May 8, 2017

"One can’t help but wonder what Trogneux’s ex-husband must make of the double freak occurrence of losing his wife to a teen-ager, only to have him turn out, decades later, to be the... Président de la République."

"Her elder daughter, Laurence, was in Macron’s class.... [W]hen Macron’s parents heard about the affair, they initially thought their son was seeing Laurence. 'You don’t understand, you already have your life,' Macron’s mother reportedly told a tearful Trogneux, who refused to promise to break off the affair. 'He won’t have children!' He has no biological children.... [Now that] he is elected, the leaders of France, Germany, and the U.K. will have zero biological children among them. (Angela Merkel has two stepsons; Theresa May and her husband of thirty-six years were unable to have children. May spoke about the pain of that realization after a political rival suggested that she had more of a stake in the future than May by virtue of being a mother.)"

From "Emmanuel Macron and the Modern Family," by Lauren Collins (in The New Yorker).

ADDED: The Prime Minister of Italy,Paolo Gentiloni, 62, also has no children, so "With Macron, the leaders of Europe's 4 biggest economies have a combined 0 biological children."

President Trump, by contrast, has 5 children, the youngest of whom is named Barron, which is pronounced the same as "barren."  (I was going to say Trump is not barren, but "barren" is a word that applies only to women, and interestingly enough, the etymology is, according to the OED,  based on the root bar which means "man, male," so that what when you say a woman is "barren," it means "male-like.")

68 comments:

readering said...

Now that's amazing.

Michael K said...

Seems very appropriate for Europe which has chosen demographic suicide.

readering said...

Turns out, also true of Italy PM, Paolo Gentiloni. (Also true of head of Vatican, but that's different.)

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buwaya said...

The Macronian argument seems to be entirely about perhaps transient and idiosyncratic emotions.

The Le Penian argument is about realities.

And its not just the Europeans that are dying out, for the same reasons.

Arthur James said...

I have a strange French uncle I trust

buwaya said...

Gavin Newsom has four kids.
So there's that.

Freeman Hunt said...

That seems strange.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Interesting. The pronunciation thing must be regional. I pronounce Barron as "Bare-run" more like a rounded sound: run roun lower and in the back of the throat and lips rounded

Barren is "bare-ren". Like in hen. Up higher on the front and top of the pallet with lips drawn back. More nasally

Not the same sounds at all.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Male-like sans the vagina greed encompassing men to the point it is like a fish not noticing water, or even being able of conception of any other world without water.

Things like word meanings change, and subsequently what people say isn't what was understood by others to be meant years/decades/eons ago but instead quite simply what the speaker intended at the time, including ambiguity and like intended or not.

Maggie's Farm had a great Voltaire quote this morning: To doubt is to be in pain, but to be certain is absurd (ed: or something close to that).

Bay Area Guy said...

I feel real bad for couples who can't have kids. As you get older, having grandkids is a big shot in the arm. My wife's father (a tough old bird, age 80) told me that having grandkids was like falling in love all over again.

Couples who choose not to have kids? Well, that strikes me as odd. Just growing old and not passing on whatever you've learned to your legacy? Not a big fan of that.

If France will grow a spine, and resist the multicultural temptation to enable Islam to thrive in its land, I will support Macron. Not holding my breath though.

gspencer said...

And the reasons for wanting to see leftist spawn from the likes of Merkel, Macron, May, and all the other NWOers are what exactly?

Guildofcannonballs said...

The male to females make a certain sense, allowing for a label of no serenity to those folks unfortunately and regretfully, but how can a female with a vagina attempt to become a man, who exists not-meridian-solely because of vagina greed in a Godless level of discussion to an extent?

Dogs catching cars, cars like Tobacco King with a Turbonique. Iowahawk knows all about that.

readering said...

I guess Trump won't be swapping pics of the little ones when he visits Europe. What small talk does he fall back on? They don't look like big golfers.

traditionalguy said...

Lady Madonna, her children at her feet. Barren women are sad.

