The Holidays in June
First things first: The whole Dad-Blogger Group Hug, aka Totally Manly Handshake (which, yes, does sound like a circle jerk, Urban Mommy. Which only makes me like the name more), seems to be posing a challenge, insofar as some of you are saying that you don't read many - or, gasp, any - Dad-Bloggers.
There's a Gender Studies thesis here somewhere, I think. Snips and Snails and Daddy-Blog Tales: The Sexual Politics of Parent Blogs. Mommy Bloggers get all of the attention - the conferences, the 'zines, the big-ass corporate-backed community sites and endorsements from Meredith Vieira and Andrew Shue. Dad-Blogs remain a more obscure corner of the blogosphere. Sure, Daddy Types and The Blogfathers are out there proclaiming their fatherhood and making virtual celebration of it. But Dad-Bloggers who don't align themselves with roaming blogger gangs, or openly hang with the chicks, are somewhat harder to find.
So. Evidence of anti-male, anti-father bias in Western culture?
(A warning. If you click the above link, you will be confronted by a flashing fart button that will burn your corneas. And, you will have to ponder what exactly the aforementioned fart button reveals about Western culture. Such as it is.)
Prolly not. More likely that it's just further demonstration that the blogosphere may be like high school (an assessment that I disagree with, by the way). Or in this case, grade school. Everybody keeping to their side of the playground.
But I know that this is not entirely accurate, either. I see Dad-Bloggers - Dutch, MetroDad - mixing it up all over the place. And I see you, mama-bloggers, 'round their parts - no pun here -all the time, too. So maybe the crickets I'm hearin' on the Dad-Blogger Shout-Out has more to do with Post Assignment Exhaustion (not AGAIN, dude. Just finished that Mommy Blogger Post. And got my hands full with figuring out WTF one does for Father's Day at home - more tools? A tie? - never mind in the blogosphere. Give it a rest.) than with anything else.
Whatever the case, I don't want to abandon the Dad-Blogger Handshake. But I will revise it, to make it more accessible. You don't need to write a whole post. (Of course, if you do write a whole post, you will get mad props from me.) Just post a comment here, noting your favorite Dad-Blogger, with a line or two explaining what it is that you like about him. And if you really aren't that well-acquainted with many Dad-Bloggers, go get yourself acquainted, as a special Father's Day gesture.
To get you started, here are some of the Dad-Blogs (including Dad/Mom tag-team blogs) that I read and love:
Sweet Juniper (where Dutch keeps up the Dad-end of the wonderful tag-team parent blog that he maintains with the super-awesome and only sort of intimidating Wood)
Mother-Woman (where P-Man occasionally contributes alongside the incomparable mama that is Mo-Wo)
MetroDad (I somewhat ashamed to admit that I usually only lurk here)
Laid-Off Dad (who is el Grande in la casa of the la fabulosa Moxie)
Dad Gone Mad (whose first post for The Godfathers challenged the Kegel-toned dam that holds back the giggle-pee. You've been warned.)
Cocktails with Kevin (who I only recently discovered, through Mom-101's blogroll, and whose blog you must go visit now. You'll thank me.)
The Blogfathers (roaming street gang of Dad-Blogger thugs who have been known to spontaneously break into dance routines.) (Okay, I made that last bit up. I was thinking of Hot Cops.)
Go, read, laugh. And then come back and leave a note saying why that was such fun. And I'll do a post listing the Dad-Blogs that you like, with lovely little quotations and credits to those who join in.)
Got that? Good.
Now, on the topics of marginalized fathers and street thugs and men who spontaneously break into dance, a story...
Zanta Is Comin' To Town
The other day, WonderBaby and I took the subway downtown. (Mission: find funky onesie to replace famous Mutha Sucka tee, which only has about a week's wear left in it. WonderBaby, she grows. And grows and grows and grows.)
The subway car that we rode in was almost entirely occupied by children between the ages of about 6 and 9. Boys and girls, accompanied by a small posse of teachers, out on a late-term excursion. The girls huddled in their seats and whispered and giggled; the boys jostled and poked and pretended that they were riding surfboards as the subway car rattled and lurched its way downtown. The teachers scolded the boys repeatedly while the girls continued to giggle.
We were just approaching Bathurst Station when one of the teachers, having had, presumably, her last teacherly nerve frayed to the breaking point, shouted down the aisle at the junior Kelly Slaters riding the transit waves:
What we did we say about CORRECT SUBWAY BEHAVIOUR this morning?!? What DID WE SAY?!?
And then, just at that very moment, the subway doors opened and this character leapt onto the car:
That towel, I'm guessing, is in case he needs to do any inter-galactic hitchhiking...
And immediately flings himself to the floor and commences push-ups, like Jack Palance on meth, steroids and in flame shorts. Shouting I'm not Santa I'm not Santa!!!!
The children fall totally silent.
Dude jumps up.
I'm Zanta! With a Z! Santa is spelled with an S! Zanta with a Z! Z! Z! Yes yes yes.
He swings his towel over his head. Then, drops the towel and grabs the overhead handrail and begins swinging.
Zanta with a Z! Yes yes yes! Yes yes yes!
A little girl begins to cry, softly.
He drops to the floor. It's OKAY! I'm not Santa! I'm Zanta! I've been doing push-ups LIKE THIS (falls into push-up position) WITH MY KNUCKLES since my wife took my daughter away and I'm gonna keep doing them 'til I get her back!!! Yes!
I'M A SUPERHERO! GOOGLE ME! ZANTA!
Begins striking bodybuilder poses.
THE COPS TRY TO STOP ME BUT I KEEP COMIN' BACK. I'M A SUPERHERO. THERE'S GONNA BE ACTION FIGURES! AND COLOURING BOOKS!
Lunges forward in fencing-strike pose.
AND YOU CAN COLOUR LIKE THIS!
Makes stabbing motion with one arm.
OR LIKE THIS!
Makes punching motion with other arm.
I'M ZANTA WITH A Z THEY CAN'T STOP ME GOOGLE ME!
HBM cannot contain herself any longer. Asks if she can take a picture.
TAKE MY PICTURE! PUT IT UP EVERYWHERE!
Strikes some bodybuilder poses.
Got that? How 'bout this? Or this? Got it? This is a good one. Got that?
And then, in a flash - yes yes yes! yes yes yes! - he was gone. Just like that.
Once the subway doors were safely closed, the children - with one or two exceptions choking back muffled sobs - burst into the loudest gale of laughter that I have ever heard.
WonderBaby (who slept through the whole thing) and I had overshot our destination by three stops. But it was worth it. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but it was worth it.
Here's to you, Zanta. May push-ups restore your sanity, and, courts willing, your family to you. And may your Google dreams of superherodom come true.
And, boys and girls, I hope that you now all better understand correct subway behaviour.
We have another visitor hangin' in the Basement. Bring your cookies and give her your support...