Making inroads into the drawing of the Breeders.
Yesterday made a lot of progress.
I was reading a desi food blog about how to make paan so drew this. It’s just a bit of time pass.
If I had a company I’d name it ‘Timepass’.
I posted it on janineshroff.co.uk but forgot to on here.
I’ve been working on a new big drawing lately.
So trying to blog less because I can’t do both.
I was going to fill the windows up with thousands of tiny people crammed up to the glass, but now I think I’m going to use collages of photos of landfills.
My pet peeve – Work in progress.
Now here is a sensible blog post about breeding by Duchess.
It actually has citations from proper articles. It even the mentions a girl doing a PhD on the subject of the ethics of breeding. Unlike me, who can never be bothered to track down research and cite shit. I am too lazy to do any more than have an incoherent rant. This entire blog is one huge, incoherent rant.
I must confess I particularly enjoyed the timid disclaimer at the bottom about how the PhD girl who is writing about breeding morality loves children and isn’t having a go at any breeders. That made me snicker a little, the idea that there was a need for that disclaimer.
The article linked within the post from the New Yorker was also a very interesting read.
‘The case against kids: Is procreation immoral?’ Elizabeth Kolbert, 2012. in The New Yorker.
“In “Why Have Children?: The Ethical Debate” (M.I.T. Press), Christine Overall tries to subject that decision to morally rigorous analysis. Overall, who teaches philosophy at Queen’s University, in Ontario, dismisses the notion that childbearing is “natural” and therefore needs no justification.
“There are many urges apparently arising from our biological nature that we nonetheless should choose not to act upon,” she observes. If we’re going to keep having kids, we ought to be able to come up with a reason.”
I had a huge argument with a friend of the ex’s back in Bombay last December. We met him and his now fiancée at this hotel near the airport for dinner (Don’t know why we chose a place near the airport. The airport is in the middle of nowhere, the food was so-so and was massively over priced). We got into a heated debate over our Paan Pasand flavoured Shesha, or perhaps even a sequence of debates.
The first one was about breeding dogs to develop or enhance certain genetic traits. (I’m totally against this. It seems cruel and unnecessary to actively cultivate a squashed pug nose if that nose results in limited or poor ability to breathe.)
Or those genetically bred cows that have so much muscle (It’s for people who want really lean, low-fat meat) that they can’t even have sex without a human manually having to inserting the bull’s penis. Here I’ve even attached an article. See? I’m being so good and almost semi-researched. Maybe I should do a PhD.
This argument then morphed into:
I’d like to say that I presented a good defence of the ‘No’ stance, but some of his arguments (especially no.4 below) were so maddening that after a point I just got enraged and incoherent. Also the ex was on my left, acting like an atrocious little troll, constantly interrupting rudely in trying to change the subject and derail the debate. The ex doesn’t enjoy debates.
So this guy’s response to the question above was “Yes” and these were the core reasons listed below (My arguments underneath)
“All procreation carries some risk.”
Of course it does. What a redundant point. Everything we ever do carries risk. Walking across a street carries risk. But most people also have the capacity to assess the risk and make an informed decision based on that assessment.
If there is a high risk when running across a train track when the signal is red that you will get hit, then most people would avoid running across a train track. I don’t see why this wouldn’t apply to breeding. In fact I should think this should especially apply to breeding in the circumstances mentioned above.
“Doctors don’t know everything and can’t predict the outcome accurately. Even if they tell you the chances of this kid having a horrific incurable condition is high, like a 50/50 chance. Even if its 80%. Even if its 99.9%. They can’t know everything. So I’d have this kid anyway and take that 0.01% chance.”
What an idiot.
Again, sure part of the statement is true to a degree. (Doctors don’t know everything.) However it is also insane.
Firstly doctors don’t claim to know everything. They are presenting you with the chances of a certain outcome that you are free to then take or leave. However their inaccuracy will be a good deal less inaccurate than yours.
Secondly if using the logic above, you refuse to listen to a professional who may have spent a several years studying to give you solutions, why bother going to see a doctor at all? Just visit a Homeopath. Or a yogi. Just as good. In fact better – You’ll won’t have to think about the risks at all – They’ll tell you to pray harder, swallow a special herbal remedy when the Moon is in Vishnu and everything will be just dandy.
