Monday, May 31, 2010

Honor and Dishonor

Fathers remembered and those possibly best forgotten are in the news on Memorial Day.

One of many honorable men remembered today is Joe Lippi, killed during the Battle of the Bulge, who left his days-old son behind. Lippi Jr. was the fortunate recipient of odd circumstances — an Army friend of his father was being treated by a nurse friend of the son 60-plus years and on an opposite coast from where Sr. last saw Jr. Thanks to that friend, Lippi Jr., along with his father's (now his, as well) friend Art Mahler, is spending the holiday visiting his dad's Belgium gravesite.

For reasons that should weigh on their conscience, executives at VH1 have done some counterprogramming to honor. The channel debuts Dad Camp this evening. Ostensibly it is all about the rehab and retracking of boys into the men capable of taking care of their baby mommas and offspring. In reality (as in reality tv) there are just six couples unprepared to do anything but be spectacle and a smarty pants whose job is to guide viewers into enjoying how much higher-planed their own lives are.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Search or Research

Should you look too hard at "research" that supports your position? Probably not ... unless you have a conscience ... or want thinking people to take you seriously. So, somewhere there is probably statistically relevant data on the pressures on the single pop. However, until then we point you to the news that

Single Dads More Stressed Than Single Moms

which headlines an article discussing how the Korea Association of Single Parent Family interviewed 8 lone mums and 9 single pops. From those talks they generalized to an estimated one and a half million or so single-parent Korean households (and from there lets guess that's true in the rest of the world as well).

Nine guys. Survey says more money, less confidence in their parenting. Pass it along as scientific. Or not.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Laws of Return

Imagine a father who served in combat, serves in the reserves, serves as a policeman ... and isn't allowed to bring his adopted twin sons home because the government builds bureaucratic barricades. Did we mention he is homosexual, whose sons were conceived through a surrogate?

That has been the case of Dan Goldberg, who has been stuck in Mumbai  for three months while waiting for the Israeli government to okay a paternity test and his return with sons Liron and Itai. It took the prime minister's intervention, but welcome home boys.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


The evil triangle of relationships, memorably analyzed in Jean-Paul Sartre's play No Exit, is an occasional (if always unfortunate) theme of father children relationships.

Today's evidence comes from the case of the Yonkers (N.Y.) Ibrahims. Father Salah took at shot at his daughter's boyfriend, but only after son Michael whacked his sister's suitor over the head (before losing his cudgel and getting whacked himself). Police intervened after said boyfriend spent two hours locked in Ms. Salah's apartment, surely not the end result father and son were looking for.

Monday, May 24, 2010

To Do or Not to Do

Don't want to have the sex talk? Go see a movie.

Daddy I Do, Cassie Jaye's look at abstinence only education (including daddy-daughter chastity balls) was awarded the prize at the Cannes Film Festival in the Documentary category.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Safer Without a Knife

Mario Cuomo is often remembered for his will-he-or-won't-he dithering in the run up to the 1992 presidential nomination process. At the time he was  governor of New York, a position "memorialized" by this week's objet d'eBay, a cutting board in the shape of the Empire State.

Cutting will be the key to the job should son Andrew win his 2010 race for New York's governor. He'll be cutting budgets; he'll be slicing the tangle of the legislature; and he will at times, probably, be considering taking a knife to his wrists when nothing positive seems to be getting done in the often times dysfunctional state government. In retrospect, perhaps it's a shame the Cuomo family let this gift to the gov out of their possession...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Are You Lost, Father?

In the spirit of the finale of "Lost" — the television series that engages those who read their own lives into it and which will be viewable for those who care in less than 48 hours — WD offers two other inexplicable events that mean only what you see in them.

To begin, there are reports that Lindsay Lohan, the actress who celebrates the "dys" in dysfunction, has announced her father, Crazy Michael [Earlier: A Nnoying], arranged for her to lose her passport in Paris (the city, not equally bizarre celeb). As a result, a California judge is likely sending her to prison, unless she pulls a Polanski.

