I subscribe to a Facebook group for mothers in my neck of the woods, which I think I’ve mentioned before. I read it mostly for the entertainment, and the nostalgia; it’s easy to forget what it’s like to have little kids in the house, and the overwhelming emotion – fear.
It’s not exclusively fear. You also have a certain warmheartedness, that “I am mother to the world” thing. But always, the fear creeps back in. You may have read that some women believe their newborns will burst into flames if they take their eyes off them. Once you have a baby? You totally get it. It’s just your body telling you to stay on the job.
Fear is a useful emotion, in the sense that it reminds you what you have to protect. But today, I stumbled across a thread about dental work, and learned that in addition to a significant anti-vaccine contingent around here, there are some who are filtering fluoride out of their drinking water. Because cancer.
I guess it’s only a matter of time until we reject modernity entirely.
Yes I know: Fluoride is a carcinogen. It’s also the reason most of us will be buried with the teeth we were born with, when in my grandparents’ generation, dentures were as common as artificial knees are in the current one.
Quick bloggage today, because yesterday was boring:
A few days ago, a friend came across a signed collection of Bob Greene columns in a used bookstore, which he of course snatched up for me. Talking about Bob and his era, he was inspired to go looking for Neil Steinberg’s Bobwatch columns from the Chicago Reader, and sent me one that, coincidentally, Neil himself dusted off for his blog today — a review of “All Summer Long,” his horrible novel. One of them, anyway.
The plot is pure Bob wish fulfillment. The thinly disguised Bob character, an aging TV journalist named Ben Kroeger, dragoons his two best friends into abandoning their families and spending “one last summer” in a journey across the country. “We had said that it was going to be the best thing we had ever done,” writes Bob/Ben, as if the three men were bringing vaccines to impoverished African villages instead of lounging around motel pools.
Bob’s fake premise is further undermined by his insistence on presenting the lark as a pure, shimmering quest, a search for the grail that everyone immediately grasps and then reveres. The irony of these three boobs trying to regain the sort of magic summer now being denied their own cast-off and fatherless children never occurs to anybody, least of all the author.
I can see some of the benefits of “affirmative consent,” yes, but still think the money would be better spent teaching young people to speak up when they’re in an uncomfortable situation, starting in childhood. Speak up loudly. It might scare off a few of the creepy mom’s-boyfriend and bad-swim-coach types, too.
Outta here. Good Thursday, all.