The internet is choking on websites about parenting, most of which are utter crap. But one I enjoy is Offbeat Mama, which caters to the punks and the freaks and the hippies and anyone else considered a social other in this day and age. It’s where I found out that having a nipple peircing doesn’t mean you can never breastfeed and, this morning, it’s where I read an article called “Why punk rock dudes can make great dads.”
Turns out some folks got together and made a film about punk rock papas. They found a bunch of successful punk dudes (from bands like Blink 182 and the Chili Peppers) with kids, interviewed them about the ways that a punk rock mentality conflicts with and/or supports parenting, and followed them around with cameras while they played with their incredibly adorable children. I think I might even want to watch it, if only to see what conclusion the filmmakers come to about the question the film seems to be posing: What happens when folks from an anti-authoritarian movement find themselves in “the ultimate authority position” (as the filmmakers call it) of the father?
What already irritates me about the film is what a few of the fellows have to say about punk. “Punk rock was supposed to be about no responsibilty, no rules, I’m going to do things my way,” says one of the dads featured in the film. And yeah, punk rock is about throwing all the prescribed rules out the window. But no responsibility? The punk rock I know and love is all about responsibility. Responsibility for our own choices (because we don’t need the government to make our choices for us or take responsibility when we choose the wrong thing), our friends, our freedom. These guys are talking about the oogles and the No Future punks and cough cough a number of people who have been sitting several meters away from my trailer for three days, being drunk and loud and surly. And not in the good way. But I digress.
Another man interviewed in the trailer says that “Nothing in the punk rock ethos…prepares you for being a dad.” But that one I don’t even need to rebutt because someone else has already done it for me:
“It’s noted in the trailer that ‘There’s nothing in the punk rock ethos that prepares you for being a dad.’ But, actually, we’d like to respectfully disagree. Because we think that a life spent submerged in punk rock is the best training any human could hope for when it comes to raising a child. As anyone who has ever lived in a punk house, or squatted, will tell you, you will never find a more practical human being on earth than a punk — they’re good at eating on a budget, they’re good at making clothes last three times longer than they should, and, by God, they can fix anything and everything, often using only regular household objects and a bit of creativity (think of them as stinkier MacGyvers). Just imagine what these people are capable of once their band has been successful and they’ve got some money in their pockets!”
Not to mention the fact that punk rock also prepares you for mass chaos, piles of people in small beds, sleep deprivation, and a lot of screaming. It even helps you build up a high tolerance for unwashed dishes. So obviously the Beard is going to make an excellent dad. But I already knew that.
What I don’t know, but what I’m going to know later today (insert a thousand exclamation points) and eventually dramatically unviel to all of you (insert another thousand exclamation points), is what our darling Peanut’s got in his or her pants (exclamation point exclamation point exclamation point). If he or she was wearing pants that is. And it’s a good thing that he/she isn’t because otherwise I don’t think the doctor would be able to tell the man bits from the lady bits on the ultrasound. Anyone care to make a wager? So far the bets are all going for “girl.” I would give you a psychic mama hint, but so far I’ve dreamt Peanut was a girl, a boy, and a raccoon, so you can see how much I know.
And PS, here’s the trailer for that film: