Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Don't Do It, Dad

The text of Meghan McCain's Dirty Sexy Politics has just been published, but the subtext has been available for years. McCain is the daughter of 2008 POTUS runner-up John McCain. Fresh out of Columbia, she became a fixture on the campaign trail and the media thanks to (dad and) her McCainBloggette (now just a book promotion vehicle: her "work" has moved to Twitter and The Daily Beast) campaign blog.

Dirty Sexy PoliticsClaiming to speak for the old time, Republican moderates, Meghan, 25,  repeats (and repeats and repeats) her political message that the Republican party has lost its way, with its representatives forced to cater to Tea Party "crazies." Given the recent campaign where father John felt forced to rail against some long-held positions in order to recapture the Republican nomination for Arizona senator, the daughter seems to be attempting to warn/shame the father ... with love.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Heart of Fortune

Love doesn't care. And that's its fortune ... or at least the fortune as defined by playwright/author Michael Frayn when he discussed his father, even as he acknowledges faults such as his refusal to acknowledge Frayn's mom after her early death and how that has almost completely wiped her out of his upbringing.

Frayn has just released My Father's Fortune in his homeland, a collection of thoughts, anecdotes and inspirations (a memoir, sorta) inspired by his father, a smiling, self-sufficient, salesman always popping in and out. On the one hand, Frayn's pa left him a handful of quid, some slippers and a used hearing aid; he also left him a sense of inspiration and dedication to his craft. They add up to the tale of unquestioning love for a father (not shared by Frayn's sister) and a marveling and (not too strong) questioning of the legacy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer Silly(Bandz)ness

Why in the world would you want to participate in the pursuit of this week's Objet d'Ebay, a collection of 80 Silly Bandz (those annoying child fashion accessories choking circulation and causing playground fights and tears in the home)? Perhaps it's worth slapping silicon stupidness on your wrist to bond with your kid (at least in your own mind) like the Massachusetts dad who wants to recapture his own childhood and bond with is son in a shared pursuit of fashion as they are loud and proud in their joint efforts to make Robert Croak ever wealthier.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bench Him, Danno

Patrick Aloysius Ewing sits on the bench for the Orlando Magic as an assistant coach. From the like-father-like-son file comes the news that for a while anyway, Patrick Ewing Jr., a journeyman collegian and likely pro, will get to sit on the bench for the New York Knicks. Huzzah and buzz!

Not coincidentally, father Ewing holds all sorts of Knickerbocker scoring records and is a team icon. As fans and tv ratings for the current team are down by droves the team is looking for anything that recalls "glory days." Forgotten in the HOOPla is that Ewing Sr.'s preference was to shoot a lovely fadeaway jumper that mostly went in rather than do the hard work of forcing himself to the rim for dunks and the extra fouls shots that come to those who drive — which, some say, may have been why his teams always came up just a few points short of a championship. Go Jr.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thus Spake the Father of the Brady Boom

Even when in service to the inane, it is good to see fathers and sons teaming up. So, even though every bone in the WD body screams out DON'T!, we nevertheless put in the plug for Brady, Brady, Brady. Father Sherwood Schwartz (he, previously, of Gilligan's Island) shared his creation with son Lloyd (whose body of work as a producer relies very heavily on riding dad's Gilligan and Brady horses).

Brady, Brady, Brady: The Complete Story of The Brady Bunch as Told by the Father/Son Team who Really KnowThe result purports to be "The Complete Story ..." although only a very careful reading through the memories and a couple good guesses will help pass Mental Floss's The Brady Bunch Theme Quiz.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Already Loud and Closer

Build up the tear duct reservoirs, you'll weep them empty in 2012 (or maybe 2013 or 14, you know how these Hollywood things go) as Oskar Schell goes searching for his dad in the screen adaptation of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks are in talks to insure that the mega-budgeted, high-expectationed film will grind on every heart with its story of how a 9-year-old boy goes on a quest with his father's mysterious key in the aftermath of the old man's death during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In Praise of the Argumentative

Today in mountains-from-molehills news we have the Teutuls and Pauls. There may be floods and economic deprivation in the world while we count down to the Mayan-predicted (did they see their own end coming) apocalypse in 2012. However, the really important things in the media are struggles between sons and dads ... at least celebrity/politician fathers and male progeny.

The world of "entertainment" brings forth the news that co-star of American Chopper father Paul Teutel Sr. blew off co-star son Jr.'s nuptials this past weekend. Apparently, the wedding was a big reality-TV deal. And hot on the heels of that we have Texas Congressman Ron Paul announcing that people who own property should get to do what they want with it in contradiction to son and Kentucky senator candidate Rand Paul who thinks (at least in the case of something controversial for his potential constituents) that a middle way denying private property rights and pressuring for a monetary donation is the right way to go in trying to steer the more politically expedient course regarding the proposed 51 Park Muslim cultural center. They do seem to agree that the first amendment freedom of religion thing isn't that important so undoubtedly there is hope for reconciliation — in the same way that Teutel Jr. says of his missing pops, "I still love him, and the truth of the matter is it was an absolutely perfect day and I wouldn't have changed anything."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Don't Look Now

While it is not the preferred method of going about achieving heroic status, screwing up can be the path to glory. Take for example the still-anonymous Dutchman who lost sight of his 3-year-old at the Luenbach Zoo. She climbed over a small fence and fell  into the moat separating moon-faced bears from distracted dads.

The bear got to her first, but pops got to her in time. He's now a hospitalized hero; the bear got some excitement; and lawyers are looking into a suit against the zoo ... and officials are considering how culpable negligent parents are.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Frighten It Forward

Two paperback books, such as this week's Objet d'eBay package of Judith Gorog's When Nobody's Home: 15 Babysitting Tales of Terror and More Night Frights and Judith Bauer Stamper's More Night Frights, don't necessarily tie father and daughter together. Yet, wise Southlake, Texas, father Robert Rausch found a way: he took out a newspaper ad.

Deciding to scare straight his wayward teenage daughter, who was out partying instead of home by curfew time, Rausch headlined his notice, "Want a FREE BABYSITTER for a night out?" The payoff for the right responder was 30 free hours of sitting, courtesy of a reluctant teen, now promising to follow the narrow and straight path.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

You Spell Potatoe

Benjamin Quayle is running for the Republican nomination for retiring Phoenix-area congressman John Shadegg and what most people want to know is whether he can spell "potato." Ben is the son of Dan "potatoe" Quayle — remembered with this week's objet d'eBay, a 2000 campaign button from his failed attempt to transition to actual POTUS from from Bush VPOTUS.

Unlike candidates who have high standards to live up to, much of the reporting of the younger Quayle's campaign has revolved on how he is following in his father's foot mis-steps. Although something of a longshot in the the Aug. 24 voting, Quayle does bring to the campaign against his nine opponents the money his father's connections have enabled, as well as the low bar to lived up to (and hopefully, for him, jumped over).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hair, There, Everywhere

It's a shame that daughters can't (or at least definitely, positively, absolutely — and we repeat, absolutely — shouldn't) wear their father's mustache. It is a connection. It is an ode. It just makes one feel good to know about it.

When the late, great Kurt Vonnegut Jr. gave the 2003 Clemens  speech at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, he began:

First things first: I want it clearly understood that this mustache I’m wearing is my father’s mustache. I should have brought his photograph. My big brother Bernie, now dead, a physical chemist who discovered that silver iodide can sometimes make it snow or rain, he wore it, too.

Him. His brother. Their dad. All tied together by a mustache.

It's an idea that actor/musician Jason Schwartzman has also adopted. In announcing that he is expecting his first child, Schwartzman explained whey there was a new bug reposing beneath his breather. In his own baby pictures it was his father's goofy mustache that stood out. He hoped to offer his child the same dubious pleasure: “I decided to grow out this mustache, so when we take photos — my boy or girl, whatever it is — they’ll be embarrassed. ...I am now thinking of ways to embarrass my unborn child.” Like Vonnegut he will be tied to his child and will also be hoping his daughter (should he have one) won't be using the idea like a family heirloom.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

One Hero, No Cape

Appreciation (along with wisdom) came with age for Naomi Hirahara. She is the author of four mysteries about a Hiroshima-bomb surviving Japanese-American who solves mysteries in and around post-WWII Los Angeles. Not coincidentally, her father, American born but Japanese raised, was an unappreciated A-bomb survivor who toiled as a gardener in LaLa Land. As she told NPR:

"I'm basically making a character like my father a hero," Hirahara admits. "I think all the times I complained that my dad was a gardener and we couldn't afford this trip or that trip, I'm trying to make up for it by creating this heroic, iconic figure that's underestimated."
She didn't copy her dad,Sam, exactly for her fiction ... and not just in her protagonist's name, "Mas" (Sam backwards). But she did capture his essence as a good person, a someone (a father) who's sacrifice is often overlooked and, most notably as a hero. It isn't how she always saw him, but it is how he always has been.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Panda, Not Pander

Despite chefs and other facts to the contrary, the perception that "dad can't cook" continues as a constant and annoying theme in public discourse. Now it would be different if we admitted that few people take the time or trouble to cook well, but why should any father's attempts anywhere but at the bar-b seem more ludicrous than most moms and remind people of a panda in the kitchen?

Certainly that doesn't have to be the case. It often is, but it doesn't have to be. To that goal here's a shoutout to the folks at DadLabs [Earlier: Qs&As with DoDads - DadLabs] for PopSizzle (and Chef Hall), their attempt to give new dads (all dads) a tiny bit more knowledge and status, in this case by learning to make sweet potatoes for their sweet potatoes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Let the debate begin. To what degree is Levi Johnston a model for unwed fathers?

The high school grad, presumably has offers (of varying degrees of sleazy) throughout America. However, rather than let his pleasures take him far from home, he has decided to gather up some money for son Tripp by pursuing a new and more legitimate career than centerfold. Reports are that he will try to recreate himself as a role model, by running for mayor of hometown, Wasilla, Alaska, as the basis for some reality tv.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ready, Aim, Plan

There's the well-worn cliche that women begin planning their wedding, their perfect day, from the time they are very young girls. Not so with men, but maybe a little planning would be a good idea.

Even a tad of forethought might have kept a Turkish groom from killing his dad post-ceremony. It seems it is part of the culture in in the province of Gaziantep to shoot bullets INTO THE SKY during happy times. However, Kemal Bozo lost control of his weapon and whacked dad and two aunts on the ground, while winging another eight in the wedding "party."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ask? Tell!

When Johnny Cash wrote and then sang You Tell Me he was thinking of lost opportunities with women his own age. However, this week's objet d'eBay, an original Sun Records 45, is posted in regard to the new book, Composed, by his daughter Rosanne. [Earlier: Cashing In]

Composed: A MemoirThe singer-songwriter writes of the burden and blessing of being her father's daughter as he was both not in her life growing up and, as one of the most prominent cultural voices, everywhere around her. Now, with her book, she indeed tell him.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Introducing the latest and greatest musical super niche, Christian Suburban Daddy Rap, courtesy of Tulsa, Okla., Church on the Move. Originally produced as part of the mini-mega church's Father's Day celebrations, the song — with highly suggestive lyrics such as, "It's the dad life/It's the dad lifeTake my daughter to the potty/It's the dad life" — is speeding up the charts with all the force of 21-horsepower ride-on lawnmower. It's very, very safe for work:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'd Pay to See That

Today's news that the O'Neals (troubled Tatum, near-insane Ryan) have moved in together as part of their pitch for a reality show raises one, very important question: How much money could be made with a pay-per-view Celebrity Death Match (real, not cartoon) between father-daughter teams  O'Neal and Lohan?

From the far corner, we will have the actors and decade-long spatting O'Neals, who were most recently in the news when daddy Ryan admitted to hitting on beloved (?) daughter Tatum at his lover's funeral. [Earlier: Denouncing de Dad] Facing them for all the [lost] marbles will be the spotlight addict Michael — probably hoarse and sweaty from the recording session for his song for his incarcerated daughter — and the currently re-habbing, choo-choo-off-the-tracks cuckoo, actress Lindsay. [Earlier: A Nnoying]

It seems like a big payday for someone. Where's Don King when you really need him?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Did We Mention Your Pre-Deceasers?

Tall, dark, handsome and being set up with multiple females sounds like a pretty good life. But did we mention that there is a baby on the way in two months for the soon-to-be surrogate pop? It may also have slipped our mind that the actual impregnator died of some sort of "spontaneous" diabetes, which followed the rise and fall of his predecessor who seemed to be in good health until he passed with a "sudden" heart attack.

And so the saga of Kesho begins. The 11-year-old "black back" gorilla is being moved from the Dublin to the London Zoo before the new baby is born so that one of his first acts as a new father is not killing his child. The explanation for his presence being necessary within the menage is that without him the ladies (ages 11, 17 and 35) will become unsettled. Instead, given the fates of his predecessors, we're betting Kesho is one unsettled father in the very near future.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Not Porn It's Promo

Almost every father gives some variant of the "I love you ... I will always love and support you ... You can do anything you want ... I'll always support you in the things that make you happy" speech(es).

However, just because the speech is given doesn't mean a dad's heart is always in it. Case in point, Laurence Fishburn is apparently not currently thrilled by daughter Montana, 19, and her decision that she can spark her acting career through porn. The report of his unhappiness comes solely from his daughter, who reportedly thinks she can fix things up with little trouble. Fishburn himself hasn't yet commented publicly, immersed as he is in a summer tour for his one man show about the late supreme court justice Thurgood Marshall, a role presumably giving him plenty of practice for weighing the pros and cons of anything, even a daughter and her delusions.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Child (Non) Support

In the silly season of a scorching summer, the "news" media can often reach for what seems novel. Man bites dog; daughter mad at dad. In this case, reporters have turned their attention to a daughter-dad spat showcasing the family and campaign of John [great name] Mantooth, lawyer, judge and father of three in Nothingtown, Oklahoma.

His second daughter, Jan, took out an ad and started the website donotvoteformydad.com that is fairly self-explanatory in its mission, inasmuch as father Mantooth is running for Okla. District 21 judge. She says he's not what he seems. His supporters say she is still upset from the long-ago divorce from her mother and is also influenced by her husband being a law partner of Mantooth's opponent. All explanations might be true, but none completely explains why Jan's siblings aren't standing up for pops or what she is really upset about.

An interesting take on the situation was offered by Washington Post blogger Alexandra Petri on other dads who probably didn't have the support of their young ones.