To end, Wisconsin Leslie (actually Shawn Leslie, 39) severed his connection to pops and grandpoppy in a rather violent manner. After driving their ashes around in his car for a couple years or more, he lost the car and his ancestors to the crusher. He parked the car behind a diner; went away for a bit; returned; and, despite some questions abotu who was allowed to do what to whom and how, he is now both orphan and grandorphan.

Of course, what to make of all of this and what was lost in the middle of these two stories is — like the unreality series — completely up to you.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Who Is Abel?

Can a father's departure cause a son's muteness and also provoke laughs? That is both the premise and hope of Diego Luna's "Abel," now featured at the Cannes Film Festival. Luna, awaiting the newborn who will grow into partnership with his current two year old to drive him crazy, has written and directed the tale of how a Mexican father's absence creates a situation for his son to first not say a word, but then start talking the talk of the missing man of the house.

Official Trailer ABEL from Showbeast MktgServices on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stairway to Heaving

What exactly can one make from Jason Bonham's announcement that he is bringing the Led Zeppelin "experience" to life for 30 nights, one for each year since drummer dad John passed off into narcotic haze and rent asunder the iconic foursome? One can certainly makeout that he plans to make out with boatloads of bucks from this. money. Is there another motivator?

In the late 1990s he had "The Jason Bonham Band" playing "the Zepset." In 2007 he got together with his father's mates, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, to perform at a tribute concert for Atlantic Record impresario Ahmet Ertegun. So what does he have left to say or prove regarding his father? Did his dad leave him no voice (or drum beat, in this case) of his own?

Really now, who does he think he is? Frank Sinatra Jr.? [Earlier: Still Under Daddy; Ol' (Pale) Blue Eyes]

Monday, May 17, 2010

Collecting Daddy LongLegs

"I'm entitled to screw up in my two weeks and you're entitled to screw up the rest of the year. Okay?"

That probably offers all that is needed to entice any divorced father into the a story of how children are caught in the middle of the (fairly autobiographic) Josh and Bennie Safdie new film about two sons and their father, Daddy LongLegs.

Which is not to be confused with the Daddy Longlegs of rich Fred Astaire and young and beautiful Leslie Caron.

And neither is in any way related to the animal, certainly not the spider described by Ricky Gervais.

Ricky Gervais- Daddy Longlegs - Watch more top selected videos about: Ricky_Gervais

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How Smart Is That

Perhaps no father has brought home a greater treat than Richard LaMotta, genius creator of the chocolate chip ice cream between chocolate chip cookie best known as the Chipwich. Naturally, the way forward included some experimentation in his own father's basement, where he worked to figure out how to keep the cookies from getting soggy. This week's objet d'eBay, a Chipwich prop advertising the availability of the product, is noted in honor of LaMotta's passing (from a heart attack, not completely surprisingly).

We keep not just the sandwich in our hearts and its brilliance in our heads, but LaMotta's daughters Kaylaand Marika and son Thomas in our thoughts. RIP and EAT.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

SF Yes, SK No

DNA is enough to connect a family, but apparently not everyone thinks so. Among them, Sequim, Wa., pop Mark Seamands, who decided it would be a great idea if his three kids had the initials "SK" (for Seamands Kids) burned into their flesh..

Yes, Seamands was going through a divorce. And, yes, the kids did think it would be a good idea. And Seamands did sizzle his own derma so he could match them. BUT it was a poor choice, even if a judge did decide he did nothing criminal.

It should be (and only on the father's flesh) "SF" — stupid father.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Connect the Dots ... Soon

In February 2009, Britain's new Prime Minister, David Cameron, lost his oldest son, six-year-old Ivan Reginald Ian Cameron. He has a child due in September — joining sister Nancy, 6, and Arthur Elwen, 4 — who will be the third newborn in the history of the residents of 10 Downing.

Does his daddyhood tell us about how he will handle Britain's economy, which has some significant aspects of a sick child, other than he has faced a horrible situation and kept going? Probably not, at least until his kids get old enough to land on the cover of Fleet Street rags or start twittering their woes about life with dad ... and we can slowly and in retrospect fit the results of his government with the handling of his family.

