Friday, February 29, 2008

Advise and Content

Is Snoop Dogg, the Blunt rapper, such a noteworthy fathering expert thanks to his "Fatherhood" [Earlier: "Forgiveness" and "What You See; What You Get"] that Marc Antony will be taking his advice on how to raise his twins? Not that "one baby at a time" is a particularly controversial hint to daddyhood, it's really just the source of the wisdom that causes wonder.

Or should the wonder be shelved in the face of either "just like everyone has an a**h**e, everyone has an opinion" or the preferable, "Father Knows Best." In any case, fathers do give advice. Nothing stops them. From dead fathers — Dmitri Nabokov asks pop and author and deceased Vladimir — and you can't keep one-time first time dads from sharing their experience to one on the cusp of joining their club.

So, dads advise wisely. Even dead fathers provide sage counsel. Is it any wonder Mr. Dogg is an expert or a daughter peddles her butcher dad's advice and wisdom after his death in the prosaically entitled, Lunchmeat & Life Lessons.

** For the most part the Marvelettes got it right, "Daddy Knows Best." **

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Open a Vein

The sort-a daddy drama There Will Be Blood lost out on Oscar best picture kudos — but picked up two others and a bouquets of other recognition. It's story of corruption running through family veins and serves as an interesting metaphor for some recent father-child news.

From the Philippines comes the cry of a son to spare his father, First Man Jose Miguel Arroyo, from punishment for continuing in the country's long tradition of corrupt rulers. In Malaysia, Nurul Izzah Anwar, daughter of the convicted (on corruption charges) former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, is trying to right the political party her father tipped on its side. And former Israeli leader Ariel Sharon's son Omri heads off to the clink, having been convicted for illegally raising funds for his dad.

Life and art. Ties of blood, corruption and (sometimes silent) plaints of "I'm Finished" even when he's not.

** A father's story always goes on. **

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What, Not Who

If you could only imagine the fears you can't imagine upon becoming a father. Concerns about how fatherhood will effect your work are well known — consider how many people were writing off golf phenom Tiger Woods on the eve of his nuptials, saying it would lead to children and a dousing of his competitive fire. Which isn't close to predicting his success since the birth of daughter Sam Alexis last June has worked out.

And while you know you will have to provide for your family, the worry about how long (the Bombay High Court insists it is until you get your daughter married, also part of your duty) and to what extent certainly can weigh you down.

However, there is always more out there than one, two maybe even three or four people's imagination can conceive. Just fear for the poor potential dad whose wife sought "Dear Abby"'s advice because he was an ugly child and she was worried their child might not be as pretty as her previous two that he currently step-fathers.

** It's not who you do (as a single), but what you do (as a father). **

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Super Powered

If only dads had super powers not just on philosophical tangents, or in the beliefs of their young children, but in fact. There wouldn't be a Britney Spears yelling at father Jamie, "You can't control me."

There wouldn't have been a "golden boy" shooting himself and leaving his father heartstricken and at a loss: "You play back everything in your mind, over and over, wondering desperately if there was something more one could have done to prevent it. ...You blame yourself for not being able to stop your child from succumbing to a moment of madness."

And an illness like angelman's would be curable, not just treatable. Although it is remarkable what can summon. In this case Colin Farrel, who has most everything else go his way, summons near super (paternal) powers to do the best by his child, announcing in words and actions, "As far as I'm concerned he's exactly the way he should be."

** Maybe there's a real-life reason super heroes are mostly sons and never fathers? **

Monday, February 25, 2008

Star Gazing at a Changing Table

Various headlines surfing the wake of the Oscars announce that one of the world's premier bachelors, George Clooney, is finally ready for his close-up as a father.

He received various shoutouts from those on stage and a runner-up consolation kiss (in the interest of parity, he said) from Daniel Day-Lewis [Earlier: Blame and Fame], who accepted his winner's gold on behalf of his grandfather, father and his three sons.

