Saturday, July 31, 2010

Who's She Again?

The absolutely good news for Pierre-Marie Cottrez and all who care for him is that the Frenchman had no idea that Dominique Cottrez, mother of his two grown daughters, had committed eight acts of barbaric infanticide. However, the bad news is that he did not know his fat wife had also carried and given birth to eight other children during their 20-some years as husband and wife ... or that she had buried two babies and stuck six in bags in the garage just because she didn't want to use contraception.

While there is nothing from the news reports to suggest he is not a good father, there is certainly enough coincidental evidence piling up that it seems fair to characterize him as probably not the most attentive husband.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who Me?

There's the bad and good news discovered in the paycheck of Lionel Sims. (It's important to note we are highlighting the Baton Rouge, La., gent, not the Ellisville, Miss., cad.)

Unfortunately, Navy vet Sims continues to be father to just one. The two children for whom his paycheck was being been dunned about $100 a week are not his. Doesn't know them. Never met their mother. Until switching jobs Sims was not aware why there was such a large unexplained deduction. Now his legal eagle is on the case, Mississippi is looking into how the mistake came about and the search is on for "the other" LS.

Admittedly, $100 a week is a small price to pay for fatherhood of two. Still, it would be nice to actually meet, now and play papa bear for your children. Good luck LS (yes, both of you).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bootsie's No. 8

Sometimes, a true fan's burden and blessing is to root for the team or player who is never going to win. There's a connection, a sympathy, to the object of affection and rationality doesn't have anything to do with it.

So it is that WD finds itself rooting for the Bootsies. The projected 8-volume series about a kid and rugby is not the project of  The Mike James (i.e., not Canada's premier Rugby Unionist). It is instead, the idea that came to Wanneroo, Western Australia, father Mike James. Sitting up hospital nights while his eight-year-old son fought brain cancer was the catalyst for the police officer to turn author. As he writes at The Bootsie Books website:
As I sat next to [Connor's] bed and while we looked after him at home the ideas and books themselves flowed out of me and onto paper. ... The bravery Connor showed is the inspiration for the character. As you read along with the series ‘Bootsie’ is faced with many challenges as most young boys are. Connor just faced a much bigger challenge and he dealt with it like a warrior. Bootsie doesn’t face challenges like his but in his world and at the time of his life they are big enough for him. He too braves his life challenges like a warrior.
The books are self-published and the author hadn't written much since his school days. Neither offers much hope for a series of literary masterpieces taking a young man through his school days. Still, with Bootsie Your 8 now available, our fan finger that "Bootsie is Number 1" is in the air, our vuvuzela is wailing in support and we're hard at work composing the footy club song.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dee Light?

Imagine stoner, metal marvel Ozzy Osbourne as a role model for fathers. Probably not all fathers, just fathers who want to extend or reclaim their rock celebrity. Fathers like Dee Snider, he of the Long Island lads who became Twisted Sister and then became famous for having been famous.

So just as Ozzy had his Osbournes the show that made celebs out of his kids (and furthered their own drug problems) and an America's Got Talent judge out of wife Sharon, Snider now has his Growing Up Twisted.Snider promises a cross between [Bill Cosby's fiction, perfect TV family] The Huxtables and [60s TV satirical monster family] The Munsters with him as Dr. Huxtable. Most likely, since audiences have seen this same scenario play out at least a few times since Osbourne introduced it, there will be a season or perhaps two and then general acclaim that (in the words of Twisted Sister itself) "We're Not Going To Take It! Anymore!":

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sad Daddy's Girl

The father awful to others, but beloved by his daughter is a fairly standard literary trope. Why? Because it is often true.

Father of the Rain: A NovelLily King is currently being celebrated for her new novel Father of the Rain. The setting is late 60s suburban Boston. The country was splitting apart as is the family of narrator Daley Armory. The 11-year-old will grow up to follow the words, if not necessarily actions of her liberal mum, but it is her alcoholic, regressive, often obnoxious-to-outsiders dad who always has her heart.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Get Custody, Get Up

In American law there is a presumption of innocence, but not always of paternity. Often the father of the children with a woman to whom he is not married has to struggle to establish his paternity if the couple splits up. Germany has just begun a government-sponsored initiative to provide the right rights for unmarried dads.

Ironically,  a Florida father awarded custody of his boys — the six-year-old and three-year-old twins — just spent his last weekend with them. Unfortunately, he was dead at the time, with the oldest waiting a couple days before letting a neighbor know that his dad "never woke up since he went to bed Friday."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Can You Really Strip Fathers of the Year?

From the "I didn't know that was possible" file comes the news that the Australian state of Victoria has taken back its 2007 Father of the Year Award from Australian cricketeer Dean Jones. Apparently his nine-year-affair and a child out of wedlock was not taken into account when the wise men and women who decide these things voted.

