Look at the beautiful little baby. Isn’t he pretty? He’s resting now, all curled up, just plumb tuckered out. You can hear his little breaths as he sleeps. Good baby. Everyone loves the baby, Mommy most of all. Pretty baby. Nice baby. Clean baby. Good baby. But they don’t love him just because he’s a little baby. No. People love the baby because he is good and he possesses many fine qualities that people admire. Qualities they themselves would like to possess. But the baby is better than all of them. But they do not hate the baby for this. Far from it. Nor would they love the baby any less if he did not possess these qualities in the proportion that he does, or if he were to ever fail or falter. But that will never happen. Because he’s a good baby. A beautiful good baby that has earned the respect and honor of his peers. People love the baby. They enjoy seeing and being with the baby. The baby’s affection and interest in them means a lot to them. Because this baby is powerful. Very powerful. People know not to cross the baby, or hurt or anger him in any way. They would never do that. Because there would be consequences. Terrible consequences. They know that, just as the baby is clean and beautiful and a powerful ally, he is also dangerous, fearsome, and an unforgiving adversary in any possible conflict scenario. So they love him. Sleep now, pretty baby. Mommy loves you.
The Believer is coming home!
A twelve-time finalist for the National Magazine Awards, The Believer will resume publication here at McSweeney’s this November. Now we need your help hitting the ground running.