Dingbat Observer columnist

Yet I\’ve noticed, of late, that the business of acquiring a status symbol has got more complex. Partly, of course, it is because in these times of economic austerity, it behoves the rich and successful to appear slightly less rich and successful in order to make the rest of us feel better.

But instead of abandoning their baubles of smugness, it seems that the top 1% have simply found another way of displaying their superiority: children.

Err, yes, it\’s a fairly basic bit of this evolution lark really.

Compete for resources so as to maximise the probability of your having grandchildren. Several books have been written about it.

It does still amuse me that those on the left, those most likely to pooh pooh any alternative to evolution as the method by which we got here, are those most resistant to accepting the implications of evolution as being the way that we are.

You know, rich men tend to marry pretty women? Pretty we\’ve found being pretty much defined by what looks like fertile? Pretty women tending to marry rich men because the rich men have the resources?


6 thoughts on “Dingbat Observer columnist”

  1. The problem with the Guardian is that ever day is April Fools Day and, regarding Comment is Fatuous, they don’t have the time or the money bother with any quality control on the jokes.

    It’s the journalistic equivalent of cheap Christmas cracker “mottos”.

  2. Probably very little to do with evolution (sociobiology can be one of those “explains anything and everything” paradigms like Marxism and Freudianism). A lot more to do with attitudes to family that developed during the Victorian Era, when they noticed that the untermensch/residuum/chavs were breeding a lot faster than the Good People in the ruling class, which led rapidly to eugenics.

    The problem was that the ruling class women didn’t much like their one remaining duty- childbirth. It’s dangerous, it ruins the figure, it interferes with your missionary work. So they developed an ideology that was fiercely anti-sexual and having small families was a demonstration of one’s sexual restraint, unlike the bestial underclass and, in America, those awful Catholic immigrants. This ultimately led to an ideology of small numbers of “planned”, high-value children, the deification of childhood, hysteria over child safety (when you’ve only got two, you can’t afford to lose one) and so on.

    Ruling class women rarely have large families to this day. Four is considered gluttony. They frequently don’t even try to start breeding until middle age is approaching, and then there’s a mad panic, four rounds of IVF and an eventual asthmatic aspie requiring round-the-clock protective coddling, hence the rise of child safety hysteria, much of the nanny state and the determination to shove the poor little bugger through University regardless of aptitude because he’s the family line, and that’s it; which is why most of the said ruling class consists of the type of people the Spartans would have left on a hillside.

    So in that case, these unusual “big breeders” (i.e. breeeding at normal levels for most cultures throughout history) are displaying that they have sufficient resoureces to lavish on their high-value Puritan children, as opposed to the normal human system of having a dozen, losing a few and so on.

    So, while it’s sociobiology in the sense that all our drives are physical and derived in some manner from evolution, what we’re seeing here is more about the strange madnesses that afflict post-Victorian Anglo society, rather than something generalised to the human race. We do tend to make the error of believing we’re normal, whereas in fact our society in general is a weird outlier in many respects.

  3. David: hmm? Dunno. Don’t know much about Iran, other than the burka thing and that funny little president fellow. Not my strong point, the Islamic world.

    As a general comment though, which may or may not be relevant, you need to remember that the world’s superpower for well over two centuries now has been Anglo- first Britain, then America, and secondly that Anglos via a well organised international missionary network (NGOs, charidees, the tranzi-ocracy) have spread those Anglo values globally. So, you find them cropping up everywhere.

    As an aside, there’s a very good humorous exposition of the birth attitudes thing in Monty Python’s Meaning Of Life, the “Every Sperm Is Sacred” segment.

  4. Ah, teh joys of spring, when a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of…
    hating children because only those welfare guzzling chavs have them
    hating children because only the toffs can afford them.

    Can’t be bothered to look see where the inflection point between promise and burden is. (Around $6,000 p.a.?) Got to check their school bags.

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