Saturday, October 30, 2010

Get 'Em Pops

Is the pen mightier than the revolver?

Well, actually, it depends on the circumstances. For an Indian and two British dads, the circumstances are that they will be equally ineffective.

Jnaneswar Mudiraj took gun in hand and marched through Kanakamamidi's K. S. Raju Institute of Engineering and Technology determined to teach a lesson to the mean boys bullying his son. (They had asked him question on a bus; he replied rudely; they pushed him around on campus; he told his dad; ... dad brought a gun to the college campus.)

A bit more passively, Essex's Ian McNicol and Redding, Falkirk's Michael Hamilton are sending nasty notes to the man who murdered their teen daughters. They are targeting serial killer Peter Tobin and being really, really, really, really mean. As McNicol told the BBC

"I really want to aggravate him into him losing his temper yet again, and again, and again - I will keep going just to grind under his skin. ...I'm going to say things that are wrong to him intentionally in the hope that he will correct me by saying to the police 'that's wrong', which he probably will."
 Yeah, gents all, that'll work.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blood Runs Through

Spoiler alert! Auntie had daddy whacked.

Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter's MemoirSuch is the story of Pakistan writes the glamorous Fatima Bhutto in Songs of Blood and Sword. Within a history of corruption dating from the country's birth and continuing in a particular vile form today — according to the author — Bhutto's dad was a minor player. He was also sister of prime minister Benazir,  assassinated in 2007 a while after and unrelated to (allegedly) ordering the assassination of her brother in 1996, fearing his attempt to grab the power she (allegedly) lusted for.

Was daddy a good guy? Well, he seemed to be a loving father, but also one who left a very angry (albeit literary and often thoughtful) daughter.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Tremendous, positive messages are flowing into and out of the "It Gets Better Project," set up to give hope to kids whose sexual orientation has caused them upset. Most are specific to the presumed audience of gay, lesbian, transsexual and transgendered children who are bullied at school or feeling alone and hopeless and that the world would be better off without them. However, from hope and support grows H&S.

One for fathers comes from gay dad, Nico Diaz, who adopted his son as a sickly infant and then had to fight both the life threatening illnesses and then a court system that threatened to take his son away. Similar to the message contained in the video posted as part of the project,  Diaz has a simple message for fathers struggling: It Gets Better.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dad Swing the Hips, Daughter Don't!

Today's best advice for fathers is to talk about sex and dance with your daughters. No definitive position yet on whether to do the two simultaneously.

The value of a father dispensing the birds and bees blather comes courtesy of a recent bit of research that chicks on the cusp of their third decade believed they would have been more responsible (and made better boyfriend choices!) if they'd been able to discuss with their father at least a bit about the bumping of uglies.

And the value of dancing to connect with one's own little ladies is exemplified by the lasses who posted their dad as backup dancer in their remake of Justin Bieber's immortal "Baby" (as in Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby, Got You On My Mind — repeat endlessly)

All because what you want to avoid is BABY, BABY, BABY until the right time ... and you'll know the time is right when you're both ready (sort of a "blue pill" for the joint daddy-daughter soul).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dad is .... Write?

Scam or tribute? That is the question regarding the worldwide quest for stories greater than 1000 words of fathers coming from Rajeev Mathew Thomas in Qatar.

From his My Father site, Thomas has issued a call for:

...stories [about] their own fathers, or about a father known to them, who has inspired them in some way or another during their life. It may be about something a father may have done, which meant so much to you. It may be about how great you think your father is, and why?
Thomas, who has plans to post all online and publish the best of the stories, will not pay submitters for their story and reserves the right solely to (yes, suspiciously) himself to name the charity to which all proceeds from the project will flow. He does invite all who have sent in stories to purchase the book, which is currently scheduled for Father's Day 2011 — actually he invites them to buy themselves, their fathers, their friends and everyone they know a copy.

Still, if your story of pops gets published that could certainly be a nice tribute to link to. So, if you've got the words and a fair amount of faith in some guy on the internet you've never previously hear about, here's the place to send them. Actually, whether you plan to send it or not, write a tribute to your father. You never know when it might come in handy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Rod, Odd Rod

Underlying all the good news about Rod Stewart and fatherhood is an ineffable creepy something. Roderick, 65, is on course to have  a baby in August. No. 8 will be with with wife, Penny, 39. Two through seven go: Kimberley, 30, and Sean, 29,with first wife Alana Hamilton; Ruby, 23, with model Kelly Emberg; Renee, 18, and Liam, 15, with actual No. 2 wife Rachel Hunter.

And then there's the first daughter. At age 18 rocker Rod and a now somewhat embittered Susanna Hourde produced the young lady now known as Sarah Stewart, 46. He claims he couldn't afford her ... and so off she went to adoptive parents. While father and daughter have known about each other for many years, they are reconciling now.

