Monthly Archives: February 2012

The 69th PBA US Open: Squirmy Kids In The Audience

In a dramatic finish to the championship match yesterday, the legendary PDW (Pete Weber) captured his 5th US Open title in a one-pin victory over Mike “The King of Swing” Fagan, with a clutch strike on the final ball to propel him to the 215-214 victory. For those who missed it, here’s the title match courtesy The PBA Rebroadcast YouTube Channel:

So why am I talking about a bowling event on a childfree blog? Well, truth be told it fits here, because of something that happened during the entire TV finals.

A number of times PDW blew up on someone in the audience for moving around during his approach. For those of you who aren’t bowlers, you have no idea how distracting that is. That’s why you’re not supposed to begin your approach until after the bowlers on the neighboring lanes have completed their shots. Even a little bit of motion out of the corner of your eye can really throw you off, and when a $60,000 check was on the line, I think he had every right to get angry over it.

Come to find out later (reading the comments of one individual who was in the gallery on another blog) that the culprit was a little kid that was in like the front row of the gallery, right in the peripheral vision of the bowlers. I think it goes without saying that little kids are squirmy and can’t sit still for more than about 2 minutes. So why the HELL would you bring a little kid to the US Open? Do you seriously think they’re interested in professional bowling? Unless they’re just a bowling prodigy or come from a family of professional/serious recreational bowlers, I highly doubt they’d be remotely interested in watching a bunch of old guys bowl. Bowling isn’t a “spectator sport” so to speak, it’s a “genteman’s sport.” Not super exciting to watch unless you’re REALLY into bowling, like me or other hardcore bowlers/fans.

I think this is a prime example of parents bringing their kids to a place that’s inappropriate. If anything, there was a whole space behind the bowlers that they could have gone where they would have been out of view of the competitors. What’s so hard about that? Why couldn’t they have acknowledged PDW and just moved somewhere that it wouldn’t be an issue. It’s not that big of a deal, well, if you think a little kid has any place in the audience at a pro bowling tournament.

I don’t know. I have mixed feelings about this. Parents should know kids can’t sit still. I think the appropriate course of action would have been to move, but that’s just me. I guess I blame the parent as much as the kid in this case, the same way I blame parents for not teaching their kids bowling etiquette (like I’ve complained about on this blog before). Whatever the case, I might be one of the few siding with PDW on this matter, but I am.

What do you think?

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Why Human Extinction Isn’t An Inherently Bad Thing

You know, if it’s one of the more outlandish statements I’ve heard people make about the childfree it’s that we’re going to bring about the extinction of the human race one day. As if! Breeders still outnumber childfree couples about 4 to 1 the last time I saw, and on top of all of that our population is continuing to grow at a rapid rate, rather than decrease. So no, I don’t believe for a second we CF people are doing anything that will remotely endanger the human species. I guess I’m just saying, “You people are out of your cotton-pickin’  mind.”

THAT SAID, would the extinction of the human race really be such a terrible thing? Would it really be the end of the world as we know it? My answer, and the answer of most enlightened people, is a resounding “no.”

Quite frankly, back off and think about this for a second: what ecological, biological, or other purpose does the human species serve? We’ve effectively taken ourselves out of the food chain, and thus removed ourselves from that delicate balance known as the circle of life. I’m often reminded of that quote from the movie The Lion King where the ghost of Mufasa says “You have forgotten who you are…..it’s time to take your place in the great circle of life.” We are no longer part of that circle of life, but are in fact “above” it, because we’ve effectively removed ourselves from nature. Nobody hunts us, but we can hunt any game we want with advanced tools, including creatures that are designed by their very evolution to not be hunted.

We’ve really forgotten who we truly are. We’re just a species, no better or superior to any other species on the face of this planet (despite the fact we like to think we’re better than every other species on this planet; truth be told we’re not). We serve absolutely no ecological or biological purpose. We don’t clean up waste products or have any beneficial impact on the environment. We do nothing but fuck this planet’s delicate natural balance up. That’s ALL we do in that regard. Some “purpose,” eh?

So with that, when we look at our rightful place, let’s look at the cycle that other species go through. The natural evolutionary process (and if anyone even wants to try to say evolution is false and creationism is correct, I will QUICKLY rip you to shreds, so don’t go there) of species basically prescribes that a species evolves, it thrives for a period of time, and then either evolves into another species or just completely dies off, thus becoming extinct. Extinction is a natural process, and every species on the face of this planet will face extinction eventually. We are no different in that regard, and as much as we try to delay the inevitable, it is going to happen, and not in the fictitious way books like the Holey Babble say it will (once again, don’t even go there).

