Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Poor Planning

How exactly doe Korean doe-eyed celeb Park Yong-ha, 33, expect to take care of his father now? The unmarried, occasionally-dating-women Park, who sings, acts and charms in Korea and Japan "impulsively" took his life. Prior to drinking himself into a state of action/inaction, he allegedly told his stomach cancer-suffering father "I must be sick instead of you, father. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

For the record children, it doesn't work that way.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tourism vs. Soul

Each side brings with it honor as Jack Thorpe files his lawsuit against Jim Thorpe (the Pennsylvania city, not his iconic father). It is very unlikely they will leave the courtroom that way.

Son Thorpe, 72, has brought suit against various people and the government of what was once Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk, until they made a deal to merge and rename themselves Jim Thorpe, Penna., and rebury the remains of America's most famous non-warrior Native American. The deal made with Thorpe's third wife — JT is son from the first marriage — was that the town would inter and celebrate the great man's life. The son says fifty years on it is time for the great man's soul to be put at rest through reburial in tribal lands in Oklahoma.

Unfortunately, as is the way of most judicial pursuits, from this point forward younger Thorpe is more and more likely to come across as someone taking his own last shot at fame and money while the town fathers (and mothers) will appear ever more pigheaded and small.

On the other hand, it could be the two sides are in cahoots to bring some more attention to the legacy and create a  little tourist buzz as well. If so (and we can only hope) then consider WD well played.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Papa As Seen by The Beeb

Fatherhood is not as sexy as sharks. Sorry. True. Sad, unfortunate, not fair, but true ... at least on the telly.

So it seems like a good idea for the BBC to offer a more extended viewing time with The Fatherhood Season (a variety of themed entertaiments and blog) for dad programming rather than try to go mano a animalo against the killers on Discovery Channel's SHARK WEEK, particularly in it's 20th anniversary season. This evening the beeb reminds viewers of a bunch of negative stereotypes about cold indifferent fathers so that they can remind everyone about the warm, (not in)different pops with A Century of Fatherhood.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Popping the Bubble

It's not supposed to work this way, but then there is the saying that the exception proves the rule. This week's objet d'eBay, a snap of Michael Jackson and father Joe, carries with it the sad story that while the (ironic, isn't it) Prince of Pop would probably have been a less troubled individual without his father's craziness, he would also likely have been a more limited artist.

Almost always the father makes the child better, happier. However, a year after MJ's passing it seems (unfortunately) safe to say his kids are closer to walking a road toward normalcy than they were while their father lived and hid them from the public that he could only find a relationship to from the stage. Most unfortunately in this case: like father (and children) like son (and children).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Not So Grown

Ironically enough, if you haven't or never plan to grow up, then Grown Ups might be for you. One time fountain of weeny and whiny Saturday Night Live characters, Adam Sandler continues to write himself parts as the outcast hero — in this case mogul husband to dream wife Salma Hayek and dad of two spoiled kids — who, playing out situations that make 10th grade boys and 5th grade girls chuckle, teaches the "normals" how we're all just people.

Sandler says he based this one on his fears for the spoiled brat futures of his two young daughters. However, while the fear may be real, it doesn't quite excuse making a movie that doesn't require talent from friends greater than everyone had before you were fathers and when you were just friends, twenty, thirty years ago.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Saluting the Bradley's

Is it easier or harder for a coach to have his child on his team? And for the child?

No one answer works for all situations, but one would think that in general the higher up one rises in sports, the harder it would be on both father and child to have to face each other, the remainder of the team and the media. So, all hail the Bradleys (father Bob, who coaches in America, and son Michael, who plays his club soccer in Germany) for making it work as the United States team advances to the next round of the World Cup.

Is it easy? Not particularly.

Does it seem impossibly hard? Not impossibly.

Is it wonderful to watch? Absolutely, at least so far.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pro and Condescend

This past Sunday, The Seattle Times ran a "traditional" Father's Day story headlined, He's 'Mr. Mom' and it's the hardest job he's ever had. the article offered something of a day-in-the-life of Josh Wainscott, local guy and SAHD chasing after kids, 2 and 5 months. This tradition of running an article about a father who "acts just like a mom" is a relatively recent tradition, making up FD stories and posts for most of the past decade.

