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Lileks Ate My Brain, Part II

I hate James Lileks. Once again, he ate my brain.

I was emailed a link to this story last night. It's all about the poor, overextended super mommies who think that society isn't doing enough to help them raise their children so the mommies end up exhausted failures.

I had a whole post planned out. I recited it to myself eagerly in the shower this morning. And then I get to the computer, check the Bleat as I do every morning, and see that James has once again used the magical bendy straw to suck an idea out of my head.

It's just as well. I am in the midst of writing a comedic novel about mothers just like that. It's all based on my experiences with the Perfect Parenting People. I'm up to chapter five and I think I'll just go ahead and model the stay-at-home dad who appears in this chapter after James. Sans witty repartee and matchbook covers.

And now, I must go in search of a new blog topic for this morning.

[Update: I decided to go ahead and write it, but it won't be ready until tomorrow morning, at which point you'll all have lost interest in the topic, anyhow.]

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Lileks Ate My Brain, Part II:

» Mommy Tripe from O'DonnellWeb
Much like Michele, I've been silently composing a rather involved response to this ridiculous article. However, after reading Lileks today,... [Read More]

» Parenting Perfection from Secure Liberty
Doesn't exist, and should not be anybody's realistic goal. James Lileks looks at this load of tripe, and comes away with a brilliant look at the real world of child rearing. (H/T ASV) Lileks points to one mom who gets it. You won’t catch Muffy Me... [Read More]

» No Love for Judith Warner? from Ilyka Damen
No? What I find so depressing about Warner's book is the fact that she seems to be a well-intentioned, passionate advocate for women. She obviously cares about her subject matter deeply. She wants things to change. She even outlines a... [Read More]

» Super-Mom Mania from The Sheila Variations
By now I'm sure many of you have read this. Everyone's talking about it, and a lot of the talk I find obnoxious, but a lot of it I find right on the money. Many people seem to dismiss the... [Read More]

» supermom my a** from geek empire
Michele and Lileks both have posts up on a Newsweek article about the stress of being a supermom. I confess I didn't read the entire article, but in this case "Supermom" seems to be defined as "Type-A anal-retentive career-and-child-oriented perfecti... [Read More]

» No Love for Judith Warner? from Ilyka Damen
[NOTE/UPDATE: I've revised the link to A Small Victory now that Michele's posted a finished version of the post Lileks sucked from her brain. It looks to me like Lileks got the short end of the bendy straw on this... [Read More]

Comments

I read the Lilek's piece, and I have to admit, it is definitely one of his better ones.

Still, I think you would still have something to add. Every person has a different perspective. If you're feeling deflated on the topic today, put it aside for another day.

Just a suggestion.

Farbeit from me to tell you what to do, Michele, but you should write it anyway...Lileks is a kickass blogger, but he's not a mother working her arse off, raising kids...narrative distance is applicable in this case...:)

DM

You know, this is SO one of my pet peeves. The whole "supermommy/superkids" thing. I liked that link to the "slacker mommy" article. I'm definitely not a supermom- but I constantly feel that tug and questioning as to whether I'm making the correct choices. All the competitive crap - often veiled in the "My first grader is reading at a fifth grade level" kinda stuff.

Heh, I just read that before popping in here. I love the part where they want to tax people to make parenting easier. My brain did not need to be sucked out for that one ... it burst right out of my skull and did a little tantrum-jig on the keyboard before dissolving into a puddle of mush.

I wish you would do the piece anyway. You are more readable than Lileks. I usually get bored before I get to the meat of his columns.

Yeah, that oft photoshop picture of Mr. Lileks is really a front... he really looks like the giant maggot looking bug from Starship Troopers

The thing about the woman going nuts over the felt so totally proves the opposite point - here's a woman who is trying to raise her kids, and she's getting stressed not by the competing demands of the kids vs. her own life but by her school giving her extra and unnecessary duties. Our school had this big fundraiser my wife got totally consumed by, and it had nothing to do with the needs of the kids.

Lileks is a kickass blogger, but he's not a mother working her arse off, raising kids...

Is the suggestion here that Lileks somehow has it easier than a mom who does the nine-to-fiver? He writes three columns for the Strib per week plus a de facto daily column in the Bleat plus he's working on a book plus he just got a gig writing about TV for a magazine plus he cleans the house and cooks dinner for his family. The latest Bleat also mentions his having recently written two pieces "for various jobs," which I guess means he's also freelancing.

He does all this while taking care of his daughter during the day. How is that any less an example of "working [one's] ass off" than some woman who goes to an office and pushes paper around for eight hours?

The thing about the woman going nuts over the felt so totally proves the opposite point - here's a woman who is trying to raise her kids, and she's getting stressed not by the competing demands of the kids vs. her own life but by her school giving her extra and unnecessary duties.

No, it proves the opposite point by showing that she's going nuts over felt textures for Chrissakes. She's "color-coordinating paper goods". It's Christmas, dammit: red and green. There, coordinated. Can't find those? Use white. All done. She's going nuts, according to the story, because she's obsessing over Martha Stewart-level decorating details for a kids' party.

You know something funny about that article? Most of it leads to the same conclusion that Lileks's post does: everyone should just sit back and have a nice frosty mug of Chill the Hell Out.

But then, about 2/3 of the way in, it turns into a hissy fit about how Society Must Do More to help women standardize their felt textures and color-coordinate their paper goods. This comes straight out of nowhere, runs for several hysterical paragraphs, and then disappears, leaving us with the original point. I detect the aroma of editorial input.

that's the funny thing about evil geniuses isn't it?

Yeah, he does it to me frequently as well, so instead of the thoughtful and insightful post I was going to write on the topic I wrote an angry rant instead.