Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Father Goof's Favorite TV Shows

Since the passing the patriarchal heyday of "Leave it to Beaver," TV dads have pretty much been portrayed as dopes. This casual dismissal of the parenting capabilities of fathers has reached such a point in popular culture that a friend of mine worships a "Swiffer" commercial because it portrays a positive, father figure. Ask him about it, he will discourse on it for a period that exceeds the actual length of the commercial by a factor of twenty (the man needs cable.)

Dads could rail against this, claim discrimination, start pressure groups, and develop complex conspiracy theories about the liberal (Communist) media elites and their secret plot to emasculate the American dad and thereby destroy what makes our society great.

Or... we could use this in our favor. My favorite shows, by far, are "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Supernanny." Why? Because no matter what I do, I am a way better dad than Ray Barone or the Dads in the dysfunctional families requiring the help of Supernanny (it is always a long-suffering, disorganized mom who isn't getting the help she needs from her self-centered husband - always.)

Often I feel a little guilty for not playing with the kids or being a little short with them (or lying to them that their favorite - read: noisiest - toys are lost, when in fact I buried them in the backyard so I would no longer have to hear the endless warblings from a Wiggles guitar with a key jammed down on "Big Red Car"*). But the feeling passes as I watch Ray Barone lie to his wife so he doesn't have to take his kids to the park or the dad on Supernanny who thought spending time with his daughters was having them watch him ride an ATV around the backyard.

Better, I watch them with my wife. Good to remind her how good she has it.

* Here is a question. The batteries in the children's toys can generate loud noices continuously for weeks on end. I put the same battery into my PDA and it immediately loses power and eats all my contact info. Why do electrons hate me so? Are they sub-atomic children, constantly trying to run away from the nucleus to make trouble while the weary protons and nuetrons are busy trying to generate a weak atomic force to keep atom intact?

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