Father’s Day: A Day To Bash Dad

Mother’s Day is one of those sacred days where our mothers are nearly deified. We send cards, praise, flowers, gifts, poems, you name it. And it’s understandable; women carry us for 3/4 of a year, then bring us into this world. Then we torture them with nonstop crying (well, of course I didn’t!), late night feedings, and – oh yeah – we irreversibly change some of their bodies forever. For the last reason alone, they should be celebrated on their Special Day.

But for some moms, that isn’t enough.

This past Father’s Day weekend, the social networks were flooded with complimentary dedications to dads everywhere. I don’t mean “fathers”. I mean “DADS”. The guys who made their children feel safe. The guys who made it to recitals – or the ones who sadly missed them in order to take care of their families. The guys who showed up at games and almost got into a fist fight with the coach for benching their kid. These are the guys who laughed at their childrens’ stupid knock-knock jokes, the ones who busted their children smoking/drinking, but shared the cigarette/beer with them instead of screaming at them because he was just that cool.

The examples are endless.

But for some women who didn’t have such mates, they feel that they deserve both days. The father(s) of their child(ren) either took off, or was simply a loser to his family. (I suppose it’s redundant mentioning “men who run out on their families” and “losers” in the same sentence as they are one in the same.)

These women – who are, sadly, growing in number – took to the social networks this Father’s Day weekend to vent. One post literally said, “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE SINGLE MOMS IN THE WORLD”. Many others were just plain rude. But when I looked closer, I saw a pattern: NONE of these single mothers seemed to take accountability for their actions, and none seemed to consider or care about the impact such comments can have on their child(ren).

I’m willing to assume that most women understand the mechanics of human reproduction. Have unprotected sex with a douche bag, you just may end up with douche’s child(ren). But for one reason or another, his douche-ness didn’t stop her from saying “F*** it – let’s DO IT!” Some more than once. As is often the case with douche bags, they didn’t stick around, or stuck around to beat the crap out of the mother of his children – or worse, the children themselves. Then the moms of douche’s child(ren) decide that venting on social networks for their children and the world to see is the way to go. Bravo.

I have a secret: I get the feeling that it’s a human problem more than a gender problem. I know more than a few men who (knowingly, and therefore stupidly) involved themselves with evil incarnate – women who snoop through their children’s social network pages for info to use against their child’s father, or who simply delete their child’s father without the child’s knowledge or permission, or who deny the fathers of their child(ren) access to their child. Even on Father’s Day. Even by phone. Even if the child wants the contact. I know of a woman who’d actually gotten her daughter to lie to teachers about abuse her father supposedly inflicted on her.

Translation: people suck. PEOPLE suck. Not dads. Not moms. And just as there are great moms who deserve their day to celebrate the great job they did as parents, there are MANY great dads who deserve their day too.

So, ladies, you’ve got 364 days of the year when you can bash your ex. How about letting the REAL dads enjoy Father’s Day, free of reminders of a few of their peers who aren’t as great as they are. Otherwise.. well, you just come off sounding like a douche. Just like your ex.

I’ll leave you with a fun fact: the most collect calls of the year are made on – you guessed it! – Father’s Day.

Yep. The REAL dads have got it great.

PLEASE – Just shut up and SING!

Even though I’ve visited this subject before, it keeps rearing its ugly head in one way or another. What else can I do but share?

There are some days when I miss the simplicity of the music world past. Before technology came and ‘changed’ everything forever. I’m not referring to the days before video officially killed the radio star. After all, video was initially meant to paint a picture to go along with the sound.

Yes, it is tragic that many artists who weren’t the best-looking failed to impress the first ‘Mtv Generation’. (Christopher Cross, anyone?) But that’s why community college exists: to offer hope to those who want a second chance in life.

Back in the flawed but brilliant 80s, most of what we knew about our favorite artists came from either teen magazines, music video programs, or word of mouth (ie: rumors). Today, it’s completely different.

Bands have their own websites/forums from where they can talk about anything and everything. These subjects have ranged from their favorite electoral candidate to their favorite cologne.

On the surface, it sounds like a great thing. But then there are those moments when you feel like it’s become more about the artist than the art. Sometimes I don’t care to know about your family or what you had for breakfast. I want to hear about your ART.

That’s the beauty of having more than one web page – one for your art and another for your mundanity.

PLEASE, just shut up and sing!

Even the Dixie Chicks got the point… eventually.

Lindsay Lohan tries to channel Marilyn Monroe…

slideshow_btnc.jpgAnd fails miserably.
Yes, Lindsay has nice breasts. And to be honest, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for freckles.

My problem is with the photographer’s choice of shots to mimic. This dude shot Marilyn in the nude. THE NUDE. One would guess that he had a pretty good idea of what her curves looked like. Seeing how, erm, ‘different’ Lohan’s body is from MM’s, why would he choose to mimic this pic?

Or this one?

Or even this one?