In that light, go ahead and blame us for human extinction. Though that probably won’t be the way we go at all and we’ll probably blow our asses off the face of the earth with WMDs in all likelihood, even if we were the ones responsible, why does it matter? It absolutely does not. We’re the most useless species on this planet, and we’re apparently not going to accept our rightful place in the circle of life anytime soon, so you know, our extinction would not a bad thing.

I Guess Breeders Prefer This Over People Not Having Kids

I just read a very, very disturbing article over on New York Times about a mother who just let her baby boy drown because she supposedly “hated him.” Here’s the link: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/mother-lets-baby-boy-drown-admits-hated-article-1.1024833.

This woman very clearly did not want to be a parent. For whatever reason, she “hated” her baby boy. She wanted nothing to do with him or the responsibilities that came with him. They can blame it on Post-Partum if they want, but I’m not buying it. This is a very clear case of someone not wanting anything to do with their child and being a parent.

Of course, this story is hardly unique. There are parents everywhere who kill their kids because they want nothing to do with them, for whatever reason. It’s happened many times in the past, and it’s happened many times in the future. These pure acts of evil attest to the fact that yes, many people don’t like being a parent and even regret it. Of course, sometimes acts like this can be chalked up to mental illness, but it’s not a blanket statement and it can’t be used to defend everything like this that happens.

Alas, I guess with the way breeders speak of childfree individuals, it seems as though they prefer crap like this to happen over people not choosing to have kids. They speak of kids as if it’s imperative that all people have children in order to have a more fulfilling life. They turn a blind eye to all the shit parents such as the individual above who have no business having kids.

I know for a FACT I would be a shit parent because I have no desire to have a kid. I would be inattentive, apathetic, and I wouldn’t give a shit. Perhaps I wouldn’t go to the extremes this woman did (in fact I know I wouldn’t), but that doesn’t mitigate the fact I’d be a terrible parent. That said, as I mentioned, apparently breeders think being a crappy parent is better than not being a parent at all.

Ridiculous.

Rick Santorum on Birth Control

I don’t much follow American politics anymore since I haven’t lived there in a long time and have no intentions of ever going back, but I was talking to my friend Natasha from back in the States last night and she mentioned something absolutely horrifying to me last night. She told me that she heard that Rick Santorum supports giving the States the right to outright ban any form of contraception other than abstinence and NFP.

When she told me this I think my jaw dropped three feet. I absolutely could not believe what I was reading at first, but then when I thought about it for a second it makes sense. Rick Santorum is a staunch Roman Catholic with 7 kids and probably more to come. As is typical of Roman Catholic politicians, they want “Vatican Law” instituted in whatever country they’re campaigning in (though ironically my country is extremely socially liberal, despite being 80%+ Catholic). In that light, it’s no suprise that Santorum is extreme anti-choice, anti-gay marriage, and even thinks gay relations should be criminalized, but I digress.

I don’t even want to imagine a world where birth control is outlawed. For one, what would happen to someone like me? I had a vasectomy a year and a half ago. Does that mean he thinks I should be forced to undergo vasectomy reversal surgery? If so, that’s almost as scary as the vaginal ultrasound law some states are trying to get passed for abortion (I’ll probably blog on that later, because that’s total crap as well). Subjecting all sterile-by-choice individuals to invasive surgery against their will is both repulsive and quite frankly unconstitutional, though truth be told when did the US Constitution matter to American politicians?

Among other consequences I’d hate to see the sudden overflow of children in adoption centers and orphanages due to the lack of birth control. You want the number of unwanted children who will NEVER get adopted to increase? Take away birth control. Seriously, that’s exactly what would happen. We childfree people aren’t going to stop being childfree, no matter what the law says. I refuse to be a parent, and that’s that; period, end of story. I’m a firm believer that every child should be a wanted child. As it is, that’s already far from the case, and it’s a very sad reality. I might not want any kids of my own, but my heart breaks when I see the millions of unwanted kids in adoption centers. Every kid deserves a loving home, and I refuse to believe otherwise.

One last thing I’d like to point out is this. Banning birth control isn’t going to make it go away. Remember what happened when the decided to prohibit the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages? Crime skyrocketed and it created a “black market” for alcohol. I’m afraid a prohibition of contraceptives (whether it’s the pill, condoms, IUDs, sterilization, or whatever) will create a black market for it. People will be smuggling these things in, and be doing back-alley vasectomies and tubals, much the same way back-alley abortions are the reality of countries that prohibit abortion. If that picture doesn’t give you nightmares, you have some serious issues.

