Saturday, March 5, 2011

An author embraces the ultimate in narcissism

And a media outlet goes gaga.  Not surprising.  The dangling carrot of our dying civilization, the thing that keeps people pressing on toward the ethics of our inevitable doom, is the promise that by focusing exclusively on ourselves we will find ultimate meaning in life.  That our meaning is defined by us focusing on us to the exclusions of all those not-us people in the world. 

It's an intoxicating proposition that has been around for ages.  To think I am the single most important person in the world second to none is appealing to say the least.  Now don't get me wrong.  What Rahna Reiko Rizzuto did is up to her.  I personally find it indicative of the worst, most sickeningly cancerous thinking in our modern world.  But what gets me is the piece itself. 

It's clear that the writer of the Shine article is gushing over her decision to divorce her husband and abandon her kids so she can spend a life completely focused on herself.  This isn't a woman who decided she doesn't want to be a mother, and so avoids having children at all costs.  This is a woman who is a mother who, half way around the track, decides she doesn't want to be one and takes the necessary steps.  Naturally, she says everything is better for it.  Her relationship to her kids, her life, everything.  Personally, I've always been of the feeling that if you improve a relationship by abandoning it, that says more than you want to about your role in the problems..  But that is neither here nor there.

What caught me, in Shine's slobbering adoration of her story, was the typical ability the media has of justifying its shallow promises by setting up untrue realities.  Take this little snippet:

"It also goes against our culture's definition of motherhood. But it shines a light on a glaring double standard: When a man chooses not to be a full-time parent, it's acceptable—or, at least, accepted. But when a woman decides to do so, it's abandonment."
I'm sorry, I missed where, in our culture of despising the delinquent dad, the absent father, the runaway male, that men are somehow off the hook for being a part time dad.  Part time meaning, in this case, essentially abandoning the wife and kids to lead a life focused exclusively on self.  Can someone tell me when this has happened that everyone has said, "Hurray! well done fellow!"?  I can't either.

This is a favorite tactic in the media, to push an agenda in part by subtly stating something that is flat out wrong, and making it an assumed fact.  They might as well have said 2+2=5, the world is flat, or John Smith was our first President.  All wrong.  But slid into the story as if it is obviously a fact.  But it isn't.  A man who would abandon his family to focus on himself would be ostracized by our modern, feminist dominated media and culture.  It makes my head spin to think of how quickly he would be condemned.

Perhaps it's the feminist angle, with the usual 'women rule so there are no rules for women' mantra of radical feminism that the Shine author is promoting.  Perhaps it's the usual desire to promise a Utopian paradise of self focus, a selfish, narcissistic euphoria that caused the piece to gush over this tale.  I don't know.  Certainly there is a segment out there, promoted by the likes of Dan Abrams - American male sans vertebrae - that suggests women are in every way superior therefore some could argue they can do what they wish for themselves beyond any other considerations.  I don't know.

I just know that in decades past, common people with common sense would see something like this and be able to call it for what it was.  But in our age of self-congratulatory high fives over how intellectually and morally superior than any other generation in history, we lack the ability to see the obvious truth.  Or perhaps, we just don't want to, hoping that when it comes time for us to jettison anything and anyone else in our lives to pursue our own self focused lust for pleasure and meaning, those we patted on the back will in turn pat us on the back.  You scratch my deplorably selfish desires, and I'll scratch yours.


  1. Excellent observations, Dave. I'm a blogger too (and a mom) and I plan to write something as well after having come across that Shine article. My web searching about this mostly led to places that were enthusiastic about this "my children are disposable" attitude we're seeing but I pressed on trying to find others who feel as I do, that it is wrong, and I happily stumbled onto your piece. Thank you for being a voice of reason, I will be quoting from & linking to you when I write my piece, I'll send you the link once it's finished.

    Did you see the part in that article about the other lady? She opted out of parenting and left the kids completely, only emailing and phoning it in, and glorifies it to the point that she now bills herself as a "spiritual leader"! That was even more disturbing than what the writer had done, at least the first one would be able to kiss the kids once in a while...

  2. I look for your post on it, having a better POV than I. I saw several things worth noting. But for me it was that little slip in sentence about how men apparently can just up and leave willy-nilly and nobody cares. Last I heard, they were treated like scum of all scum in our culture. That almost makes me think the author really thinks this isn't that great, but hates the thought of saying it.

  3. Heck, our sick society even trashes dads who DO behave as good fathers. Look at how fathers and men in general are portrayed in pretty much every TV show or movie as hapless buffoons who are basically useless and worse. There are legions of women who see fathers as "optional", and then they wonder why so many men start to agree.

  4. You are both so right. This article is evidence of how hateful this world really is. We won't even go into how disposable "life" is and the culture of death. This is after the mom has decided to be a mom. It make me as a mom sick. Oh I have teenagers and sometimes it seems like I could just throw them out on the street for the way they are talking or behaving, but within only minutes I am hugging them or sitting and having a conversation with them about something they need from me - Mom. I can't imagine life without being with them on a daily basis.
    Mothers are truely a needed part of every child's life just like fathers are a needed part of every child's life.
    God created us to be in partnership and have certain roles etc.

    I pray this is not a trend and is really just an incident that was found by some author who is not a mother.

  5. Like Zilla/MJ said, we went from Father Knows Best to Father Doesn't Know Beans. Despite the obvious falsehood in the story, if a father did this - left his wife and children to focus on himself - I can't help but feel that the same author would be on him like white on rice. That's always been a beef with me and the feminist movement. No problem with equal rights. But there's been a part of it that has always embraced the idea of 'equality whenever convinient.' And this story illustrates that like no other I've seen.

  6. It took me a while to get to it, being a stay at home mom that happens sometimes, but here it is:


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