Sunday, January 31, 2010

Osbourne, Oslived, Osgotsixkids

For the most part, it is the kids who drive the father crazy. However, this week's objet d'eBay, a collection of Russian nesting dolls featuring the various incarnations of oddrock legend and then harmless, bumbling reality tv star Ozzy Osbourne celebrates not just the man, but his new book as well and the clear evidence that there were issues long before there were kids.

I am Ozzy is an as told-to tale. (Osbourne is famously both dyslexic and not much of a reader or writer.). It's the story of a man who says of himself, "I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time" and also ended up the father of five — six if you count the boy he adopted when he married his first wife.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yuk Yuk Yecch

How much do we blame the fathers for seven minutes of smooth-but-utterly-vacuous?

Years ago Massachusetts senator-elect Scott Brown's father's Bruce was hired by alleged comedian Jay Leno. The Lenos even had a dog named Bruce Brown. The result these many years later is the painful to watch meeting of daddy's boys:

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sorta Like Pop Like Daughter

Make of it what you will, April Aldridge is a finalist for a contest for amateur illustrators named for Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Her father won a similar contest for amateur writers 23 years ago. It's neither clear what that predicted about his career, nor, based on that, hers.

Lang Odds

There are folks who really, really do not like sports bettingmeister Brandon Lang. However, that doesn't mean they should not be a ready audience for his new book, Beating the Odds. While spilling the stories of how he gets to be around famous people, he tells the tale of a Midland, Mich., high school jock who becomes a go-to guy for ESPN interviews. Showing no "greatness" but the ability to trade on the dreams of others, his life has been the impetus for a major motion picture (poorly received, but major no less) and may get his own travel channel show.

The whole attraction to gambling — and it appears the people who loathe him most are gamblers not making money from his touting — is to make a lot of something from relatively little.A quick look at the book makes it clear that it is exactly what Lang has done. Just another long odds dream gamblers can glom onto.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Three Dads

Not often do we wonder if you can have too much of a good thing. One such time is with the announcement that soon-to-be baby Miles will have three fathers. THREE FATHERS!?

Father No. 1 is Scott Moore, 30, who was born baby girl Jessica. Father No. 2 is Thomas (given no last name in news reports so either a Moore as well, or less) also 30, but born Laura. Father No. 3, the gent whose sperm was used to impregnate the transgendered Moore, is anonymous to date.

Moore becomes the second celebrated pregnant man, after Thomas Beatie. [Earlier: Daddy Mommy] He and his partner are married Californians and have two sons from Thomas's previous relationship with a woman.

Good luck Miles and family.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dreams of a Couple Fathers

Sometimes a son gets to equal his father's achievement, other times he gets to achieve his father's dream (as strange as it may seem to others).

And so we come to the tales of Bill Haas and Chris Dilberto. Haas won his first title since beginning play on the PGA Tour in 2006, the Bob Hope Desert Classic, just as his father, Jay, captured the flag in 1984. Haas elder took home eight more titles in his career; we'll see how the son does with those.

Dilberto, on the other hand, only has to wear a dress one to surpass his father's dream. The elder Mr. D., a New Orleans radio personality promised to don something beautiful if the Saints played in (not even won) the Super Bowl. Along with a couple other locals, young Mr. D has vowed to fulfill the promise of his dad, who passed away in 2005 — is a man in a dress even a big thing in the Crescent City?

In any case, congrats to both sets of fathers and sons.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Son Shocked by Father

If you can't be the perfect dad — for example, raising your son not to get drunk and throw beer at police — at least be the perfect person to encourage his indignation when he gets himself into trouble. That is the lesson to be learned from son Patrick and father Thomas Mallon.

Patrick, wearing a Jets jersey outside the Indianapolis Colts' stadium, was with his dad drinking up some courage to get ready for the game his team would play for a half or so. According to police, he got drunk and disorderly. According to everyone, they tasered him and hauled him off to the hoosegow for eight hours. According to his father, a defense attorney, the police action was indefensible. Also according to the father, his son's last words from the police car were "Go Jets!"