Given that precedent, perhaps there could be reconsideration to the 2007 FoYA to noted adulterer, former senator and apparent all around sleaze ball John Edwards. [Earlier: Judgment Days and Protection Racket] Assuming that adultering is a deal breaker, then perhaps it should be in the juries consideration that when Edwards gave his acceptance speech — with his cancer stricken wife applauding approvingly in attendance — his mistress was pregnant with the child he would later renounce and never quite embrace.

If your stomach can take it, perhaps your mind will be tickled by Edwards speech, with irony and fatousness unbound:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Making Out With Papa

Among the ways dad and daughter Osbourne are connected is in their pursuit of the just-a-bit-off public persona. Somehow, somewhere there is a movie in the works that will take a look at metalist/reality dad Ozzy Osbourne's life. Among the folks the man well known for his head banging tones and dove- and/or bat-head chomping ways

For that movie, Ozzy (born John Michael about 62 years ago) has suggested that either (African-American) Denzel Washington or Prince might be good at playing his life as a dyslexic, high school dropout from Birmingham, England, who grows up to claim the mantle as "Prince of [Rock] Darkness." To match her father, daughter Kelly is throwing her panties in the ring to be cast in the movie as Ozzy's wife even though, "’d be a bit weird having to make out with someone playing my dad!" Wake up Signmund Freud ....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Not Quite Sweeping It Under the Carpet

Dad was a carpet cleaner ... oh, yes, he also killed a few people on the side as a low level mob guy and when his own drug deals went awry ... but he was handsome and kind and gave me candy and was kinda the perfect father ... although we moved around a lot when I was young ... and, anyway, I turned out fine and now have a book to tell you about.

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers: A MemoirThat in an unfairly condensed version is Jennifer Mascia's story from Never Tell Our Business to Strangers. She learned about her dad, John (sometimes Frank) Cassese (until it was Mascia), in bits and pieces growing up. She discovered him in the newspaper, noted how he knew the bad guys profiled on television and know that he died not knowing she knew much more about him than he ever would have wanted his little girl to know.

As is only right, love for daddy doesn't ignore anything, it just sorta looks past it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Finding the Lost Son

The story you won't read in Bringing Jon Home is about a father renouncing a personal deity for taking his son's life. Why you don't read that one is not completely clear as Jon Francis left a note at the top of Grand Mogul Peak in Idaho reading, "All glory to God for the climb and the beautiful Sawtooths" before losing his life on the climb down.

Bringing Jon Home: The Wilderness Search for Jon FrancisInstead, David Francis writes about the search for his son that brought hundreds of family, friends and neighbors into a near year-long search for his son's body. He writes of his grief, of his frustrations and of how that experience taught him much about the life his son lives. He also writes about the origins of the Jon Francis Foundation, which supports those who search for loved ones lost in the wilderness as well as preaches safety to reduce the number of wildness mistakes and tragedies.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Satiric SAHD

Beyond the limits of civility there is a little place that in its native language sounds like "laughing at the SAHD."

And that is where you'll find Alberto Luperon's Stay at Home Dad.

Man (with kids) about town, he has mad social skills

He's a health nut:

And, of course, he's very interested in today's youth, although not always his own:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fear of the Winged Cougar

An Illinois pops is suing on behalf of his son. On July 13, sonny was flying solo to Orlando on Southwest Airlines. A suit filed in Cook County District Court alleges the 14-year-old boy's drunk/drugged cougar seatmate made him very, very uncomfortable with repeated offers of good times at a bad time. Pops places the damages to his son at $50,000 (less ambulance chasing attorney fees, of course).

Interestingly, the father believes the fault for the discomfort — he claims his son visited the lavatory four times to escape the advances and wouldn't fly his return trip alone — lies with the airline, not with the woman. That couldn't have anything to do with deeper pockets, could it?

It's certainly wonderful that father is standing by son; and good for the son to recognize that what is easy doesn't mean it is right. However, is "sue the bastards" really the best lesson for father to teach son about dealing with difficult people and situations?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's Your Mess Now.

It is practically divine wisdom that suggests fathers should have more than one child just in case ... but maybe some should just stop at one.

In the case of possibility-thinker Rev. Robert H. Schuller — who took his ministry from a rented drive-in movie theater to a ego-stroking, echo-echoing glass megachurch — two daughters and a son has given him the cushion he needed. He first tapped son Robert A. to take on running his multi-million dollar megachurch biz, but A. had to tap out and find himself a less stressful gig. "Baby" daughter (born 14 years after her her older sister, 11 after her brother) Carol Schuller Milner ruled herself out of supporting pops by hanging in infamous homes and writing ill-received (i.e., not creationistic enough) plays of the creation.

So the Bobster has done what perhaps he should have done all along [Earlier: Not Just Games]: he turns all the reins over to oldest daughter Sheila C. Schuller Coleman as his Crystal Cathedral ministry bleeds money and hemorrhages corporate infrastructure. In the spirit of the ministry (and big-selling pos-thought author) she promises only positive possible outcomes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Afro Pop Supreme

How great can you be if your father will always be greater? That is the question faced by Femi Kuti, oldest son of Afrobeat legend — and focus of a Broadway hit —  Fela Kuti and musical force in his own right.

As a recent NY Times piece had it, "As Fela’s oldest son, Mr. Kuti, 48, is in an unusual, demanding and potentially contradictory position." His father was a self-celebratory political and cultural force, but the son must celebrate his father, his father's music and be honest and true to the sound that make Femi Kuti a force on the stage.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Undespicability Force of Children

What could be sweeter (or potentially more lucrative) than the frown of evil turned upside down by fatherhood? That was apparently the thinking behind the the folks at Illumination who wanted to challenge Pixar (think Toy Story) at the movie theaters. How'd they do with the idea that men are evil (by varying degrees) until they have kids? They offed the twist that it is orphan adoptees in Despicable Me hero-villain Gru's case who salve the id of a guy after the title of worstest villain.

It's not as bad as you might think, although there is little balance in the attempt to beat the viewer over the head (paddle his/her backside) with the concept.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

G, B and very, very U

Today's good, bad, ugly files include stars, a superstar and a startler.

Starting with the good takes us to the Tour de France, where father (who happened to be the final rider in 1987 to wear the yellow jersey of the leader) Stephen Roche is commenting for the telly on son Nicolas, a rider who has at least a couple stage wins in his sights. Their mutual admiration is, well, admirable.

Moving to the bad, brings to the fore the apparent get-rich-quick scheme of of Leicester Bryce Stovel who is suing LeBron "unmarried father of two" James and mom Gloria for millions because they won't accept him as the DNA provider of the Cleveland superstar (at the time of this typing as he is making an over the top to-do over an announcement of where he'll bounce and dunk beginning in fall 2010).

And now the ugly. A 43-year-old Florida gent, Christopher Hugh Woodward, decided to spend a few days away from the son he lived with. So he stole his car and ran up his credit card balance, which he stole as well.

Probably should have closed the file drawer after just pulling out the good one ...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Laughing with (or at) Fathers?

Consumer products monolith Procter & Gamble decided in its behemoth wisdom that the world needs a SAHD site — specifically, its own. Thus, the creation of,

The site — apparently envisioned to give un(der)employed fathers something to do when the kids are asleep and they are tired of cruising their home computers looking for jobs and viewing porn — offers parenting hints, blogs, subtle and more obvious pitches for P&G products and features wisdom from among others, the pops of DadLabs. [Earlier: Qs&As with DoDads - Dad Labs].

MotH also showcases the fine line between parody and condescension in pop culture regarding fathers who give care and that P&G may not be the most agile firm at tiptoeing that fine line. As part of its launch, the site features a "lost script" to  Mad Men, the cable television fantasy of the 60s advertising world that coincidentally begins Season 4 in a few weeks. The script imagines manly man character Don Draper as a whingeing, unemployed father who lives without a clue of how to take care of his kids. His haplessness might be funny to some, but it does beg the question of what the site sponsor actually believes about its audience.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Making a Splash

Even investigative journalism is no match for the mysterious father-daughter bond. For example, in Huntersville, N.C., a father took to the lake to teach his teen daughter to swim. Both went into the water, but only one came out. Oddly enough, it was the teen daughter who was able to take care of herself until help arrived.

Did the father not know how to swim, and, if so, what was he planning to teach?

Did the daughter know how and try to set her father up?

Why did either or both of them think it would be a good idea to float a raft to the middle of the lake if one (the other one?) didn't know how to swim when they could have started on the shore?

And if this was not some sort of evil set up, what kind of father and teen daughter get along well enough to make this a likely scene?

The questions of dad and daughter unfold, but the answers of that particular relationship have most liekly swum away.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ronaldo Enigma

Hopefully the CR-father saga ends well; it has begun in a very strange manner. CR, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, has just announced he is a father. The 25-year-old Real Madrid striker did not announce a mother — he said he couldn't, but that despite playboying various pretty, available women with many more awaiting him, he will begin a new life as a single pop ... although certainly it's not the SAHD life for him.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Don't Preach, Market

In a shining example of do what we preach, not what we do, 2.3 percent of the fathers as Japan's labor ministry take paternity leave. According to a recent Reuters' post, the goal for the fathers taking paternity leave in the country as a whole is 13 percent. The idea is that the more men who stay home with the kids (and risk problems with their coworkers), the more who will decide (or whose wives will decide) to have more kids.

The current birthrate is just over one child per woman, low enough apparently, to encourage someone to come up with the 13 percent policy. Is science at work here? Maybe they should try the sort of marketing that makes hits out of Adam Sandler bombs about fathers. [Earlier: Not So Grown]