Today in crazy trends: fake baby edition

Sometimes, I think humanity is doing OK. Sure, there are some tricky problems and persistent failures, but overall we're on the up-and-up. And then I see a story like this.

Across America, many grown women are embracing the trend of "Reborns" - ultra-realistic dolls that simulate having a real baby. People feed them, play with them, even through birthday parties for them. Leaving aside that "reborn" sounds like the title of a bad zombie flick, this is easily one of the craziest things I've ever heard of.

First, listen to the quotes from these Reborn devotees:

"It's not a crazy habit, like, you know, drinking, or some sort of, something that's going to hurt you. It's like a hobby.and it doesn't really hurt anybody."

Here's a central rule of craziness. If you start any sentence with "It's not a crazy [blank]", whatever you're talking about is invariably crazy. And then there's this gem:

"What's so wonderful about Reborns is that, um, they're forever babies. There's no college tuition, no dirty diapers... just the good part of motherhood."

Ah yes. The joys of cradling a lump of latex rubber in your arms. Truly what motherhood is all about.

And if these nutbars aren't enough, check out a picture of one of these monstrositites:


GAH! That thing is like one of the Midwich Cuckoos. Looks human, but totally soulless. In fact, it may be actively attempting to steal your soul.

Something has gone critically wrong in the brains of reborn enthusiasts. But I think this whole phenomenom speaks to a strange mania at the heat of modern culture. A frenetic desire for 'real' emotional experiences without any of the mess or complication of actually participating in the life events that create those experiences. It's like doing crack. Feels good for a bit, but its ultimately a hollow act.