Marilyn’s body was the epitome of what a woman’s body should look like. Curvy. Natural. Among most of today’s young Hollywood, having large breasts – at any price – is enough. This photo shoot proves it.

When the rest of your body resembles that of a nine year old Chinese boy from the waist down, maybe Marilyn is not the ‘icon’ you should be trying to channel. On the other hand, ‘straight up, straight down’ seems to be what the general North American public seem to want today.

Well, except for blacks and hispanics, of course! (We will worship curves until the end of time.)

Hell, maybe I’m part of the problem by saying what I AM saying about LL’s body. I make no apologies for wanting women to accept who they are though. It’s the anorexic ‘role models’ I pass judgement on. (Shame on you!)

Most women don’t – nor should they – have Marilyn’s 36D breasts. But neither should they be starving themselves to resemble a certain hotel heiress’s body either. Marilyn probably had more than 30% body fat, but she’s considered the ultimate in beauty among most women.

How bizarre, in an era of weight loss gimics and obsessive dieting.

What a difference a couple of generations make, hm?

“STRIPPERS” vs “DANCERS”

A woman I was recently chatting with mentioned how her friend makes SO much money as a dancer. Naturally, I asked her which club her friend worked at, to which she snapped “She’s not a STRIPPER, I said she’s a DANCER!”

Great. I’m guilty of committing the same sin so many others do: referring to ’strippers’ as ‘dancers’.

Once upon a time, strippers were commonly called ‘exotic dancers’.

Somewhere along the way, someone – possibly strippers themselves – decided to refer to them simply as ‘dancers’, removing the word ‘exotic’ from the description. And ‘real’ dancers everywhere were furious.

I realise that a girl’s gotta eat and all, but for God’s sake learn the difference between what you ARE and what you DO. You are a STRIPPER who happens to DANCE. This does not a dancer make.

A dancer is usually someone who has invested a fair amount of time perfecting their craft, getting to know the limitations of their bodies, etc.

A stripper is usually someone who has invested a fair amount of time perfecting the fine art of balancing herself on a pole, gyrating, and dancing badly to music by Vanity 6 or Whitesnake.

I’m not saying that there aren’t any GOOD strippers out there. But just stop calling yourselves ‘dancers’. To me, it would be like a dude who goes around calling himself a doctor just because he works for ‘Rug Doctor’…

Did you hear? Jennifer Love Hewitt’s proud of her body!

And she even volunteered at a shelter this Christmas!

(Guess she was too busy during the remaining 364 days of the year…)

YAY! You’re relevant again, Jen!

To those of you who know not of what I speak, here’s the summary: “The Other ‘J-Lo'” was recently photographed on the beach, revealing a different body from what most of us are used to seeing. Her lower half was not only larger than we’re used to seeing, but (*GASP!*) patches of cellulite are even visible, too!

In response, JLH has hit out at critics of her currently humanoid shape, saying that she “loves” her body right now and has no problem with it. She’s also lamented the damage that this backlash will have on young girls out there who either have or are considering having body image issues. “For shame!”, she says. And rightfully so!

Kinda.

I think it’s awesome that she’s taking the stand that she is. Young girls and women in general need to be reminded of how beautiful they are, as is. It’s not necessary for you to buy the fake boobs, get the rinoplasty, or hunt for the cellulite creams. So, for that I’ll say Good on ya, Jess, but why now? Especially when you’ve become as irrelevant as you have?

See, it would’ve been one thing if you’d taken this stance about 6 years ago, back in your ‘prime’. But why now, when you have so little to lose? I mean, what other stance could you have taken now?

It reminds me of when George Michael got popped for ‘lewd acts’ in that toilet, ultimately ‘outing’ him. (Because none of us already knew he was gay.) Suddenly, he became a champion of gay rights causes and campaigns everywhere. He even boasted, “I’m mostly surprised that people didn’t realize it sooner!” Silly us, George. You got us on that one.

Then there’s Katherine Heigl of “Grey’s Anatomy” fame. After starring in the hugely successful “Knocked Up”, she recently told Vanity Fair how she felt that it was a ‘sexist’ movie; how “It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys… It was hard for me to love the movie.”

Wow. Touching stuff, Katherine. Of course, you probably didn’t find the movie’s success too ‘hard’ to deal with once her salary went up from $300,000 to $6,000,000 per film. No, the important thing is that you spoke her mind after the fact. You go, girl…

Yes, JLH is suddenly relevant again. All thanks to an ugly attack that she wisely spun in her own favor. You may ask what the harm is if even one person is positively affected by JLH’s response to all of this. Honestly, there is no harm at all. On the other hand, had she decided to dismiss her slimmer figure whilst she was still at her peak, I would probably be considerably less dismissive of her proselytizing than I am now.

As for the remaining young, ‘flawless’ starlets out there (who are most likely binging and purging as we speak), know this: you can look forward to my commentary that will follow your inevitable dismissal of the Machine that put you where you are in the first place. Once they’ve tired of you first, of course.

Oh, and for the record, I LOVE JLH’s body now.

