The Baby Video Virus: Why Is America Ga Ga Goo Goo Over Babies?

At first, it seemed like an innocent 24-hour bug, but as soon as it
 was gone another one hit. Now it's become an epidemic. You've probably
 been afflicted by it too, in your email, on your Facebook page: The Internet has
 gone baby video crazy.

Sure, when it all started we played along too. We were laughing with that baby who thought ripped up paper was hilarious. We'll admit it, that was a good way to waste time at work. Next were the postings all over Facebook of the baby crying and laughing at his mom's nose blowing. You and fifteen million people have watched that video since March. Then, last week, we were hit with the twin babies talking at their refrigerator. Again, very charming, but doesn't anyone want to talk about Rebecca Black anymore... anyone?

Maybe we are being a little flip. Babies are indeed adorable, but what Art Attack is wondering: Has everyone been drinking the Baby Kool-Aid lately? (P.S. Baby Kool-Aid is breast milk).  From our fascination with celebrities' baby unveiling in People Magazine, to the plethora of "Bump Watches," to Mariah Carey's scary pregnant belly, to this recent mania over baby viral videos; America is seriously baby crazy.

This hasn't always been the case. People actually didn't start caring about children until sometime in the early 1900s, mostly because their kids kept dying during childbirth. Then the Depression hit and people stopped having babies because they couldn't afford them. Babies made a comeback, though, after World War II when horny GIs came home and a baby was born every eight seconds. After the Boom, babies once again got a bad rep. People were scared of their children. Movies about killer, devil babies were popular on the big screen ("Rosemary's Baby," "The Omen"). Eventually babies got back on our good side, and we forgave all their evil doings and let them live with us, and three men.

But recently our baby joy has become baby psychosis. I Googled around to see if there was any logical explanation for it, maybe some secret social experiment going on. Nada. What I did find out is that the birth rate has dropped to its lowest in 30 years. Whoa! So, are we all just sitting around watching babies laughing, wishing we had one?

I asked Carrie Feibel, the Health and Science reporter at KUHF-FM, if she had a scoop on any reasons behind this recent baby-obsession. Could it be a seasonality thing, like spring and Easter and Bambi? She told me there was nothing that she was aware of and maybe there was no logic to it, just baby-lovin'. Then she said, "Have you seen this one?" and sent me the video of that little kid rapping to Waka Flocka.

Maybe she's right. Maybe American's are just really into babies right now, like we were really "into" Pet Rocks. Babies can be cute sometimes, like when they laugh at things, when they talk a secret baby language to each other, when we put lipstick and high heels on them and make them recreate Madonna's "Express Yourself" video and when they pretend to be drunk in a café full of stuffed animals. However, don't give a baby cigarettes, no one thinks that's funny.

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Abby Koenig
Contact: Abby Koenig