All shall be poor

All shall be poor
How today’s sexual narcissists insist on propagating their dreary values

See the complete article at http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/all_shall_be_poor/

A hot new must-read book making the rounds is Frenchwoman Corinne Maier's No Kids: Forty Good Reasons Not To Have Children. Having read her embarrassingly superficial Maclean's interview and perused the jejune list of what constitutes "reasons" for Maier --kids cut into your "fun," kids are "conformists" --I'll pass on actually reading the book. Yet, because it would seem there was both money and celebrity to be gleaned from time Maier might otherwise have idly frittered away in an afternoon nap, I'm tempted to give the idea a whirl myself.

Since wisdom clearly isn't a prerequisite for success in this genre, but a knack for "shocking" hopelessly retrograde traditionalists is, how's this for a book concept: Forty Reasons Women Should Love the Burka (1--No more pesky skin cancer fears! 17 --Size 2 or 14, who's to know, so goodbye dieting! 31 -- You're out of that whole beauty rat race thing! etc.).

Does this parodic riff exaggerate the inanity of Maier's thesis? Just a tad. I wouldn't normally dignify such lifestyle bumf with a column, but it struck me that the hoopla around this silly book falls into a cultural pattern, according to which the media eagerly aggrandize purveyors of utter banality, as long as they are advocating for the abandonment of demonstrably valuable social norms.

The 19th-century Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem commonsensically pointed out what seems obvious to me: "It's no sin to be poor, but it's no great honour either." The problem is, in this age of self-esteem uber alles, in which all must have prizes, being known as "poor" is no longer acceptable to the, er, poor. Or at least not the evolutionary version of poor -- those bent more on their own pleasure than the producing and raising of society's future citizens: you know, the ones paying for Corinne Maier's Parisian nursing-home bed.

* * *

Non-reproductive sexuality-pride, infidelity-pride, divorce-pride, anti-children pride: In this topsy-turvy politically correct world, the media have glommed onto the mantra that poor is rich, even if it's only the exhibitionistic, the immature, the egotistical and the narcissistic who keep repeating it.

Barbara Kay is a columnist for Canada’s National Post, in which this article was first published.

No comments: