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.

OH, BABY!!! (Part One)

I’ve spent the past year jotting down ideas for blog posts, but ultimately not doing anything with them. Well, I’m back, baby! And I’ve got a few things on my mind.

Speaking of “baby”, am I alone in noticing a sudden explosion in the number of babies out there lately??? Or, more precisely, a sudden explosion in the number  of women having babies with partners they’ve known for less than a year? Women who have decided that “HOLY SH*T!!! I’m HOW OLD NOW??? I GOTTA JUMP ON THIS!!!”, as one recently put it?

There are a good number of them in the hood lately. One can imagine finding a list like this posted on their fridge:

1) Meet guy with pulse and job. (If he has a child, no problem. This means he’s open to children!)

2) Sell/get rid of everything, move in with guy within three months.

3) Get pregnant.

4) Talk constantly about impending motherhood and other “adult” subjects. (ie: “High taxation on the family”, “Montessori”, “Dr. Spock”…)

5) Post countless pictures of baby/embryo on social network(s) of choice.

Etc.

Back in the day, other women whispered about such women. (“Can you believe it? XYZ is PREGNANT! And it hasn’t even been that long!”) Now, many want to BE that woman. Getting to really know someone, then taking it to that next step just doesn’t work for their schedule, it seems.

I’m not standing on the pulpit, trying to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do. Nor am I trying to dis women. But as they actually make the decision to become pregnant and/or keep the child, it stands to reason that this should be primarily about women. (Her body, her choice, yada, yada..)

Thinking about it now, their logic may be a product of where I live. Vancouver is infamous for its’ next to impossible dating scene, the ratio of women to men being something like 3:1. Great for the guys, not so great for the gals. Complicating matters is the fact that – according to many of my female friends – the guys here are crazy, and – according to many of my male friends – the women here are equally certifiable.

I suppose that it’s inevitable that they’d eventually hook up and make a baby. “Desperate times, desperate measures”, I suppose. But still.. I don’t get it. Maybe we should blame Demi for that baby bump pic that launched a billion copy-cats? At least she can say she was the first.

But what happens when they HAVE their babies? Honestly? Sometimes it can be downright ugly. (No, not the baby!!!)

(Stay tuned for Part Two!)

PotAYto/PotAWto. Twitter/Twatter.

Has it really come down to this? Have we officially become so attention-starved, so bored with our lives that we have to post every single thought that pops into our heads?

Are we really so lonely?

Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook have all but completely robbed us of our need to communicate with one another in real time and space. But now, we have Twitter. This new tool allows us to share whatever we’re thinking – no matter the banality of it.

Just had a sandwich you liked? Broke a nail? Bought a new shoe lace? Then send a “tweet” to one of your followers! These insipid fellow slaves of ‘hip, new, and pointless’ will gladly listen. Why? Because they’ve got nothing better to do – just like YOU! AND they know that you’ll listen to their mundane thoughts too!

And it’s all in real time! Yay!

The people usually drawn to this kind of thing are those who lack real people skills. They include those who insist on texting you instead of phoning you. (This is possibly because they KNOW that you just may answer the phone.) They also include those who have to be in the know. They need to feel like they are a part of everything that’s going on.

Seriously. How old are the people who actually participate in this activity? I can see why teens are into it. They believe that their lives are the culmination of “me! me! me!”, after all. But adults??? Supposedly SANE adults???

I can actually understand the merit that something like Facebook has. One can share aspects of their lives via text, photos, and videos with family (near/far), friends (past/present), and/or colleagues. But Twitter is an altogether new monster. It confirms how little we have going on in our lives. We’re so desperate to remain relevant that we dare not miss a chance to prove it.

Is it a coincidence that the root word of “twitter” is “twit”? Good thing they didn’t call it “Twatter”, hm?

Music Snobbery: The Last Form of Discrimination?

I came across a band’s blog post in which one of the core members blasted Nickelback for their song “Rock Star”.

In it, she seems to miss the irony in the song’s lyrics. Instead, she mourns over how “..Music used to be a tradition, a reason for communion, whether to be spiritually or culturally enriched, to celebrate and belong. And one day, when they invented the record, I guess, and music could me easily commodified and sold, something disappeared.”

She then asks, “..When did it all go to shit? When was a song as comical as ‘Rock Star’ meant to be taken seriously?” Answer: it hasn’t all gone to shit, nor was the song meant to be taken seriously.

Following her post, one person proudly shares a tale involving a young boy at his Christmas party.  Apparently the kid tried to play a Nickelback tune on a guitar until the host said “Guess you did not see the ‘NO NICKELBACK’ sign on the door when you came in”.

Charming.

Who knew that music snobbery could eclipse the meaning of Christmas? If a kid wants to play a corny Nickelback tune on the guitar, is it really that bad?

My question for the blogger is this: if “something disappeared.. when they invented the record.. and music could be easily commodified and sold”, then why should her band make another album? Aren’t they only adding to the problem of over-commodification by doing so?

Great band, but I wish they’d lighten up a bit. (And no, I’m not talking about Nickelback!)

