Saturday, June 27, 2009

Red Alert

This warning is issued as a public service to those susceptible to a little known but well established matter of jurisprudence referred to as buttwhuppin by proxy.

All you absent parents out there be ye forewarned. If you have a family court date coming up in the next few weeks, particularly in certain southern states, do not, I repeat, do not show up for court. Do whatever you gotta do to get out of it. Get your lawyer (Mr. how much you got on you right now) to ask for a continuance, make them request a pysch evaluation (wear colorful pajamas to court or convene a press conference outside the courthouse but say nuthin' and just dance) whatever you gotta do.

The MIC (see June 20 post) is in full effect. This ain't the time for your lame ass excuses. Everybody who shows up in court this week is going to take the heat for certain high profile philanderers. Your dumb ass is going to represent all of the folks who won't be dragged down to the court and subjected to the realities of reality. You are the one who will be made an example of by folks who who want to keep their jobs and are more than willing to demonstrate that they are not soft on this sort of thing. The fact that your case is completely unrelated will be cold comfort where you find yourself.

Don't go down there looking for justice because the only thing you will find is just-us.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm watching reality television, get me out of here!

Reality television has been on a slide for some time now. But I remember better days of the genre where they had things figured out. On the very first episodes of The Biggest Loser where they introduced these overweight people with whom you could identify.

They developed these people into interdependent teams and then worked them like borrowed slaves all day long. They then brought them into the studio to "weigh in". But first they locked them in a room with a platter full of cupcakes and turned off the lights for five minutes.

Now that's television.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

From your absent father to you on Father's Day

I was reading an article on fatherhood in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) about gate keeping mothers preventing fathers from doing their jobs as fathers by deciding when and when not to allow dads to be dads. I was fairly well impressed that someone had thought to take a different approach in the big annual run up to father's day (Come Monday we will be back to nobody giving a good goddamn about father's and fatherhood, but I digress). Then I started reading the comments section which had a decidedly negative perspective on the article.

My first impression was that maybe the commentators were self satisfied fathers who just didn't get it. These were people who felt they had fulfilled their fatherhood responsibilities and didn't need anybody telling them how to be a father. As I continue to think about it, I am beginning to recognize that maybe that's the point.

Over the years I become more and more disillusioned with the concept of father's day, as it seems to have become nothing more than a vehicle of the M.I.C. (Motherhood Industrial Complex) which is used to berate men who don't measure up to the arbitrary standards they have imposed upon us. Essentially, the day functions as an opportunity to make a list of all the stuff that men need to do. Fathers have lost control of the very day supposedly set aside to honor them. The M.I.C. has convinced the world that we should use this occasion to detail all of the things that are wrong with fathers. Mother's day is a celebration of motherhood, as it should be. Why isn't father's day a celebration of fathers. Why is the focus on the mistakes and missteps. Come next mother's day, I am going to keep count of all the articles that tell young single mothers that you should have kept your legs closed until you got your act together. Or if you are poor you are an unfit mother. Because these are exactly the messages that fathers are subjected to on their "day of honor".

This is a symptom that is representative of fatherhood in general. The self assured mothers and mothers in law and list makers and pundits are all telling us what to do and who to be. They even line up an errant prodigal father who, after 20 years of absence, is now the reigning expert on what fathers ought do. Somehow we have merged the role of father with the role of husband. Maybe this was accurate back in the days of Ozzie and Harriet or Ward and June Cleaver, but the sexual revolution of the 60's produced the "baby daddy" of the 70's. The Husband and the father have been unequivocally bifurcated.

Husbands better do as they are told if they want to have a peaceful home. Fathers are not necessarily a part of the home. We are warriors and protectors of children who may or may not live under our roof. Being a father to the children of your baby mama from across town increases the difficulty factor exponentially. And sometimes being absent from your child is the best way we know how to protect that child. Understood, this don't feed the bulldog, but sometimes that's all we got. And truth be told, fathers who are not absent are not all that present anyway. Yeah, the body is present but the spirit is on the job, or at the golf course or caught up with the sports team or worse yet in the bottle.

It is very difficult to live in the small space that is left open by the M.I.C. You should wear this, and do that and pay this and bring that and and and... We have been contorted into this made for TV version of what a father ought to be. And what's worse, we have convinced our kids of this crap. If we don't go out back and play catch with the little boys they feel deprived. If we don't suit up and attend the daddy daughter dance little girls don't feel they are getting enough of their daddy's love. And God help your monkey ass if you come up short on a court ordered child support payment or two.

So if you want to encourage fatherhood then sit quietly and let us tell you what it means to be a father. Unless you are a father you cannot possibly know what it means. So let us tell you what it means to walk into a hospital natal ward hard and tough on the outside but a quivering mass of fear on the inside. Let us tell you what it means to come up short on Christmas presents. Let us tell you what its like to try to teach a child the things nobody ever taught you. Let us tell you what its like to look into the eyes of your newborn and know you are not ready for this.

We don't celebrate "Actively Engaged Father's Day" we celebrate "Father's day". Whether by birth or by adoption, still living or dead and gone fathers should be honored simply for existing, in the flesh or only in memory, warts and all. Of course we should talk about all those other things that need to be done. Children need food , clothes, homes and yes somebody to play catch with them or take them to the daddy daughter dance. But maybe that can wait until Monday.

There is an old philosophical question about whether a tree falling in the woods makes a sound if nobody is there to hear it.

Can you hear me now?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You go girl

My favorite first lady just keeps on impressin' thehelloutame.

Now folks have been having jazz at the White House as long as I can remember. Previously the high water mark was set by the peanut farming president Jimmy Carter "sitting in" on a rendition of Salt Peanuts with Dizzy Gillespie. But Michelle Obama just brings a whole new style to the party. And she does it with such class.

And crazy ain't cheap

Acting crazy is a statement (as opposed to being crazy which is a condition), but either way, there is a cost associated with crazy.

If you have to ask, you probably can't afford it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Life doesn't come with a meal plan

Wouldn't it be wonderful if life was lived by the semester. You register every 3 months and you got most summers off. And no matter how bad you screwed up you get to start over next term. The days would always begin by draggin your ass down to the cafetorium and ordering an egg white omelet with mushrooms and capers. Then we could complain about how hard it is to walk to the other end of the building to get breakfast and fantasize about a better life with breakfast delivery.

But then I guess somebody has to make the omelets.

Riddle me this one Batman

Why do the pictures of the Iranian authorities wearing that batman looking body armor beating the crap out of election protesters say "Police" across the back in English. Shouldn't "Police be written in Farsi or something. And exactly who is the audience for the word "Police".

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Taciturn and trying to learn

There are many people who feel that not having anything to say is insufficient reason to stop talking.

I am not one of those people.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Serenity Prayer

I have found the serenity prayer to be highly effective in a great many situations regardless of one's particular religious perspective. It is not a prayer for material riches or deliverance from a situation, as is often prayed for by those who lack vision. Rather than asking God to change the universe to fit one's preconceived notion of what the universe ought be, it is a prayer to change one's perspective so that one can peacefully coexist with the universe as it is. And therein lies its power. Instead of asking God to stop the ocean tides from coming in, the prayer guides you to ask God for short pants and a pair of flip flops so that you may make the best of the situation as it is.

My observation of the world finds it to be populated with self absorbed, narcissistic, immature products of the immediate environment. God grant me the serenity to accept these fools as they are.