Tuesday, January 04, 2005

#134 - Epiphany

I figured it out today. I've been searching for a good explanation for this blog for a while now (even if none has ever been requested of me), and I finally hit on it this afternoon during my homeward commute.

This is a blog by, for, and about Dadhood.

Not a unique idea, by any means. Even my brother-in-law does that. But there are particular reasons why this blog, at least, evolved from being just another voice in the political maelstrom to becoming a window to the world of an average dad. More than that, a dad who does not conform to the popular image of a dad in today's world.

Take a few moments, if you'd like, and surf around for various TV shows depicting what Hollywood believes to be the "average dad." Go ahead, I'll wait...

All done? Right. Now, which of the following statements best describes the dads you found?

1. Buffoon. Incapable of concurrent thought and anything requiring fine motor skills. Tolerated by his wife and berated by his children. Learns his lessons if applied with a 2x4.

2. Arrogant Pig. Epitome of the chauvinist. Makes Archie Bunker look like John Paul III. Wife is either long-suffering type, or clueless, or both. Kids are also arrogant pigs, and the boys are worse.

3. Dysfunctional. Cannot move without fear of offending someone. Incredibly sensitive to the point of neurosis. Wife is usually neurotic herself, on the verge of being institutionalized. Kids ran away years ago because dad embarrassed them.

Quite a crowd, hm?

As a sometime actor (strictly community theatre!) I used to bemoan the fact that I would never be a romantic lead in anything. I skipped over romantic lead and went directly from gawky, skinny kid to rotund character actor. Hollywood, seemingly in control of family characterizations, can only portray capable dads if they also happen to be major studs. Oh, they tried the sensitive-in-a-goofy-way route with Gerard Depardieu a while back, but it never caught on.

Just once I'd like to see a film where the dad is respected by his kids, loved by his wife, in control of most facets of his life, and looks... well... average. But of course that would never sell tickets.

So, think of this blog as an homage to all those average looking guys who happen to be - in my humble estimation - better than average dads. My essays tell of life from that perspective. I can talk about kids who do wonderful things, even as they exasperate me for repeating everything a jillion times until I turn purple and command them to cease and desist. I will continue to show my own feet of clay, and hopefully help you laugh along with me, because I'm certain I'm not the only one like me "out there."

If you want politics, visit Ed, or Hugh, or Michelle. If you want "do it all for you" men and dads, try Lileks. Want to visit with an average Joe?

I'm sure I can scrounge something.

UPDATE: I lied. See this post for details about my new blog. Posts like this now belong there.

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