Every step in this sequence is equally stupid

Here’s an unremarkable correlation in idiocy.

  • You want to have an elaborate “gender reveal” party. We could stop right there, you can just fuck off now, I don’t want to be your friend.
  • You decide the reveal will be by some kind of flashy pyrotechnics. If you want to tell me the sex of your incipient child, just say “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl”. That’s adequate. I don’t need a flashy garnish. Congratulations!
  • You are going to set off your fireworks in CALIFORNIA? And you live there? And you’ve been warned over and over about the fire danger?

Well, that’s a regular cascade of predictable foolishness, with the end result of the El Dorado Fire. Brilliant.


  1. aziraphale says

    When I first heard the term “gender reveal” I honestly wondered whether it meant transgender reveal, as in “I’m a boy” or “I’m a girl”. That would at least be interesting.

  2. bcwebb says

    Can you imagine growing up as that kid? Interestingly, the autocomplete for google for “names ” was “names meaning fire” I’m curious whether that was because I typed that from this post or if it is the lead search more widely. The all seeing google-eye.

    So there are a lot of “your gender-reveal boy burned down the valley names”

    Aidan/Aiden/Ayden Meaning: little fire
    Alev Meaning: Turkish name for fire
    Azar Meaning: Iranian name for fire
    Barak Meaning: Lightning
    Blaise/Blaze From the word ‘blaze’ as in ‘fire blaze’ or ‘blaze of glory
    Brando Meaning: Italian name for firebrand; sword
    Brantley Meaning: German name for fire
    Branton/Brenton Meaning: dweller of the burnt town
    Conleth Meaning; chaste fire
    Egan Meaning: Irish name for little fire
    Fintan Meaning: Irish name for white fire or white bull
    Haco Meaning: Celtic name for fire; flame
    Hagan Meaning: Irish name for little fire
    Hakan Meaning: Native American name for fire
    Ignacio/Ignatius/Inigo Meaning: Fire; Fiery
    Kai Meaning: Scottish name for fire
    Keahi Meaning: Hawaiian name for flames
    Keegan Meaning: Son of fire
    Kenna Meaning: From Gaelic origins; born of fire
    Kenneth Meaning: born of fire; handsome
    Mccoy Meaning: Irish name of fire
    Reese/Rhys Meaning: ardent; fire
    Tyson Meaning: firebrand

  3. wzrd1 says

    If I felt some overwhelming need for colorful pyrotechnical displays under a firewatch condition, colored powders that are environmentally friendly and compressed air would more than suffice replacing colored smoke and pose precisely zero risk of precipitating a fire.
    That said, the whole gender reveal party notion is, to my eye, an idiotic practice that never had a place in our society. It ignores the reality of human sexuality and reinforces outmoded social roles for each sex, which passed obsolescence on the left and accelerated hard toward what should have been extinct notions, rife with idiotic assumptions.

  4. raven says

    You want to have an elaborate “gender reveal” party.

    There is a pandemic happening right now.
    Going to a mass gathering is really low on my list of things to do.

    BTW, there is a record heat wave in California right now.
    It will be a high of 110 degrees F in Sacramento (43 C)
    Riverside in east LA is 102 F (39 C)
    Death Valley high 122 F (50 C)

    There are also extreme fire danger warnings everywhere.

  5. robro says

    Aaarrggg! Stupid, stupid, stupid!

    Here’s the InciWeb info on the fire, in case you’re interested or need to know more. Over 7,400 acres burned and only 7% contained. Here’s a statement that will give you pause: “The fire dropped off of Yucaipa Ridge toward the Pine Bench area overnight. A large plume dominated column collapsed yesterday afternoon, pushing back down into the fire and spreading fire in several directions.”

    We’re experiencing a major “heat storm” as it is, and the smoke (aka Air Quality) has been so bad we couldn’t open up even at night which is a major element of our regimen to keep the house comfortable during the day when it’s 111 outside. Fortunately we’re a long way from that particular fire, but there are fires all around the state and AirNow shows most of the west coast and mountain states under a smoke plume.

    Given the conditions, we’ve been in “Spare the Air” for over week, yet just a few days ago we could smell the barbecuing in our neighborhood. So, stupid people are everywhere.

  6. stroppy says

    Probably doesn’t help that venues like YouTube and TV talk shows gleefully treat reveals as the highest, most wonderful expressions of American culture, which sad to say maybe they are– or maybe by now the most characteristic anyway. Perfect for the clueless, self-aggrandizing citizens of Trumplandia. Morons.

