Fathers Day

I’ve realized sometime ago my books tend to have great fathers in them.

That is, of course, because I had/have a great father.  Dad was the sort of dad any kid would want.  For one he knew everything, from the nesting habits of local birds to how to translate the Latin inscriptions we came across on our rambles through the nearby woods.  And he has this thing where cats, dogs, even wild animals, come to him.  As they should, because he’s a good man.  (Though not a Good Man.)

My concepts of honor and duty come from dad, and though sometimes they’re onerous enough, they serve their purpose of making me part of something more important than myself: of making me part of civilization and family and humanity.  Without dad, left to my own devices, I’d probably long ago have been kicked out of the human race for shoving.

He taught me stuff like “don’t hurt those weaker than you” and “protect the helpless” and ALWAYS stick up for the truth.

And then I was lucky enough to marry a man who became a great dad.  It’s hard to be sure when you get married, and you’re both striplings (really, 22?  WHO THE HECK LET KIDS MARRY????) but Dan is a great dad.  He talks to the boys when I can’t (as in “you talk to them or I’ll just start screaming” and he solves math problems with the youngest and composes math with the older and along the way teaches them those things you never learn directly: hard work and dedication, and care of others.

So, right now?  I’m going to wander off and make my husband’s father’s day happy.  Ya’ll carry on with your planned chaos.

There will be promo post later.

76 thoughts on “Fathers Day

  1. Interesting how so many Fathers’ Day columns in the MSM are ruminations on how Dads fail and need to work to improve their “game.” That theme is almost as common as Mothers’ Day columns justifying Moms who neglect their families in pursuit of careers.

    Or consider the current kerfuffle over Jurassic World‘s “sexist” story arc of Bryce Dallas Howard’s character, the corporate drone who learns to recognize the importance of love and family … which ignores the similar arc of Jurassic Park‘s Alan Grant (Sam Neill).

    Happy Fathers’ Day to all who appreciate being one and all who appreciate the father they’ve had.

  2. BTW – anybody know what is the best Fathers’ Day movie? I’m thinking Secondhand Lions, 3 Godfathers … a quick [searchengine] suggests Mrs. Doubtfire, To Kill a Mockingbird and Kramer vs Kramer but I’ve never seen the first two and am not especially fond of the third. The Road to Perdition is a bit violent for the day (as is Taken), Field of Dreams too mawkish. Any votes for Pursuit of Happyness?

    Might be best to dig out and watch Les Comperes.

    1. Mrs. Doubtfire is Robin Williams at his best, and To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic that everyone should see at least once if only to get the references that other folks will bring up.
      Of course there’s always Return of the Jedi, “Luke, I am your father.”

        1. Yeah, but Jedi has that scene where the ghosts of Obi Wan and Anakin wave back at Luke.
          And I always get a kick out of the scene in Pitch Perfect where the music girl explains to her geeky boy friend that the deep dark secret is kind of not. “Vader in German means father!”

            1. And in German V is pronounced “F”, where as in Dutch it is pronounced the same way English does.

              1. Yes. In fact the brand “Volkswagen” is transliterated into Hebrew as the equivalent of “Folkswagen” (it’s not because of a missing sound — Hebrew has “v” sounds all over the place)

            2. I remember when the first Star Wars movie came out (the one renumbered as #4), when the Skywalker family relationships had not yet been revealed, the Dutch release changed the name to “Darth Veder” precisely to avoid the connection with Vader/Father. Then it turned out that he *was* Luke & Leia’s father… I always heard Lucas was consciously trying to evoke “dark father” with the name.

              1. That’s revisionism: Lucas had no frigging idea that Vader was Luke’s father when he was shooting the first movie – all he told Sir Alec was that Obi-Wan was lying when he was giving young Luke the “what happened to your father” speech, and as a result you can see old Obi-Wan getting a bit shifty-eyed during it. They didn’t tell him _how_ he was lying.

                Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan came up with the “Luke, I am your Father” line when they were doing their rewrite of Leigh Brackett’s first draft before shooting began on TESB. The Brackett first draft had Vader telling Luke “Obi-Wan killed your father!”, and that’s actually the line they had David Prowse use on set when they shot it*, with Mark Hamill in the know that that was not what James Earl Jones was going to say when they rerecorded it so he could act appropriately.

                * Prowse had been identified as the source of leaks from the closely held script to the press, so they basically had standins do as much of the Vader works as they could, and when Prowse did have important lines, that gave him something slightly wrong to say, knowing that with the mask they could have Jones record it correctly.

                1. I remember Lucas saying in an interview that “sequels are for losers who can’t think up anything new”. I also remember that SW fanfic had appeared with Vader as Luke’s father — well before TESB came out. So, yeah, I don’t believe he had a clue until he stole the idea from fanfic.