Kutiman: The Next Generation of Music-making?

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written anything here. This is mostly because I’ve not been that effected by anything enough to write about it – until now.

Meet Ophir Kutiel, AKA: “Kutiman“. Essentially, he takes elements of people’s original YouTube videos and mashes them together into hauntingly beautiful compositions.

It not only took the guy less than two months to produce 7 songs for his compilation, but he makes it look so damned easy! Did I mention that he also does his own video editing???

If you haven’t heard any of this his stuff yet, check out his YouTube channel when you have time!

Published in: on March 14, 2009 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  

“Calgon, take me away!”

The past couple of months have introduced a number of adventures in my life. One of them being marriage. (Thank you in advance for the well-wishes!) Another being television. (I accept your condolences in advance). I’ve avoided both like bad fish for a long time, but for vastly different reasons. Rather than getting all up close and personal though, I’d rather talk about tv.

I’d often found tv a bit too transparent (ie: dumbed-down in order to appeal to a wider range of people, or just plainly dumb). Most who enjoy television have told me that I “shouldn’t take it so seriously because it’s meant to be a form of escapism”. After years of blasting the medium without really giving it a chance to redeem itself, I decided that maybe I was being a bit too hard on it.

Besides, how could 50,000,000 Elvis fans be wrong?

I’m pleased to report that there are a few gems on the tube. “Mad Men” is a personal favorite at our place. You don’t know whether to fawn over the excellent writing or the incredible attention to detail in making this show feel like it’s truly been dropped out of the 1960s. I just really dig this show and can’t say enough nice things about it. Nuff said. But then shows like “Californication” had to come along and spoil the fun. On the surface, it seems like a goofy, fun little romp that promises to entertain you for 25 minutes. Instead, it crams every cliche and newly invented piece of hipster lingo in your face until you cry ‘uncle’.

But “Entourage“, for example, is a stupid show about stupid people, but at least it’s fun. (Despite his abrasive personality, who among us – male or female – wouldn’t want to be Ari Gold for a day? I rest my case.) And, despite its shamelessly sexist content (thank gawd!), it manages to do the impossible by drawing in a huge number of female viewers. It does so by not sucking up to female viewers. It’s a show for guys that women happen to watch.

Another show that I thought had potential but got lame pretty quickly is “Eli Stone”. My biggest problem with it – other than crap writing and annoying characters – is how it unabashedly wears its politics on its sleeve and everywhere else. I get it – you despise Bush and Co. But isn’t this supposed to be a form of escapism? And doesn’t escapism include escapism from politics?

See, the difference between a show like, say, “All in the Family” – a true classic – and “Californication” is not only in its delivery but in its intent. “AitF” reflected the times in a smart, direct way. One can watch its re-runs today, some 30-plus years later, and say “Wow. That was a crazy time! I can’t believe the things they used to say on tv!” Of course it looks dated today. Just as shows from the early 1990s look dated today. (“Fresh Prince” anyone?) Thirty years from now, they won’t be saying that about “Californication”. Instead, they may say something like “Wow. That was a crazy time! I can’t believe how stupid people were back then!”

Sadly they won’t be refering to the characters.

Listen, I get that television shows always have and perhaps always will try to include product placement and/or politics in its content. But the thing that bugs me is when I’m aware of these facts. If you’re going to invite me and others to ‘escape’ into your show, wouldn’t it also be swell if you didn’t remind me about what it is I’m escaping from? Hell, even David Duchovny validates my point, recently confessing to sex-addiction – just like his sex-addicted alter ego “Hank” in “Californication”! And just in time for Season 2!

WOW. Art really DOES imitate life sometimes. The cliche is complete.

“Now let’s hug it out bitch!”

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.

“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  

30 Seconds before coming down

There’s this place where I go, sometimes, that reminds me of how immediate life is. It’s not necessarily a physical, tangible place. In fact, depending on the time, the circumstance, and/or the person, it can be many different places.

It’s that place, about thirty seconds before starting to come down from hours of heavy drinking, when you ask yourself “What am I doing?”. Not because you think that what you’re doing is wrong, but just because the question suddenly arises, unsolicited.

Or that moment in the middle of the night, when you’re watching your lover, your child, or even your pet sleep, so still. And you think about how much of a pleasure it is to witness such beauty, such purity. Such a sense of security on their part.

It’s that point where you’re laughing so hard with your friend that for a split second you wonder if and/or hope that you can be friends forever, but at the same time, it doesn’t even matter.

It’s also that time when you’re alone and you wonder how people really see you, what people really think about you… How do you really smell? When you laugh, are they hearing your joy, or do they think you’re just putting it on – just like you’ve secretly accused THEM of doing sometimes?

Do they really like your cooking? Your opinion? Your kiss? After all, you’ve doubted them on a number of occasions, so doesn’t it stand to reason that they may doubt you too? But once again, you remember: does it matter?

It’s in those moments, in those places that I feel truly mortal after all. And the more thankful for the honor. I don’t even care if I’m still here tomorrow.

Published in: on October 9, 2007 at 7:39 am  Leave a Comment