Oh, but Santorum doesn’t really oppose contraception; oh no! So-called NFP and the “rhythm method” apparently are OK. Yeah, if you want an unplanned pregnancy, use these methods. The RCC and other NFP-supporter boneheads love to claim that NFP is like 99.5% effective, which I absolutely have to call bullshit on. What they aren’t telling you is this: NFP works on the premise that women can only get pregnant during certain times on their cycle. As anyone with any basic health education or sex education knows, this is a blatant lie. A woman can get pregnant at any time during her cycle, including during her period! You might as well be getting ready to empty out your emergency fund if you use NFP, because a baby will be on the way! Seriously, NFP is a total fucking joke, and anyone with half a brain realizes that.

I guess in the end, it comes down to personal autonomy. The government has no right to impose children on the childfree, just as religious institutions have no right to impose religion on non-consenting individuals. The above situation would be the scary reality of what would happen is all forms of contraception besides NFP were criminalized. Alas, that’s the reality of organized religion: they think their religious values should rule over everyone. Further, Rick Santorum’s stance on birth control is a prime example of the dangers that religion pose to modern, civilized society. I hope to the non-existent sky daddy that he doesn’t get elected, or else my American CF friends might be in for it, because you KNOW he’s going to abuse his powers and institute all of these things as executive orders and bypass congress entirely. *Shudder!*

Why Are Childfree Couples Happier?

I’ve read several studies now that all conclude that childfree couples (interpreted: never have had children) tend to be happier than couples in any other child status, including so-called “empty nesters” (those whose kids are all grown and gone). I’ve often wondered to myself why that is. What is it about the childfree way of life is making these couples happier?

In thinking about it, I’ve come up with a number of reasons that might explain this phenomenon, some of which are probably obvious, others of which are not so obvious. We’ll deal with each one of my thoughts individually, but please keep in mind much of this is just speculation on my part, and I’m in no way going to claim any of this as absolute fact.

First things first, a recurring theme and mention that has come up on my blog throughout the post: finances. There’s no way to deny that children are expensive. Even one child is enough to put financial stress on a couple who’s already struggling to make ends meet. Each additional child further stretches the budget. What’s ironic about that, though is that I’ve read a number of studies that have determined that people who identify as childfree as a whole tend to have higher gross incomes than those who either want or have children. Financial stress can and does put a strain on a couple’s relationship (and the converse is also true), so this absolutely makes sense.

Then there’s the issue of freedom. Couples without children are obviously more free to do stuff on their own accord or with each other than if they had children. Freedom to travel the world, engage in interest and hobbies, go out at night, among other things. They are more able to totally immerse themselves in their interest and hobbies. This is good for mental health and happiness as well.

It’s been conjectured that childfree couples also tend to have better sex lives. While at first I had trouble understanding the reasoning behind this initially, I slowly started climb on board with this theory. Having children around can really mess up spontaneity. When you’re in the mood, you’re in the mood. If the kids aren’t in bed yet, well, it’s hard to just get it on without them the wiser, unless you just leave them by themselves, which is a mess. Also, kids can interrupt sexy time (especially babies if they wake in the night), which is frustrating. That can lead to all sorts of problems. Well, I think I rest my case here.

I think there are some other minor factors that might come into play. More time for one another, more education (childfree couples tend to be better educated, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a correlation between education and happiness), more time to advance one’s career, among other things. I think we could conjecture all day as to the reasons as to why childfree couples may be happier, but I think extensive research would have to be done. I’d be interested to see how such studies would come out.

What do you guys think?

You Go, Dad!

You know, I always find it refreshing when I see a parent who’s willing to step up to the plate and actually be a parent, instead of just letting their kids turn into disrespectful little assholes who get away with anything and everything under the sun. If more parents were like that, I’d have a lot less complaints about kids and their bad behavior.

Well, apparently you don’t want to mess with this dad. After his 15 year old daughter wrote a Facebook post completely and totally shitting on him and her mother, he absolutely had enough and really called her to the carpet.

As I said before, kids these days have absolutely no sense of what respect is, and it’s a crying shame. It’s about time someone steps up to the plate and teaches their kid some respect, even if it requires going to these measures. Now, I probably wouldn’t have shot the laptop (I’d have sold it, myself), but I’ll stand by him. It was his money after all.

Here’s hoping his daughter learns from this. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if he receives backlash from this from her friends and even from other parents. He shouldn’t care, though. He did well.

Childfree Dating

If it’s one thing I’ve found being childfree really complicates it’s the dating scene. With a vast majority of people (men or women, it doesn’t matter) being either fencesetters or wannabreeders, it’s difficult finding Mr. or Miss Childfree in the crowd, sometimes.

Both of the relationships I’ve been in I was with childfree women, much to my pleasant surprise. I just happened to meet the right people at the right time, maybe that was a stroke of luck. It’s too bad neither one of my relationships worked out, for that reason (though now that I look back on them, it’s probably better they didn’t).

My personal policy on dating is that I don’t even waste my time on wannabreeders and most fencesetters. I just don’t want to wind up in a relationship with and potentially married to someone who wants children and would try to manipulate me into it or a fencesetter who later decides she wants children, and again will try to convince me.

I’ll consider dating a fencesetter if she indicates to me that she more than likely will not want kids. That’s the only exception I really make to my rule. However, if it’s a toss-up on whether I want to go on a date with said fencesetter or a completely committed childfree individual, I think it’s clear which one I’ll choose.

What’s been your experience as a childfree individual trying to find a partner? Did it take you a long time to find that childfree person? How soon do you bring it up? Do you have any set policy you abide by in this regard?

 

Why Having Children Is Selfish

If it’s one thing that the childfree get called all the time it’s selfish. Whether our choice to not have children has to do with having more money, more time to ourselves, more time for our careers, or whatever the case may be, yes I suppose our choice can sound selfishly motivated. There is absolutely no denying that fact. However, in another light, I contend that having children is an equally, if not more selfish choice than the choice to not have children.

So let’s get down to this simple reasoning: who decided for you that you were going to have children? It was you yourself. Don’t try to blame it on your parents who “forced” you into it (you can make your own choices) and don’t try to blame it on the fictitious being known as “God” (if you’re a slave to your religion you’re stupid). YOU were the one that decided that you would bring children into this world. Your children had absolutely no say in the matter. You just pushed them right out (or provided the sperm) without consulting them in the process. You had children because YOU chose that to satsify YOUR OWN desires in life. Your children did not choose to be born for themselves. Therefore your choice is selfishly motivated.

Now, as for why it would be more selfish than the alternative, think about this. This world is a cruel, mean place and life is rough. How selfish is it to subject a new human being to the cruelty and meanness of this world just because you wanted a child in the home? How selfish is it to make another person endure this difficult thing called life just because you wanted a miniature human being? When you look at it both ways, you see very clearly that having a child is in fact a very selfish decision.

Now, that’s not to say that making selfish decisions is inherently bad. We are by nature selfish creatures. The least we can do is admit that most, if not all, of the decisions we make concerning our own lives have selfish motivations at their very root.

So yes, I do admit my choice to not have children is a selfish one. I very much enjoy the additional money, free time, and time for my career that a childfree lifestyle permits me. However, I think it’s time that parents put away this accusation they love to hurl at the childfree and realize that they’re being equally selfish in choosing to have children. One way or another, it’s a selfish choice, so it’s one half dozen or the other.

Parents/Children At The Bowling Alley (Again)

So last Friday my team for my recreational league (consisting of me, my mother, and my youngest sister) went for preliminary bowling to establish our handicaps and such for week one. I of course got no handicap because of my 200+ average (and in fact bowled my best series to date of 844, with a painful 299 third game – SO CLOSE!!!), but that’s beside the point. We were put on a lane next to a mother and her two young kids who were bowling together as a team, and the entire night was hellish.

As is typical of little kids, they just ran up and fired when we were on our approach and in full concentration. A lot of people don’t realize just how distracting that really is! When I’m on the approach I’m in full concentration mode, my focus is entirely on my target spot on the lane and getting the right ball speed and rev rate for the lane conditions. Even so, there’s still something called peripheral vision and when you see someone walking up on the neighboring approach from your peripheral vision it’s distracting as all hell. This is why common bowling etiquette says to wait until the person on the neighboring lane finishes his/her shot before you begin your approach.

Of course, the mother of the two kids did NOTHING to stop them from doing this very distracting behavior. I was getting more and more irritated at the situation and I finally took things into my own hands and stared them down and said very sternly the Spanish equivalent of “DON’T GO WHEN I’M GOING!!!!”

The mother uncorked on me for correcting her kids, but she wasn’t doing a damn thing about it so of course I was going to take matters into my own hands. As a hardcore bowler I take bowling etiquette very seriously. I won’t even take my place on the approach until my neighbors are done, much less start my shot. Of course, it could be that I just take the game way too seriously for an amateur (but trying to go professional) bowler. Who knows.

Alas, I love my PBA experience league (yes, I bowl in two different leagues)  because there’s not a kid in sight at that one and everyone observes proper etiquette because it’s actually enforced by league officials. I’d still like to see adult-only bowling centers, though I think those are a bit of a stretch. I understand the appeal of bowling as a family activity and strongly support it as such, but please teach your kids proper bowling etiquette. It’ll make the game more enjoyable for all of us. Thank you.