We await the lawsuit from the proud father.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mysteries From the Deep End

Have you ever or do you now want to sleep with Michael Phelps? Do you know someone who does, because this week's objet d'eBay is a pillowcase featuring his goggleyness. Maybe sleeping with him is too much, but he also is flogging the paperback release of his relatively unremarkable book No Limits, which presumably intentionally stays away from the real story of the man from whom he may be terminally estranged, Michael Edward Phelps I, who gave him his athletic gifts.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Embarrassing One's Daughters, 101

Having successfully sold himself (or at least a politically palatable version), Massachusetts newest senator Scott Brown sells his daughters:

There is the rather outré reference to their availability, but also glowing at their accomplishment and potential. A proud, if somewhat unfiltered father on display. Let's try to cut him some slack, at least for the proud papa part.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The What If Path

The stories of men are filled with what ifs. What if, for example, John Edwards, the finally-admitting-paternity politician, and the late Matty Gannon had somehow had their lives merged or even switched. Edwards made millions as a trial lawyer and has fought for years to take responsibility for marital indiscretions as well as a child fathered during one of them. [Earlier: Judgment Days] Gannon, a man of relatively modest means, was biological father to one girl and adopted another 23 children, as well as serving as foster father to even more.

Would Edwards have used his money differently if he'd had Gannon's sense of responsibility? Would Gannon have been corrupted by Edwards success, or his hair? What if a little bit of the better of each life had rubbed off on the other? And as long as we're dreaming of a perfect world, what if pigs could fly?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A King's Pop

Before there was the son, there was the father. So, as people celebrate a day specifically celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., let them not forget Sr., the source of his inspiration and direction. This week's objet d'eBay, a photo of the man born Michael King in 1987, is a small reminder of "Daddy King."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

From the Abyss and Into the Political Arena

Practically the perfect dad in the movies, at least in Extraordinary Measures.

John Crowley might also be taking his background as Super Hero Dad, putting his life on the line to save his kids from a deadly disease, into the political arena, riding movie publicity to office as an elected Republican in New Jersey.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Uh Oh, Sp_ _ _ _ _ _ _Os

Today's news brings the answer to a question few probably knew needed asking. To wit, can you have human children if you are also the father of SpaghtettiOs?

It turns out you can (no pun intended).

Sadly, Donald E. Goerke, acclaimed FoSOs, passed away at 83. His obituary, however, does answer the question above, as he leaves behind pasta-pizzazzed sons and a daughter.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Say You Ain't a Thug, Doug

It is in the spirit of so-much-of-fatherhood-is-being-optimistic-despite-experience-with-your-kids that we wish every, every possible iota of success for the defense in the retrial of Douglas Victor Jensen. A bit over five years ago the Australian was convicted of offing his 75-year-old beekeeping pop, who died one morning of a bullet while breakfasting.

A key piece of evidence was Jensen's book on committing crimes, well-cracked at the spine to page 145, which happened to detail how to shoot someone at the kitchen table and make it look like they committed suicide. "Young" Jensen was his own lawyer,although he also claimed his mental capacity did not allow him fitness to stand trial.

We are absolutely not rooting for father suicides, however that still seems greatly preferable to the reality and verdict of patricide. Good luck Jensen.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Babalu Love

Everybody loves Lucy, but it is relief to know that at least his daughter loved Desi, the man often cast in shadows by media historians infatuated by his more famous partner. Luci Arnaz, one of two children of the famous pair, is behind the musical tribute to her father, the man who brought the conga craze to 50s' America. "Babalu: The American Songbook Goes Latin — Featuring the Music of the Desi Arnaz Orchestra" may not make him a hero again to television fans, but it is an extraordinary tribute of the hero status he holds in his daughter's heart.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blame Game

Let's face it, when a father and child struggle there is often blame that can fall on both sides. For that reason, we applaud the Halifax County (North Carolina) police for getting it right. To them, both Willies Moore, Sr., 78, and Jr., 62, were in the wrong. The father should not have used a deadly weapon; the son should not have used his fists. It's just a shame nobody could have headed off this struggle with common sense a few (or maybe 50, 60) years ago.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Present Your Better Side to the Camera

Protect your kids, dads, but stay on the right side of the cameras. That's the lesson to be learned from the experience of William Siner — who smacked around cameramen covering convicted hoaxster and his daughter, Bonnie Sweeten — and an anonymous California dad who ambushed to capture pictures of the 28-year-old sleaze who tried to sleep with his 13-year-old daughter. Siner got 18 months probation while the anonymous dad while the California dad seems to be on his way to getting satisfaction.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Opening Up

For Terry Dodd, a moment of life became a couple acts of art. Thirty-five years ago, at five in the morning, his patrolman father, Dale, was driven into a frenzy by the need to share secrets. The sharing, the secrets and the bond between them that grew stronger are now on stage in Denver as the Curious Theater Company's production of Dodd's "Home By Dark."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Choices and Punishment

Let's try looking on the bright side. A dad may make a stupid (stupid, stupid, stupid) decision. However, that doesn't mean he can only make bad choices.

