July 1, 2016

"Jen and I are utterly horrified to announce the arrival of our son, Jasper Heusen-­Gravenstein, born May 21st at 4:56 a.m."

"For nine long months, we’ve wondered who this little creature would be. Well, now we know: he’s the living embodiment of our darkest imaginings, with a nefarious agenda and Grandpa Jim’s nose. At seven pounds four ounces, Jasper may be small, but he’s large enough to have triggered our most primal fears...."

Anti-baby humor in The New Yorker. But babies can't read.

79 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I'm not finding it funny. I guess I'm in a lousy mood this morning.

MayBee said...

This seems to be the latest kind of humor. Calling your baby an asshole, etc.

MayBee said...

It's just a humor piece, and it's supposed to be "honest", but it tries to hard.

rehajm said...

A type of humor best left to the oral tradition.

Paddy O said...

He and Jen should be horrified to announce the arrival of that article.

Big Mike said...

Someday that baby will be able to read, and there will be Hell to pay.

Expat(ish) said...

"Jasper?"

Is that HDB for "punch me in the playground?"

Our family rule was to give a kid a first name that would excite no excitement and be easy to pronounce: John, Margaret, Charles.

Then we gave them cooler middle names that they could choose to use if they liked, but also easy to pronounce and spell.

Why create a problem for a kid.

-XC

Robin Eatmon said...

Poor baby.

Katielee4211 said...

It is funny in a way, but I find it a more appalling. What happened to not embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning or degrading your kids? Not hurting them by calling them names? Isn't this the antithesis of everything parents like these hold dear?

Bay Area Guy said...

All good humor has a grain of truth to it - the grain of truth here is that the Left genuinely has some deep qualms about babies.

Just an old country lawyer said...

Some day he will read that. For his sake I hope he's an orphan by then and will have something to be thankful for.

damikesc said...

Yeah, I don't get this "Well, fuck, we are having a kid" school of comedy. Say that about anybody your kid is DATING and it's "horrible".

Ann Althouse said...

You know, if you decide to insult babies, it's really easy.

Martha said...

I love my kids and firmly believe bringing them into the world and raising them successfully to adulthood is the most meaningful accomplishment of my life.......but that birth announcement captures perfectly the shock and awe that I, an inexperienced and soon thoroughly exhausted parent, experienced upon the arrival of a crying, inconsolable, helpless tiny human being demanding 24/7 rapid response.

It is not all sweet lullabies and sweet cooing.

SeanF said...

Ann Althouse: You know, if you decide to insult babies, it's really easy.

Indeed. One might say it's as easy as taking candy...

bagoh20 said...

Babies are assholes. The don't give a shit about anything but their own needs. They have no concern for how their actions ruin things for everyone else around them. They insist on being the center of attention, and they are continuous whiners who do no work, and who only pretend to care what you are saying to them. That plus being the source of the stink in the room makes them the perfect and complete definition of an asshole, and some of them don't outgrow it.

rhhardin said...

They make babies small to limit the damage they can do.

rhhardin said...

"He hardly seems human."

rhhardin said...

With enough "say for-ing" he eventually becomes human. It's a learned thing.

buwaya puti said...

Its no accident that the birthrate among New Yorker readers, even adjusting for those of fertile age, is negligible.
The whole culture in that milieu seems to be devoted to exterminating itself.

bagoh20 said...

I'm not just insulting babies because it's easy. I have yet to meet one that even bothered to get up and shake my hand. They act like you're not even there, and rudely speak in a foreign language right in front of you with an insulting tone. Pure asshole move.

Tank said...

Tank thought this was funny. Didn't yous guys ever tell a dead baby joke?

Paddy O said...

I think insulting babies is fine. My problem with the article is that it's not funny.

Someone had a good idea for a New Yorker cartoon but then stretched it out too long.

madAsHell said...

They gave the kid a hyphenated last name. He's going to be picking playground wedgies out of his ass for a long time.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

From fairest creatures we desire increase.

Lance said...

More anti-parent I think. "Anti-baby" would mean he's thinking about someone besides himself.

Fernandinande said...

"Jasper" is a dog name. Arf arf!

Laslo Spatula said...