And by all accounts he has grown professionally and it is now time to make his father Nick, a Kentucky media star and losing congressional candidate a grandfather. So, bye-bye bachelorhood and bring it on, baby George.

** Welcome the soon-to-be-star of stage, screen and changing table ... and expect his movies to change as well. **

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Back in the Day

The future belongs to your kids, the past is yours all alone. So this week's objet d'eBay commemorates a time when Eddie Murphy was funny.

Murphy had energy, vitality and no kids. Now he has it all, money, fame, a recent split with a woman not legally even his wife, and five kids (six, actually, since post-paternity test he is also a sirer of Spice Girl Melanie B's April 2007 baby Angel Iris Murphy).

He even has three 2007 Razzies from the execrable Daddy Daddy Camp [Earlier: Crash] to settle on his mantle next to the space left open when he failed to capture the Oscar predicted his for much praised dramatic work in Dreamgirls as someone hustling to get some career, rather than a talented man living on game from the past.

** It's maybe next year with the hope that the father becomes a man again. **

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Blame and Fame

Let's sort of like blame dad for our fortune.

It's a frequent theme in books and now part of the marketing for Martha Frankel's memoir of how she became a poker junkie, Hats & Eyeglasses: A Family Love Affair With Gambling." He shared gambling secrets when she was 4, is at the track and dad's poker games as a good luck talisman by age 10 and rebels against life when she is 15 and he dies.

It is much rarer to castigate the father for success in the movies, but that is what Daniel Day-Lewis offers in the run-up to his likely acceptance of an Oscar for "There Will Be Blood," an on-screen family drama. His famous poet dad, Cecil Day-Lewis, held him back. Uh-huh?

It's an unlikely whinge — dad the damned success..

** Good or bad, it's never easy to be a dad. **

Friday, February 22, 2008

Beware! Dad Near Stove

It is part of the injustice of the universe that the nicest ideas, don't always turn out the best art. And so, there is "Nina's Heavenly Delights," a move released in November and well on its way to DVD remainderville.

A father's death sets Nina in motion. He was a chef and she decides to win a cooking contest in his honor. Apparently, "hijinks ensue" is too complimentary a critique for the events that follow. Hopefully, the idea of a man cooking was not the drawback in creating or shooting the script. It still seems odd that a whole article can be devoted to the exotic idea that a man could be inspired to learn how to cook by his dad, a National Guard cook. And, apparently, some publisher still believes there is a market for a cookbook specific to men — as if men only understand how to boil water for pasta when it has been communicated in some sort of cootiefied tongue.

** Perhaps in the 22nd century we'll get beyond the man in the kitchen – fish on a bicycle analogy. **

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Don't Be Stupid

"Dad, don't be stupid" is how popstar Rihanna — famous for her Umberellaellaella — responded to father Ronald Fenty's lecture on staying away from drugs. His behavior, including smoking crack in front of her years ago did add some weight to a rebuff that in most teens is just an eyeroll and dismay.

And wouldn't it have been nice if either a son or daughter had given the "don't be stupid warning" to Paul Dupey before he stole the Taser from the cop car he was sitting in when the police came to help him get his car out of the ditch; and certainly before he and son Paul began tasing each other for fun; and, of course, before they decided to video that fun and post it to YouTube, which has become evidence in the charge of illegal possession of an electrical weapon.

** "Don't be stupid" is always good advice for a dad, even if an eye roll calls the intent of the remark into question. **

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lonely or Lone Dad

As a general rule and depending on the circumstances there isn't that much sympathy for single moms. There is worry for the kids, but not the parent.

But even more than the single moms being blamed for their situation, consider the rare but increasing-in-number single dads. Single dads usually find even less of a place in society when they ask for help. Still, there are times when the single father can get a bit of pleasant attention — such as when father-of-four Dave King is interviewed while commuting with his Blackberry on his lap and laptop open on the passenger seat so he can squeeze every minute out of the working day and be home in time to take care of the kids he stayed in court to fight his ex-wife for until he could bring them to his house.