                2. Jedis have problems with telling the truth.
                  “What I told you was true…from a certain point of view…”
                  “A certain point of view?! You lying sack of #%$@ in a dirty brown bathrobe! She was my SISTER! @$#%&! I could a gone to jail just for what I was thinking!”

                  1. I don’t think Jedis have any problems with telling the truth, any more than Bill Clinton has. Most people have problems with telling the truth because a) they think they should and b) they think there is a truth.

                    Jedis are in tune with The Force (batteries not included) and thus know that “Truth” is an abstract concept with no real meaning in our Reality — sorta like a Hollywood producer’s promise to put you in their next movie in return for this little favor.

                3. Was I the only one who watched the “I am your father” part and thought, “Right, pull the other one?”

              2. The other thing about Sith names is that they’re not very imaginative. Vader and Sidious, for example, lack the prefix “in” and then you get invader and insidious, the things those characters are really good at.

                Before episode three wrecked the idea, I always joked that Vader was actually named after his mask – Voice-Augmented Digitally-Enhanced Respirator.

        2. Vader just wanted to spend some quality father-son time with Luke… ruling the galaxy.

          Plus, there’s that special bond between fathers and daughters, like with Vader and Leia in Star Wars.

          1. Hey, as soon as he had a chance he had Imperial med droids catch her up on her inoculations. That’s responsible Fatherhood when you don’t get visitation rights right there.

      1. Mrs. Doubtfire is Robin Williams at his creepiest. Seriously; I understand why some people revere him, and I agree he had a lot of talent, but throughout his career he made films people told me I HAD to see, and when I did there eMr. Williams was as yet another Rebel Against Authority that made me sympathize with the authorities that wanted to suppress him. And in Mrs. Doubtfire he’s a goddamned STALKER.

        I lived his work as the genie, and he gets major points for refusing billing for his bit part in THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN. But otherwise my reaction to his work ranges from “eh” to “get this creep away from me, NOW”.

        I guess it’s a flaw in me. I loath Charlie Chaplin, too. His Little Tramp always struck me as being a mean little sonofabitch. I much prefer Keaton, or Laurel & Hardy, or Fields (who didn’t pretend he WASN’T a mean sonofabitch).

          1. If you want to see Robin Williams as a rebel against authority see him as the teacher in Dead Poets Society.

      2. When I introduced To Kill a Mockingbird to two different home educated friends I required them to read the book first. One commented that she could not see how it could be adequately made into a movie. Now she is a major Gregory Peck fan, although Roman Holiday had something to do with that.)

        Still, however good the movie is, and I consider it one of the best, as is almost always the case — the book is better.

        1. There are a tiny handful of cases where the film is better than the book. BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS is based on a thoroughly forgettable book, for one. And there are films that took the book and did something different with the same subject; THE GREAT ESCAPE deal with personalities and stresses, wheras the book was far more about techniques and technical problems.

      1. I have come to the conclusion that ONE useless man is called a disgrace,

        That two are called a law firm,

        And that three or more become a Congress.

    2. Never thought of Second Hand Lions as a fathers film, but of course now that you say it, it makes perfect sense.

      1. When I was sellijg video, every year I would push SECNDHAND LIONS for fathers day, and every year I would sell every copy we had, amd every year at least one family would say “Thank you” on a subsequent visit.

        1. It is also the rare film that acknowledges an unsavory truth: some women are !@#$ mothers.

  3. (really, 22? WHO THE HECK LET KIDS MARRY????)

    I think the “kids” (22 is a kid? I wasn’t a kid at 22, I was a man.) need to be marrying more often. Waiting until you’re “mature enough,” or “stable enough” or “ready to settle down,” has it exactly backwards. Marriage is a maturing force. You do it early, and you have kids early. Fatherhood is part of what makes a man a man.

    If you let the man-child just bounce through his life “finding himself,” you’re going to wait an awful long time until the man emerges.

    But when you have that wife, and that baby in your arms, that’s a huge call to “man up,” that there are things in the world bigger and more important than you (namely, that tiny little baby in your arms).

    I’ve been a father since I was 23. Five times in total. No regrets.

    1. According to our president, 21 (Dylann Roof) is still too much a kid to be allowed a pistol. Screw Billy Bonney and all those “kids” who stormed Omaha Beach and flew missions over Germany. Plenty of those Union soldiers fighting to end slavery and preserve the union were under 21, too.

