Nov 12 2018

Stan Lee and Superhero Parenting

What is Superhero Parenting? It’s parenting like a superhero. It’s using lessons from comic books to raise your kids. It’s allowing comic books to teach lessons to your kids, lessons they might not want to hear from you but will gladly absorb from a fictional character in a costume.

The biggest lesson of all – “with great power there must also come great responsibility” – comes to us from Stan Lee.

Stan Lee

One of the best things my father did for me was introduce me to Marvel Comics. (Note: my father was, at best, something of a putz.) My first was Doctor Strange, and I still vividly remember the splash page – the colors, the small words. (Compare the letters on a Richie Rich comic to a Marvel or DC book from the late 70s/early 80s. It’s a big difference.)

Later I got into Spider-Man and learned the immortal lesson of great power and great responsibility, maybe the best thing parents can learn. Think about it – what greater responsibility is there than parenting a child?

I’m hardly the only person thinking about parenting on the day Stan Lee died. Kevin Smith wrote on Instagram, “Outside of my parents, you were the one adult who gave me the most useful life skills I still use today.”

I think this is true for a lot of people. In some cases Stan might be MORE important than their parents. That’s not true for me; my mother had a huge influence on my moral compass. But so, in his way, did Stan.

More Stan:

Famous people remembering Stan

Stan shows up on these great old Fantastic Four radio shows

All of Stan’s cameos, or “Staneos”

Image: Wikipedia


Dec 07 2017

NFL Should Not Be Convincing Parents To Let Kids Play Football

This article from ESPN about the state of the NFL under Roger Goodell had a line that made me go “hmm”.

NFL Convincing Parents To Let Kids Play Football? No

“How it will convince mothers that their kids should be allowed to play football.”

So… no.

First, is this article suggesting that fathers have no say in their children playing football? Or that fathers are throwing their children onto the gridiron whether they like it or not? I don’t think so. Can we at least start saying “parents” instead of “mothers” unless we’re talking about breast-feeding?

Second, and this is my main point — how the hell is it the NFL’s job to convince parents to “let” their kids play football? Answer: it isn’t. I suppose the idea here is that to keep a fresh supply of players in the pro league you need kids playing pee-wee football. (Pee-Wee!) To me, the NFL’s job is to make sure parents are informed about the dangers of playing football, and then parents can make their own decisions. If nothing else, the NFL shouldn’t be PREVENTING that information from coming to light, something they have almost certainly done.

Really though, is it the NFL commissioner’s job to “convince mothers that their kids should be allowed to play football“? Fuck no.


Aug 23 2016

Warning: More Superhero Posts To Come (But It’ll Be About Parenting Too)

I know this is DaddyTips.com, but I think there are going to be more superhero posts to come. You have been warned.

Danger Will Robinson

This will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me or anyone who reads this site with even moderate regularity. I mean… well, I’ll let the picture say a thousand words.

Me and The Avengers movie.

Personally I prefer The Avengers. Have I mentioned that lately?

In case anyone is wondering, the phrase “Me and The Avengers DVD Combo Pack = happy dad” is still true. I could watch that movie almost any time. Luckily there is a steady supply of other stuff to watch, some that even doesn’t have superheroes in it like Stranger Things. (Stranger Things is all the things, by the way. I’ve already watched it twice. It’s good the second time around, in case you were on the fence about watching it again.)

Deutsch: Zentrale Heterochromie: Grüne Iris, u...

Deutsch: Zentrale Heterochromie: Grüne Iris, um die Pupille herum jedoch ein braun-gelber Ring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(The image above is totally unrelated and is included just to freak you out a little.)

I will be doing a better job of tying the superhero stuff into parenting and related topics. Not that this is necessary. To paraphrase Whit Honea from way back when we both blogged for Babble.com, superhero movies are relevant to a parenting blog because I’m a parent and I like superhero movies. (Whit’s kind of awesome; check him out here, and also everywhere.) I also watch them with my kids. The values they impart are important. Not that it’s all about values. It’s also about fun, and sharing something fun. The world is a rough place. There’s a reason it’s called “escapism.” But while escaping, it is worth noting that sometimes there are good values being imparted. Acceptance of others (Vision and Scarlet Witch). The complications of friendships (Captain America: Civil War). How awesome and weird it would be to have super-powers at age 15 (Spider-Man). OK, that last one isn’t really a value. But those three are all from the same movie. I’ve got more than that, trust me. Because with great power, there must also come great responsibility. (Ahem.)

Face front True Believers! Welcome to the DaddyTips age of Superhero Parenting! Trust me, it’ll be a fun ride.


Jun 06 2016

Enough With The Gorilla Thing

I’m calling it – enough with the Gorilla story.

Enough With The Gorilla Story

What prompted me to write this? I suppose it’s because this is still a news story.

(Full disclosure: I sometimes write for The Daily Beast.)

Now: OF COURSE the parents won’t face charges! That would ridiculous. If for some reason the zoo didn’t have the proper fencing in place, that’s who would face charges. However, by all accounts that I’ve read, the zoo DID have the proper barriers up. Unfortunately, a small child got through them and landed in the gorilla’s area.

Here’s some video. It’s not that shocking but if you don’t want to see it for whatever reason, you’re not missing much, in part because half of it is blocked by a tree. But it doesn’t feature the gorilla getting shot, or the child being harmed.

Here’s Jack Hanna, animal expert, defending what the zoo had to do, which is kill the gorilla.