There's the traditional quote: "It's a weird, weird place for a man to be," Wainscott said. "I don't know how women do it."

And the traditional lament: "The moment I wake up, I'm changing diapers," Wainscott said. "I probably change 20 diapers a day." As well as the comments about how he has trouble playing with the mommies and there aren't enough dads in a similar situation he can talk with and... and ... well, you've probably read it all before. There is also the mention of his SAHD blog, as if taking to the internet to chronicle life as a stay-at-home-father is still revolutionary. It's a good thing; Mr. Wainscott is doing important work; but news?

So hats off (or maybe middle fingers up) to The Seattle Times for celebrating a year's old tradition of writing about fathers who take care of their kids just like real parents (i.e., moms) as a Father's Day tribute.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

See You in the Funny Papers

To paraphrase the conversation:

"Sometimes you're such a jerk, dad."

"You really don't know what you're talking about, son. Jerk!"

And from something akin to that was born the comic Barney & Clyde, which debuted earlier this month when the Washington Post gave columnist Gene Weingarten and son Dan their own trial strip. In five years father and son have gone from at odds to at (disjointed, humorous) one. It's not quite the billionaire-bum scenario of their comic in real life, but there are parallels to be drawn from its origin as the creation of a Pulitzer Prize winning dad and his high school dropout son who lives in the basement and how that relationship and those people have transformed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Und Now Der Videos

Another Father's Day past. Another Father's Day video adding to the odd but intriguing (and amusing) oeuvre of the Perry Brothers, boys who grew as men to love their father in ways they didn't realize they would as boys.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Popular thinking about tomorrow Father's Day celebrations will mostly center on one man and his one or many offspring. And all hail to that ...

Dad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers and StepfathersBut there are also two dad families out there. President Obama noted them in his father's day proclamation: "Nurturing families come in many forms [including] a single father, two fathers, a stepfather, a grandfather, or caring guardian. ... all our fathers deserve our unending appreciation and admiration." And there are the dad-step-father families as loving celebrated in Kelly Bennett's picture book Dad and Pop: an Ode to Fathers & Stepfathers. When you think about it two males acting as fathers are everywhere, even where popular thinking would never have imagined such as with the two goose dad family in Tulsa, Okla.

Happy (Two) Fathers Day, as well.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Talk To Not About Your Dad

Be concerned for your prepositions. They are a small, but (surprisingly) very important part of life

For example, a recent study in Britain found that kids who spoke TO their fathers — particularly about things important in their lives — were happier than those who didn't. On the other hand, John Franzese Jr. is currently talking ABOUT his father in a courthouse in NYC and nobody seems happy at all. Nobody it should be noted except the Feds who seem plenty glad to have the wayward son rat out the 93-year-old former Colombo family underboss (father) on his way to die in prison for his crimes.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Do You Want Mohr?

Once upon a time, Jay Mohr was an edgy standup from Jersey (although most people probably thought he was a Boston guy) whose comic personna was fratboy, if a non-college guy could have his own fraternity. But time has gone on and the single guy has gotten married (and divorced) and married again. And he has had and lost jobs, most recently his gig on Gary Unmarried (blogged as GARY UNEMPLOYED).

No Wonder My Parents Drank: Tales from a Stand-Up DadAlso like many guys growing up he's had a son, Jackson (and like others he's found he doesn't have the sperm count for a second). And he loves him. Very much. Not the least for what he wants to see and wants people to see of himself when they look at his son. As he blogged (as FATHER, SON, NOMAR) about when he took his three-year-old to a Dodger game upon a Jeff Kent home run:

I held [my son]over my head as thirty thousand people screamed and cheered and the loudspeakers played rock music as Jeff Kent (my new hero) rounded the bases. I looked up at my boy as I held him to the heavens and saw a look of joy that is not possible on any one over the age of five. His face contourted (sic) and his voice grew hoarse from screaming. I am sure…as sure as I am sitting here typing…that if I could show people what I saw, through my eyes at that moment, I would have no enemies.
All of which is the lead in to the plug that if you want more Mohr of why fatherhood is all part of his career — and why that career is getting people to watch him grow from boy to man — then the father's day book for you is his new book, No Wonder My Parents Drank.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


"...but can she cook?" For many years that was the question that demeaned women. It was the one fathers dreaded, because it implied his little girl was not pretty enough, or he was not able to provide her with a dowry attractive enough for a suitable suitor.