      On 04 July, 1776, the Marquis de Lafayette and James Monroe were 18; Charles Pinckney, Aaron Burr and John Marshall were 20; Nathan Hale, Banastre Tarleton and Alexander Hamilton were all 21.
      [ http://allthingsliberty.com/2013/08/ages-of-revolution-how-old-1776/ ]

      Part of the problem now is that we’ve allowed our society to devolve into thinking somebody is a kid at 22 (or 26 – thanks, Obamacare!) We’ve extended childhood, invented adolescence, and lowered the bar on maturity.

      1. The thng is, the Liberal Intellectual Radical Rogressives and SURE that the vast majority of citizens, not matter of what age, aren’t mature enough to make their own decisions, as proven by their disinclination to do what the LIRPs think they should.

        So they push up the age limits on things. They hedge us in with rules. And if we won’t accept the rules through the front door, they’ll find a way to drop ’em through a skylight.

        It’s all for “our own good”, of course.

        Screw ’em.

        1. OK, the thoughts in my head often bounce around. I skim past and see LARP instead of LIRP.

          There are quite a number of people whose view of life resembles a careful constructed fantasy game governed by rules. Moreover, they insist that if reality deviates from what they want it to be the right rules can will fix that.

      2. > According to our president,

        See, not even one sentence in and you’ve already f*ked up 🙂

        1. Pish-tosh. Citing an “authority” does not constitute endorsement of said authority. Citing an authority’s absurd statement is a classic rhetorical means of denigrating the authority.

          Sadly, this nation is loaded with morons who accept a statement as true if uttered by a president of their preferred party or even any president at all.

    2. I’m coming up on my 30th Anniversary this summer. I married my best friend, and I was far too young and stupid to do anything that smart on purpose.

      Sometimes you have to let “kids” do things, because if you don’t, they’ll never do anything. And they’ll stay kids.

  4. wait, plans? This is planned? can someone let me in on thse plans?

    But anyhoot.
    Happy Fathers Day to all you fathers out there. I’ll be chatting with mine later today.

  5. I had the most fantastic Dad ever – like Sarah’s, he seemed to know everything. He was a research biologist and gave us the most fantastic nature walks ever when we all were kids. He wasn’t good at teaching us how to tell time, though – which was about his only failing. Just one example – when my sister was doing a college photography course, and needed to do a human interest feature, Dad let his shave go for a couple of weeks, put on his oldest and grubbiest work clothes, and went around back of the shed on our property with one of the dogs, built a small fire … and basically played a part for my sister. When she had the pictures developed, everyone in her class was way impressed – “Hey, where did you find that awful, disgusting old bum?!” “That was no bum, that’s my Dad…”
    I put elements of him into my books – for which he was the first reader, and gave fantastic feedback, as well as specialist information on plants and animals generally. I still miss him, terribly.

  6. Planned Chaos. I’m still pondering this one. Darkness towards the center, the void over to the left, casually throw some singularities in the corner? Is that how you mean?

    1. “Attention Sector 13 Manager:

      Sector 13 has not achieved the planned degree of chaos in this quarter, so to meet the approved five year chaos plan target of 18% chaos you must increase your chaotic index by 7 percent for the remaining quarters this year to shift your net score back to your plan target. Note that continued failure to acheive the degree of chaos specified in the plan will be referred to the chaotic inquisition for remedial action.

      Have a chaotic day.”

  7. There’s a very good non-PC political thriller called “Father’s Day,” by John Calvin Batchleor, but that’s just the date of the plot’s looming deadline.

  8. I don’t think anyone else ever used anything like Batchleor’s plot: the President of the U. S. suffers a nervous breakdown and the ruthless Vice President assumes office, and in a couple of months, the President says, I’m quite all right now, I have doctor’s certification that I am able to resume my duties. There is no law and no precedent to say what is supposed to be done in that case, check it out. The Republican heroes do not intend to put a Republican in office; the President and Vice are Democrats and the D.s hold both houses of Congress But a Delta or such operator slips them the news that they were made to stage an exercise that involved mock-killing everyone on an airliner set up to look exactly like the interior of Air Force One, and the heroes are racing to stop a bloody coup d’etat the Vice President has scheduled for Father’s Day, June 21.

  9. I had work today, so I visited my dad yesterday. We had supper and watched Guardians of the Galaxy.

  10. Yesterday I struck up a conversation with a nice young man (probably age 16) in the checkout line at Walmart, about the unusual father’s day card he’d picked out. Turns out it was for his grandfather — and he couldn’t decide what to get granddad, because “he already has everything”. So he’d settled for a nice card.

    I said, “But you already got your grandfather the best gift you ever could.”

    “Oh?” he says. “What’s that?”

    I replied, “A really good grandson.”

    Made the kid’s day. 🙂

          1. But until she learns the truth, she thinks of him as her father.

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