killing ourselves softly


You know some dogs —

Cannot be delivered without human intervention? It is true. Some of the Bulldog smushed face dogs simply cannot be born without human involvement. Their heads are too big, their breathing apparatus too complicated, a human being has to be present to help with the birth to keep the puppies alive.

Also, many human babies cannot be delivered without human intervention. To make pregnancies hold we administer drugs, to make pregnancies take, we do in vitro, and carrying difficult pregnancies in extreme cases? Doctors sew women’s wombs shut to make pregnancies hold.

How weird is that? Sewing someone’s cervix shut? I did not learn that in embroidery school. Jeez. But there is more —

We cut women’s abdomens open to deliver babies.


I wonder sometimes if we are becoming like specialized breeds of dogs, too dependent on outside forces to be born or to continue to exist if everything went heads up.

Some anthropologists think that is what happened to the bun heads.

Anthropologists do not call them bun heads. That is just what I call them. Long long ago, according to anthropologists, there were two kinds of humans, they had branched off, and one had a really long gestation time and really big heads and the other was us, smaller heads, shorter gestation.

[Kind of a blessing, according to anthropologists their gestation was twelve months, gah!]

But anyway.

In some theories, the other group just died off. In others, we converged.


A lot of anthropology theory depends on whom you talk to, physical anthropologists or cultural anthropologists. Cultural anthropologists tend to get really philosophical and miss a lot of physical clues. They think this other group was nicer and kinder and less violent and just either died off [the gentler theory] or got killed off by our current set of Homo Sapiens sapiens. [Which means wise wise man, kind of questionable, also that is all about genus, family, order, which I tend to mix up so I may have something backwards there –– I usually forget which parts to capitalize — but I did actually try to check it on Wikipedia and I think Wikipedia has it wrong, oh nos, Wikipedia fail!] The physical anthropologists have noticed that this bun shaped construction at the base of the skull of the other group did not disappear though. It just started to appear in various forms in our group.


I call them the bun people because of that skull configuration. That bun shaped lump at the base of the skull. It is very recognizable and distinct. It is also why I know the bun people are not gone and the cultural anthropologists missed something. Because that bun configuration did not go missing. It just started showing up smaller and less defined in our group. And. In dark moments?

I figure that bun shape at the base of the skull starting to show up in our group? When the bun people as a whole went entirely missing from the face of the earth? Just means our group went in, tore up the other villages and men, and raped all the women. So now the only bun people left are descendents of rape and pillaging by our group.

[Nicer more philosophical cultural anthropologists think we all fell in love and just merged.]


Now is when I get to say something all erudite like, “Oh but I degress.”

Oh but I digress.


I am worried about human beings being unable to be born unless medical intervention is employed.

I am also fully aware I would not have survived my birth without medical intervention.

Kind of a conundrum.


where the art work comes from :
that is from cinemagypsy

0 Responses to killing ourselves softly

  1. I know exactly what you’re talking about, Max, and I think the phenomenon you describe goes way beyond just the survival (and reproductive success) of babies who would otherwise run afoul of natural birth processes (not to mention their moms). It is also connected to the survival and reproductive success of people with other physical impairments (like vulnerability to diseases which we can treat or syndromes we can manage).

    Not sure if there’s any kind of takeaway from this though. Even if there was some urgent social response that was both rational and moral — and I’m not sure there is — it would no doubt go on the pile with all the other urgent social responses we’re not getting to.

    Probably the best outcome (assuming technological society and humanity at large manage to survive the next century, and the jury’s out on that) would be some sort of direct manipulation/repair of people’s genetic code (though that will doubtless spur even thornier ethical dilemmas itself).

    Oh well. Hope I brightened your day as much as you brightened mine!


    (Actually I almost always enjoy reading your posts.)

  2. sandysays1

    Darwin’s theory applies to all parts of evolution. That includes reproductive anomoloies. S of F is a pretty tough rule to skirt.

  3. I would have died in childbirth, couldn’t birth a kid the natural way with my hips so tiny.
    Then you have some children born naturally but they end up having severe oxygen deprivation and are brain damaged. Or there is a threat of that and the docs don’t want to be sued so they are quick to do a c-section. Saw it happen last week.

    Bun heads. You crack me up.

  4. aj

    I read in a medical journal at a doctors surgery recently that without the assistance of technology, one in five women would die in child birth in this day and age. Due to a variety of reasons too. Age mainly. Seventy five years ago, with limited technology, it was one in three hundred and sixty. It’s interesting how reliant we have become on machines, even in such a short time.

  5. max

    One in five? That is crazy.

  6. max

    [Yay! The Christmas blog snow has started. I love the blog snow.]

  7. aj, do you have an actual citation for those figures? I ask because there was a recent post over at Hugo Schwyzer’s that flatly contradicts what you’re saying. He quotes someone named Erin Solaro, who says that:

    1940 was the first time in America that the mythical average woman’s chance of dying in childbirth dipped below 1 in 100. (For black women, it was higher, about 3 times as high.) In modern Afghanistan, it’s about 1 in 7, which may be pretty close to the historic norm.

    Now, I happen to have a very low opinion of Erin’s gender politics — I think they’re appalling — but I have no idea whether she’s presenting slanted data or not. It would be interesting to see if there’s a contradiction between the data you found and the data she was citing.

  8. max

    Well AJ is preggers and was just perusing mags in an OB office. She might not have saved the name and source.

  9. Ben

    OK… I want to know why the blog snow will go right or left when I want but it won’t go up?! Is it intelligent?

  10. max

    Well the blog snow is programmed to fall downwards, no matter what — it will just fall down to the left, center, or to the right depending on where your cursor is.

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