So, because we live in New York, where stroller antipathy is sort of, you know, compulsory, we always sort of assumed that parenting was for losers, because everyone we know who parents seems to have done it as a last resort after running out of self-generated ideas and experiences to blog about — basically, for material, at which point they've generally toked up/jerked off/gotten shitfaced so many times they even suck at fucking effectively, thus compounding their loserdom with a gross and mind-numbing amount of testicle-warming and cervical fluid checking. Luckily for you readers, we don't let a single item past our rigorous editing process that isn't stamped fair and balanced, so we found a parentless blogger — a childless parenting blogger, at that! — to IM-terview for his thoughts on porn, Neal Pollack, Princess Coldstare Leigh Lezark and whether hipsters like her have any business Procreating. And also, does it really cost a million dollars to raise a child? After the jump.
me: In the process of blogging to parents have you formed any conclusions about it?
for instance, city or suburb?
CHILDLESSPARENT: It's amazing to me how much appetite people have to both write and read about parenting
CHILDLESSPARENT: Someoene should do something with all the myspace profiles where people answer whether they plan to have kids or not
that's a good idea
me: In New York, who do you feel is outnumbered, the strollers or the haters?
CHILDLESSPARENT: not mutually exclusive!
CHILDLESSPARENT: the city fortunately is ghettoized enough to keep the sides at bay
me: So just like women often hate other women
parents hate other parents? It makes sense
CHILDLESSPARENT: parents are the biggest haters of each other, read UrbanBaby boards
me: Right, I've HEARD of those.
Ok. What is the single nastiest thinkg you've experienced, as a parenting blogger? Surely, you've seen a few bloodbaths
Heard a lot of blood curdling screams
CHILDLESSPARENT: not here! in our world,e verything is civil.
we are peacemakers
me: who do you think are worse parents, hipsters? Politicians? David Brooks? or Madonna?
CHILDLESSPARENT: Well, politicians are freaks of nature and so is Madonna
me: and hipsters? they're kind of freaks too
CHILDLESSPARENT: well, the hipster thing is interesting
it's more benign
3:43 PM me: I mean, sometimes they tattoo entire limbs
CHILDLESSPARENT: the hipsters are doing the same thing that the rich do, that religious people do: they make their children vehicles for their own narcissism, but it's harmless
me: My question is, if you have 544 MySpace friends and a deejay night, do you have any business bringing a child into the world?
CHILDLESSPARENT: I think that's exaggerated
me: Right, so you agree with Brooks.
CHILDLESSPARENT: not exactly
see, Brooks is responding to a media-manufactured phenomenon
me: Do you really think they're media manufactured?
I mean, the media did not invent park slope.
CHILDLESSPARENT: the extreme version a la Pollack is invented: what's more common is that these new parents think they can hold onto a little of their former life and cred
park slope is not about dj nights and 544 myspace friends
me: That's true.
me: But those are tomorrow's procreators!
CHILDLESSPARENT: it's about cladding your kids in the hipster trappings
CHILDLESSPARENT: making them listen to trendy music
it's like ex-hippies who gave their kid a weird name and then settled into yuppie-dom
me: What I want to know is, is all this going to beget a generation that is MORE NARCISSISTIC THAN THE CURRENT GENERATION? Is that even possible?
CHILDLESSPARENT: no usually these things bounce back
anarchists breed bankers
kids are reasonably self-correcting
me: So we should encourage the Madonnas and Rudys andJohn Timoneys and Princess Coldstares to go out there and make sweet unprotected love?
CHILDLESSPARENT: not them, they're freaks. it's not generational though
Princess Coldstare shouldn't breed
me: hahaah you just don't want her to stretch out
CHILDLESSPARENT: you have to be able to bond with your kid and if you're too much of a narcissist, it's all about you
me: I only said that because we're not live, btw
CHILDLESSPARENT: watch the annoying names they give their kids
3:49 PM me: How do you feel about our favorite greatest american writer?
think he's a narcissist, at all?
CHILDLESSPARENT:pollack? yeah he's obvs a narcissist. parenting brings out everyone's narcissism but most people discharge it through harmless means
a funny name
a trendy outfit
the right school
the right stroller
me: Have you ever seen any of these hipster parenting bloggers IN ACTION?
CHILDLESSPARENT: I met Laid Off Dad, he's cool
a teacher in real life
not laid off strictly speaking
me: oooooh, he's a "complete geek for march madness"!
CHILDLESSPARENT: Here's the deal: New York Magazine created this character (not too different from Pollack) of the uber-hipster parent who picks their kids' playlists off Pitchfork, still go to the clubs, etc.
it's a fiction except for a few public examples, that's why it was funny when Brooks went postal on them
me: so you are saying that brooks was feeding into a stereotype that is not even based on reality?