But the problem here is a man who does not procreate a child never transitions into a father. He simply remains the child in the room.

Voila Bebe Macron. He is such a cute boy. We will see him in shorts, no doubt.

holdfast said...

"Couples who choose not to have kids? Well, that strikes me as odd. Just growing old and not passing on whatever you've learned to your legacy? Not a big fan of that."

There's a couple who are good friends of ours who chose not to have kids. They are both first responders and I think they just thought it wouldn't work. They are both great with kids - they have a passel of nieces and nephews, and my kids love them. It seems like a shame - good, caring people and good DNA - but it's their choice.

buwaya said...

"And the reasons for wanting to see leftist spawn?"

Politics is not genetic, but talent often is.
Give the next generation a chance to come to different conclusions.

Earnest Prole said...

That reminds me it was Keynes who said "In the long run we're all dead."

Ann Althouse said...

You could regret having children or not having children. Not everyone chooses, but you could regret what you end up with whether you chose it or not.

It's easy to list the positives of having children, but there's no need to project that into imagined sadness for those who don't have children. It's not done as aggressively, but it's also easy to list the positives of not having children and you could just as well go on to project imagined unhappiness in those who have children, because they didn't get that set of positives (like getting to spend all your own money on yourself, not having to worry about bad things happening to children, not having to consistently and over a period of many years put the interests of these particular others ahead of your own, freedom to come and go as you please, much less dishes and laundry and other housework).

Ann Althouse said...

A married couple without children is free to devote all their attention and love on each other and to do adult things together whenever they want (and I don't just mean sex, I mean quiet dinners, challenging physical activities, long conversations, enjoyment of art and popular culture than isn't on a child's level).

Ann Althouse said...

People without children are also more free to care about the community in general and to do charitable works based on what seems most important or rewarding, rather than to always put the welfare of this one child (or 2 or 3 children) above all others.

Ann Althouse said...

Having children forces a kind of altruism on you, but it is a crabbed and selfish altruism, and you're vulnerable to merging your interests to your children's, so that it doesn't even feel altruistic at all. I've sometimes thought that having children causes an everyday altruism that ordinary people naturally rise to and that's about as good as any of us are likely to be. But if you don't have children, you can consciously choose some altruistic things to do with your time and money.

Jack Wayne said...

I'd rather have a political leader with children than one without. Not surprised so many Euros have voted for infertile leaders. I can't use the word selfish because it is not accurate. But infertile couples I've met are focused on the here and now and not on the future. Rather self-indulgent. And in keeping with your Seinfeld post, "Not that that's a bad thing!"

n.n said...

I wonder how young is too young, and when it becomes an issue for the individual and society.

The issue is what orientations and behaviors should be normalized, can be tolerated, or should be rejected. Orientations are by default tolerated until they are realized as behaviors. Diverse orientations and behaviors are, if not independent, often separable, and judged on their own merits.

That said, we are on a progressive slope, which seems to be a recurring process in human evolution.

exiledonmainstreet said...

readering said...
I guess Trump won't be swapping pics of the little ones when he visits Europe. What small talk does he fall back on? They don't look like big golfers.

5/8/17, 5:28 PM

Gee, I would imagine a NYC billionaire with business interests all over the globe is fairly adept at making small talk.

He probably won't give them DVDs of his own speeches, like Obama did.

walter said...

exiledonmainstreet said...He probably won't give them DVDs of his own speeches, like Obama did.
--
I thought that was ipod based. You know..get yer fix of Obama anytime, anywhere..

Johnny Sokko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnny Sokko said...

President and First Lady Mary Kay Letourneau

sean said...

Interesting, phrases like "barren soil" involve transferring the word "barren" from its original use.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"So..how old does that make Mac' when "Hot for Teacher" came out?"

Now that's the song he should have made his grand entrance to, not Beethoven's 9th.

Caroline Walker said...

"A culture which seeks self gratification instead of the self sacrifice needed to raise children is doomed to self destruction. It has no future." -- Joseph Pearce

traditionalguy said...

