Tuesday, February 17, 2009

And then her mom cut off her allowance . . .

(BUMPED; UPDATED) Bristol Palin:

"I think abstinence is, like -- like, the -- I don't know how to put it -- like, the main -- everyone should be abstinent or whatever, but it’s not realistic at all."
Like, totally duh. Couldn't keep her britches on, and any expectation that she would keep her britches on was "not realistic." Any expectation that we won't eventually see tabloid photos of Levi Johnston slamming jello shots with strippers in an Anchorage bar -- also "not realistic at all."

UPDATE: Some of the commenters are scolding me for being . . . too judgmental. Look, I have three teenagers myself, a 19-year-old daughter and twin 16-year-old sons. Being judgmental is a full-time occupation, OK? I just put one of my 16-year-old boys onto a plane to visit relatives in Ohio, where he's also got a blonde girlfriend. When I called his cell phone before he boarded the plane, what was the last thing I told him? "Keep it in your britches, son."

Understand that sexy is a hereditary condition, so it's not like the boy won't encounter temptation. But something else is hereditary, too: Extreme fecundity.

My wife is one of seven children in her family, and we've got six kids, so there's really no such thing as "safe sex" with this crew. I've had to have this little talk with my daughter and her boyfriend, much to their embarrassment. It's about 100% certain they're not having sex, because if they were, there's a 99% chance I'd be a grandpa by now.

As to the efficacy of "abstinence education" as practiced in public schools, I am not in a position to judge. But how hard is it to tell a teenager, "Keep your britches on"? And how hard is that to do? It's an instruction so simple that even a teenager can remember.

So excuse my judgmentalism if I think that maybe at some point Bristol and Levi should have noticed they weren't wearing any pants, and that they should have recognized this as a signal their gametes might soon combine to form a zygote. There's 6 billion people on this planet, which suggests the efficiency with which gametes combine when two young lovers forget to keep their britches on.
BRISTOL: "Levi., you're not wearing pants."
LEVI: "You noticed, huh?"
BRISTOL: "Well, yeah. I did. Like, totally."
LEVI: "Yeah. And guess what?"
BRISTOL: "What?"
LEVI: "You're not wearing pants, either!"
BRISTOL: "Oh. My. God."
LEVI: "Heh. Heh. Heh."
BRISTOL: "I can't believe I'm not wearing pants!"
LEVI: "Incredible."
BRISTOL: "I'm not wearing pants. You're not wearing pants. How did this happen?"
LEVI: "Uh . . . stuff happens."
BRISTOL: "Yeah, I guess so. What do we do now?"
LEVI: "Hmmmm. I've got an idea . . ."
And so it goes. Two teenagers, mysteriously pantsless, and then -- suddenly -- pregnant. A sequence of events so baffling, so bizarre that it could only happen in . . . THE TWILIGHT ZONE!

UPDATE II: Gabriel Malor at AOSHQ salutes Bristol as "one brave woman," and is echoed by Ed Morrissey hailing her "courage." Yes, the admirable courage of misplacing your pants and then going on national TV to tell the world that it's "more accepted" to misplace your pants and "not realistic" to keep your pants on. Also, Ed has video of Bristol talking tabloids:

Having taken plenty of abuse for being ardently pro-Palin, no amount of politics can compel me to call a spade an "entrenching implement." And as someone who has complained loudly and often about double standards in the media, I refuse to suspend my judgmentalism because this particular unwed mother is named "Bristol Palin" and not "LaShonda Watts" or "Maria Gonzales."

UPDATE III: Now frequent commenter Thirteen28 brings up the common problem with teenage boys: Testosterone-induced dementia, also known as Constant Tumescence Syndrome (CTS). Having suffered a severe case of this dread disorder -- the condition persisted well into my 20s, a rare phenomenon chronicled as a case study in various medical journals -- I am sympathetic.

However, as a father, sympathy must be put aside so that CTS does not lead to two related adolescent maladies, Hymen Disappearance Disorder and the pandemic knockedupicus virus.

As a conservative, I believe that human beings (a species that includes even that beastly subspecies, homo pimplicus adolesens) respond to incentives. Therefore the teenage Lothario, when calculating the cost-benefit analysis of nailing my daughter, must consider the negative incentive of being perforated by 12-gauge double-aught buckshot. (Five in the magazine, one in the chamber.)

Had I been married to the governor of Alaska . . . Wait. Let's pause to contemplate that hypothetical. . . . As I was saying, had I been married to the governor of Alaska, the "scandal" would have played out in headlines like this:
. . . and this:
. . . and, perhaps, ending with this:
Prosecutors Denounce 'Jury Nullification';
Defendant: 'That Hoodlum Needed Killing'
Forget about "abstinence education." If you want to reduce teen pregnancy, you'll get more results from marksmanship training for fathers.

UPDATE IV: Donald Douglas approves of the extreme judgmentalism.



