Friday, May 5, 2017

Is Nothing Sacred?

A staple in these unsettling times: Pepto-Bismol
I don't vomit, having sworn off that repulsive  activity after a rough night back in 1956 when I contracted something called the Asian Flu. That did it. My mother told me it was mind over matter and since then I've had no more of that. (An annual flu shot helps.) But this morning I saw something online that made me nauseous and feel like I might throw up. I quickly turned off my computer and tried to erase it from my mind with a brisk walk outside in the fresh air.

It was this: Some middling TV actor and his who-is-she wife are having a baby, news they opted to share with the entire world on social media, like that's so damn special and there isn't an entire industry aborting 3,000 babies a day in the United States alone and 125,000 worldwide. The misguided, not-famous-enough-for-us-to-care couple did this by posting a series of photos of the father down on one knee, kissing the protruding stomach of the mother. Thankfully she was not naked but wore some diaphanous gown straight from Tinkerbell's closet, if Tink had a closet and wore gowns.

The Exhibitionists: Yuk.
What I want to know is why. Why they needed to share that private moment with the entire world. A world that includes ISIS and all their followers, racists, rapists, serial murderers, gang members, surly teens, cheating politicians, cops and robbers and everyone else with access to the Internet, which is to say everyone else. Will they also stream the birth live online? Will we get to see her bleeding and cracked nipples when she starts to breastfeed? And what if the baby is premature? Will we see pictures of it in the NICU with wires coming out of every orifice? Where, exactly, will it end?

Something is seriously wrong in a society where women keep their age, weight and shoe size locked in a vault but swim naked in public when they are nine months pregnant. This has nothing at all to do with prudishness, rather a desire to have some things remain special, to be enjoyed only by a chosen few. These days you gotta wonder: is nothing sacred?

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