Greg's Reviews > The Baby is Disappointing

The Baby is Disappointing by Matthew Swanson
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's review
Apr 12, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: ha-ha-s, science
Read in April, 2010

I had forgotten about this book until yesterday at MOCCA. Karen had gotten it for herself at an earlier Book Festival, and for our co-worker Lesley when she was pregnant, and now I have gotten it for my sister who is also now knocked up. But which is ok since she is married so that is what married people do, not to say it wasn't ok for Lesley, because she was married too. None of these kids are going to hell just because of their parents doing the nasty before they said "I, Do".

But anyway, this is my sister's kid, it's still inside her right now though:

That is also the reason I bought this book. You don't even have to buy this book to enjoy it, just click on the link on the information about the book and read it online!

Some might say the book is funny, and it is. The book is also really truthful about the awfulness of babies. Babies really are assholes, and apropos to Freud, some people just don't get beyond their infantile stages and remain assholes their whole lives. That is why I think of this book not as humor, but as a science book.

The one failing of the book is that it doesn't go into the worst part of babies, the constant praise they are given for doing things that (hopefully) you and I can do with no problem. I realize that I am envious at the ease babies are lavished with praise, but seriously is it healthy to make a really big deal about that they can sit up? Or that they can stand? Or even walk? Billions of people do these things everyday without being praised and made the center of attention because of doing these things. I can't imagine that this doesn't create a weird need for being rewarded for the most petty and trivial activities later in life (or in my case a huge resentment that I don't get praised when I remember to shit in the toilet instead of my pants. If anyone cares I went number 2 in the toilet about 15 minutes ago to no fanfare).

I know that people out there will say I'm being an asshole, or that people need to to have positive reinforcement or think I'm just trying to be funny, but I'm not. Babies should realize it's a cold world out there, no one cares what you can do, it's all about manipulation, lying and taking what is yours. Doing tricks for praise is only going to turn you into an adult whose turning tricks for ten bucks at some truck stop in the middle of nowhere.

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Comments (showing 1-50 of 57) (57 new)

karen i kind of love this review, even though it has a weird baby face in the middle of it.

is your sister's husband an alien??

Greg I didn't think he was, but after seeing this he might be.

karen thank you for putting this up, now i can rate it!!

after i do some dishes and get my mise ready for lasagna.

message 4: by Kristen (last edited Apr 12, 2010 08:25PM) (new)

Kristen Babies have had it too easy for too long and it's great to see someone who has the courage to call those little lazy assholes out on their freeloading. Just because you can't support the weight of your own head doesn't entitle you to shit. Get a job babies!!!

message 6: by David (new)


message 7: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Apr 13, 2010 06:19AM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I'd agree with you if I thought that learning how to sit up, stand and walk were trivial skills. But they're vital for survival, so from an evolutionary angle it makes perfect sense that homo sapiens tend to excitedly hoot and praise their offspring for displaying these skills. Seems like the tendency to ignore these behaviors or otherwise prevent one's offspring from achieving these skills would be weeded out quite a bit via natural selection, considering that non-walking primates aren't likely to be the ones spreading their genes the most, if ever.

I find it funny that it seems like you'd be happy with the whole situation as long as you, and adults generally, also got the same pats on the back for walking, pooping, etc. Good job, Greggy, way to take a dump!

message 8: by Natalie (new)

Natalie That sonogram looks like something straight out of a "Real Ghost Photos!" program on FX.

message 9: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Apr 13, 2010 06:29AM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Addendum: Those things are trivial in the sense that they seem very effortless and instinctual for most people. If the encouragement that comes from parents has no effect on the ability to learn to walk or shit in the toilet then I suppose the praise is just a neutral byproduct and not a directly adaptive trait. I can still see why people would develop the tendency, given the connection between health, happiness, genetic fitness and refined motor skills like walking and standing.

karen mfso, you are being particularly robotic today.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Coffee makes me human...

message 12: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg From an evolutionary standpoint sitting up, standing and walking could have been achieved by taunting and holding food just out of a baby's reach. Maybe I am just bitter and in need of constant praise though for even the most trivial actions I do.

I have a feeling you might be facetious in your praise for my defecation, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and believe you are being sincere. Thank you, MFSO!!

message 14: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 13, 2010 08:39AM) (new)

Only the spoiled, privileged and insulated have the freedom-of-speech right to complain about the biological processes integral to the worth and continuation of life. Good on you. Now pull your head out of your navel.

Adults who begrudge children praise for achieving things they can easily achieve were likely parented cruelly. Babies aren't assholes. YOU'RE assholes.

message 15: by David (new)

David Awwwwww... well, isn't that adorably curmudgeonly?