  7. sc_262299b298126f9a3cc21fb87cce79da says

    This story beats out — but not in a good way — the incident a couple of years ago of a teenager tossing a firecracker and causing a massive fire that ravaged Oregon’s magnificent Columbia Gorge Scenic Area. I think his name was Dick, but I might be mistaken.

  8. IX-103, the ■■■■ing idiot says

    Not just fireworks. Fireworks that you set off by shooting them with a gun. Because America.🤦‍♀️

  9. dorght says

    The height of stupidity (so far) was the sawmill fire. Off duty border patrol agent fires assault rifle at an explosive target sitting on a hill top with no backstop and down the line of a vehicle trail. He should have never been allowed to touch a weapon again.

  10. nekomancer945 says

    I live in Yucaipa, and to my double-shock last night, I learned about the ‘gender-reveal’ party — and I confess I thought at first too that this was a transgender event that would be cool to celebrate but not in a pyrotechnic way; then I checked the latest map and that the evacuation zone has been pushed to a block and a half away from me and my wife!!! Wha?? No way the fire is coming down into town. The fire is heading up the mountains towards Forest Falls. I’m guessing really dangerous air quality. But what do we take in an evacuation? Can’t pack in half an hour the thousands of books we’ve got. Gotta take change of clothes, our vitamins, wife’s gluten-free foods, my CPAP machine, and the dog and his stuff. Grab the tablets and the “My Passports with our computer backups. Get the cords too. What a mess. Oh! Get the important papers too – passports, ssi, marriage, And to top it all off we live in Trump Central in California. We’re the reddest city in the state. The loons drive in their trucks round and around the roundabouts with Trump flags unfurled. Looks like we’re going up in smoke like a right-wing Sodom!

  11. whheydt says

    Under California law, those responsible for starting wild fires can be billed for the damages and fire fighting costs. One wonders how big a bill this guy is going to get…

    Re: Spare the Air…that’s been ongoing in the Bay Area continuously for for over two weeks now.

  12. nekomancer945 says

    Thankfully, no one’s died from this, otherwise they’d be looking at a murder charge. The irony of celebrating the coming arrival of a child and being in jail for the rest of their life not seeing said child.

  13. says

    Here in Portland, OR we’ve had one rainstorm since June. One day of rain in almost two months. This is not normal. The world is literally on fire and our own 21st century Nero is fiddling on the golf corse.

  14. cartomancer says

    I find these sorts of things an interesting cultural phenomenon (the idea of “gender reveal” parties, not stupid people setting things on fire). After all, there must be some underlying appeal to them. What is it? Why has this become a thing in recent years?

    Is it marketing and advertising? Do people make money selling these events to people? Or is it based in some kind of backlash to the increasing diminution of gender as a relevant factor in people’s thinking about their place in society? Is it primarily social media driven, or a part of American parenting culture that comes from other places? Is the child involved mostly secondary, and it’s just an excuse for momentary spectacle? Is it a kind of social competition and one-upmanship?

  15. nomdeplume says

    Kind of symbolic for society as a whole – fireworks and parties at a time of climate change and disease. Remember Rome, dying as result of circuses.

  16. robro says

    My wife read about the “gender reveal” event that led to the El Dorado fire a little while ago, and came to tell me about it. Her conclusion: these folks shouldn’t be allowed to procreate.

    My wife is big on fire safety. Before we met, she was a journalist in the White Mountains of Arizona, and pushed the editor to cover the forestry service and forest fires. Sure enough, she had all kinds of forest fire experiences like fire camp, getting slurried, driving through a forest fire, and getting lost and spending the night in a burn out. Fun adventures for someone in their late-twenties.

  17. stroppy says

    cartomancer @ 17

    It’s over-the-top, low brow Americana. We’re full of it here, in more ways than one.

  18. microraptor says

    @ 17: It’s what happens when capitalism realizes that there’s a way to make money off of idiots with outdated gender ideas.

  19. erichoug says

    God! like Gender Reveal Parties weren’t already stupid.

    Just stop going to them and these idiots will stop throwing them.

  20. PaulBC says

    Gender reveal parties seem tacky to me. Maybe the idea is to set expectations on baby shower gifts. But I see little reason to celebrate anything until after the birth. That part is scary.

