“The Mother and the Monster”: I review “The Babadook”

for AmCon. Should've decided in advance how spoilerous I wanted to be; if you haven't seen it yet, I'd definitely recommend either skipping this review or stopping after the first couple paragraphs. One of the year’s most widely-praised horror movies, Australia’s “The Babadook,” methodically chews through a list of terrifying questions: What happens when you can’t protect your child from tragedy and grief? When you can’t protect him from the people around him? From himself? From yourself? … [Read more...]

“Why I Want to Live Long and Burden My Children”: Cheryl Magness

writes: Last week The Atlantic published the article “Why I Hope to Die by 75” by Ezekiel Emanuel, a former adviser to President Obama on health care and one of the primary designers of the Affordable Care Act. In it, Emanuel outlines his reasons for deciding he will no longer accept most kinds of medical treatment when he reaches age 75. Chief among those reasons is his conclusion that once someone starts to slow down in his mind and body the value of his life begins to decrease, along with the … [Read more...]

Breastfeeding Is a Hell of a Drug

My best friend just had a baby! And so she sends me this poetic thing, which she says accurately reflects her experience: During early days with your baby, when you're not trying to manage a work schedule, enjoy the floating quality of time. Nurse your baby whenever he or she is restless or fretful, without counting minutes or even really giving any thought to time. more … [Read more...]

“Mom Arrested for (Maybe) Hanging Up on Cop While Her Missing Daughter Plays at Church”: Reason

gives this story a much different headline from many mainstream media outlets. Let's find out why! Here is a story that combines some of our favorite Reason.com topics, including strip clubs, jerk cops, and America's growing willingness to make less-than-perfect parenting a crime. In this case, Florida resident Bobbey Jo Boucher went with her 10-year-old daughter to a neighbor's barbecue and left the girl there when she headed to work, instructing her to go back home when it was over. When the … [Read more...]

“Another Mom Thrown in Jail for Letting Kids Play in Park”: Reason

I know I say this all the time, but what really gets to me is the tone of contempt. There's pride in the police chief's condescending dehumanization. Like, he's so pleased that he came up with this super clever way to put down a woman trying to get help for her family. Lenore Skenazy agrees: Ashley, Richardson, a mom of four who went to a food bank while her kids, ages 6-8, played at the park for more than two hours, was arrested and jailed in Winter Haven, Florida. While the park day sounds … [Read more...]

“The Boy Is the Father of Whatever”: I Review Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood”

at AmCon: About an hour and a half into Richard Linklater’s memorable new film, my notes say, “This is RIVETING.” Exactly one hour later, as the movie finally ceased (“ended” is too strong, too decisive), I breathed a sigh of relief. What went wrong to turn the movie from startling, luminous journey into boring, platitudinous slog?Linklater’s movie has gained a lot of press for one of those gimmicks which hide deep meaning under their showy surface, like the delays in Hamlet. Linklater shot … [Read more...]

“The Criminalization of Parenthood”: Radley Balko

again some more: A couple of themes we explore here at The Watch are the increasing criminalization of just about everything and the use of the criminal justice system to address problems that were once (and better) handled by families, friends, communities and other institutions. A few examples from recent headlines show those themes intersecting with parenthood.The first story comes from South Carolina, where a mother was jailed and charged with “unlawful conduct toward a child” for . . . … [Read more...]


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