Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!!

Especially to my own father, Cliff, who is both my hero and role model.

Note to those wives and kids planning to celebrate: no brunches. That’s Mother’s Day stuff. Let the old man sit in front of the TV and watch the U.S. Open or Arena football amateur draft in peace.

Or watch FIELD OF DREAMS.And now, as a public service, here are some movies NOT to watch on Father’s Day:


Some TV shows and telefilms NOT to watch:

Any CBS family comedy

Some unfriendly father plays:

DEATH OF A SALESMAN (any Arthur Miller, actually)

Some books to avoid:

Any Bing Crosby biography
Any Frank Sinatra biography
LOVE STORY (for so many reasons)

Records to skip:

PAPA WAS A ROLLING STONE by the Temptations
BOY NAMED SUE by Johnny Cash
MY DAD by Paul Peterson

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Again, happy Father's Day!


bettyd said...

any book by Pat Conroy - Prince of Tides, Great Santini, Lords of Discipline, My Losing Season. Nothing like the influence of a strong willed alcoholic military man father to make for good reading - but not on Father's Day!

jbryant said...


blogward said...

Ha ha ha! Thanks!

D. McEwan said...

And all episodes of LOST.

Of course, when your father is dead, as mine is, and you have no kids, as I don't, all Father's Day is is a yearly reminder that you're an orphan. Hey Dougie, it's your 19th consecutive Fatherless Day. Let's revisit the grief, shall we?

So cherish your dads while you have them friends, because they don't last forever.

Roger Owen Green said...

How is it that the scene from Field Of Dreams ALWAYS makes me cry? It's no longer a surprise and yet it always gets to me, moreso since my father died in 2000.

estiv said...

Reading this got me thinking about Star Wars, and how in the end it's a pretty weird take on fatherhood: you can have a loving, mutually respectful relationship with your father--but not until five minutes before he dies, and only after he's gone through a decades-long bout of galaxy-spanning murderous rage. Or maybe that's more common than I think.

MrEd said...

The Shining. Jack Torrance - Father of the Year.

rob! said...

I'd say skip any of the Stepfather trilogy.

The Milner Coupe said...

Again with the 'My Dad' dis. I LIKE that song.

But your other suggestions I'll pass on to my family. Happy Fathers Day. Aloha

Bob said...

Let's remember the millions of kids who won't be able to see their fathers. The NBA finals are over.

A. Buck Short said...

Wait just one cottin’-pickin’ minute! “Fear Strikes Out?” Now you’ve gone too far. Anthony Perkins has always been my hero and role model, ever since that scene in Desire Under the Elms where he was so fully embraced by his wicked (in the Bostonian sense) stepmother Sophia Loren that the virtually disappeared from the screen between her elms for what seemed like a minute and a half. It was like “another skinny guy makes good, maybe there’s hope for you?” Surely you can identify with that too, Mr. L?

I’m getting to spend Fathers Day as God intended, futilely deviting about 4 hours attempting to repair the gears on a hedge trimmer before finally biting the bullet and going out to buy a 6th or 7th new one. (May type a report on progress after I find my fingers.) I get to attempt this because the wife doesn’t return until tomorrow from her yoga/kayaking retreat at a spa in western Massachusetts called something like “Krapola.” Called yesterday to report with delight that during the trip downriver she saw a beaver. I reassured her that, although it’s been nearly a week, I hadn’t. Although still looking – because that’s just the kind of old fashioned guy I happen to be.

This morning’s phone conversation did reveal that at least one of us had a wonderful Norman Rockwell, western Massachusetts Fathers Day weekend, dining with a retired oncologist and is wife, at their home built in 1785, that has one room the size of our house filled to the brim with his model trains, and another with hundreds of her antique dolls. Outside are the miniature ponies, ducks, geese, lamas and alpacas – which apparently more than pay for themselves after they home-dye the wool to produce a scarf every 6 months. (Although why anyone would want a ponywool scarf is still beyond me.) Now if you’ll excuse me, gotta go eat breakfast over the sink.

Incidentally, this will be something like the 28th consecutive Fathers Day of not receiving that coveted gift for dad – The Garden Weasel.

