Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Trend: Keeping the baby

Before Harry Potter took over as Ultimate Hit of Summer 2007, there was a very popular movie called Knocked Up, comedically chronicling two young people deciding to keep the baby. All of a sudden, these stories are everywhere: Glamour has hired a 26-year-old single mom-to-be to blog about her experience (and here's what Gawker burped up), and the NYT recently ran a poignant Modern Love about journalist Ronda Kasen's decision to keep her unplanned baby.

What's going on? First question, is there a subversive anti-choice message going on here? As the trend grows, it's almost inevitably going to swing that way, unfortunately. But for all the backlash about the film Knocked Up being anti-choice propaganda, I don't think that's the case. I think we can thank the ultraconservative, sex-fearing MPAA for abortion and sexual issues' absence in contemporary American film (and if you haven't seen Kirby Dick's This Film Is Not Yet Rated, you oughta).

I think this trend elicits something different -- the bittersweet idealism of launching a baby into a crumbling world. I'm 25, and of all my friends and cousins, know no one having a kid. It's too awful out here. Even despite these troubled times, we're just too poor, too busy, have too many plans. So when we see other compassionate, intelligent, flawed people in those months before the little human lands, it's hard not to get sucked in, and put pessimism aside for a moment to nod to the potential of new life.

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