Sunday, December 6, 2009

Remembering When

Every father was different when he was young. Each pop said he'd raise his kids differently than how he ended up raising them. Celebrity dads aren't different, at least based on the material being cranked out of the publicity machine attached to Robert De Niro's new movie, "Everybody's Fine."

A 30ish De Niro is featured from his younger days in this week's objet d'eBay, a postal cover highlighting the actor in his iconic role — one of a series of De Niro stamps Tadjikistan issued in some philatelic pandering. The 66-year-old is the gent talking about his latest role, as a father of kids who love him, but just can't live with (actually, even anywhere near) him.

In real life and the movies he expresses wisdom and some regrets. As a movie dad of four, he claims he'd "ask less of the kids. ... as long as they're happy, that would be okay." As a real life father of five he claims (from the LA Times piece), "I'm not as good as I thought I would be about forcing them to do things ..." and that as a father, "You find yourself saying things you never thought you'd be saying."

De Niro talking about being a father is a long, long way from the guy on the postal cover. That guy, almost forty years ago is famous as a single, loner whose most famous line is, "You talkin' to me," which is very different from the most famous line of most fathers, the shrilled-to-his teenager's back, "I'M TALKING TO YOU!"

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