Alan Coil said...

Field Of Dreams makes me cry every time.

JKChicago said...

While it's one of my favorite movies, The Lion in Winter probably wouldn't be a good choice either.

Although it's probably the only film where the dad realizing that he just can't quite bring himself to kill his sons is considered the heartwarming ending. said...

This is my first father's day without my dad. I'm still at the 'phantom pain' stage experienced by amputees; I feel like he's still there and I try to scratch the missing limb and then I remember that he's gone.

I'm a little at loose ends.

I could take the old seats that I bought from Dodger Stadium for him a few years back to his gravesite and listen to the game this afternoon. But once you're all set up with the vintage Dodger transistor and the hat it seems too forced, too self-consciously cinematic.

I could drive a black V8 Buick fast and well on a twisting hilly road. But that's better at night, and today's the longest day of the year.

I could go to his bar and play for a round of drinks and tell a joke, but no one will ever do that as well again.

But I know what I won't do. I won't listen to "Watching Scotty Grow" by Bobby Goldsboro, the most cloying, annoying song about fatherhood ever. I might be sentimental. But I'm not a sap.

Jim Sevin

Graham Powell said...

One to watch: OCTOBER SKY, about a father and son who don't see eye to eye - but love each other anyway. A great flick.

Janice said...

Another recommendation of one to watch: Frequency.

Kirk said...

To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, all bad daddy literature comes from one book...THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN.

Ref said...

DO read Pat Conroy's "My Losing Season" in which he details his true-life father problems and their eventual rebuilding of their relationship.

Cap'n Bob said...

I, too, like "My Dad."

Michael Jones said...

Burton's Big Fish should be put in the Must Watch column.

Mike McCann said...

Permit me to be the one person sticking up for the Paul Petersen single. "My Dad," while a bit too sappy, aspires to the best in us and serves up a message wayyyyy more positive that the negligent dad of "Papas Was a Rolling Stone" or the emotionally abusive padre in "A Boy Named Sue."

And from interviewing Paul, I've been told that Carl Betz was just as fine a man off-camera as he played on TV.

TomClevo said...

Actual programming from last night: One of the vintage movie stations on my cable system had a double bill of "Father of the Bride" and "Father's Little Dividend". The other countered with "Oliver!".

Unknown said...

Don't watch Nicholas Ray's BIGGER THAN LIFE

Cap'n Bob said...

You were actually the third, Mike McCann, unless your message took longer to post than mine and The Milner Coupe. Still, it was good to have your agreement and I appreciate the words about Mr. Betz.

D. McEwan said...

"MrEd said...
The Shining. Jack Torrance - Father of the Year."

Actually, in the novel, as opposed to the terrible Kubrick film, Jack Torrence sacrifices his own life to save his son, his love for his son having broken the hotel's hold on his mind. Sounds like a good dad to me.

"Kirk Jusko said...
To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, all bad daddy literature comes from one book...THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN."

So Hemingway never read AGAMEMNON, in which King Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter Iphigenia's life for good weather? It was written a bit more than 2000 years before HUCKLEBERRY FINN.

And while King Oedipus's overly-close relationship with his Mom usually gets all the press, let's not forget his killing his rather-distant father.

And then there was Abraham back in the Old Testament, predating even AGAMEMNON & OEDIPUS REX. I would hope that if some imaginary God told MY father to kill me to show his devotion to God, Dad would have said, "Fuck you, God!" (Although Dad being fine with allowing Mom to deny me and my sibling's all medical care to satisfy HER God and Mary Baker Eddy told me that Dad was a ltitle too Abrahamish for my tastes.)

I never got the "inspirational" aspect of the Abraham-Isaac story. When God pops up to go "April Fool, you don't have to kill Isaac after all. You passed the test," I've always felt that Abraham FAILED the test, although he laid the groundwork for every religious-zealot family-annihilator to murder his family on "God's orders" ever since. (Yes, I saw Sunday's Father's Day episode of LAW & ORDER: CI, but I've thought this for decades.)

WV: moking, on THE SOPRANOS, how you make a Moke.