"Jen and I are utterly relieved to announce the abortion of our son, Jasper Heusen- Gravenstein, aborted May 21st at 4:56 a.m."

"For nine long months, we’ve wondered what this little creature would be.

Well, now we know: he’s the deceased embodiment of our darkest imaginings, with a negated agenda and no chance of having Grandpa Jim’s unfortunate nose.

At seven pounds four ounces, Jasper may have been small, but he was large enough to have triggered our most primal fears...."

Dodging the bullet.

I am Laslo.

Bay Area Guy said...

The Heusen-Gravensteins may not be too enthralled with their little boy now, but that will all change once he gets accepted to Bryn-Mawr College in 18 years.

damikesc said...

Isn't this the antithesis of everything parents like these hold dear?

They view kids as punishments, not as rewards.

You know, if you decide to insult babies, it's really easy.

No argument. But if one feels the need to insult an infant, then one has issues far beyond what a jihadist has.

Bill Peschel said...

bagoh20's comment made me laugh, this one didn't.

All I could think of is that The Onion would have made it funnier. They would have made the parents selfish assholes so we would be laughing at them, not at the appearance of an infant that's common to humanity (although if they had made it about Jesus' birth I could see some mileage in that).

In fact, I Googled "The Onion" "birth announcement" and found nothing but "Matt Lauer Waits In Parking Garage For Anonymous Source On Parenting Trends" which made me smile just from the title.

The New Yorker author, Kira Garcia, has a list of "Shouts & Murmurs" bits on her website that reads like a Troy McClure script:

"Hi, I'm Kira Garcia. You might remember me from such humor pieces as 'Other New Kinder Fees,' 'A Skymall Exit Interview,' 'Subway Emotional-Awareness Campaign' and 'Mad Libs: Art House Cinema Edition.' You know, pieces that you could write yourself.

The New Yorker has sure come down in the world, especially now that their vaunted fact-checkers totally missed that Gay Talese's voyeur motel-owner story was completely bogus.

Bill Peschel said...

Laslo, that was disgusting, appalling, and utterly true.

Conservatism is the new counterculture.

(I'm also reminded of that appalling New York Times essay a few years back about the woman who conceived triplets. She chose to abort two of them, because she didn't want to be a mother schlepping to Target for tons of diapers. All I could think is that I hope mom never tells the survivor that he had siblings, or that someone doesn't show him the essay.)

traditionalguy said...

The kid is probably complaining about his last name.

traditionalguy said...

Newborns are compulsive eaters and sleepers. Very self centered breast men. But they show a disinct personality from several months before birth.

My guess is that a robot computer named HAL 9000 wrote this article. They are jealous of human bodies.

chrisnavin.com said...

She's probably racist.

rehajm said...

Gravensteins make for good eating and good pies, but they ripen early, like mid August when you should be enjoying your brambleberries.

They don't keep well, either.

mockturtle said...

Conservatism is the new counterculture.

Yep.

n.n said...

Many, perhaps most, human beings don't earn their place until around 21 years after birth, and nearly 22 years after conception. Some remain lifetime burdens, an inconvenience to their adult parents, and a nuisance to everyone else who doesn't love them. I wonder if other sexually reproductive lifeforms are similarly phobic of their Posterity.

Saint Croix said...

Didn't yous guys ever tell a dead baby joke?

The Daily Show tried to make a funny and failed miserably.

n.n said...

Phobic of their Posterity. Perhaps enough to abort and cannibalize ("Planned Parenthood") them. Or just phobic of other couple's Posterity. Enough to advocate for their abortion and cannibalism.

Smilin' Jack said...

""Jen and I are utterly horrified to announce the arrival of our son, Jasper Heusen-­Gravenstein...At seven pounds four ounces, Jasper may be small, but he’s large enough to have triggered our most primal fears...."

When he gets bigger and finds out you gave him that name, your fears may be realized.

chickelit said...

Jen and I are utterly horrified to announce the arrival of our son, Jasper Heusen-­Gravenstein, born May 21st at 4:56 a.m.

The words would make a horrific epitaph, especially given 50% of the last name.

I forget, what are the rules for hyphenated names? Does the father's or the mother's name go first?

chickelit said...

I forget, what are the rules for hyphenated names? Does the father's or the mother's name go first?