But reading between the lines here’s what I think this guy was actually saying,
“I’m willing to take the risk, even if it’s very high because the person who would suffer the most is this child but that’s ok because what I want is a baby and getting what I want is more important to me and besides I can easily rationalise it.”
In fact if he just said that I’d be fine with the whole thing. I’d still think he was a selfish, amoral, butthead but at least he’d be an honest one. This whole ‘I’m bringing a child into the world for its benefit and the benefit of the world’ is such a crock of shit. I want to vomit every time some deluded breeder or to-be breeder says it. (Unlike the Duchess I have no disclaimer)
“Existing but being in incredible pain is better than not existing at all.”
I couldn’t even be bothered to argue this at dinner. It’s too … exhausting. Non existing creatures won’t care that they don’t exist. Plus creating something when you know it will suffer (and not in the existential angsty sort of way, while listening to a Morrissey album, but really suffer.) seems like nothing short of torture to me.
I think this guy had religious leanings. People with religious leanings never seem to mind creating things that will suffer. They have a million ways of justifying it. So that’s always a dead-end. I stopped bothering with it a while ago. Religion I mean. If I’m going to argue about fiction I’d rather it was a debate about The Hobbit and whether Gandalf was a bit gay. (I think he might have been)
“I’d love this child. My love would be better than it having good health.”
Actual statement. I’m not even paraphrasing.
Oh yes yes of course, your love would compensate for all this baby suffers even though you chose to procreate in the face of medical advice, even though you could have adopted. What a saint.
He then presented us with 2 theoretical situations:
One a baby is born to a large but poor family. They neglect the child and probably they won’t be able to give him/her any of the good things in life but this kid would be totally healthy.
Or two, a baby is born to this genetically dodge couple, he has a terrible incurable chronic illness and disability but his parents would really, really love it and give it whatever it wanted.
If you had the power to decide into which family this baby would be born which would you choose?
Even the ex who normally NEVER agrees with me picked the first option. Who the fuck wouldn’t?? I’d imagine that most parents just want their kids to be born healthy.
This particular argument really blew my mind. The sheer deluded arrogance of it. The amazing selfishness. My love will conquer all. Even genetic illness. Even suffering. I mean seriously. Who does this guy think he is? Mother Teresa?
Even now, months after this dinner my mind reels.
“Benatar’s case rests on a critical but, in his view, unappreciated asymmetry. Consider two couples, the A’s and the B’s. The A’s are young, healthy, and rich. If they had children, they could give them the best of everything—schools, clothes, electronic gaming devices. Even so, we would not say that the A’s have a moral obligation to reproduce.
The B’s are just as young and rich. But both have a genetic disease, and, were they to have a child together, that child would suffer terribly. We would say, using Benatar’s logic, that the B’s have an ethical obligation not to procreate.
The case of the A’s and the B’s shows that we regard pleasure and pain differently. Pleasure missed out on by the nonexistent doesn’t count as a harm. Yet suffering avoided counts as a good, even when the recipient is a nonexistent one.”
I’m totally on board with this Bentar guy. In fact I wish he was with me at this dinner. Just him, his huge thesis (not a euphemism) and his beautiful logic.
The ex was very annoyed about this entire debate and refused to take part, except by trying to stop it by occasionally yelling at me. (Being the incredibly rude person the ex is).
For once though I was perfectly happy to comply and wrap the thing up. (It wasn’t going anywhere this debate, although I did get quite annoyed when the ex was being particularly trollish. We were both sitting there hissing at each other now and then.) but the ex’s friend really wanted to carry on. He just wouldn’t drop it. The ex lectured me all the way home. I didn’t pay any attention.
In other news, I just got back from holiday in the Caribbean. I feel terribly smug.
I’m brown as a nut and looking more like an Indian than I’ve looked in ages.
So I’m asking Punjab to send over a crate of Fair & Lovely. It seems to be all the rage these days.