And the situation of father of 2-month-old triplets, Jeff Hagenbuch, is sure to bring sympathy ... at least for a while. His wife was lost during childbirth; he is on temporary leave from his job; there are six feedings a day for daughters, Rowan and Trinity, and son, Teegan; and his mother-in-law is living with him.

** The single dad is fun in the movies, but very complicated in life. **

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Father Fidel

Fidel Castro's father, Ángel María Bautista Castro y Argiz, passed at age 80. Having achieved one year more in age, the Cuban President has announced he has no desire to serve another term.

While it is typical for sons or daughters to take up the family mantle in such cases, Fidel seems to have had no ambition for his children having kept them out of the news — daughter Alina did publish her memoir following her emigration to Spain. Actually, they appear to be so little favored by his near five decades in the spotlight that news reports don't seem to be clear how many or who Fidel has fathered. The Miami Herald reported on the five "A" sons, Angel, Antonio, Alejandro, Alexis and Alex, but the BBC quoted only an "F" last year as Fidel Jr. , a doctor, weighed in last year on the health of the country's most celebrated patient. The AP references both Fidel and the As, but leaves out Alina.

Fittingly, just as controversy has been a hall mark of his international renown, so, too, does it appear to be a likely feature of the legacy he will leave as a father.

** Tough to remember sometimes that father is not a title honorary or historic as in "father of the country." **

Monday, February 18, 2008

Daddy or Child of POTUS

Ironically, George Washington, "father" of a whole country, sired no little people of his own, although he was step-pa to Custis's of Martha.

However, since President's Day (once Washington and Lincoln got their own national birthday holidays and then their birthdays were combined) doesn't actually celebrate presidents — where are the Tyler, Garfield or Arthur or other obscure president's festivities taking place, for example — perhaps we can build a movement to have it celebrate fathers of presidents as Harold Gullen does in "First Fathers," or, maybe, it would be more fruitful to raise a glass of good cheer to how being president has influenced his (always, so far) children, except in the case of James Buchanan an unmarried man claiming no legitimate offspring or James Madison, James K. Polk or Warren G. Harding, who all claimed no children at all.

** Father is the man not the job, but the job will change the man. **

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Novel Fathers

This week's objet d'eBay is something of a stone soup. You can bring almost toss almost anything father-related into one's thoughts on this signed, first edition of father of three sons John Irving's breakthrough novel, "The World According to Garp."

Irving's fourth is the one where his fears and loves themes coalesced in the tale &mash; growing no doubt out of his never learning who is father was — of the son who was the physical product of an unusual mum and a man rendered incapable of anything except fathering and the emotional product of almost everything fearful one can face as a boy, man and dad.

The movie featured actor and kid's book author John Lithgow, son of a scholar who presented Shakespeare festivals and father of actor Ian.

** You'd be safe to treat everyone like a son or daughter because, well, you never know ... and, really, wouldn't it be better that way? **

Saturday, February 16, 2008

In Your Heart

Some days it seems that all one has to do to write a book (and get it published and get it positive attention) is to start by thinking about your father. Or, more exactly, how your father influences your life.

Steve McKee went looking into his father's heart when his own heart betrayed him. It is genetics — his father died of a heart attack when he was 16 &mash; and the battle against that takes readers into his head via the memoir of what his father's life and death have meant for him in "My Father's Heart."

And from the fiction side of the aisle we have the story of a girl's hunt for her father. Unwed but pregnant Wilhemina Upton decides to discover the secret of her father as a psychological nesting tack in preparation for the birth of her child. What she finds, what Lauren Groff reveals in her first novel, "Monsters of Templeton," is how the lost relationship of father and daughter (and some surrealistic touches) define a daughter and then a grandchild.