Your schtick is the semi-solid doodoo in the diaper of life.

karen fucking christ, did everyone forget their sense of humor pills this morning??

it's the nineties, people, we are cloaked in irony.

message 17: by David (last edited Apr 13, 2010 08:40AM) (new)

David That Brendan likes to play the grumpy, get-off-my-lawn guy. I think he imagines it's cute or amusing. Or something.

He's the Don Rickles of Goodreads. And an infant that should've never been praised or encouraged. Just left in the woods for feral cats to raise.

karen thank you, elder.

message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 13, 2010 08:43AM) (new)

Humor is funny because there's truth in it. I was just pointing out that the heart of much baby-complaining humor is solipsistic, self-congratulatory and tediously overdone.

Irony is old, so don't fret too much if you're called on it.

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

You fetid hipsters need Jesus in your life.


message 21: by David (new)

David I'm sure they'd all respond to you, but they're too busy fretting.

message 22: by Natalie (new)

Natalie I was into Jesus, but then he sold out and got famous.

karen i think the problem with greg is he was parented too well. and now he is missing out on the praise he once got. but when i vote for his reviews, i feel that is kind of like praise. feel free to give him praise instead of more abuse.

and if greg and i are considered hipsters, it means they must be desperate for members.

message 24: by David (last edited Apr 13, 2010 09:28AM) (new)

David I'm sure he'd respond to you, but he's reinflating his gas bag.

[image error]

It's really cute. An ironic reappropriation of the gruff, authoritarian grump perhaps?

karen how have our paths not crossed before now? has so many unexplored nooks and crannies for me.

message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Sorry. I had to empty my colostomy bag.

message 27: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg I can't believe that out of all the things I've said on this site the thing I have pissed someone off about is calling babies assholes. How fucking retarded do you have to be to get pissed off about someone calling babies assholes? Jeez, you'd have to be a real fag to get angry about that.

karen MFSO, i am at work - fetch me a louis ck clip.

message 29: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg Actually strike most of comment 27. You'd have to be dumber than an asshole baby to take anything I said seriously enough to get your clenched PC asshole into contortions over making fun of babies. Jeez, it's not like the little idiots even know what I'm saying about them.

karen oh, they know....

and they will have their revenge.

message 31: by Michelle (last edited Apr 13, 2010 02:11PM) (new)

Michelle oh, they know....

and they will have their revenge.

Greg, you better watch your back!

message 32: by Jen (new)

Jen And watch other places besides your back. Babies are everywhere.

I praise babies everyday. If you had to clean up after them (whole almonds, corn, raisins in diapers are not fun to see, people) you would clap the hell outta your palms when they finally take a squat on the pot too!

Or not. Maybe you'd just wait until they learned to clean up after themselves dammit :)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio To Be Painfully, Probably (Hopefully?) Unnecessarily Clear: my tone and point were extremely tongue-in-cheek and the non-joking aspects consisted mostly of me thinking aloud about evolutionary psychology for my own robotic amusement. And I am pretty proud of your shits, Greg, mainly because you like to think about Jesus when you perch upon the crapper.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio karen wrote: "MFSO, i am at work - fetch me a louis ck clip."

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio karen wrote: "it's the nineties"


karen yay!! although i was hoping for the quote where he calls his daughter an asshole. i was at work and i couldn't do the old cut-and-paste thing.

his new show is soon, yes?

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I'm not very familiar with him. Glad you likey, though.

karen lucky louie was such a fun show. i was mad when it didn't get renewed.

but i, like jen, am partial to redheads.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I have a good friend who's also quite partial to redheads. She absolutely droooooools over Eric Stoltz--even in Mask.

karen hahaahaha!! even i have my limits.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
'Marry me?!'

This came up on the second page of a GoogleImage search for "eric stoltz mask":

[image error]

- source/backstory

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (You must've just known for a fact that a photo of Stoltz-as-Mask would be posted sooner than soon here.)

karen an early crush:

[image error]

message 44: by Jen (new)

Jen Damien lewis

message 45: by Dave (new)

Dave Russell karen, we have a lot in common. Now I feel bad for you.

karen same crush?? admiral ackbar, too?

message 47: by Dave (new)

Dave Russell No, I kept it the same species.

karen i play the odds - keep my options open, baby! gender, species - it's all the same in the dark...

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I'll sleep with anything sharing at least 51% of human DNA. Or anything carbon-based if drunk. Taking slutty to a whole new level. Gravestone saying, mayhaps? He Died As He Lived: Taking slutty to a whole new level.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Jinx!

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