Today through, it's a new age (mostly). Dads and daughters have very special bonds that supersede the claims of SSs. One female columnist spoke for many when she wrote about her husband and their daughter, "The fact is that they get along just fine without me, and the more I stay out of the way, the better off everyone is." Still, as much as things change, there is still a little bit of the past we'll never be able to let go as evidenced by the news that Tiger Woods [Earlier: Not Quite Masterful] may be the father to a 7-year-old daughter born outside his wedlock. The fact is, once all the hoohaw dies down about his straying in this case (and maybe the other case of a 9-year-old son added to the two kids he had with his now-estranged wife), we are all going to be back to a simple question about his daughter:

Can she golf?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Just Gimme the Necktie

If you happened to be thinking about a tie as the father's day gift most likely to make dad feel that moms get a much better day, think again. Thanks to the United Stated Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (DHHS/AHRQ), you can send pops an ecard telling him to go to the doctor. Alternatively, you can sit down for a short film festival to take a look at the public service announcements that share the punchline of dad dying soon because he didn't get to the doctor.

It may be well intentioned. However, encouraging dad with ecards and videos (can you work less hard to find a gift?) to go to the doctor for the checkup — where he'll most likely hear bad news — will most likely leave him wishing for that tie he never wanted in previous years ... in case he wants to hang himself.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Father's Way

This week's objet d' eBay, the July 1973 Sports Illustrated celebrating football coach George Allen with its "Play It My Way" tag line, precedes by decades Allen's son's attempt to resuscitate his own career using his dad's football success.

Young Allen — George Felix, to distinguish him from father George Herbert — rode his dad's reputation to the Virginia senate seat. Then came the "macaca" meltdown. Now, just like daddy would have advised, he's back to the play that worked for him so often before as he sets himself up for his next political run with a book tour promoting What Washington Can Learn from the World of Sports.

Politics. Sports. Play it just like dad.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wise Council

It's not Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven, but perhaps Bruce Feller's The Council of Dads should be known as "The Six Guys I Trust on Earth."

The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could Be MeAlbom took maintenance maven "Eddie" through his life so readers could find fulfillment through his interaction with five wise men he met upon passing. Feller, learning he was facing a cancer death sentence, turned to friends for the wisdom he wanted to leave his twin daughters. Recently, he came up with 10 of the most important lessons, but perhaps the most important one was his original inspiration: don't reinvent the dad wheel, refine the one built by others and it will carry your children further.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When Worlds Collado

The tale of Jose Collado would be a perfect inspiration for the macho version of chick lit, if only such a genre existed. Spanish musician Collado, 61, claims that his mother was the housekeeper mistress of the Marquis de Larios and that his father was the "otherwise" childless Marquis of the fabulously rich and famous gin clan.

For ten years Collado, who grew up in an orphanage (he claims because the Marquis wife found out about the affair and pressured his mother to get rid of the bastard ... him) has been pursuing his claim. The Larios family has been less than helpful in welcoming him to the family. Now, a Spanish judge has ordered an exhumation of the gin guy, who died in 1954, for a DNA test. While Collado says he is only doing this to know his father and that he — known professionally as "Pepe El Trompeta" — has no interest in claiming the millions of dollars and acres of estate due he who would be sole heir, the story is not over yet.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Older, Yes. Wiser, Probably Not,

Now, from the are-you-frickin-kidding-me file: Aramais Nazarov, 89, has just celebrated the birth of his fourth child. His wife is 35; his mother-in-law is in her 60s; his oldest son is 61 and retired.

The Russian WWII vet is quoted as explaining his life's work as, "Women love me. I want to have more children. I can survive another few decades and want to have children until I am 100. Then, maybe I will stop."

