Wednesday, March 19, 2008 49 Comments

Sibyl Carlyle Moldbug, 3/18/08

After thirty-six hours on the table,
Much drama and suffering, all in
Retrospect ridiculous and trivial,
You were pulled backward into light

By a resident with a pair of pliers.
"Christ," your mother was thinking,
"My daughter is about to be delivered
By Katie Holmes." Ms. Holmes, or

Whoever, did a bang-up job, not even
Bruising your head, let alone as I
Worried tearing it off. Apparently
You are made of something stretchy.

You have your father's hair, your
Mother's nose, and the devil's own
Black and sticky dung. I promise
You nothing: each hour will be yours.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


March 20, 2008 at 12:07 AM  
Anonymous robert said...

congrats moldy.

March 20, 2008 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger mnuez said...

Mazal Tov!


(For another daughter-birth inspired poem see the introduction of Hecht's Bedevilled.)

March 20, 2008 at 1:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fantastic! congratulations!

March 20, 2008 at 5:57 AM  
Blogger Dan Weber said...

These times are precious. Enjoy them!

March 20, 2008 at 6:16 AM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

Congratulations and every good wish.

March 20, 2008 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


March 20, 2008 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger mtraven said...

Congratulations to all involved!

March 20, 2008 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

Enthusiastic Congratulations!

Your poem reminded me of a line from a book of Barthelme's describing a similar situation:

The instrument looked to Simon, who knew something of the weight and force of tools, capable of shattering the baby's head in an instant. After all these years, he thought, that's the best they can do?

(I'd ordinarily hesitate to recall such a startling image here but you mentioned "pliers" and "dung.")

Best to the Mrs.

March 20, 2008 at 10:19 AM  
Anonymous winterspeak said...

: )

March 20, 2008 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Hindin said...


March 20, 2008 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger George Weinberg said...

Happy birthday Sibyl!

March 20, 2008 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Black Sea said...

Dear New Parent,

Not to rain on your parade, but by producing a child, you're only adding to the already dire global warming crisis. As you may know, the average American produces a carbon footprint of approximately 10 tons per year. Assuming an average lifespan of 75 years, one can easily calculate. . . oh, WTF . . congratulations.

Why not have three or four while your at it?

March 20, 2008 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

When I saw the date after the name I immediately thought of those birth-death things and assumed she had died during childbirth. Relieved to hear that is not the case.

Speaking of new life, two anti-natalist blogs to check out are Antinatalism - The Greatest Taboo and Don't Have Children.

March 20, 2008 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Black Sea said...


There's probably little danger that your daughter will turn out to be ordinary; nonetheless, . . .

Born Yesterday

Tightly-folded bud,
I have wished you something
None of the others would:
Not the usual stuff
About being beautiful,
Or running off a spring
Of innocence and love -
They will all wish you that,
And should it prove possible,
Well, you’re a lucky girl.

But if it shouldn’t, then
May you be ordinary;
Have, like other women,
An average of talents:
Not ugly, not good-looking,
Nothing uncustomary
To pull you off your balance,
That, unworkable itself,
Stops all the rest from working.
In fact, may you be dull -
If that is what a skilled,
Vigilant, flexible,
Unemphasised, enthralled
Catching of happiness is called.

--Philip Larkin

March 20, 2008 at 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Lugo said...

Congratulations, MM!

I only hope this doesn't prevent you from further long, thoughtful posts here. Hate to say it, but I have found it tough to have any profound thoughts since my son was born a year ago.

March 20, 2008 at 7:55 PM  
Anonymous cranky matron said...

Congratulations on your dung-filled beauty! And thirty-six hours-- my sympathy to Mrs. Moldbug!

March 20, 2008 at 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Stirner said...

Congratulations on the birth and your embarkation on a grand adventure. Kudos to Mrs. Moldbug, and the little poop machine named Sibyl.

Of course, now that you have entered the realm of the breeders, we can look forward to an even more reactionary tilt to Moldbugian thought.

As much as I would like you to hurry back to blogging, in all honesty this time of postpartum insanity is both precious and fleeting, so please enjoy every moment of it.