If you are a long time breeder, or even recent breeder, please look away now. I would also like to remind you that I shall never be breeding nor will I ever be responsible for a child. You have been warned.
At long last, I’m in Bombay.
Remind me never to fly Kingfisher again. Frankly if it wasn’t for their generous baggage allowance (40kg) I would never fly Kingfisher. (The entire collection of vintage Agatha Christie’s I bought in a job lot were transported home with ease.)
The start of the flight wasn’t the most auspicious.
It was clear the company had no money. (I’m not sure what’s going on, but basically they might be going bankrupt.) Even in First Class, the seats were scuffed and grotty. Everything looked old and tired and worn.
There were no little packs of toothbrush/ paste/ socks/ eye mask. Not even any peanuts! (Yes. An outrage). This is budget long-haul travel, and the price of the ticket was certainly not budget (£850 return).
To make matters worse, significantly worse, there was a child on board. A crying child. In fact there were two crying children on board.
The first was a fairly hum-drum crying child. Nothing special. It whimpered and gave out short, sharp, high-pitched sonic shrieks in bursts at random intervals. Like morse code. This was tolerable. I pitied its hapless parents and put on my iPod. If I can’t hear it, a crying baby rarely troubles me except for the rare, odd pang of pity for its creators.
However, (to my horror and irritation) the loudest volume setting did very little to drown out the sound of this second child.
It made the shrillest, vilest, most piercing noise at the top of its lungs. The noise was continuous and unabating. It had unusual stamina and lungs that never seemed to be the least likely to tire.
That’s when I realised I was dealing with no ordinary child. This was a devil child.
(I really don’t know why breeders travel with noisy offspring. I’m sorry (not really) but why should their non-use of contraception be inflicted on other weary travelers? Or at least, why can’t they get placed in a separate section that’s sound proofed? Like a small insulated pod somewhere near the loo?)
As you know, I have no maternal instincts, but I actually surprised myself by how much violence and rage this devil child inspired in me.
For about 10 minutes of this shocking shrieking I indulged in mere flights of fantasy:
As time wore on and it’s noise only grew more insistent, these fantasies turned into vague delusions of what a plastic bag would look like over its head. (I know that’s wrong. I just want to point that out. Besides, the clear ziplock I picked up at security had a big hole in it. It wouldn’t have worked.)
After 30 minutes, I was gritting my teeth, rolling my eyes and directing muttered curses at its mother who was really the source of the problem. She brought the abomination on the plane and then didn’t even have the decency to drug it. (Seriously, some brandy, a little opium, laudanum, anything, by god!)
I began to sympathize deeply with those babysitters and exhausted parents who shake their babies violently. It seems like a perfectly understandable thing to do.
To my utter relief as soon as we took off, the devil baby was silenced. (I don’t know how, nor do I care.) And it remained silenced for nearly 9 hours! It was a Christmas Miracle!
Someone did a giant poo in one of the loos and vomited in the sink. Neither worked.
I think it might have been the devil baby.
I wonder what the return flight will be like.
I dropped A2′s (that’s one of my bosses) new iPad 2 on the ground while testing an app on it, and cracked the screen in a corner.
A1 (the older brother, and big boss) was shockingly gleeful about it. (Apparently A2 is as clumsy as me, and has been so since he was young).
I was horrified and terrified at the same time. Large numbers of what this could cost floated in front of my eyes.
I started to furiously twirl my hair in anxiety.
They were both nice about it and didn’t shout, (A2 swore under his breath and vented his rage at his phone company instead, since they didn’t provide him with insurance) so I feel dreadful, and guilt ridden.
Praise be to the internet. It saved my conscience from gnawing at itself.
I managed to find a place that will replace the screen and back case for a pretty reasonable amount (less than the cost of a new iPad 2, and less than the time I burnt the kitchen exhaust and had to fork out £350 to replace it so I am actually relieved.)
If A2 can’t get his phone company to fork up I’ll send it off. They cab fix it in under 48 hours and post it back.
Yay. (Imagine that ‘yay’ said in the doleful accents of one attending a funeral)
I’d better not buy myself anything for a little while. I was contemplating getting an iPhone but knowing my wretched talent for dropping things, thats just another route to Brokenville via Doh! town
The week before I accidentally forwarded an email to a big client with some details my boss didn’t want a client to have. (Which they now have thanks to me. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.)