Just thinking: Napoleon was really good at military tactics. But he rose so fast because the Revolution disappeared/ killed so many senior Generals in the French Army. The Dems can find them one young genius if they try, because the Clinton Rule is gone now leaving a vast opening.

Maybe Sally will shatter the glass ceiling.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

exiledonmainstreet,

You've gotten it mixed. It's Tony Blair who got the box of 50 DVDs, none of which would actually play on UK DVD players, as anyone with a brain could've told him. It's the Queen who got the iPod loaded with Obama's Greatest Hits.

IIRC, Blair gave Obama a sliver of wood recovered from the Amistad. Class vs. crass.

buwaya said...

This is the fundamental difference -

Having children isn't done for pleasure, but out of duty.
That is, above everything, why we exist.
Duty can be pleasure, and if so it is good, but that is not why duties are done.
It helps to teach yourself that your duty is pleasant.
Your feelings are there to serve you, you aren't obliged to serve them.

readering said...

All I know about the desire to have children is, I'm my mom and dad had it.

readering said...

Looking today at photos of maternal great grand parents that were just shared on line. What an amazing, haphazard sequence of events that has led to their great great grandkids.

Sebastian said...

Isn't the Dutch PM a bachelor? Doesn't mean he doesn't have some kid somewhere, but that would make 5 kidless Euro leaders.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Michelle, thanks for the correction. The tackiness was even worse than I thought.

Son of Stan said...

Since the Europeans won't be leaving any dependents to occupy the place, it's nice that they're going to recycle the European continent to needy people who've ruined their own birthplaces.

cubanbob said...

traditionalguy said...
Lady Madonna, her children at her feet. Barren women are sad.

But the problem here is a man who does not procreate a child never transitions into a father. He simply remains the child in the room.

Voila Bebe Macron. He is such a cute boy. We will see him in shorts, no doubt."

Such a nice boy, he sleeps with his surrogate mother.

In other news: PARIS ON LOCKDOWN Gare Du Nord evacuated as heavily-armed cops storm Paris train station in hunt for ‘three dangerous men.

And 900 cars were torched in France on New Year's Eve this year but not widely reported in the French MSM. The cute little boy who sleeps with his surrogate mama is going to have to manup real soon if he doesn't want the fascists to come into power the next election.

Michael K said...

People without children are also more free to care about the community in general and to do charitable works based on what seems most important or rewarding,

But they usually don't. Look up the data on charitable giving.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

not having to worry about bad things happening to children

Our childless neighbors had a conniption when they saw rat traps in our back yard. They were terrified that the poisoned rats would stumble and die in their yard and then their two annoying little Yorkies would eat them and also die. The wife in particular said the idea of that keeps her up at night. She gave me a supremely blank look when I explained that the rats attract water moccasins from the ornamental lake behind the house and that their bite can be fatal to children while I gestured to my barely-walking toddler. My husband killed three of the damn things, plus a couple of rattlesnakes, before we called pest control to deal with the food source.

Point being, everyone worries about something, and it should be children before Yorkies.

Danno said...

Mark Steyn had a post today on this topic, also. Great minds think alike.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

But if you don't have children, you can consciously choose some altruistic things to do with your time and money.

Which 90% of the time seems to be "altruistic" bullshit SJW causes and gentrification. There is nothing worse than a bunch of goddamn DINKS with their "furbabies" and their poncy tastes coming into a formerly vibrant, multiethnic, multigenerational, working class community and fucking it up with doggie day cares and $8 donuts.

Case in point: my beloved Seattle which used to be gritty, working class, unpretentious, and had a sense of place and identity and investment and community because more than one kind of person lived there -- it was truly diverse racially, ethnically, generationally, vocationally, educationally, economically -- any kind of -ally that you can imagine. Now, the old people and the children are gone, not welcome, fuck off, losers, because of the non-children-having Amazonians who have encompassed the entire city.

Bay Area Guy said...

