What I do to get a good night’s sleep

Yes, I really do wake up at ungodly hours of the morning and write new blog posts like this. And then I’m surprised when, if anyone reads them, they offer no reaction.

It’s too bad. This post is one of my foundational ones, indicating how I view our social world, based on my learning. It’s entitled, “No excuses: Power, responsibility, and accountability.”

And I slept soundly after writing it.


Abortion

I got my vasectomy when I was 24. That’d have probably been 1983, maybe early 1984. Ronald Reagan was president, which was scary then much in a similar way, though I don’t think quite as much so, to the way Donald Trump was later. But no, unlike some of today’s men, it wasn’t because I was afraid that Roe v. Wade would be overturned.[1]

I usually only need a couple reasons for making a decision. In this case, I had several.

I worried about nuclear holocaust. I worried about environmental devastation. Even then, I realized I was having trouble even taking care of myself and I worried I wouldn’t be able to afford to raise a child. I worried I would replicate my own upbringing and I felt that no child should endure what I endured. And the fear I’d gotten a woman pregnant took the steam out of one of the very few romances I’ve had in my life.

Most, if not all, of those reasons remain applicable. But today, I’d add the likelihood of violence, either to overturn a dangerously worthless elite[2] or as Trumpists impose Donald Trump on the rest of us.

Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, “Men across America are getting vasectomies ‘as an act of love.’” Washington Post, December 26, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/12/26/men-across-america-are-getting-vasectomies-an-act-love/


  1. [1]Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, “Men across America are getting vasectomies ‘as an act of love.’” Washington Post, December 26, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/12/26/men-across-america-are-getting-vasectomies-an-act-love/
  2. [2]David Benfell, “No excuses: Power, responsibility, and accountability,” Not Housebroken, December 27, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/12/27/no-excuses-power-responsibility-and-accountability/

2 thoughts on “What I do to get a good night’s sleep

  • December 28, 2021 at 9:35 am
    Permalink

    Michael got his vasectomy about 8 years after we were together. We still had the optimism that comes from good childhoods. My parents were early childhood educators who raised my sister & I joyfully & resourcefully. Michael’s family was cheerfully larger and steady midwestern stock. We “knew” we would be good parents & everyone even now decades later said so. Without actually planning we had miscarriage after miscarriage until finally Michael decided for us. We were turned down for fostering that would lead to adoption a couple of times and never accumulated enough money to pursue parenthood any other way. Although we were written in friends’ wills to parent their children should calamity face their families, we remained that couple whose friends & family sent their kids to free range for the summer.
    As we grew older, being childless became that joke that came as we mustered up the energy to clean the gutters, carry appliances into the new house, oil & buff this new sculpture or reorganize the library: “Where is that teenage kid to help us?”
    But in the last several years, we both have come to feel eternally grateful that we have no children to face the world our culture has now created.

    (David, conversations that can spring from your blog posts are often grist for conversation of an afternoon & evening-face to face. Someday we must arrange for it. We aren’t so far apart.)

    Reply
    • December 28, 2021 at 10:27 am
      Permalink

      In my case, to have done otherwise, that is, not to have gotten a vasectomy, would clearly have been a disaster. I have absolutely no doubt of this.

      And I absolutely do worry about younger generations with the climate crisis. You and I are old enough that we will escape the worst of this. But California’s Central Valley will, not ‘may,’ but will run out of water; more hunger than we already have will surely follow. And this is, of course, before we even think about extreme weather events that are mere warnings of what is yet to come.

      Our society is failing to respond to existential threats. We will, eventually, when it is too late. That will fail to avoid the calamity these generations will face.

      Reply

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