The week before that I got chewed out by the client for a site going on live without search engines being blocked. (FUCK!!)
Then the client belatedly realised that the content on the servers was accessible if you knew the exact link (Stress on the word ‘exact’), and flipped out because
“Hackers could potentially steal it and post all the content online!!”
(It’s been on there for a year and no one stole anything, so slight over-reaction but whatever, it was my mistake.)
So it’s been a fairly error ridden 3 weeks. I wonder if I’ll get fired.
I’ve been pretty good until now, but these seem like enormous, weighty crimes. (Even though A1 is not remotely concerned with the iPad droppage)
And then there was this other big mistake when I was in the office, and I was thinking about something on a project and I just turned my computer off, left the office and went home. I didn’t turn the lights off, and I left the door wide open.
I guess I forgot I was the only one in the office.
I have these absent minded turns now and then. (It was one of those that got my kitchen burned. Dangerous they are.)
The security guard scolded me the next morning. He had to come in and turn the lights off and shut the door (couldn’t lock it)
He’s my friend now. We had a nice chat at lunch. He’ll be visiting Delhi over Christmas. He visits Bombay often he tells me. He likes Juhu.
This photo below cheers me up.
The Munt sent it to me.
Overnight almost, it feels like my entire Facebook home page has erupted in a spate of breeding.
It’s probably only going to get worse in time.
The horror, oh the horror.
Sure, I’ve mellowed enough that I’m not half as belligerent as I used to be. Which is largely for the benefit of the people around me and not from any personal mellowing.
Would you believe me when I say I’m even able to competently congratulate some one on their latest baby?
Probably not, if you click on that link above.
When I re-read that post I’ve linked to above, I think it could have been written better and I could have expanded on a few of the more relevant points more clearly. It could also have been better structured and perhaps expressed more rationally, but that would hardly have been entertaining or been a proper rant, with all the fury and crazed typing that a rant requires.
Deep down, breeders still enrage me. I cannot, just cannot, get my head around the need to have more than one child. I just can’t.
Rationally I understand the female hormones – the biological clock and all that jazz, plus the inbuilt genetic trait that makes an animal want to back up its DNA multiple times in case of death. (siblings = back-ups) But equally rationally the death rate is so low and the population so high, resources are dwindling….anyway whatever. Sigh.
Regardless, the sight of a pregnant woman still just makes me feel slightly bilious inside.
The other day I saw one walking down the street (I know how insultingly that sentence reads, but this is not a politically correct blog. Tough.) her belly button turned inside-out, poking through her top, which was stretched tightly over her distended belly.
I had to turn my head and look away. It made me feel faintly ill. Outie belly buttons on distended bellies just fill me with revulsion.
So, my Facebook is breeding. Pictures of people with their offspring all over the place, like some horrible Auntie-Uncle social network.
I am suddenly aware that I will shortly be turning 30. All the females of my acquaintance will soon be lining up, legs spread akimbo on that great breeding conveyor belt, smugly popping ‘em out one by one. Content in the belief that they are performing some amazing service for the world at large.
Riddhi will probably be next I imagine…
DONT DO IT RIDDHI!
YOU’LL BE SHACKLED FOR 18 YEARS!
18 YEARS RIDDHI!!!
I look forward to closer friendships with my male friends.
Or making more child free gay friends.
All the good conversations at work happen between 6:30 and 7 at work.
A#1 said he thought that the Frenchie saying “What can you do with a vagina?” was really sweet.
I replied it was actually very infuriating, that ‘breeders’ attitude…
“Yes of course, it’s against your anti-breeding, anti-baby philosophy!”
I say I’m not anti-baby, nor completely anti-breeder. But it’s this ‘breeders attitude’ that annoys me - That a womans only purpose is to shoot our some grub. If not (especially not by choice, something totally ‘outrageous’) her ‘vagina’ is useless. That life has nothing more important. Also the sense of entitlement annoys me (case in point – a belief held by many that the majority must support their far too many, and quite frankly burden-some children) What a crock of s…
Anyway A#2 said I should go into politics, but I probably shouldn’t use the word ‘breeder’ so much.