So, a new baby and a rediscovered relationship. It should be pure and wonderful news. Yet, not completely. Something about a 66-year-old guy changing nappies and anger and upset persistings from a father who ignored his daughter for nearly 30 years hovers like a storm cloud waiting to open up. Wake Up Maggie: it's about time to grow up Roderick.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

BeBop-a-Loo-Bop He's My Daddy

Today's "Google logo" pays homage to bebop pop John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie on what would have been his 93rd birthday.

Ever paying homage to the man who was certainly the most musically masterful man to ever run for president is his daughter, the singer Jeannie Bryson.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The Leopard Grand Poobah has passed.

Tom Bosley has passed. Famous in the 70s and 80s as Mr. C, father of faux-50s Happy Days' Richie Cunningham, the on-screen Bosley was stuffed with goofy and love. Like a real-life dad he was a supporting character in his kids' glories and trouble-fixing.  Off screen, father and grandfather Bosley seemed to have been just the same. Adieu Mr. C.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Forget Hips, What About Her Lips

Famous makes fabulous. Exhibit A for today is Georgia May Jagger, the 18-year-old daughter (third of four children) of Stone Mick Jagger. While mum is model Jerry Hall, Georgia May is getting her attention — at least based on the Harper's Bazaar spread — not for her wondrously styled so-so beauty, but because of her genes. If dad were a no-name schlub, so would he have fated Ms. Georgia May.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Father Nature

Know the earth. Conserve through creation is the message passed in the Olmsted family from father to son to son to son to son ....

Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) is the man who created the profession of landscape architecture and designed, among many others, NYC's Central Park, Boston's "Emerald Necklace," and Stanford University's campus. His son, FLO Jr., carried on the tradition and passed it to his son, John, who has been serving western natural glories for years. John's son, Alden, is now doing his part, filming the documentary of his father's (and his father's father ... and his father's father's father's) message.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Don't Be Stupid When You're Acting Stupid

Today's lesson for fathers comes courtesy of Hemlington's Adam Kirby and NYC's Juan J. Rodriguez. Note to selves:  if you are going to do something really, really stupid for your kids, do it in the service of a billionaire, not scumsucking drug dealers.

Brit father Adam Kirby claims that he borrowed money from heroinistas in order to give his kid the most wonderful Christmas ever. He couldn't pay it back and soon began warehousing drugs in his apartment (the same one in which that kid lived) to make things right, or else, with the drug thugs. Police and probably the court are not particularly sympathetic. Unfortunately, they also weren't amused when he carried the stun gun in his pants while on parole: his barrister claimed it was for self-protection (we can only imagine).

Much happier is Rodriguez who took up  billionaire Alki David's million dollar challenge to streak President Obama. Trying to drum up some biz and buzz for his website,, of stupid people doing stupid stunts, David promised the money to anyone running naked except for the site's name where POTUS could possibly see them. Rodriguez did, was arrested, claimed he was only doing it for his kids' education, and has been released on $10,000 bail. David first said he would renege, but now says that stupidity will pay off.

Money wins. The End.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Construct, Launch, Shoot ... Don't Head Butt

From at least as far back as Oedipus (the king-to-be who slaughtered dad, the king-who-was), father-son relationships have been complicated. No surprise then about Everson, Pa., pop Phillip Silvers, 31, slashing into headlines for head-butting his 7-week-old son. However, that shouldn't be the only way that dads make news.

So it is with great pride and admiration we note teams that work. There's Joisy City's Alfonso Carrino and son Anthony who watched an old firehouse for six years before plunking down the money to begin constructing a dream, fire pole included. A hat tip as well to New Yawkers Luke Geissbuhler and 7-year-old Max, who launched an iPhone 100,000 feet into space for 100 minutes to video planet earth. And, finally (although certainly not the last father-son team to celebrate ... and perhaps a bit more controversially), point your browsers to 82-year-old Joe and Outdoor TV channel employee Jody Tornabene who are looking to drop a moose on the new show Drop Zone Hunting.

Dads, Kids, words to the wise: construct, launch, even shoot, but ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HEADBUTT, no matter how complicated things get.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Beauty Is In The Eye of the Viewer

While looking at Aussies Graeme Squires and Nicholas Gunn discuss their latest project, The Dream Children, it is impossible not to wonder exactly "how beautiful can dads be?" That question — and the distraction it provides — will no doubt haunt their movie about a closeted star and his longtime partner who become dads ("gay dads" for headline writers) when they adopt the child of a druggie.

