Sunday, March 20, 2016

Barbarians – "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl" (1965)

Are you a boy?
Or are you a girl?

My daughter Sarah – who is due to give birth to my first grandchild in August – had an ultrasound on Friday that revealed the gender of her unborn child.

Sarah asked her doctor not to tell her if she was having a boy or a girl.  Instead, she told the doctor to write either “boy” or “girl” on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope.

Sarah then took the envelope to the neighborhood bakery.  She told the baker to wait to open the envelope until after Sarah left, and then bake a cake with either blue or pink icing on the inside depending on what the doctor’s note said.

The families gathered yesterday for a “gender reveal party,” which apparently is all the rage among the cool kids these days.  (You can click here to read an article about different ways to throw a gender reveal party of your own.)  

Cutting the gender-reveal cake
After an appropriate amount of ceremonial buildup, Sarah and her husband cut the cake.  (Since it is the father – not the mother – who determines the gender of a child, I thought it was only fair that he have the honor of cutting the gender-reveal cake.  But does anyone listen to me?)

As you'll see from the next picture, my daughter's first child is a masculine child:

I'm thrilled that my daughter is having a boy, and so is my daughter.

Luca Brasi would have been pleased as well:

But the three of us may be in the minority.

Here's an excerpt from an article that the mother of a young boy wrote for a UK newspaper:

As one of six daughters growing up in the seventies, girls were so little prized compared with boys that a friend of my father even expressed his sympathy rather than congratulations when my youngest sister, a perfectly healthy child, was born.

Can you imagine that happening now?  I rather doubt it.  In an almost complete reversal of attitudes, today's parents long for girls.

As the mother of an only child, a son, I do not think I am exaggerating in saying that I detected something akin to sympathy when we announced that we had a boy.

It is clear that males generally have a much harder time of it than females.  I'll discuss why life is an uphill battle for males vis-à-vis females – beginning in the womb – in a future 2 or 3 lines.

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The T.A.M.I. Show, the legendary 1964 concert movie that I vividly remember seeing when I was 12 years old, featured performances by the Beach Boys, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, the Rolling Stones, and . . . the Barbarians?

The Barbarians were from Cape Cod, of all places.  The most striking thing about the band was the fact that its drummer, Victor “Moulty” Moulton, had a hook-shaped prosthetic left hand that he modified to enable him to hold a drumstick.  

Moulton had lost part of his hand when a homemade pipe bomb he was holding exploded.  He was 14.  (No, I have no idea what he was doing with a homemade pipe bomb.)

“Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl,” which the Barbarians released in 1965, had nothing to do with gender reveal parties.  If you were a teenaged boy in the sixties who grew your hair long, someone probably asked you whether you were a boy or a girl – not because that person didn’t know, but because he was making a point.

Here’s “Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:      

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