But beware daddy DC, at some time we will be able to connect the two.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

St. Joseph Day Love Stories

St. Joseph (father of Jesus and thus "patron saint of fathers") was feted March 19 and May 1. Belatedly, we offer these love stories in his honor as well. First there's US Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's becoming a judge (in part) because her father would read her news of the world every morning on the crosstown bus that took her to elementary school. And then there's the Facebook matchup made by Andy Spiers-Corbett, 39, and father Graham, after their 37 years of separation.

So Feb. 14 and St. Valentine gets a lot of press, but at least this year, we're May 11 and St. Joseph  and love between fathers and children is a much greater holiday.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Not Quite Running Circles Around Dad

In a wonderful story going nowhere — actually just round and round &jmdash; Graham Rahal will race in the Indianapolis 500 for his father's Rahal Letterman Racing. The older Rahal, Bobby, claimed the Indy championship in 1986. The son's previous two years at Indy have resulted in 31st and 33rd place finishes. However, he wasn't racing for his pop (or co-owner Dave Letterman, who has yet to announce his racing intentions for son Harry Joseph, age 7). Anyone (except perhaps pops) think third time's the charm?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oh Just Keep an Eye on the Baby, Won't You?

Is being a new father tough? Try raising a child as a blind man.

Ryan Knighton, who is creating quite the genre for life through the eyes of a blind man — in print, blog and Twitter form — offers C'mon Papa, just in time for that gift-giving gala, Mother's Father's Day. Perhaps the most magical of all the literary tricks he pulls is the one that relocates the reader from the mental space where one wonders how a blind man types, to the space where s/he is overwhelmed by how he tells his story so well, a sorta second memoir, after Cockeyed.

And now we wait to see where the third volume of the memoir takes us.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Urine an Odd Mood, Mr. Dragon

The thought for today: the father and son who drink urine together stay together. (We didn't promise a nice or uplifting thought, just a thought.) That bit of wisdom is courtesy of mixed martial artist Lyoto Machida and pops Yoshizo.

The young Machida, the Dragon, is currently undefeated in the UFC's version of the fight game. The elder Machida is, enviably, both father and master. All three (son, father/master) are focused on the May 8 rematch of the controversial fight against  Mauricio "Shogun" Rua  that first gave Machida his UFC Light Heavyweight belt. Drink up gentlemen.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tear and Cheer

The directing, acting Miller twins (who basically do both for the first time in this one), said, "we just wanted to tell our dad's story." Ed Harris, star (?) of Touching Home said he was just, "trying to do justice to this man, who these two young fellows obviously cared a great deal about ... and never, ever gave up on him. The result — just in time for Father's Day — is a movie about a drunk father and the twin sons who connect to him through baseball, in a fairly convoluted but effective way.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Roll On, Pops

We can do better than to honor a father with a hunk of stone somewhere never visited. In fact, taking up the idea of southern California Teo Garcia, we can drive a mobile memorial. In memory of his dad — and despite a sometimes unstable relationship — Garcia celebrates his father, Teodoro Garcia Sr., with every mile he drives. He affixed a decal with his father's dates, as well as the wish that "Peace Be With You Pops."

Garcia's brainstorm makes so much sense it is a wonder no one thought of it before. After all, how many miles per gallon can you possibly get from a marble monument?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Buzz, Buzz

The current press buzz around Iron Man II is a lovely conceit. Word is that what plays out on screen about a wealthy, talented superduperman (i.e., Tony Stark) trying to come to terms with dad's legacy is a parallel to star Robert John Downey Jr.'s own life in the shadow of his minor league baseball player, professional pugilist, broadway playwright, film making father, Robert "A Prince" Downey Sr.

It is a lovely conceit — in life both father and son have battled with drug addiction and multiple wives and great talent that has to be reined in, while in the movie ... well the movie's a bit muddled so we'll just trust them on that. However, is it enough to try to relaunch the gate for the movie? A bit slow out of the blocks, Iron Man II has been looking to disappoint financially. Perhaps what has been needed all along is a simple father-son spin.