March 20, 2008 at 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Lawful Neutral said...

Start saving now for that Harvard tuition!

March 21, 2008 at 1:22 AM  
Blogger gokart-mozart said...

The stubbornness and disrespect is gonna take a hit after this one, my brother.

I have six, and I promise, a big slug of humility is headed your way.

Hope it doesn't ruin the blog.

Welcome to our world, little one.

March 22, 2008 at 4:41 AM  
Anonymous Matthew said...

Best wishes and congrats. . .

March 22, 2008 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Aaron Davies said...

harvard is free now for us middle-class types. (soak those woolly-headed universalists for all you can get!)

March 22, 2008 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Victor said...

Major congrats, dude! Mazal tov, ve le'chaim shelach!

March 23, 2008 at 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Leonard said...

Congratulations. Get some sleep while you can.

March 23, 2008 at 6:27 PM  
Anonymous c23 said...

Congratulations. I know from experience that having kids tends to move you to the right, but in your case, I can't even imagine...

March 24, 2008 at 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

On a purely literary note, compliments to MM on "the devil's own/Black and sticky dung," surely not just a reference to poopy diapers, but also an allusion to the protagonist of Sartor Resartus (Herr Teufelsdroekh) - whose author Thomas Carlyle is commemorated in young Sibyl's middle name.

March 24, 2008 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger G. M. Palmer said...


All the best from one cranky young pop to another.

Anti-natalists be damned!


p.s. I am also glad to see that "otherwise occupied" didn't mean "off to a re-education camp" ;)

March 24, 2008 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Alisdair said...

Congratulations to the Moldbugs old and new.

March 25, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Lloyd Mintern said...

Only a Sibyl can be born a day ahead of herself! Isn't this Tuesday?

Here is a poem called "The Sibyl" by Edward Williams. (Third one down) (

March 25, 2008 at 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Lloyd Mintern said...

Whoops, read the date wrong. I guess she does exist. Poem stands.

March 25, 2008 at 11:29 AM  
Anonymous cvd said...


March 25, 2008 at 12:48 PM  
Anonymous nick said...

Let me add my congratulations!

March 25, 2008 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger Zimri said...


March 25, 2008 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger Daniel A. Nagy said...


March 26, 2008 at 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats, dude!

- PA

March 26, 2008 at 10:27 AM  
Anonymous a young curmudgeon said...

Civilization just grew richer. Congratulations!

March 26, 2008 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Ashen Man said...

Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Moldbug!

March 28, 2008 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Evan said...


March 28, 2008 at 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a purely literary note, I have two questions.

1. Why the Katie Holmes reference?

2. Isn't babies' poo very pale in color? The black throws me off a bit.

- PA

March 29, 2008 at 4:12 AM  
Anonymous Michael S. said...

Anon, see my comment on Teufelsdroekh, above.

The German word, which Carlyle spells eccentrically, refers to asafœtida, a malodorous gum-resin obtained from the root of Ferula fœtida, formerly used in medicine.

March 29, 2008 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Black Sea said...

The black, sticky stuff is (I'm assuming) meconium.

From some randomly-googled baby site:

"Meconium: This is the black, sticky, almost tar like bowel movements your child takes in his first few days after birth. Your child swallowed a lot of amniotic fluid while in utero, the result is meconium. It can be difficult to wipe off your baby's bottom due to its sticky consistency but don't worry in a couple of days you'll be on to the next kind of poop."

March 29, 2008 at 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That helps, thanks. As far as Katie Holmes, I'll just take it to be purely idiosyncratic to the actual event.

- PA

March 29, 2008 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Aaron Davies said...

I took "Katie Holmes" to be a reference to extreme youth.

March 31, 2008 at 7:26 AM  
Anonymous Hubert Spegel said...

Congrats from Germany !

Your nights (and your posts) shall be shorter & your life more fulfilled!!

April 14, 2008 at 5:33 AM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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March 2, 2009 at 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


March 6, 2009 at 6:11 AM  

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