Published in: on December 30, 2007 at 4:32 am  Leave a Comment  

When you wish upon a star…

“MOOBY SAY RELAX!”

“The problem with being a star is that anyone CAN be, but not everyone SHOULD be…”

When we were teenagers, my friends and I would sit, listerning to our favorite bands for hours. Sometimes we’d watch their videos, imagining what it would be like to be in their shoes – singing songs we wrote while an enchanted world watched and listened. I would go to sleep, wishing for the day when the limitations of funds/technology and the barriers created by A&R folks would be a thing non-existent. In other words, a day when anybody could become a star.

“Be careful of what you wish for…”

This 21st century has ushered in the era of my wildest teen-aged dreams. But it’s also created a kind of nightmare that I’d never imagined could exist.

In an age of YouTube stars demanding that we “Leave Britney Alone!” while wiping away tears of mascara (along with any hint of self-respect), spectacle is king. Or queen, as in the case of certain fraudulent “LonelyGirl”. Girls have gone wild while boys proudly exhibit their inner jackass. Their logic asks, “Is it possible for me to get noticed AND taken seriously while pretending to be something I’m not?” People – mostly, but not limited to the young – don’t seem to care about being artists, per se. They want to become what they believe art is.

That is to say, they want to become something stared at, pondered upon, desired, loved or even hated. Art has become ‘the art of the con’. Whatever it takes to elevate these few to that point of apotheosis that they’ll never attain. At least, not in the way that they hope to. See, just like any other god, once one becomes one, they never really accept or realise that they have yet.

This is because it doesn’t feel anything like what they thought it would. Sometimes it’s more draining, other times it’s simply boring. But most of the time, one wants to have more. These are the times when our gods are found dead of an overdose. Or without underwear. The result? Hotel heiresses who are famous for nothing, and slickly-produced television that poses for ‘reality’. (Whatever THAT is anymore! When was the last time you felt ‘real’ in front of a video camera?)

Here’s the saddest part – no matter when this technology would’ve been created, the sad truth is that the results would’ve been exactly the same. With this in mind, I suppose there’s something to be said about having controls in place, limiting just who ends up becoming a star. There’s something kinda liberating about hiding some aspects of art. Who truly wants to know how the coolest magic tricks are done?

One thing that I’m definitely certain of is this: I’m glad that YouTube didn’t exist when I was a teen. God only knows how much of a jackass I would’ve willingly made of myself…

Published in: on October 11, 2007 at 9:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Passion of the Idiot…

So I’m on the bus a while ago, heading to my buddy’s birthday dinner. The thing is packed like the proverbial can of sardines, there’s the token wacko bitching about the increasing fares, and then there was the frightening slum-village b.o. (I cringe at the recollection…)

Anyway, these two ’emo’ types hop on a couple of stops later. One pays her fare and moves on. But the other – an elfin little thing, no taller than 4’10” – decides that she’s gonna ‘make a statement’. She turns to the exhausted driver – the bus was hot as hell – and takes out her bus pass, muttering the words “Heil Hitler!”. Then, after excusing herself past me, elf tosses her friend a self-satisfied grin.

See, that kind of thing kinda bugs me. When people toss words like “nazi” or “slave” around, identifying it with themselves or their lame causes. I don’t think it’s particularly gutsy or witty when people do that. To me, it’s a bright red mark of ignorance. So I did what I do best – I called her on it. Live and in stereo.

I asked, “Excuse me. What did you just say to the driver when you showed him your pass?”

Let me tell ya – the look of horror on her face was worth the fare alone? Priceless. She managed to stammer, “What?”

So I asked again, “I was just wondering what you said to the driver? Something about Hitler?”

She turned to her equally shocked friend for help. The friend immediately lied, “All she said was ‘excuse me’, dude!” But I calmly said, “No, I’m referring to what she said to the DRIVER. Not to ME.”

The friend insisted that neither of them had said anything, and with that, they pushed their way to the back of the bus through the crowd. (No doubt to be with the other ‘rebels’ back there.)

Pathetic. Gutless. The driver rolled his eyes and smiled. Mission accomplished.

The sad part is that this kinda thing isn’t limited to younger people. There’s no shortage of others of all ages out there who feel justified in their ignorance – until you call them on it.

Here’s my thing. There’s nothing heroic about belittling a city worker on behalf of your misguided protest against Transit. The guy probably had his own problems to deal with. The same goes for people who refer to cops as ‘pigs’, but are thankful as hell when these same ‘pigs’ show up after their friend/loved was raped or their house got broken into.

Are there some cops who suck? Of course! Are there some bus drivers who suck? Definitely! (Hell, I’ll even say MOST do! Sorry guys. But some of you really need to work on your PR skills…) Referring to these people as “Hitler” – a guy who was partially responsible for some pretty shitty things – is so moronic.

Not only that, but if you’re GONNA say stupid shit like that, at least back your shit up.

Sad. Lame. Pathetic.

Published in: on October 9, 2007 at 7:44 am  Leave a Comment