San Francisco is the least kid-friendly city on the planet. Too expensive, lotta gays, lotta Dinks. The general rule there was to find the girl in SF, but then marry and move to the burbs.

Fernandinande said...

buwaya said...
Politics is not genetic,


Political ideology is about 50% determined by genetics - quite similar to other measurable personality characteristics.

Bob Loblaw said...

I was gonna say this is ironic, but George Carlin tells me it's not:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R36nn5hFsg8

exiledonmainstreet said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants, I moved back to my hometown because it increasingly bothered me that I didn't know my nieces and nephews, particularly since they didn't have grandparents to spoil them. I wasn't a mom, but I was able to be a good aunt. Part of the problem is people frequently do not live in the same places as their siblings or extended family nowadays and so, if they are childless and don't have that connection, they end up obsessing about their pets or getting involved in SJW causes. (They can also get involved in very good causes - volunteering at the Children's Hospital or helping teach adults to read.)

Self-absorption and treating pets like children are two dangers of being childless and you have to guard against those tendencies. I certainly have known quite a few childless people with the qualities you describe.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Political ideology is about 50% determined by genetics - quite similar to other measurable personality characteristics."

I'm conservative/libertarian and my parents were strongly Democratic (although they might not be so today.) I have known many people who vote differently from their parents and siblings.

How can you possibly determine nature vs. nurture in the case of politics? There are certainly young people who come from conservative families who get brainwashed into political correctness at college.

SeanF said...

Macron is hardly the first national leader with an ex-spouse. It's not a "freak occurrence" at all, certainly not a double one.

Michael K said...

"Political ideology is about 50% determined by genetics -"

Watch out ! You're going to get in trouble with the "Blank Slate" followers of Stephen Jay Gould who thought the "New Soviet Man" was around corner.

Michael K said...

"Macron is hardly the first national leader with an ex-spouse. "

It's his wife who has the "ex-spouse" who is old enough to be Macron's father, if not grandfather.

Mark Flacy said...

"You could regret having children or not having children. Not everyone chooses, but you could regret what you end up with whether you chose it or not.

It's easy to list the positives of having children, but there's no need to project that into imagined sadness for those who don't have children. It's not done as aggressively, but it's also easy to list the positives of not having children and you could just as well go on to project imagined unhappiness in those who have children, because they didn't get that set of positives (like getting to spend all your own money on yourself, not having to worry about bad things happening to children, not having to consistently and over a period of many years put the interests of these particular others ahead of your own, freedom to come and go as you please, much less dishes and laundry and other housework)."

Billions of years of evolution that ends with you and your spouse. All those generations of organisms that struggled to live and reproduce to end up with...nothing.

Not really something to cheer about.

richard mcenroe said...

When the leadership of Europe has no investment in the future of its children, Europe has no future.

richard mcenroe said...

France remembers the summer of 1940.

Macron remembers the summer of '44. HE LOVED THAT MOVIE.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Exiled - you are a wise and good person to see that it's important to invest in young people who are not our own children. My husband was that way before he became a father at 46 for the first time (second marriage for us both). He wasn't able to have children with his first wife (and didn't really want them anyway) but still didn't want to let everything he'd learned in life go to waste, so he took seriously mentoring young colleagues when possible as well as being a good uncle. His life was richer as a result and I'm certain his mentees' lives were as well. Your family is lucky to have you in their lives. I wish I had that for both myself and my kids.

Milwaukee said...

Altruism is over rated. The Germans were very altruistic about making the world a better place by killing Jews. Ann you sound very insecure in defending childless couples. For some a choice. For others a fate.

DVSONE said...

nEUtered EUseless EUnuch burEaUcrats will bid adiEU to their EUropean miliEU

Gospace said...

First comment is true:
Ann Althouse said...
A married couple without children is free to devote all their attention and love on each other and to do adult things together whenever they want (and I don't just mean sex, I mean quiet dinners, challenging physical activities, long conversations, enjoyment of art and popular culture than isn't on a child's level).