Yes, it is true that the guy who put his growth-stunted daughter in a dryer and turned it on (and not for the first time) probably is not someone to listen to about taking care of household duties. And no matter how much balloon-boy dad, Richard Heene, claims he had  no idea what stupid act was going on in his house, we can't believe him.

HOWEVER, Michigan's Armando Kasto should be spared a jot of credit. Yes, he probably went driving drunk. And, there's no denying that he compounded that stupidity by taking his kids with him. Truly idiotic also, neither the 2- or 4-year-old were in carseats. But in his defense — and this is what gives up some hope for his and his kids' future — after he crashed his car into a ditch, he did not leave his kids in the car in freezing weather while he went for help. For this walk with his kids with him he has been arrested! Of all the choices he made, surely keeping his kids with him was the best; the one he should have made ... but that's the one he is in trouble for: it seems likely he's not going to learn the proper lesson here folks.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Making Hoopie

Every newborn is news, BUT THIS IS BIG NEWS ... please forgive the pun.

Basketballer Yao Ming will be a father. Yao, 29, the 7'6", 310 lb. center for the Houston Rockets and Chinese National team (and currently out with a foot injury that may be a sign of the end of his career) has been outed as a father-to-be with wife Ye Li, 6'2."

The only thing people really seem to care about? How tall will the baby be?

A billion-plus Chinese and fans around the country are counting on this baby. And if the child happens to be a boy who wants to be a jockey? Good luck kid. Your only chance is that Yao and his wife are lucky enough to be allowed by the government to have two, not just one children so you can hope your sib goes to bat for you, so to speak.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

On the Way to Forgotten

The Goldmans, father David and son Sean, should have consulted an agent as well as their lawyers before coming home. [Earlier: Christmas Gifts] While the reuniting of father and son on Christmas eve after years of international legal battles should have been the story of the year, with book and movie deals pouring in, it doesn't seem to be working out that way. At least not yet.

Buzz is dying down, with only one hook being publicized: when will Sean call David "dad," with no updates since new year's eve. It's as if that Tiger story combined with the terrorist threat vacuumed up all the air from other celebrity balloons. [Earlier: Some Tiger SnarkPutt Putt Yuk Yuk and FotY 2009] Perhaps the only hope is that the folks in Brazil — the family of David's mum — haven't yet given up.

There will probably never be complete normalcy. Here's hoping, somehow, there is enough money to be snatched to make things a bit easier ... since there is no way the pain can ever be made up for.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Family Politics

That his pain is being ignored because of his politics is a theme in the very few notices of David Horowitz's book, A Cracking of the Heart. Horowitz is the one-time lefty who migrated to life under the neo-con banner. That trip followed a break with his father and years later sealed a break with his daughter.

It is his daughter, Sarah, and her death at 44 from the congenital Turner Sydrome that is the spark for this father's memoir of how extraordinary his child was, including the questions of what he lost by being who he was.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Let's celebrate the Mooney's, John, an NYC fireman since 1978 and son Shane (b. 1978) with this week's objet d'eBay, a t-shirt featuring a "My Dad's a [Fire Rescue] Life Saver" design. Both have just celebrated department promotions on the same day. Can either one use a[nother] schlocky t? Probably not. So, if you are ordering for them, get the shirt in newborn as encouragement for Shane to carry on the family tradition through his children, the one started by his grandfather that makes Moonies an integral part of New York's bravest.

Friday, January 1, 2010

FotY 2009

Declaring someone "Father of the Year" lets the declarer pretend there has been some objective set of rules established and a fair contest for the honor has taken place.

And so we declare Alhaji Umaru Mutallab "father of the year." We don't do this lightly or to mock. It was Mutallab's son, Umar Farouk Abdul, is this past Christmas's "underwear bomber" who attempted to destroy Flight 253 (plane and passengers). Rather, Mutallab is selected for how much of his fatherness seems unresolved, as if the job itself is almost too big for any human.

Mutallab, father, put in the hours and cut the moral corners that gave him status as one of Nigeria's richest men. He created a world of privilege for his son. The evidence also suggests his complete devotion to one part of life created a vacuum of moral grounding, love and self within that same child. On the good side, the father did his citizenry duty and reported his fears about the child he created to authorities — which, if things had gone as they should, would have kept the son from coming so close to creating one more senseless tragedy. On the dark side, he did create the conditions that have ruined his son's soul.

So did he do his best or did he fail at the simplest level? Could he have done both? For embodying these questions — not for any good or evil he has done — it seems clear that as WD defines it, Mutallab is the runaway "honoree" as 2009 Father of the Year, not for the man he is, but for the symbol he has become.