** Each dad is a pebble flung into a pond, circles of radiating influence well beyond where he plops. **

Friday, February 15, 2008

Who's His Daddy

Neo-Canadian Jack Worthington's mum told the 47-year-old former Texan that he is President Kennedy's illegitimate son a few years ago ... he says. And he told President Bush's ex-sister-in-law soon after ... she says.

The only part of this fiction/fact of JFK's legacy —and did we mention that the father of the Bush 41's first White House spokesperson is trying to flog a conspiracy book says it's all linked to his work — that is not unlikely is that the New York Post blames JFK's bro Ted for causing the problem of a son being able to embrace (at least metaphorically) his father.

** Whose Camelot is this? **

Thursday, February 14, 2008

St. VD in Real Life and Via Film

When Valentine's Day — a holiday honoring a single man who thought soldiers should marry, along with other stories — is a dad's day it is almost always indirectly.

But there are exceptions Just ask Russell Enste, who will formally adopt his daughter today in Union County, N.C. The 43-year-old cried when the 21-year-old daughter of the woman he was dating asked him to be her father.

Except for Mr. Enste, most other dads should hope to receive happiness from the smiles of significant others — Thing 1 has new perfume and Thing 2 a heart-themed wrist bangle — and be prepared to sit quietly and appreciatively and without rustling through a date movie along the lines of "Definitely Maybe," a made-for-tv movie filling big screens for a couple weeks about a single dad and the precocious daughter of his divorce who wants to find out about herself by making him find true love.

Or you can always pretend this is a day about atrocities and see how much love that gets you.

** HVD — if you dare. **

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kitchen Experiments

So let us say that we get to the day when women are able to grow their own sperm and no longer need to find an actual father for a child. Will the world have gotten to a better place when there is no dad to experiment in making ad libbed and ad hoc pancake extravaganzas? If a father doesn't pass on to his son the prize winning apple pie recipe can civilization be considered to still be progressing?

The march of science creates an almost zen-like question: if a child is raised without a father how will s/he know the best things in life?

** Without a father progress may not be. **

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Children Children

Sixty-one years separate father Sir "the cute Beatle" Paul and 4-year-old daughter Beatrice Milly. Oh, and her mom, Heather, who he's in the process of divorcing. What will that mean for their relationship?

Sir Paul is said to want equal visiting rights concerning the child being pulled by both mother and father. And, as son James returns to the fold after spatting with Pa over his soon-to-be-ex, the children of his earlier marriage — adopted daughter potter Heather Louise; photographer, TV personality Mary Anna; and couturier Stella Nina — he seems to deserve some props as a pop.

But the world has changed since is other kids were young — the oldest two are older than Ms. Mills — and at least for the time being (although rumors do abound) he will be sharing his time with his young daughter with the benefit of oodles of money and some time on his hand, but not necessarily the support staff he had when bringing up her step-siblings.

** Hopefully they'll only grow closer as Sir Paul is more than 15 times her age now, but in 20 years he'll be just a tad over three times as old ... and in 100 he won't even be twice as old. they **

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Dog's Life

Torums Scarf Michael is the father of 61 champions, but they never call. They never write ... would he even recognize their bark or bite? "Mick" is an ex-stud (felled by prostate cancer), a former dog show champ and in competition has defeated both sons and daughters.

For all his personal prowess as father of Kerry blue terrier show winners, Mick is not top dog. That spot belongs to the Melbee’s Chances Are, the hot dog who has fathered 66 Kerry champs to the runner-up's 61.

** Reproduction is over for him in minutes; children leaving him alone lasts forever. **


In the schoolyard or on tv in a time of striking writers the taunt may be "My Dad Is Better than Your Dad," [ Earlier: Is Too; Is Not; Is Too ...], but as everyone knows who has ever been touched by a psychology course — or known a girl who has — the real competition is Oedipal, how does baby bear stack up against papa bear ... and the answer is almost never "just right."