“No of course not, I’ll coat it in political sugar.”
God, I wish I was running the world.
I WOULD RULE WITH AN IRON FIST!
I also suggested breeder permits to A#2.
“What would be the criteria?” he asked.
I said I’d have to think about it, but most probably the same criteria adoption agency’s judge prospective couples.
Money, stability, health, age, smoking non-smoking, house size race, etc.
Met up with Leo & his Mundus crowd in Angel. It was very multi-cultural. Maltese, Chinese, Spanish, Indian, English, Slovenian.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels there are not enough hours in the day to get anything done. Emma was complaining too. And I’m glad. Leo’s theory is that he can’t bear the idea of just going to work and then going home – so he goes out every week day.
I feel the exact opposite. I can’t bear being out all day and then just coming home and rolling into the sack. I like a steady evening routine. Downtime etc etc as discussed earlier.
Emma & Leo first came over pre-pub. I introduced Emma to the joy of Sour Cherries at the corner shop. I foolishly decided to road-test liquid sweets (totally revolting). One was shaped like a water pistol. That goes right into the bin. It’s virtually inedible
Leo complains, in the gayest possible way (his elbow outstretched, wrist up, fingers on his chest), that I insult his dignity when I insult his rolling.
Leo later complains that I injure his pride when I ask him if he’s stolen my lighter. You can’t blame a guy just because he’s done it once or twice or ten times in the past. Forget the past, the present is all that matters.
We finally went to the Camden head where the rest of Mundus turned up in drips and drabs.
We’re joined by a very drunk Welsh poet (total stranger, but very friendly and very Welsh), who was so happy we knew of Abergavenny (his home town) that he refused to leave, recited us a poem and rolled a joint. (we all stood there a little stunned during the poem recital, after all it’s not common to have poems recited to you outside pubs. When he finished we all clapped.)
I left after the poem. I had run out of ginger beer.
MD told me in the car on the way home today that it is strange when a person says they categorically never want children. It goes against the genetic drive to procreate blah blah, like whateveas. (I said I couldn’t honestly imagine having children, even in an alternate reality).
I have a theory (totally un-researched), that breeding requires a certain amount of vanity and self-delusion, to really feel that your crappy-ass genes are worth reproducing.
Self absorbed though I am, I just don’t have that level of self-love.
Also seriously, there are too many people. Look at this a 10 day traffic jam in Beijing! 10 days! We need to stop having so many babies. Really, like, now.
I am convinced the apocalypse is nigh.
Fire tornadoes in brazil, that insane traffic jam, a 400 year old Volcano springing to life in Indonesia, floods in pakistan, (and match fixing of course, far more serious I’m sure.) earthquakes in Haiti, then New Zealand? And last but not least, a woman who threw a cat in a wheelie bin! (serious outrage caused with the last one).
I’m telling you. The end of the world is here. Repent sinners. We’re doomed.
I was at the pub, with someone from work, discussing the never-ending topic that is babies.
My consistent lack of desire to breed, is constantly questioned incredulously.
Because, how can that be true? Why bother being alive? Surely all a woman is meant for is to squeeze out some brat and then die.
So she says, (she’s french)
“For me, that ees ze meaning of life, to ‘ave a baby. What else can ‘ou do with a vagina?”
I reply, grinning ear to ear
“I can think of a lot of things you can do with a vagina…”
( Of course she’s pregnant now. Figures)
I was just thinking about kids the other day.
No no, not for me. *hurl*
And no, not even about people fucking breeding them in enormous litters and then complaining about the fate of the world, tsk tsk terrible this global warming isn’t it?
No, I was just thinking about how Riddhi’s old house had a whole bunch of baby pictures of her and her brother plastered everywhere.
Most of her brother’s were of a happy-go-lucky, cheery child.
Nearly every single one of hers were in various stages of a tantrum. Her parents had even enlarged a really large portrait of her sulking thunderously and placed it in her bedroom.