While we are completely gung ho for you to sex it up Naz, we also do come down on the side of those who advise it's time for a vasectomy unless you can change your kids' diapers as someone changes yours.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Successful Soundtrack

“It’s great,” Kansas City Royal outfield David DeJesus told the Kansas City Star about fatherhood . “I can’t wish for anything better.” His son, DD Jr., was born about two weeks ago and father is still sleeping seven hours a night and his focus at the plate has raised his average over .300.

The story is a great and hopeful one, with only one dark cloud. The reporter heard him repeating the first line from the anarcho-rock band Everclear's song "Father of Mine." While that first line, part of a stick-in-your-head hook, sounds optimistic, the song actually tells the story of a son who's pops walked.

All hopes, prayers and wishes are going out to DeJesus and DD Jr. that all the great things continue. However, it couldn't hurt to choose a different soundtrack.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Son of Man(chester)

No father is just a name. This week's objet d'eBay is the autograph of writer William Manchester. Author of works on large figures and thoughts of history, Manchester was also the son of a soldier he idolized and father of children who were pledged to him. His son, musician John Manchester, has just published a short essay, "Building My Father's Coffin,"  which will be featured in a promised, upcoming memoir of life with a great man who wrote about great men.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Waving the Magic Wand

And they all (well, actually, "he and son all") lived happily ever after ...

That's the story Hallmark is peddling with its Freshman Father. Dad, "based on the life of" current Seton Hall professor John Wand, is an Idaho guy on his way to Harvard who brings his pregnant high school sweetheart with him. He's fab as a father and at school. She can't cut it and leaves the son with him. Ups, downs and eventually uplifting happiness. Just like real life ... as condensed and cleaned up and uplifted for a greeting card.

In case you'll miss it, the trailer that precedes it:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Goodness from Father and Daughter

The surety of youth is the folly that amuses when old. That is the takeaway from an interview with Mpho Tutu — daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and co-author with him of Made for Goodness. When asked if she knew as the daughter of such a revered religious figure that she, too, would eventually make a home and career with religion, Tutu was clear:

Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the DifferenceAbsolutely not! That was the one thing I was absolutely clear I was not going to be. I wasn’t sure what I was going to be, but I was very sure what I was not going to be. 
And yet somehow, the influence of her father, the good and the bad of his experience, led her in the same direction he moved. Together, they have the faith that people are "hardwired for goodness" and Mpho describes herself as "privileged" to be daughter of the man who led her down the path toward true goodness.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quelle Surprise, Mac Man

And now the son has to have the sex talk with the father. Signifying how far we are from the days of hemming and hawing ... and just selling hamburgers, McDonalds has released an ad in France that at least seems to suggest a young man's fancy has turned to another young man. Soon enough, le père will need to be tuned in to his son's channel.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

One Brand of Fatherhood

Every guy faces the transition from boy to man to father. Some navigate it well, others ... not so much.

In today's gossip round-up we peek in on the trip of Russell Brand, currently promoting life as a boy for the movie Get Him to the Greek. Brand hasn't made it to fatherhood, but he is talking up the idea as fiancee of shock-singer Katy Perry. Putting the more outrageous aspects of his life behind him, Brand is talking up how he wants to be a good father. As a model, he is presumably not setting his cap on his own dad who is reportedly not invited to the Brand-Perry nuptials and was also making news recently for trying to snuggle up without invitation to troubled singer Amy Winehouse.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Common Sense (Repeat As Necessary)

Today's lesson is to be kind and understanding as a dad, but use common sense ... and then use it again. No doubt, Orlando's Jerome Broughten made the right call when he said his 14-year-old son could not drive his sister and brother to a local bodega. Good on you Jerome.

HOWEVER, while girls do grow up and mature faster (usually) than boys, it was still a poor choice to say if anyone was going to drive the siblings it would be the 13-year-old daughter. She crashed the SUV into a tree in the store's parking lot, injuring her brother (leaving the 8-year-old sister unscathed) and earning both herself and her father state charges.

Don't kids ride bicycles anymore?