Competition doesn't have to be violent, with the father dying by the son's hand:

but there is competition. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will always live in his dad's shadow, even if Hendrick Motorsports teammate Tony Stewart believes, "He learned a lot from his dad, and I’m not sure he’s not better than his dad in all honesty.”

And whether or not Jason Reitman wins his Best Picture Oscar for Juno [Earlier: Pregnant Thoughts], a feat his director father Ivan has not, he'll still be working under/with/against a legacy, "I have one of the greatest comedy directors of all time on speed dial ... You don't think I'm going to call?"

** For some, every day of the week is Sonday. **

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Pop's VD

In the fantasy that Valentines Day has become — if you have 35 kids in your class you write and receive 34 "will you be my" valentines (unless your mom lets you scrawl one to yourself — dads generally get short shrift. But not always, as this week's objet d'eBay, a Disney Tinkerbell pin, demonstrates.

But, like a father-daughter VD dance, it's not the colored tin or shuffling feet that count, it's the love they confirm and the memories they create that matter. Because without love and memories, dads may have children — Elias had the son who hated him, Walt Disney — but they are males who sired, not fathers.

So, while the commemoration of the Valentine's Day Massacre has turned into something of a mushy mess mostly for mothers, female singles and elementary school kids, there is still a little piece that fathers can claim for themselves.

Expect only a tiny bit of magic and you won't be disappointed. HVD.

** It's secretly a father thing. Don't let anyone know. **

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Taking a Shot

"I'm not fighting Julio Cesar Chavez. I'm fighting his son," said Jose Celaya on the eve of his Leon, Mexico, bout with JCC Jr.

Chavez is the latest hope for sons of great fighting fathers. The list of those who in recent years could not carry on the balled fist tradition of their champion fathers include Roberto Duran Jr., Hector Camacho Jr., Aaron Pryor Jr. and Cory (son of Leon) Spinks.

The son of the Mexican champ goes into this evenings contest undefeated and perhaps overhyped. Also undefeated and trying hard not to be overhyped is the paralegal and law school applicant Nicole Atlas, daughter of trainer and tv commentator Teddy (son of Dr. Theodore) Atlas, who is studying under her father to be a judge — boxing, that is, in case the legal thing doesn't work out.

** Will Thing 1 or 2 wish to fight me to take over WD someday? **

Friday, February 8, 2008

To Your Health

First there was news that older could be worser, health wise [Earlier: Biological Clock]. Now a study emerges that fathering younger — as a teen — might lead to more baby health issues.

So, it is with trepidation that WD reports what seems a very positive and healthy story of a father and son planning a joint Boston Marathon (Apr. 21) inspired by concerns for their own health and dedicated to running and raising money for the hospital that faced up to the brain aneurism that threatened the son's life ten years ago.

Naturally, health and marathons bring to mind Team Hoyt, a Massachusetts institution. Dick and son Rick have competed in more than 900 races — father pushing quadriplegic son — and 25 times on Patriots Day in the Boston Marathon. They missed 2007; no word yet on 2008.

** Health is an undefined mix of a dad's heredity and the environment he creates. **

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Musical Visions of Daddy's Girls

It's not fair to the artists, but that doesn't mean there is much for fathers to consider when comparing the just released "Daddy's Girl" by Eddie P. Briley with rapper Eminem's "Mockingbird."

While the subjects are the same — the sacrifices of daughters for a [famous] dad, the takes are very different. There is love in both, but consider the fantasy of the country crooner

with the rawness of the rapper.

Obviously, one is more polished and more experienced than the other, but both visions of fatherhood are scary. Less scary, but apparently equally scarring is the more benign parenting that turns one's daughter into the "accursed" (?) daddy's girl.

** Perhaps the alchemy is to temper a daughter's dreams with a father's reality and not screw things up by reversing the ingredients. **

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Whether a dads sacrifice for his kid(s) is big or small is always one of opinion.