Sorry to microaggress...I assumed that a birth mother and father were involved.

glenn said...

The hyphenation is a dead giveaway. *PYA's.

*Pretentious Yuppte A*****es.

Unknown said...

With a name like that I'm sure he is the spawn of the devil.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Well it was a parasite/just a clump of cells, so I'm not sure why it was brought to term at all, really.

Saint Croix said...

Didn't yous guys ever tell a dead baby joke?

Humor is one of the ways we deal with trauma. Here is Greg Gutfeld's Roe v. Wade joke page. He did that in 2006. It's in bad taste, of course, but it's also irreverent and funny.

9 years later, Gutfeld is pro-life.

It's a voyage many of us have taken. Humor helps get you there.

TreeJoe said...

I found it to be a humorous and well-done iconoclastic writing, but then, I'm still in this zone. I have 2 boys, the first born 4 years ago. While my body craves approx 7.5-8.5 hours of sleep, I haven't actually achieved that except for perhaps 1 time in the last 1460 days or so. Last night I was up 3x for my 20 month old - and yes, we've let him cry it out too - before he woke for good at 4am. And last night was a precious date night for my wife and I, so we were up till 10:30 at night :)

Sleep apnea is considered a major medical condition, and sleep deprivation is a form of "torture". Driving while having slept less than ~5 hours a night is compared to worse than driving at the legal limit for blood alcohol. Yet parenting children who have trouble sleeping is considered a right of passage and just something you handle.

I love my children and celebrate them as well as complain about them sometimes. And for the first 6 months of both of their lives, my wife and I slept approx 3-4 hours total per night and rarely longer than 2-3 hours straight.

Most people don't experience the physical and pyschological changes that occur when you literally are unable to get more sleep than that for such periods of time. During our first child, my wife developed a mental health issue where her body became manic - unable to sleep. A sleeping aid had no effect, a valium had no effect - and she was on a strong downward spiral physically. Something stronger helped her finally sleep 4 hours straight, which after a few nights started her turn around.

Having children is one of the most natural and wonderful things in the world. But the experiences vary wildly, and there's nothing wrong with having some dark humor about how you cope with the stress some situations bring on.

n.n said...

If you don't laugh at some of the choices made, then you will likely cry, and may even lose your mind. Debates over life and abortion should be a gay old time.

EMD said...

They'll look back at this and not laugh.

Earnest Prole said...

To explain satire is to ruin it, but for the tone-deaf, here goes: The piece is not making fun of babies, it’s making fun of the fear and ignorance of an unprepared upper-middle-class couple who thought they knew everything.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

You want know what I think is hilarious?

Okay, I'll tell you what I think is hilarious.

It's hilarious when someone drops food on the floor, and then they invoke the "five second rule," and then they eat it and act like they're being mischievous and getting away with something.

Hilarious.

damikesc said...

In the end, I'll NEVER publicly make fun of my kids or wife. We joke about each other in private, but there are lines I will not cross. It bugs the shit out of me when I see parents making fun of their kids in public, so I don't. It bugs me when spouses make fun of each other in public as well. Publicly, I will never speak mockingly of my family. In private? We crack jokes constantly.

n.n said...

In light of the abortion culture, and State-established Church (e.g. selective-child doctrine), the Pro-choice acolytes are walking on thin ice while laughing in gay apparel about the survivors of abortion rites and Planned Parenthood.

Temujin said...

Its not funny or clever. It's unfunny, not because it offends, but because its just not very clever. It's, frankly, what I've come to assume how most Manhattanites view children, or the idea of giving birth. So...it's just not noteworthy, except that I'm using up a minute to write about it. And then, noteworthy only to me. We all want this minute back.

EMD said...

"To explain satire is to ruin it, but for the tone-deaf, here goes: The piece is not making fun of babies, it’s making fun of the fear and ignorance of an unprepared upper-middle-class couple who thought they knew everything."

Not all satire is good.

EMD said...

"In the end, I'll NEVER publicly make fun of my kids or wife. We joke about each other in private, but there are lines I will not cross. It bugs the shit out of me when I see parents making fun of their kids in public, so I don't. It bugs me when spouses make fun of each other in public as well. Publicly, I will never speak mockingly of my family. In private? We crack jokes constantly."