    Uh, OK. I will celebrate when my son gets his first job out of college. How’s that?

    All that aside, have the party if you must. Just don’t blow stuff up, and definitely don’t burn down the forest. This cannot be too much to ask, can it?

  21. unclefrogy says

    where I live people like to stop in the middle of the street there are a lot of cars maybe more cars then houses and apartments but they often stop beside an empty parking place sometimes they even get out of the car sometimes they just talk with people outside of the car and it is not for just a minute or two either. I was complaining to a friend about it he said it is the only power they have so they just stop right there. He had a point there.
    The people who were stopping had no other power over anything else in the lives but their car all at the mercy of employer, landlord, shops, taxman, police so they stopped. I doubt they thought it out like my friend had done but there was true insight in his observation.
    I think something along these lines is happening here as well. Reproduction is a very powerful thing. There is always a lot of excitement in anticipation of the new life and it can be very reaffirming. There are also a dearth of cultural celebrations most society wide ones like this labor Day have been reduced to just 3 day week ends with all the pageantry and significance fallen away. There are even fewer celebrations of personal milestones then there once were. So this one came in to being along with the expectation of a “Hollywood” extravaganza with fire works and effects which are cheap cheap and readily available. The problem comes when people do these things who have never ever done this kind of thing before and may have a few drinks or a joint or two and they set fire to the forest or their house or sink the boat.
    uncle frogy

  22. says

    I live about 30 miles east of the El Dorado fire. All day it has been completely overcast but it’s smoke, not clouds. I have lung issues and it is seriously nasty to go outside today. Heard that it’s not just our local fire, but the huge fires in the Sierras 350 miles from here are sending smoke this far south. The day they decided to throw their little party it was about 110 or more up there in the San Bernardino Mountains. Some people are too stupid to be parents.

  23. says

    @#24, unclefrogy:

    As I recall, there was a study done on people who deliberately damage or ruin public stuff. (You know, restaurant restrooms and park benches and drinking fountains and things, where there’s something provided to the public at large, and they ruin it for everybody.) And that was the conclusion they came to: people who feel that they have no control over their own lives tend to want to exert control over something, and one way they can do that is by ruining something, which “controls” everybody else (in a “I decided you can’t use this any more” kind of way). It also harms them, and usually they know it consciously, but the need for a feeling of control, no matter how spurious, is so powerful that they do it anyway — which goes a long way towards explaining why punitive measures don’t do much to prevent that sort of thing in poor areas, but public things can survive quite well when there’s prosperity around.

  24. nomdeplume says

    @26 take care Jim, the Australian fires of 9 months ago have left me with much worsened lung problems.

  25. mvdwege says

    people who feel that they have no control over their own lives tend to want to exert control over something, and one way they can do that is by ruining something, which “controls” everybody else (in a “I decided you can’t use this any more” kind of way).

    Ahh. That explains a lot. So that’s why you keep ragging on Democrats.

  26. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    And that was the conclusion they came to: people who feel that they have no control over their own lives tend to want to exert control over something, and one way they can do that is by ruining something, which “controls” everybody else (in a “I decided you can’t use this any more” kind of way). It also harms them, and usually they know it consciously, but the need for a feeling of control, no matter how spurious, is so powerful that they do it anyway

    Is that what’s going on with you?

  27. says

    @#33, Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y:

    You seriously think that refusing to vote for a racist sexist homophobic rapist who either supported or deliberately engineered every problem we now face is “ruining public property”? I’d say that’s more of a problem with your mental state than mine.

  28. blf says

    Good description of hair furor, albeit it omits his kleptomania and constant lying (among many other habits). Now describe Biden.

  29. donn says

    This gender reveal party that started one of California’s enormous wildfires is double plus stupid. I think gender reveal parties are strange to have at all. It’s astoundingly stupid they used pyrotechnics outdoors in California to do it. But if you are to have a party, I think the cool thing to do would be to put up a bar chart. If it shows 77% it’s a girl. If it shows 100% it’s a boy. I think that’s more fun than a smoke bomb.
    Don N.

  30. logicalcat says

    So Biden, the man who pressured Obama to legalize gay marriage is homophobic?

    Lol Vicar, you are a joke.

  31. logicalcat says

    On topic, I wonder whats the overlap between transphobes and those who do these gender reveal parties. I cant really imagine nuetral or transpositive people give enough of a shit to make this so elaborate.