California is burning, Delhi is shrouded in smog, and Venice is sinking into the seas. Climate change is real, politicians are doing nothing to stop it, and Sky Ferreira still hasn’t released that sophomore album she’s been promising since 2014. Everywhere I look, I see signs telling me not to bring children into this world—a world that, at this pace, will barely be livable by the time my hypothetical kids are full grown. And that’s to say nothing of how the demands of global capitalism discourage us from having children, imposing longer workweeks with lower wages while drowning all but the wealthiest Americans in medical bills and student debt, as writer Anna Louie Sussman explored in The New York Times last month.
That’s why I propose that, in lieu of having children ourselves, we project our maternal angst onto Baby Yoda, who will never drown in the Venetian Lagoon while trying to gondolier his way to some fresh cacio e pepe for mamma, who is me.
I haven’t seen a single episode of The Mandalorian, the new Star Wars show where the Baby Yoda character appears. But I don’t need to, and neither do you. Just go on Twitter, where meme after meme of yon bat-eared green babe will flood your feed. There’s the one where he’s sipping something out of a mug, the one where he keeps turning on music until the stern robot man picks Baby Yoda up and puts him on his lap.
“My biological son,” I say as I scroll, my brain fully rotted.
Baby Yoda might be my biological son, but he can also be the people’s baby. If you, like me, are riddled with anxiety at the thought of bringing a human life into this world, one that will bear the brunt of decades of corporate greed and government inaction, Baby Yoda seems like the perfect venue for working out your need to protect and raise a small, adorable, defenseless being. Give him soup. Let him play his music. Defend him online. Buy a custom Realborn doll that’s made in his image and really take this whole “Baby Yoda is my son” thing to its most uncomfortable, logical extreme. Sure, we could just continue bringing children into this world, or we could all buy Baby Yoda dolls. I know what I’m choosing.
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