How hard is it to give up the opportunity to continuing as Guernsey's deputy treasury minister as is the choice of Jonathan Le Tocq. In standing down, he claimed, "At the moment my three daughters are all in their teenage years and I’m very aware as a States member there is a lot of pressure on them and they have suffered from that."

Is this sacrifice more or less noble — or, does it really make any sense to even try to compare? — than Cy Chambers hot footing it through burning coals to raise money for research into the spina bifida from which his daughter, Ella, suffers? Or, can it be spoken in the same breath as the emotional sacrifice leading to the material one of David Hendry, who will allow his head to be shaved to raise money for Ipswich Hospital in memory of his daughter Amanda, who passed 15 years ago.

Or, should we just accept that dads sacrifice? A given. Some more; some less. All do ... and should.

** Keep eyes on the prize: the kids. **

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Apes, Man

Helicoptering dads get more grandkids — at least in the baboon world. A new study suggests dads are good at keeping away bullies from their kids, at providing a safer environment to help their daughters mature physically more quickly; and generally keep kids better fed, healthier and ready to reproduce healthier offspring sooner.

Not related at all, except by shared fatherhood and "Banana Pancakes"

is daddy singer (and female heartthrobber) Jack Johnson, who has just released his "Sleep Through the Static" not exactly, but at least partially inspired by being a father — he wasn't paying attention to his eldest son's question and the son demanded that he stop daydreaming, which became "If I Had Eyes" (sixth paragraph) — as well as by his father: "It wasn't that he was big on rules or punishments; it was more like you knew you didn't want to disappoint him," he told Outside magazine.

** Apes and man. What more connection needs be made? **

Monday, February 4, 2008

PFs In the News

So often does "proud father" appear in print, it seems possible at least some journalists have built the phrase into a keyboard macro to save time and typing. Yes a cliche; nevertheless, often a fact.

Pops take pride. And there is something for everyone about a beaming dad. Right now Bob Bridgman, father of Heather Reams, a detective like her grandfather, is ecstatic with the accomplishments of his daughter, as well as the life of her new child. There is Trevor Brazile, rodeo Triple Crown winner and father of 2-month-old Treston Norris, who is already on his third rodeo. And, today, there is Archie Manning, proud father of consecutive Super Bowl MVPs.

But Manning is as winning as he is because he keeps that pride in perspective,
"I never thought about them even playing college ball, much less pro football, much less winning Super Bowls or MVPs," Archie said. "It wasn't in the plan. We tried to raise kids. We raised kids just like any other parents raised their kids. I can't explain it."

keeping it in perspective is the key to P-fatherhooding. Using biblical wisdom as a guide, it is important to remember that it is not "pride that goeth before the fall" but, according to the King James Version, Proverbs 16:18-19 reads, " Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."

** Daddies be happy, but not gloatful. **

Sunday, February 3, 2008


There is a certain amount of magic to how a father passes along love of a sports hero or whole team to a child. There is a certain bonding — perhaps one day to involve a ridiculous trip shared by father and daughter to stand in insane weather to exorcise an irrational "jinx."

Part of all magic involves talismans (talismen?). And this week's objet d'eBay and objet d'eBay (to be fair) could be the touchstones for creating that magic, perhaps begun with a shared day of happiness centered on SB XLII ... a football game on HGH (hype growth hormone).

For some father and child there will be a shared 13-card set of Tom Brady, QB for the (perhaps) perfect Pats. Another duo will always have their 8-card set of Archie's son and Peyton's bro, Eli Manning, QB for the New Jersey Blue Giants. And when the game itself has become mere agate type in an NFL game-history compendium, they'll still be bound, they and even those who lost out in the bidding will still have shared memories.

** Things 2 & 1 will always remember the parties, but I doubt they'll ever remember the games. **

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Qs&As with DoDads — Rebel Dad

"I never expected to end up a rebel," wrote Brian Reid in a Rebel Dad book proposal/manifesto (pdf file). "I have a graduate degree from an Ivy League university, a 401(k) and a marriage to a high-powered Washington lawyer. No motorcycle. No tattoos. Not even a leather jacket. But six months after my first child arrived I became part of a movement ... being an at-home father is tantamount to a being a revolutionary."