Agreed.

chickelit said...

How many more urban hipster lifestyles must be sacrificed before this problem is recognized for what it is?

Deb said...

If "Jen-and-I" are so smart, why couldn't they figure out how to keep from getting pregnant?

Bay Area Guy said...

@damikesc,

In the end, I'll NEVER publicly make fun of my kids or wife. We joke about each other in private, but there are lines I will not cross. It bugs the shit out of me when I see parents making fun of their kids in public,..

I buy this fully. I love my wife and kids, and, Yes, like all families we fight and have problems, BUT. Publicly embarrassing them in the New Yorker for a few yuppie guffaws? Not a chance. I'd rather work out the problems, and enjoy our time together. It goes by quickly.

A sense of humor is critical in this world. But, this was #humorfail by leftwing, pretentious yuppies.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Call that a sick joke? I just heard that the guy who got killed in the self-driving Tesla was watching a Harry Potter movie in the car, and was seized by a sudden desire to join the Headless Hunt. Now that's a sick joke.

Jonathan Graehl said...

My condolences on your non-sleeping toddler, TreeJoe. You've had some bad luck. Hope you're compensated for it with many joys. Also, crying all night tends to work itself out over the years (I assume the underlying physical discomfort goes away). Our same-bed-sleeping breast-feeding 6 month old has only kept me under 7hr/night for a handful of days so far. I'm aware that I've been lucky.

Jonathan Graehl said...

I wonder about these attention-seeking intellectuals with children. Granted, we only notice the worst excesses. But recall psychologists who experimented on their own baby/infant, raising him(zher?) contra-'arbitrary gender norms', and I'm sure worse.

Where is the sense of care for your own child?

Michael K said...

Nothing tops the NY Times piece by the guy whose girlfriend was going to have an abortion in the morning and at dinner that night she declined a glass of wine because "It might affect the baby."

It was so appalling I have never forgotten it.

Jason said...

Next up: Holocaust bloopers.

mockturtle said...

I would just as soon these PYAs DON'T reproduce.

Joe said...

How people thrilled with their new child feel compelled to deal with their peers, man of whom are anti-children.

(And if they are serious, please put the child up for adoption.)

SukieTawdry said...

A sardonic argument for extending abortion rights 30 days postpartum as Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer advocates?

Unknown said...

Oh lighten up, it was funny. I'm sure the parents love their little Jasper as much as you love your little ones.

David said...

The editors must have thought this was funny. Even if it were not so creepy, it's not funny. I should start submitting to the New Yorker again. Their standards finally seem to be low enough.

hombre said...

Blogger Unknown said...
"Oh lighten up, it was funny. I'm sure the parents love their little Jasper as much as you love your little ones."

In the wake of 60 million abortions likely condoned by New Yorker readers, it doesn't seem funny. How can you be sure of their love? Maybe they are horrified because it was a failed abortion. Seems as likely as another explanation.

Rusty said...

Poor kid.

CJ said...

The New Yorker is one of those aspirational brands. It's something that stupid people think smart people read.

The Rolex of magazines.

No offense intended to our hostess, who obviously is smart enough to read it tongue-in-cheek.

dgstock said...

So just eat the little bugger, already.

Freeman Hunt said...

For an example of masterfully insulting children, read Peter Pan. (Or, technically, Peter and Wendy.)

Martin said...

Written by misanthropes, for people who think misanthropes are "cool."

In other words, typical New Yorker stuff, these days. also cf, environmentalists.

n.n said...

Not only can babies not read, but they also lack a voice to protest, and they are literally disarmed by their enemies so that they cannot enact self-defense. We are uniquely vulnerable during the baby phase of human evolution that leaves us open to lethal and torturous attacks by natural predators, Pro-choice mothers, State-sanctioned abortionists, and Planned Parenthood.

Make life, not abortion... and stop channeling Mengele.

Earnest Prole said...

Remember the old saying: when someone makes a joke about social class and you don’t get it, the social class being joked about is probably your own.

mtrobertslaw said...

At sometime during his teenage years, little Jasper will throw this bit of "humor" right back at his parents. All three, then, will be headed for serious counseling.