Time magazine slams hipster-memoir parents
Neal Pollock was here in town last week, pimping his idiotic book Alternadad ("Look! My baby wears a Joy Division onesie! And it SWEARS! We're so much cooler than our parents were!"), and I was waiting for someone in the mainstream media to point out that the emperor has no clothes. Or, rather, he does: but they're coated with spit-up and olive-green diarrhea.
Too Cool for Preschool
t is said that children should be seen, not heard, but that expression is sometimes better applied to parents. Until recently the most egregious parental oversharing was usually your sister-in-law's Christmas letter or the guy with the endless stream of baby photos. But there's a new species of chatty dad and mom: the hipster parent-memoirist....
In cyberspace and on newsstands, writers are out to prove that parenting, or at least parents, can be cool. The online magazine Babble.com spun off from literary sex journal Nerve com publishes articles by and for parents who can't quite believe they ended up doing something as square as raising a kid. (In his Babble blog Baby Daddy, Steve Almond endearingly refers to his 3-month-old as "the little f___er.") In a typical hipster-parent offering, an edgy novelist, musician or feminist sex writer has a baby--Me! Who'd'a thunk it!--and wrestles to reconcile his or her sensibility with the numbing demands of the cradle.
For blogger Rebecca Woolf, that moment came when her baby barfed on the Moby section at an indie record store. Mom's response: "I call that punk rock!"...
He has the sense not to answer the question. There's an unsettling parenting-as-performance aspect to this genre, an effort to elbow one's way into the baby photos. Look, sweetie! Here's me putting you into your Sex Pistols onesie! Here's me making your first mix CD! Once, it was understood that raising kids was about subordinating yourself, recognizing that, as least as far as Darwin and the gene pool were concerned, you were no longer the star. This is not to say the hipster writers are bad parents--or writers; their work can be wise and moving. But the generation that as children was told by TV that "the most important person in the whole wide world is you" is finding it hard to pass that torch.
Moms and dads can be unique, creative individuals after they have kids. It's being a unique, creative individual through your kids that's disturbing. Pierce whatever body part you want, having a kid is not alternative: it's been the norm since we stopped reproducing by division.