CHILDLESSPARENT: there's some reality but it's very exaggerated
me: He was probably just sick of the stories
like, the way I am sick of stories about chick lit authors who can't stand the color pink
CHILDLESSPARENT: the whole look-at-me parenting movement is narcissistic, you don't have to be a hipster from Brooklyn
you can be a momblogger from Houston
me: I think there are a lot of people like that on the UES i think
look, the yuppie parents of yore were just as annoying and just as narcissistic
they need their kids to validate how cool they are
parents aren't intrinsically losers, but there are a lot of losers and many become parents
what happens is: many people get overwhelmed by the stresses of being a parent, they try to one-up each other by being cooler-than-thou
they can't maintain their old life with DJ nights or whatever, so they try to hold onto a piece of it by giving their kids cool music to listen to
if you are a loser on your own, it may escape notice
but once you have kids, you're sort of in everybody's face
having kids makes it more likely you'll get called out as a loser
me: So will you raise your kids in the suburbs?
CHILDLESSPARENT: as anti-suburb as I am, I'm starting to think things are more normal there than in the city
still I would never raise children anywhere but the island with the tall buildings
otherwise my kids would be culturally alien from me
I want them to have what I had
getting stoned behind the bandshell in central park
me: the DJ nights
you're going to edit this into coherence, right?
CHILDEPRESSANT: where were we?
me: I think it's pretty impossible to want to give kids what you had
That's why it's so funny to me that people make their kids listen to Arcade Fire
CHILDEPRESSANT: yeah, it's silly
though the kids will like the music, why wouldn't they?
I mean, my parents had me listening to Pete Seeger
me: yeah I was reared on Mozart and Zappa
and that was important I guess
CHILDEPRESSANT: but not as a status symbol
for your parents
they just liked the music
I mean, kids will like a lot of this music now
we had a piece on it and a blog post
me: But as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer in this country and the rich get richer and the middle class get richer in other countries and population explodes and ipods get smaller and cell phones get smaller and apartments get smaller ...
me: Porn just gets a LOT easier to access
and you know, I've made peace with the idea of rearing little pervs
But they are not going to have a childhood like I had.
CHILDEPRESSANT: I have no problem with the sexualization of youth culture
CHILDEPRESSANT: the earlier they start the better
but freud teaches us, that happens without intervention anyway
you know what's more unrealistic than wanting your kids to have what you had, though?
me: expecting them to somehow improve on the last generation.
me: like Timoney/Giuliani
expecting THEM not to be losers
CHILDEPRESSANT: yeah, generally losers breed losers
and in the case of Rudy, the guy is so obviously deranged that his kid shows some health by standing up to him
me: hey man, that's our next president you're talking about
CHILDEPRESSANT: spare us all
me: so maybe one more question.
me: what if you're poor?
are you basically screwed?
CHILDEPRESSANT: it never helps
but I believe that the best thing to pass onto your kids is mental health
me: Are a lot of parenting bloggers poor?
CHILDEPRESSANT: that is interesting
yes, or lower middle class
but they're not the real hipsters
they are the ones like Dooce and the MommyBlogger
CHILDEPRESSANT: Dooce is famous, she was fired for blogging, hence the expression someone was "dooced"
me: oh my god, the "wonder-belly"?
CHILDEPRESSANT: you know, there's a real market for this stuff
me: wait, that's an expression?
CHILDEPRESSANT: yeah google it and also google dooced
me: so what's the deal with dooce?
she's poor, now that she was fired?
CHILDEPRESSANT: not that she's poor and I think she makes money as a writer just that she comes from a background light years from Park Slope
she has relatives that sit around, watch football, eat junk food, and get gross on Thanksgiving
on the other hand, maybe that's not so far from hipster-world
me: haha! sounds like the burg, to me!
me: ok, so, does she blog about money problems?
I mean, from what I hear, having kids is like, having a whole nother person
to pay for.
only possibly worse
CHILDEPRESSANT: well, it's financial strain
me: AND THEY DON'T EVEN DRINK!
CHILDEPRESSANT: a lot of these mombloggers have made unusually unfortunate choices in mating
dysfunctional, abusive, etc
me: oh, REALLY? are they blogging looking for an escape?
me: a tete-a-tete?
who made the worst choice?
CHILDEPRESSANT: well they think that their dramatic and chaotic lives make good reading fodder
CHILDEPRESSANT: after being rebuffed one too many times by schroeder, lucy said, "My aunt mary said, Never marry a musician"
me: what's the worst thing you've read?
CHILDEPRESSANT: let me find you one thing that's the real worst thing, I hated this big-time
me: ooooh yippie
CHILDEPRESSANT: this annoyed the fuck out of me
it's like, I was going to write something brilliant (not) but little Dylan and Caleb wouldn't sleep
total navel-gazing my-life-is-fascinating
I'd rather read this kind of stuff:
CHILDEPRESSANT: if I'm going to read about someone else's life, I want SEX!!!!!
Imagine! Self Magazine's parenting blogger is pretty self-absorbed
Why Isn't Your Wife Pregnant Yet?