  1. You should cut the girl a little slack. Yes, she f'd up for sure, but she didn't deny responsibility for said f'up and didn't try to run to a uterus scraper to take care of the situation. That doesn't make her a hero by any means, but aren't we supposed to offer compassion to even those that sin?

    Please don't go all Deb Schlussel on us, Stacy.

  2. Come on, Robert, can't you do better than the MSM?

    The most important interview last night was when Governor Palin said that President Obama should "VETO the stimulus bill until lawmakers have a chance to read it."

    You can find it at www.gretawire.com or the Fox News video page. It's called "The Governor's View."

    Please post and comment on that one, instead of following the MSM's distraction game of concentrating on Bristol's interview.

    I've got it posted on my blog, but I get WAY less traffic than you do. Let's get the word out there.


  3. Robert; she made a mistake. One she is quite willing to live with.

    Comparing her mistake to those of, say, your namesake's during last fall's campaign, I'd say Bristol comes off rather well in comparison.

  4. And your point is ..... ?

  5. I'm not real happy about the comment, and this is a head fake by the media, yet again. "Look, even Bristol Palin doesn't believe in that abstinence crap!", they say. Well, unfortunately, not believing in abstinence got her pregnant out of wedlock and married to an individual to whom she may or may not be well suited for a lifetime commitment. Unfortunately, no matter how good parents are, no matter how hard they try, sometimes, a child will choose to listen to friends/media/dominant culture and spout claptrap like this. Maybe, 10 or 20 years from now, Bristol Palin will look back on her life, shake her head, and realize just how right her parents were.

    It's incredibly easy to be stupid when you're young. Lots of people are stupid in a similar way to Bristol but get away with it. Some don't. The better among that mass of youthful foolishness will eventually grow up and realize how lucky, or how dumb, they were in their youth. The irredeemably ignorant in that mass will grow up listening to the utterances of confused, foolish 19 year olds and receiving those utterances as some kind of profound wisdom.

  6. To continue her comment, it's not realistic because it is so ACCEPTED. WHY is is so accepted? Because everyone agrees it is so UNREALISTIC to expect our teenagers to actually make good choices. It comes down to the soft bigotry of low expectations. Why shouldn't we expect more from our teenagers??

  7. "As to the efficacy of "abstinence education" as practiced in public schools, I am not in a position to judge. But how hard is it to tell a teenager, "Keep your britches on"? And how hard is that to do? It's an instruction so simple that even a teenager can remember."

    The thing is, regardless of how easy it is to remember, it's not always enough. Between parents and school I received no shortage of warnings of the horrors that would befall me if I had sex with a girl, and the only reason said horrors didn't befall me was for my involuntary abstinence (despite numerous, albeit lame attempts to the contrary). Most teenagers have enough testosterone coursing through their veins to kill someone in their 40s/50s, and testosterone can certainly disable the higher logic functions.

    And that's not even the half of it. I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world who did all kinds of extremely foolish and stupid shit, despite the best efforts of the adults in my life. The fact that I made it out of my teenage years relatively unscathed has nothing to do with me taking the advice of those who had my best interests at heart, it is almost purely due to luck. I know I'm not alone in this, because the same applies to several friends of mine, and I'm sure it's more widespread than that.

    The upshot here is not to say that Bristol Palin didn't screw up, or that you should completely drop being judgmental with regard to raising your own kids. Instead, it's realizing that no matter how good of a job parents do, screwups will happen, and when they do, the time for judging is over and the time for dealing with it is upon those affected by the screwup. In this case, she's dealing with it the responsible way and not trying to run away from what she did. And on that count, she should be cut a little slack.

  8. Hey Robert,

    I think what young people need to realize is that abstinence is very hard to decide in the heat of the moment. Any commitment to abstinence must mean a plan to avoid said moments.

    I don't think she wanted to get into the gory details, and I thought that the question leading to that statement was inappropriate. Duh... they didn't do anything, but it is very likely that it could have happened anyway as condoms fail, etc.

    Best to have avoided the "moment" to begin with.

    What encourages me in this story is that she is taking responsibility and she while she loves Tripp she isn't glorifying teenage parenting. Also I think the response of the family to this news is also encouraging. I've worked with kids whose parents either don't care or the opposite extreme reject them.

    So Bristol and Levi are receiving love and support, but are not being completely shielded from the consequences of their actions.

  9. when calculating the cost-benefit analysis of nailing my daughter, must consider the negative incentive of being perforated by 12-gauge double-aught buckshot

    When one of my lovely daughters brings home a new boyfriend, I make it a point to be cleaning my H&K 9mm.

    Then I look at the young fellow and ask, nicely, if he can run faster than 935 feet/second.