Second comment is both true and not true, mostly not true- because read the first comment

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
People without children are also more free to care about the community in general and to do charitable works based on what seems most important or rewarding, rather than to always put the welfare of this one child (or 2 or 3 children) above all others.


If you don't have children, and you were an only child or your siblings also have no children- you're free to be as narcissistic as you want. You have no investment in the future. None at all. "Let's vote for higher taxes to fund a symphony!" Great idea! It benefits the community! No, it doesn't. It benefits you because now you get subsidized tickets to spend your money on, subsidized by other taxpayers bringing up kids who don't have time or money to attend the symphony- BECAUSE THEY'RE RAISING KIDS WHO'LL PAY YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY!

I've found that pretty much every issue DINKs support benefits THEM, in one or another, without actually benefiting the future in any meaningful way. What do they care what society looks like 20 years after they die? Their kids and grandkids aren't going to be living it that world.

I engage in some challenging activities, though I have 5 kids. I have to budget time. Just two weeks ago I walked the 5 Mile Freedom Trail in Boston and climbed the 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument. Not by myself. And not with my wife, but with a Boy Scout Troop. Part of my investment in the future. Helping to guide young men into becoming decent adult men.

Children are the community of tomorrow. I've not met any childless by choice couple who give one tiny rat's ass about helping out young people. I've had childless by biology couples in my family. Some who've adopted. Others who are heavily involved with nieces and nephews. Your experience may be different, but I doubt too much different.

drzurf said...

People without children are assholes. They cover this up by doing good deeds such as feeding feral cats.

Bob said...

Some men just want their mommy!

Owen said...

The future belongs to those who show up.

Narcissism is easier if you have no dependents. And markets love narcissists.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

They cover this up by doing good deeds such as feeding feral cats.

Heh. My husband's childless first wife had a terrible habit of feeding squirrels, raccoons, possums, and all manner of nuisance animals. She would also cry over roadkill but didn't give two shits about suffering children. That's a personality defect on her part, but it is disturbing how many people care more about animals than kids.

Angel-Dyne said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants: Which 90% of the time seems to be "altruistic" bullshit SJW causes and gentrification. There is nothing worse than a bunch of goddamn DINKS with their "furbabies" and their poncy tastes coming into a formerly vibrant, multiethnic, multigenerational, working class community and fucking it up with doggie day cares and $8 donuts.

Hahahahaha.

(I have children but I do admit to some pretty poncey tastes. Overpriced shitty coffee and donuts are not among them, though. I like dogs, too, but don't get me started on dogs and hipsters. Dogs are great, people, but they are not children. Geez, talk about disordered attachments.)

Case in point: my beloved Seattle which used to be gritty, working class, unpretentious, and had a sense of place and identity and investment and community because more than one kind of person lived there -- it was truly diverse racially, ethnically, generationally, vocationally, educationally, economically -- any kind of -ally that you can imagine. Now, the old people and the children are gone, not welcome, fuck off, losers, because of the non-children-having Amazonians who have encompassed the entire city.

Then, the Morlocks come. I think they eat the brains of the annoying SWPLs, but maybe it's zombies that do that. Or they're all swept away in a great cleansing fire, or this century's version of the Scourge of God shows up. At any rate, they get what's coming to them. Then the reconquista of the cities by non-annoying people begins.

SeanF said...

Michael K: It's his wife who has the "ex-spouse" who is old enough to be Macron's father, if not grandfather.

My mistake. Still not a freak occurrence, though.

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Viejo Loco said...

drzurf said, etc. - You are the asshole. Some who don't have children wanted to, but can't. However, when you devote 49 years as an ICU nurse, perhaps you can criticize--not! I believe Samuel Johnson said " It is better to be silent and be thought stupid, then to open your mouth and prove it."

Freeman Hunt said...

"Having children forces a kind of altruism on you, but it is a crabbed and selfish altruism"

But intense. Extraordinarily intense. So you get more altruism out of people on the whole if you can extract parenting from them.