It’s sad that the gorilla, named Harambe, was killed. But what were they going to do? Let the kid get killed? The gorilla was dragging him around like a sack of potatoes.

By the way, this isn’t the first time a child has fallen into a gorilla habitat. I don’t think this particular gorilla was a Silverback, but that’s only because I don’t know stuff like that. (It appears to not be a Silverback because it doesn’t have a silver back, but I’m color blind, so who knows.) Here’s a video from — wait for it — 2015. You know, a year ago.

This incident worked out much better because EVERYONE was OK. Not saying the circumstances are the same. However, in the 2015 video above, you can see the barrier and in theory it should be enough. It wasn’t.

Oh look! Here’s another time a kid wound up in a gorilla habitat at a zoo. In 1996.

As Kimberly Harrington pointed out on Medium, “do accidents happen anymore? Especially when a kid is involved?” (That’s just a quote from the headline. The whole article is worth reading.) Kimberly posted a lot of memes/tweets that resulted from the Harambe incident, but these two really horrified me.

I mean… wow.

Here’s a quick quote from Ms. Harrington’s excellent article:

This is the perfect (shit) storm for the Internet, especially the American variety, because it involves: a) kids, b) animals, and c) parenting. All of the things that the Internet likes to flip its collective wig over. All of the things that allow the Monday morning quarterbacking to gush forth in a rage orgy. Someone needs to pay! She’s a woman? Let’s call her horrible names! This is our chance, Internet!

Yeah. That pretty much says it all. In 1996, maybe all the Prodigy and Compuserve chat rooms were aflame with enraged parents and animal rights activists digitally duking it out. But I sort of doubt it.

Bottom line: everyone needs to take a breath and calm down. Jack Hanna says the choice was between a human life and a gorilla life (paraphrasing here) and the zookeepers chose the child. It is absolutely sad. But there’s no excuse for the kind of vitriol shown above. You can see much more at the link below.

Me? I say enough. No más. It’s over, Johnny.

Except that these are the Interwebs. It’ll never be over. Well, maybe when something else shows up to outrage people.

See also: Hey America, do accidents happen anymore? Especially when a kid is involved? — Be Yourself — Medium


May 25 2016

Brad Pitt Stops A Kid From Getting Crushed By Fans (Video)

This is kinda nice. Brad Pitt stops a kid from getting crushed by fans in Spain, or to use the lingua franca of the place where it happened, “Brad Pitt rescata a niña en rodaje de Allied”. Allied is the movie Mr. Pitt was filming, and he took a break in order to say hello to a crowd. More specifically, he waved at a rather large group of people who were clearly REALLY stoked to see him.

DaddyTips Featured Video

But perhaps they were a little bit too stoked. According to the story, and the video backs this up, a little girl was being crushed against the fence. Mr. Pitt saw this and had his bodyguards pick her up and pull her out of the crowd, then comforted her until medical staff arrived. Here’s the video.

I think this is an example of how having kids changes a person. Not that I don’t think Mr. Pitt would have done this before becoming a dad. But the behavior, to my eye, looks very parental. There are things that become instinctual after you have children of your own. In this case, that was a good thing.

Via Time


Nov 12 2015

Demaryius Thomas’ Mom Will See Him Play in the NFL for the First Time This Week

Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas’ mom will see play in the NFL for the first time this week. Why does this matter? Well, it’s a nice story. It’s also one of the rare times that parenting and fantasy football intersect. Since I do both of those things, I had to write about it.

Stay with me. There’s a point here. I promise.

English: Demaryius Thomas, a player on the Den...

English: Demaryius Thomas, a player on the Denver Broncos American football team. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From FantasyPros.com:

Thomas will face the worst secondary in the NFL and will be playing with a little more on the line. Peyton Manning is fully aware that this will be the first time Thomas’ mother will see him play in a professional football game, and he will make it a special day. I am going bold here in predicting two touchdowns for Thomas this weekend.

Emphasis added.

I will admit that my heart likes the analysis. Read more »


Jun 21 2015

Sopranos for Fathers Day

Last year, HBO recommended an episode of The Sopranos for Fathers Day. It kinda makes sense, as long as you don’t watch it with your kids (depending on how old they are, of course).

The specific episode recommended by HBO is called “College” (Season One, Episode Five).

Sopranos on Father's Day

 

In it, Tony Soprano (played of course by the late and very great James Gandolfini) takes his daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) on a trip to visit colleges. Since this is The Sopranos, Tony gets sidetracked by some unexpected business.

It’s an early episode of the show — it first aired on February 7, 1999, according to Wikipedia —  and is very good. (Sorry! Forgot to say “spoiler alert.”) It certainly deals with father-daughter issues in a unique way, as did the show as a whole. One of the many great things about The Sopranos was seeing Tony try to be a dad while also conducting his, ahem, legitimate business dealings.

If you want to double-down on Gandolfini for Fathers Day, you can also watch the film Enough Said, which stars Mr. Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. (Catherine Keener is also terrific in a smaller role.) The two have great chemistry, and it’s a nice movie that is also parenting/dad-themed, and it has a fun twist. Here’s the trailer.

There is, of course, an extra note of sadness to the film because it is James Gandolfini’s last starring role.

You can watch The Sopranos and Enough Said via HBO Go and probably HBO Now. (I don’t have the latter and don’t want to say something that isn’t true.)

So if you’re looking for some dad-themed stuff to watch for Father’s Day, here are two solid suggestions… or perhaps we should say… DaddyTips.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there!