Riddhi definitely, in her 24 years has mastered all the tantrum-throwing-melodrama-diva skills of a professional.
Clearly nothing has changed.
Sure there was that brief period in school where she was always smiling and laughing but aside for that small rebellion, she’s now happily reverted back into her natural inner self. The incredible sulk.
Even the ex’s first childhood memory, when I inquired, is of a massive strop. (It figures)
I’m definitely on to something here. I’m sure of it. In fact I think it must be investigated further.
My very first memory is of walking into my mother’s bedroom as she was breast-feeding my newborn brother, belligerently and loudly demanding to know what she was doing. I must have been about 2.
This seems to (in part) explain my revulsion/fascination with pregnancy. I’m also unfortunately still loud, obnoxious and belligerent.
Leo on analysis is very curious. I’m not exactly sure what his first childhood memory is but his long running streak of rejecting women is very curious indeed.
When Leo and I were in the third standard, I decided being as magnanimous as I am, to invite him to my 8th birthday party.
It was a pool party and by third standard terms, was a posh affair.
Ok so we didn’t actually have a pool. It was one of those blow-up paddling pools on our lawn and a rubber hose. (standards weren’t that high in the third standard, what can I say?)
Leo was the only boy invited (a great honour if I do say so myself) among the many little girls (not counting my brother).
On a side note:
Do you remember when everyone always wanted to stand next to the birthday girl or boy?
As if having a birthday party automatically made you a celebrity for just one day and the closer you stood to the birthday person the higher the chances of some of the ‘birthday magic’ would rub off. You’d get loads of presents and freebies, your long-suffering mother was forced to make and decorate a cake with a theme and even your guests got gifts when they left.
Damn I miss those birthdays. They just aren’t as good any more.
One year I’m going to have a kid’s party for adults. Everyone will have to dress as if they’re 8, bring gifts, play Housie (or as the English know it, Bingo), catch & cook, land-land-sea-sea, alligator-alligator and leave with a slice of cake in the a goodie bag. There’ll be loads of booze and….other stuff of course. We’re not really pretending to be 8. Besides if anything, for most people, getting pissed is the shortest route to acting genuinely juvenile.
Anyway, before I got distracted:
As the birthday girl I recall spending a large portion of my birthday trying to pull both Leo’s and my brothers swimming trucks down. My brother being younger, more naive and far more trusting of women than Leo, had his shorts yanked numerous times to a chorus of gleefully shrieking girls (or just me) sing-songing…
“Ha HA! Loo-ook whaa-aat I di-id nyeh neyah I can seeee youur bu-uum! Ha ha-ha hah hah!”
Leo with evasive coyness managed to escape my brother’s fate.
Even at the end of the day, when my brother and Leo were taking a shower in one loo (*snerk*) while the girls showered in another, Leo refused my brothers innocent request to take off his trunks.
Which was lucky for him because all the girls then burst in to point and shriek yet again. My brother once again was caught pants down but oh no not Leo.
Fast forward about 16 years and Leo still seems reluctant to drop his trousers. Girls all over Mumbai, Delhi, Denmark, Tehran, Dublin, Sydney and London are internationally struggling to get the tease to detach his shorts, which by now must have grafted themselves to his rear.
I’m unsure if Leo was always naturally reluctant to have girls remove his shorts. Perhaps he had an inborn distrust of women.
Perhaps we actually scared Leo so much that even to this day he bears a morbid dread of a group of girls bursting in to point and giggle.
Perhaps in fact Leo is just a boy more comfortable bathing with other boys but firmly insisting he keeps his pants on. Perhaps people just never change.
I like to imagine that girls all over Khar (and possibly even as far away as Juhu hah!) are having little locker room chats (in the Khar gymkhana of course) bemoaning how Leo plays so hard to get-
“Dude that Leo just doesn’t put out man, it’s like so not on. What a fucking tease!”
“Yah yaar, he only lets me get to 1st base. I can’t wait this long man.”
I like to imagine how it might have now evolved into a competitive sport to see who can get Leo’s boxers off quickest, much like when he was 8.
No, people definitely don’t change.
I shall (no doubt) report back perhaps on any future investigations.