong as sex.

a few babies later and my machine clicked off, thank you god. Though I still think they're cute, the uncomfortable acquisitive need is gone.

Sounds like the ultimate date movie. Baby porn! Some woman teetering on the edge of need will see the babies, the instinct will kick in and she'll seize the first nearby male (the guy in the seat next to her) to provide the necessary donation.
42
i'm one of the mutants. i'm 34 years old. don't like babies, never have. don't want kids, never have. i have learned to coo for my friends' sakes and be excited for them when they're pregnant, but it is mostly pretend. i have also had to live for most of my life arguing my point of view. being told for years that "it's different when they're yours" and "just wait, you'll change your mind" gets really old. i don't really think babies are cute and don't want the life that goes along with having kids - things like taking an hour to get ready to leave the house to go to the grocery store or driving carpool in a minivan. i'm happy for my friends that have kids when they want to and inspired by friends that have never had kids. it helps me feel less like a mutant.
43
It's odd how babies divide people. At one point I was in camp A, then as I got older and had done a big pile of all the selfish things I felt I needed to do with my life, I slipped into camp B.

Now, I'm firmly in camp B (no turning back past a certain point :p), and old friends still firmly entrenched in Baby-hatin' come off like teenagers. If you stop growing, at some point you turn into a caricature.

One odd benefit: Mormons don't feel like aliens any longer. We have a conduit, a point of connection. I can sorta understand them if I squint a bit. Tho I still don't like mowing the lawn.
44
Those cute puppies turn into dogs.

Sh*t my kids ruined, the best form of birth control:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/12…
45
My problem isn't with people who choose to have children, and it is certainly not with the children. My problem is with attitudes that regard those of us who are child-free by choice as "selfish" "teenagers" who have "stopped growing."

Puh-lease. I'm 50 years old. I've never wanted children. I never will. I would make a horrible parent. Please, accept our choices as valid too; most of the reason the child-free get defensive, even ugly, about children is because those who choose to have them are so uncomprehending and so casually insulting about it.
46
Agreed: people who are child-free and honest about not wanting kids are perhaps the most unselfish out there. People who have kids like to think about it as being selfless on behalf of their kids, but really it's a different and greater form of selfishness: one in which you can pretend you're a martyr while simultaneously allowing yourself to cut more corners and taking advantage of others (and others' kids) on 'behalf' of your offspring. Yes, children need to be protected, but be honest and admit that many parents twist 'parental instinct' to fulfill their own selfish and stupid wishes. To be fair, it's also because many parents need to convince themselves that they're martyrs because that's the only way they can justify why they're putting up with all of the bad aspects of parenthood. Or because the lack of sleep and depression make you a little loony sometimes. But try to pull your face out of your kids' asses every now and then and make sure you are being rational about how you're 'providing' for 'them.'

Oh, and I think that we can all agree that "parents" who have children just to fit in with society, to live through their kids, or because they just don't give a shit and didn't feel like taking a trip to the abortion clinic are the most selfish ever. At least the childless aren't bringing kids into the world only to make them miserable and at least the other parents are making an honest (if sometimes smarmy and misguided) effort to raise functioning people.
47
@45: My apologies. Sheesh, I wasn't saying that everyone should go make babies. I'm very glad to have grown up in an era when we could choose if and when.

In my social sphere there is a small but loud group that seem hellbent on preserving their early 20s, and act as if the existence of children is the most annoying thing on god's clean earth. Just like we all did. It sounds like you have some equally annoying friends :)
48
@47 children are not annoying, their eejit parents are. Yes, it is your offspring and yes, they must be raised into adults, but I do not need to witness your child's tantrum at the restaurant where I am eating dinner because mom and/or dad's recent parenting reading dictates that stopping the annoying and rude crying stifles the child's ability to identify his/her emotions, or whatever the latest parenting babble is on the piss poor behavior of the child.

Let's refresh ourselves: obligation is not a dirty word; shame and guilt are what differentiate most of us from sociopaths; and no one but you wants to listen to your child scream in public. Sure, come out into public with everyone else, but the minute Jr let's rip the first wail, get your lazy arse out of your chair and take Jr out of the public venue.

Their are social norms for a reason and if you feel that those norms stifle your child's freedom - move to a place with no other human and let your child run wild and be the next feral child. Otherwise, shut up about the rest of us appreciating your offspring and learn to parent which actually involves the word no and the concept of discipline. It also includes the parents practicing such things as not lying, not breaking the laws including such stupid ones as jay walking and speeding, and developing ethics that go beyond doing what is most expedient at that moment.

On the other hand, I am sure that you are not that type of parent. Unfortunately, there are so many out there who are that those of us who do not have children have been scarred by those others and can only judge you by our past experiences with those parents.
49
I don't hate babies (or children, or teens). In fact, there are many that I've loved. I just don't want to raise them any more than I want to take on welding or law enforcement or teaching as a job. Because raising children has always seemed to me to be a pretty important job and perhaps one of the only ones we think just anyone is capable of doing. I'm neither capable nor interested. And for that I've been called selfish and/or childish more than a few times -- by both men and women.

I didn't want to become a chemist either. No one called me selfish for that.
50
@48: Ha! It may make you feel better to know that for every irritating feral family in public, there are a quieter majority of other families present, whom you probably didn't notice. We really do our best to not impose our spawn on you, and quietly seethe along with you. In addition, we take mental notes on what not to do :)
51
Shit, people, chill the hell out. It's a funny movie review. Jesus.
52
I never ever wanted kids and people thought I was weird. Then I got Cancer and now I can't have kids... now people feel bad for me instead of thinking I'm a freak! Cancer WIN!

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