Attack Of The Living Stereotypes

« October 2005 »

Memo to Human Breeding Machines: YOU ARE DUMB.

They say stereotyping is wrong, and I suppose that's the case. But there's a line between stereotyping and pattern recognition. You cross that line not when you notice the pattern, but when you expect, predict, or demand the pattern to hold true in every instance.

So, in the interests of pattern recognition, and not shameful stereoryping of godly Southern hickfolk AT ALL, I merely present the case of the Duggars. The Arkansas couple that just made news by giving birth to their sixteenth child.

And across the Internet, four hundred and fifty people gasp. SIXTEEN children? I can hear you now, readying your rants against the runaway fertility industry that produces the octuplets that make the news that inspire the outpouring of support yadda yadda. But the Duggar's sixteen children were all produced through old-fashioned Christian fucking. Other than two sets of twins, Michelle Duggar has been squeezing the little bastards out one by one, like clockwork for seventeen years.

Here's where the pattern recognition kicks in. Nobody can just go about their lives having sixteen kids, and be normal in every other way. It doesn't happen. They've got to be freaks about it. Case in point:

Every last one of the children has a name that starts with "J". From 17-year-old Joshua to newborn Johannah. You would think, if you're planning to spawn that many times, that you wouldn't limit yourself, but no. All J's. This is because the father's name begins with J. And here's why it was vitally important for me to include that paragraph about stereotyping. The father's name is JIM BOB DUGGAR.

And it would be horribly wrong to casually meet Jim Bob Duggar, and from his name-tag alone, assume he's the kind of guy who would father sixteen children, all with names that start with "J", and say things like "We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them."

But he is. He's exactly that kind of person. The kind of person that believes it's up to the white beard in the sky, not the white stuff in his dick, whether he produces offspring or not. This is why rational people don't have sixteen kids. They know how babies get made.

It would also be wrong to assume that Jim Bob and Michelle, the God-loving, child-loving, genetically-profligate Arkansas couple, would end up giving their horde the kind of names you'd expect from such a couple. But it wouldn't be incorrect.

They started off tame enough. Joshua. John David. Got a bit weird with John David's twin sister "Janna", but in a world with "Kal-El Coppola Cage", we can let it pass.

Jill. Jessa. OK, there's a gratuitous "a" on the end, but again we're in the realm of personal taste here. I'm not a fan of the gratuitous terminal A, but the Duggars obviously are. And that's fine. But then we hit 1994, and the birth of Jinger Duggar, and I start to get cranky.

If you're going to give yourself a rule for naming your kids, have the common decency to be intellectually honest about it. The rule is not "all our kids names will start with j-sounds", so don't go taking G-names and making ugly new respellings of them. That just ain't right.

And I think, subconsciously, the Duggars knew it, because Jinger was followed out of the now-cavernous birth canal by Joseph and Josiah. Bit biblical for my tastes, but then, so are the Duggars.

1997, however, gave us "Joy-Anna", a nomenclative monstrosity on par with welding a sheep's head to a B-17 bomber. Then came Jeremiah and Jedediah, because the homestead didn't sound Southern enough. The births of Jason, James, and Justin represent a period of lucidity that must have been a bit terrifying for the Duggars, because they closed out with Jackson Levi last year, and the aforementioned Johannah.

But here's the kicker - the conundrum, if you will. Michelle had their first child at age 22. They had been married for FOUR YEARS already. Now, since there's no way in hell someone who's produced more than one child a year from age 22 to 39 was magically infertile from ages 18 - 22, it seems like someone wasn't following God's glorious plan for quite some time. Or they didn't fuck for the first four years of their marriage. Either way, it's a curious little factoid. Almost as if they suddenly made the decision to START embodying the ultimate hick stereotype. But nobody would do that... would they?