Even as the movie searches for international distribution, the question lingers. Other than "more beautiful than I," exactly how beautiful can a father be?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Three's a Crowd

Cat people: dog people. Crest: Colgate. Toilet paper sheets coming from over the top: toilet paper roll with the sheets coming out from below. People are divided into different categories all the time. It's easy, of course, but so, so lacking in true definition.

So, it is worth celebrating the New York City Fatherhood Initiative, which "helps fathers reconnect with their children and develop essential parenting skills." Unfortunately, the new program crams all fathers into three cubbyholes: the young, 16-24; the older, 24-death; former criminals. This may well include every siring male within its purview, but it does appear more than a tad demeaning in breaking down dads by throwing in the one extra ex-felon category. Do they not have any marketing folks on board the Mayor Bloomberg brain trust.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

21 Children, Multi-Decade Career, Alas, Some Rest

Even without the iconic bass voice, a father of 14 girls and 7 boys [Earlier: Can't Stop] can certainly claim to represent "The Soul of the Blues." This week's objet d'eBay, refers to the singer's 1993 collection and is posted here in memory of the Grammy Award-winning "King of Rock and Soul" who died of an apparent heart attack today earlier today, age 71, on his way to an Amsterdam gig.

A recent interview quoted him saying "I'll Sing As Long As I Have Breath." Daddy's voice has been quieted. RIP.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Oh Yeah, Just What I Always Wanted

It's a sure birthday present fail. An eye-rolling inspiration with perhaps no parallel.

Luka and the Fire of Life: A NovelAwarded, rewarded, praised, mocked, controversial (and despite this evidence presumably bright) author Salman Rushdie has completed Luke and the Fire of Life. His tale of life within video games is, he says, a birthday present for his 13-year-old son, Milan.Feeling on pretty safe ground here, let's just say that one of many things a newly teened male child does not want is a book written for him by his dad....

And, no, having written Haroun and the Sea of Stories for Milan's brother Zafar still does not make this a father's adequate birthday offering to his son.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Escape the Library

Here's the deal: It's the frickin New York Times and every reader (and non-readers as well, for all it matters to them) should be able to expect better than a story about one dad providing diversity at a library storytime. Instead of another complaint about how a stay-at-home dad feels out of things in the mommy/nanny dominated daytime world, why not send a real reporter and talk to the people about their troglodytic thinking.

Fathers can take care of their children. Even during the daytime. They don't need librarians rereading a story to replace "daddy" every time the text says "mommy" to make them feel like "real parents." The only good part of the story was when the kid decided she had had enough and demanded to escape the idiocy of the event and go outside to play — maybe something the NYT editors should have thought about when the story arrived in the office.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Walking andTalking with Dad

Even if your father is a master of smoke and mirrors philosophizing, there are footsteps in which to follow. Such is the path of Gotham (born Guatama) Chopra, 35, and scion of real doctor (and to some real charlatan) Deepak Chopra. And so welcome to the world Walking Wisdom.

Walking Wisdom: Three Generations, Two Dogs, and the Search for a Happy LifeGotham walks his dog, his father joins him ... and a likely best seller is born. Read at your own mind's risk.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Make Room for Me, Too

Marlo Thomas never caught her father trying on her mother's girdle. That was just for the show that paid the bills, Make Room for Daddy (eventually changed to The Danny Thomas Show and on air from 1953-64).

Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of FunnyHowever, That Girl makes clear in her the new memoir/comedy study, Growing Up Laughing, certainly caught his love of humor. In the book she tells tales of what it was really like to make room in her heart for daddy and how she and some famous comedians she talked with developed into the people who make other people laugh.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

More Tale

Let's hear it for irony ... or maybe just updating. This week's objet d'eBay, a used copy of Earl Woods's Training a Tiger, is getting something of an epilogue, thank to Tom Callahan's upcoming His Father's Son.

His Father's Son: Earl and Tiger WoodsWhile Tiger's half-bro Earl Wood's Jr. is getting 15 minutes by claiming how much his father probable favorite would have disappointed daddy by sexually straying, pre-publication buzz — and after all, pre-pub buzz is necessary when this is the gazillionth time someone is trying to cash in by snatching Tiger's tale — includes the juicy bits that Earl was something of a hound, who had to be rescued from woman trouble at least once by sonny T.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Man Boobs

Very, very, very slowly Ragnar Bengtsson's revolution is taking hold. Bengtsson, of course, was the economics — note, not biology — student who made news last year for announcing his plans to breast feed his two-year-old. [Earlier: ABC: About Boobies and Crickets] Now comes news that los señores d'España are welcome to take hour-long breastfeeding breaks at work ... even when mother and baby are at home. (Actually, what they ruled on was a point of discrimination, but the effect is the same.)

The takeaway from the court case: Ragnar is not the boob he appear. (And by the way, is he still trying to breastfeed his now 3-year-old?).