The revolutionary Reid began his blog, Rebel Dad, in 2002 when his daughter was born and he took advantage of a parental leave to stay home with her. RebelDad remains the go-to site for SAHD news as well as an online hub for daddy bloggers. Stealing time from his fathering passion, as well as his journalistic and public relations career, he was kind enough to offer some of the gleanings from his past and present by way of pointing to the future:

WD: When you began there were many fewer dadbloggers, What was the biggest challenge to starting and now continuing RebelDad?
BR: The goal at the outset wasn't actually to build a big, public blog. It was mostly just a place for me to bookmark stuff that I found interesting. ... I wanted to have a place where I could go to see everything that was being said about at-home fathers.

But as time went on, and more people stumbled across it, the community began to build — people began flagging new items to me, more blogs emerged, books were written. It's been great seeing all of these resources emerge.

WD: How are your kids involved in the site?
BR: Just inspiration. They aren't involved and, as a general rule, I don't write about them. This is in part because my personal life is pretty dull and in part because they're not old enough for me to invade their privacy in this way.

WD: What is the best thing you've learned about being a dad from working on the site?
BR: The best thing I've taken away is the passion for parenting that so many of the guys in the at-home dad community have. When you go to the At-Home Dad Convention or read some of the really good dad blogs, you can't help but be inspired to be the best possible parent you can be.

WD: Are you the SAHD you were when you started?
BR: No — as time has gone on and the kids have gotten older, I've worked more and more, to the point where I can no longer claim to be anything close to a SAHD. I've become less obsessed with celebrating at-home fatherhood for its own sake: I still think it's vitally important for both individuals and society, but I'm also uncomfortable when dads get lauded for doing the same stuff that every other parent does.

WD: What are the two or three most interesting dadblogs ... other than yours?
BR: DaddyTypes is just so well-written and funny that it's hard not to include. I love Daddy Dialectic, even when it makes my head hurt. And I read Blue Sloth, too, which strikes me as perhaps the most honest dadblog out there.

WD: A few words on how you'll continue to cure the planet of evil?
BR: As I've moved away from at-home fatherhood, I've become much more interested in the question of work-life balance: how can I keep the passion for parenting that I had when I was an at-home dad and still be the best possible worker? Right now, I have the opportunity to write on that issue every Thursday at the's "On Balance" blog.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Eclipsing Sons

One famous son decided to follow in his father's footsteps, eventually choosing to take even greater strides. Another chose to run in the opposite direction from his father, but rather than avoid the same mistakes he dragged the both down.

So are the themes of Jacob Weisberg's profile, "The Bush Tragedy," and Gurdon Brewster's memoir, "No Turning Back: My Summer With Daddy King." Weisberg explores 43s attempts to both avenge and shame 41s presidential legacy. By now it is fairly well trod material. Brewster, on the other hand, has made it his mission to give a father the historical due he was denied by his nova-like son by telling a story also known, but only to a much more intimate circle.

** For next week's class, compare and contrast what use learnings from dad should be put to. **

Beware Katie and Friends

Generally, monogamous societies are more at ease than those encouraging polygamy or polyandry. And commitment to one woman (even "serial monogamy") is usually easier if not perhaps as much immediate fun as trying to commit to many women/families.

But a bill is working its way through the Arizona legislative system that would imply and perhaps compel that a father loses out on being a father to his children if he has married more than one woman at a time. Oddly, a man can still father away with multiple women while single or married only to one and the law generally says he must take responsibility, but if he marries more than one woman then, apparently, it is "Judge Katie bar the door. "

** Does a father not bring enough hardship on himself with multiple marriages? Why punish (and possibly his children) more? **