  10. I'm a daily reader and generally love what you write, but today you are way off and a tad on the hypocritical side!!! Think about it! For a guy who pushes pictures of sexy women, as well as stating that postings of "hot" women are a great way to drive traffic to one's blog, now appearing holier-than-thou regarding Bristol Palin's having failed to act perfect with her boyfrined, is abit hypocritical, don't you think? How can you knowingly push (extremely mild) sexually-natured content to drive blog traffic, but then find it disturbing that a 17-year old (at the time) might follow through on the act that she describes as being very accepted in our culture. (Isn't pushing sexual content to drive blog traffic a contributor to this culture that, truly does, make sexual activity very acceptable?) I'm no prude and adult writers and bloggers can do as they please as adults. But, I find it bothersome when those same adults act shocked, or judgemental, when teenagers engage in sexual activity, and don't say "no' during those moments when their teenage raging hormones are out of control, when it is those same adults who are contributing to making sex and sexual content more acceptable, whether it be to sell a product or drive one's blog traffic up. If you are pushing sex in anyway, then you really don't have much standing to judge the kids when they don't abstain, yes? If you are pushing sex, you aren't pushing abstinence.

    Unlike some in this world, not all of us learn how to be hard-core perfect decision makers by the time we are 17 years old, especially when it comes to intimate contact with the guy or girl you love, when your hormones are high anyway, and at a time when easy sex really has become commonplace and accepted, unfortunately. (Seen a GoDaddy commercial lately? They are selling webhosting, for goodness sakes.)

    I'm also a bit tired of grown adults, that have lived a few years and actually gathered some wisdom and life experiences, addressing Palin's situation from THEIR older, wiser perspective, as opposed to that of an inexperienced teenager. Teenagers lack wisdom and do stupid things, often things that lead them to difficult consequences, like Bristol Palin's. But, unlike so many adults, she is actually taking responsibility and doing the right things to raise a child. (Wouldn't it be nice if the slugs in Congress could learn from the actions of this young girl regarding bad decisions and mistakes?)

    It also appears that this situation is going to make Bristol Palin a much better person, as a result. From what I could gather from the interview, Bristol Palin is learning how to live for another human being instead of for herself. (She mentioned this many times in the interview.) How many of the "good people" who didn't end up pregnant at a young age, have learned to sacrifice themselves for the life of another in college or in those over-rated "careers"?

    This young girl is also learning that family is the center of everything; that family comes together at times of difficulty and provides love and support for one another; that families don't turn their backs on their own in times of trouble, but lend a helping hand and do the things to make the situation a better one.

    This young girl is learning to accept responsibility for her own mistakes and decisions, instead of whining, blaming others, or looking to other people to do for her what she must do for herself.

    This young girl, along with her boyfriend, have learned the most important lesson of all, which is that life is the greatest gift from God. Not money, not a college degree, not a political position, not the love of the media, not the approval of strangers.... life! Yes, she talked of wishing the pregnancy had come after she had accumulated all of those comforts, but instead of aborting the child so that she could get a degree and a "good job", she chose to give birth to the child instead. To give up one's life for another, at such a young age, shows that this girl, in a way, is a much better person than the unkind and mean-spirited opinionists who are verbally hurting her, once again.

    The fact that this young girl now wants to get the message out to other teens that, despite the great acceptance of sexual activity, absinence is a better choice, shows that she has learned from her mistake and has grown wiser as a result. Like all of us, she learned a life lesson, and a difficult one at that.

    Adults can tell teens all day long to do something, but teens don't always listen to the adults. But, often they listen to other teens. Maybe this is the reason for Bristol Palin's current situation. Only God knows. And speaking of God, I'll bet that God smiled awfully big when Bristol Palin talked about now living her life for another little human being. Unfortunately, so many of those "perfect" opinionated adults, who have so much negative to say about this young girl, missed that part of the interview.

    Keep up the good work on this blog and I appreciate the ability to voice a different view. My words are not written to say we must condone what Bristol Palin did, as we should strive to help guide inexperienced kids to make the better choices in life. My words are simply to point out that we really should view our own actions, first, before judging others, to make sure that we haven't contributed, in some way, to their failings. Glass houses, stones... you know the drill. I think if we all looked at our own actions first, before expressing our opinions about the failings of others, we might be surprised at what we learn about ourselves.

  11. the 'courage' and 'bravery' isn't when she makes the mistake of premarital sex, the courage and bravery comes when she (and her family) step up and raise a baby in a supportive and loving environment. and when she comes out and talks about it knowing there are those who lie in wait to beat her up again.

    we all have made mistakes that go completely against what we know and believe. the true test is after we pick ourselves up, do we continue to move forward.

    and finally you speak from an adult perspective of 30 years or so. she and levi are 18 for gosh sakes.

  12. RS, thanx for keeping it real!
    Cutting Bristol any slack because of her last name is the ultimate in double standards.
    The real issue here is that if Sarah wants to project a positive family values image then she has to deal with the negative impact of her daughters actions.
    Trying to spin this issue into some positive for Palin's political future is a hallmark of Conservative hypocrisy and it shows how phony her supporters can be...