Biological and Baby Mama Bashed
At long last, our national love affair with the rich is coming to a close. The moguls whose exploits we used to follow with such fascination, it now seems, plowed the country into the ground precisely because of the fabulous rewards that were showered on them.
Massive inequality, we have learned, isn't the best way to run an economy after all. And when you think about it, it's also profoundly ugly.
Some people haven't received the memo, though. Take Alex Kuczynski, author of the New York Times Magazine cover story for Nov. 30, which tells how she went about hiring another woman to bear her child.
Read it all here.
What is quite obvious is that Frank was far too sensible and clever to have ever been a part of this supposed love affair with the rich. He favors politcal policies that, if nothing else would bring the sort of beautiful massive equality found in the pre-crack-up Soviet Union.
But it's the bashing and trashing of Kuczynski that gets ugly here.
Frank's characterization of her piece is rife through with class jealously and undisguised hatred.
Yes, there are moral implications to surrogate motherhood. It might have been interesting if Frank had deigned to explore them. Instead he indicts the practice as an example of the free-market gone wild.
But it seems Frank only real objection to surrogacy is that rich women like Kucyznski can take advantage of it.
Spencerblog checked out Kucyznski's piece online. One of Frank's nastiest criticisms of the story is that it dehumanizes surrogate baby mama Cathy Hilling, who happens to be from Harleysville.
But, it is, Frank who dehumanizes Hilling, treating her as nothing more than a benighted tool with which to crack Kucyznski over the head.
More from Frank:
"Then there are the photographs, already infamous: Ms. Kuczynski in a black sleeveless sheath and stiletto-heel pumps, posing next to the pregnant surrogate in khakis and a tousled pink flannel shirt. Ms. Kuczynski holding the baby on the lawn of her Southampton estate, with columns, topiary and servant. The surrogate sitting, barefoot and alone, on a beat-up porch of her house in Pennsylvania."
Frank doesn't bother to name her. But he leaves the impression she is destitute and alone when, according to the story, she is happily married to a William and Mary graduate with whom she has three children.
As for Kuczynski, it seems to me her piece gives Cathy all due respect and affection.
There is one notable passage...
"I wish I could say that everyone’s reaction to Max’s birth was as generous. Most people were overjoyed for us. But extraordinary circumstances, I discovered, bring out extraordinary reactions in some people. I least expected jealousy. This from women who looked at me with tight smiles and said, “Well, thank God you didn’t have to give birth to that huge child!” Or, glumly: “You’re so lucky. Pregnancy is overrated.” One announced to a table of people at a dinner party: “My God, Alex. You’ve really gotten away with some stuff in your life. But this takes the cake!” It was as if I had performed some slimy trick and was still able to have my ticket stamped “Mother.”
Kucyznski's surprise at people's jealously is naive in the extreme but it speaks well of her.
Frank's bit of slimy nastiness does less for him.