Saturday, December 8, 2018
Another Ancestry.com rant
I guess the only reason why anyone would be interested in visiting The Phillipines or eating Spanish food or experimenting with Lithuanian cooking would be if they discovered that they can trace their ancestry back to these places?
Let's cut to the chase, shall we? It's time to be painfully blunt about all of this DNA test nonsense. They aren't about learning more about your background or appreciating the hidden diversity of the population. They are about further indulging the navel-gazing Upper Middle Class with a new toy they can purchase with the money that seems to be forever burning a whole in it's pocket.
Just look at the people in these ads. They aren't all white, but they ARE all obviously well-off financially and they all carry this obnoxious level of smug piety while absolutely oozing liberal suburban "values." They all adore everyone and "don't see" color or sexual differences and loudly condemn racism every chance they get, slapping "We Love Our Muslim Neighbors" on their front yards (which almost universally exist in neighborhoods with zero Muslim neighbors.) They are way, way above the concepts of bigotry and intolerance.
And yet, they are also obsessed with their own bloodlines and convinced that DNA is Destiny. How else can we explain the fact that they not only went through the effort to send a vial of spit to Utah along with $59, $99 or whatever (as if the amount matters to these people) but also instantly respond to the results by seeking out cheap, surface-level ways to advertise their newfound "roots?" Kelly Ripa reacts to discovering that she's 24% Italian by spitting out catchphrases in that language as the cameraman and her loving cultists follow her around a bakery. The nobodies in this ad simply MUST visit the Home of their Ancestors or at the very least learn to cook some of the stuff they had to eat before they escaped to America (if I find out that I'm 24% Mississippian, does that mean I should learn how to prepare chicken-fried steak with greens fried in lard, or can I just visit The Golden Corrall after church every Sunday?)
So you tell me- how does "embracing diversity and recognizing that we are all part of a rich tapestry of cultures" jibe with "I need to find out what percentage Lithuanian I am so I can adopt a new diet and jet off on a vacation to visit places that have no actual meaning to me but which I intend to look at teary-eyed and wistfully for the camera?" How does any of this "you are what your blood says you are" get us any closer to breaking down tribalism? Seems to me that as these kits get cheaper and more and more of us learn exactly what percentage Albanian Orthodox we are, the level of race-and-origin obsession is just going to become deeper and more dividing.
But hey, at least these bored, pretentious, bloodine-obsessed twits have something to talk about at the next dinner party beyond the next farmer's market and how Tolerant they are.