Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers' Day!

Here's wishing a happy Fathers' Day to my three awesome brothers, my great brother-in-law, my excellent cousins, and all of the dads among my readership. I could make a political point about the typical social conservative hypocrisy about fatherhood (so ably skewered here, and how the very individuals who decry the state of fatherhood in the U.S. are the very same persons who promote policies that undercut wages (thus necessitating the two-income families they decry) and lead to higher incarceration rates (which disproportionately effect minority communities). Yeah, these people promote policies which undermine the abilities of men to act as good fathers, and then use the incidence of absentee fathers as a cudgel with which to belabor women.

Enough of all that, here's hoping that the dads out there can enjoy a nice day with the family. Enjoy yourselves, readers of the fatherly persuasion!

3 comments:

mikey said...

There was an odd tension between me and my dad. He was an athlete, something I never was, despite his hopes and encouragement. He was a brawler, with hardened, misshapen knuckles topping big, heavy fists. But when I started running with a bad crowd, he tried desperately to re-direct me. He was a hunter, perhaps the best shot with a rifle I ever saw, an amateur gunsmith and developer of wildcat cartridges, especially some of the most popular 'varmint' rounds, especially his babe, .22-250. But he loathed my fascination with handguns, curling his lips as if he had tasted something foul and calling them 'people killers'. He fought his way through the most brutal battles of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, coming home with scars and a deep hatred for organized violence. He was a lifelong Republican who joyfully voted for Reagan as Governor AND President and used to joke that he was the only American willing to admit he voted for Nixon in '72.

He died in the early '80s from a huge, aggressive brain tumor called an astrocytoma. The interesting thing is that his behavior very slowly became more erratic, and they even had referred him for psychiatric analysis before they discovered that a tumor was affecting every part of his brain.

His unit was the first into Nagasaki Bay in September of 1945, and he was part of the occupation force there. It is likely that the cancer that killed him started there, all those decades ago.

We were always at odds, and he never understood me or agreed with my choices, but he was always there for his family and his people - there can be no doubt that he was a good man, living in a rapidly changing world and just trying to do the right thing.

In that way I suppose he was a cliche, but perhaps it's more accurate to recognize him as being emblematic of his life experiences - raised in the depression, reaching adulthood in war, coming home to economic boom and raising a family in the presence of his demons...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Oh dad...we're all people!
~

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

In that way I suppose he was a cliche, but perhaps it's more accurate to recognize him as being emblematic of his life experiences - raised in the depression, reaching adulthood in war, coming home to economic boom and raising a family in the presence of his demons...

Amazing story... I think most of us have a mixed relationship with our fathers, myself no exception. For myself, I sure as hell hope I learned from dad's mistakes.

Oh dad...we're all people!

Gotta love Booji Boy.