July 29, 2010

Just me, being a dad

So, I was driving into work this morning, and I hear the voice of Tom Selleck on the radio, and I think "Oh, hey, Tom Selleck! He was Magnum P.I., and he doinked Monica on "Friends!" I should listen to him!"

And Tom Selleck says to me:

"Take time out to be a dad today. Learn more at fatherhood.gov."

And I'm sitting there, considering what I had just heard, absorbing the sheer lunacy of the whole thing.

Because, every day for the last ten months, from the moment I wake up in the morning, to the moment I go to bed, and quite likely in the dreams in between, I'm ALWAYS taking time out to be a dad! I'm a dad at home, and I'm a dad when I'm sitting at work, wishing I was at home being a dad. I'm ALWAYS a dad.

Now, I realize I'm not the target demographic for the fatherhood.gov initiative, such as it is. I'm a responsible father who is always thinking five steps down the road to ensure my family has a home and food for the foreseeable future. But, all that just made the ad and the initiative all the more insulting to me. Like, I wanted to yell, in no particular direction: "SCREW YOU!"

As my good friend and Geode Twin Caroline said: "If you have to 'take time' to be a mom or a dad ... YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG."

But, let's further explore the stupidity here. Let's say, for argument's sake, some deadbeat dad happens to be listening to the radio at that exact moment. He's eight cans into a twelve pack of Hamms, taking the last couple drags off his roach of pot, after leaving the apartment of whatever bar-fly he hooked up with the night before. Does anyone honestly think that guy is going pause and think to himself: "You know what? Tom Selleck is right. When I get into work at Pump -N- Munch tonight, I'm going to log on to fatherhood.gov and learn how to take time out to be a dad."

I mean. . . bullcrap, right?

And, please take special notice that there's no "motherhood.gov." There's no radio ad with, say, Candice Bergen, telling meth-head mothers to take time out of their day to let their kids out of the hallway closet and be a mom for awhile.

For that matter, let's say you're a deadbeat dad for reasons beyond your control. I mean, it's a tough economy. Times are tight. Do you really have the means to log on to the Internet to go to fatherhood.gov and learn how to be a dad? And that's forgetting for a moment that you can't LEARN how to be a dad; you ARE a dad who CHOOSES what kind of dad to be.

And here I'm reminded: My taxes pay for that fatherhood.gov initiative. I'm paying for pure stupidity. If someone were to approach me with an investment opportunity, and they presented me me with a PowerPoint presentation outlining the fatherhood.gov initiative, my wallet would slam shut with a bang, and I'd have the biggest laugh of my life.

The very idea that someone in a government position thought this fatherhood.gov initiative makes even the slightest bit of sense singlehandedly makes the case for why government needs to be smaller, not bigger.

Posted by Ryan at July 29, 2010 09:31 PM | TrackBack
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