Thursday, June 16, 2011

Link-bait: Fake Father's Day Guide, Facebook Fawning

I wrote an alternative Father's Day gift guide over at TLC Parentables.  I don't know if I really even know what it means.  You might find it interesting, though.  Who knows.

A Stay-at-Home Dad's Guide to Father's Day Gifts 

I guess I should come clean. If you're looking for something to buy for that special dad in your life, you should probably check out a real gift guide, like this one. I can almost guarantee that this post will not contain any useful shopping tips. Except maybe this: Don't bother going shopping.

I have a little problem with most holidays that involve gift-giving. I'm getting more tolerant of them since I've become a dad, and especially since I saw how excited my now-2-year-old twins were on the first Christmas that they were actually sentient enough to have some tiny clue about what was going on. But there's still a part of me that sees these days as little more than occasions for obligatory monetary transactions whose meaning is sullied by commercial pressures.

Did that sound cynical? Maybe it is, but it's also practical. See, my wife and I haven't had separate bank accounts for close to 15 years. And since I've become a stay-at-home dad, I don't really contribute anything to the accounts we do have. So we don't usually bother with the charade of the gift exchange anymore. If one of us needs, or just wants, something special for ourselves, we talk to the other and then buy it or don't buy it.

read more at TLC Parentables...

And on Aiming Low, I wrote a defense of social media against all the haters who say it's stupid.  I maintain that, while it is stupid, it's no stupider than "real life."

In Defense of the Robots

I was having  a conversation with a friend today, when she told me she was planning to close her Facebook account because of some drama that had gone down that reminded her of the ugliness of high school.  She felt social media had undermined the established etiquette of face-to-face communication and given people license to spew vitriol in ways they never would in the flesh. Naturally, my friend and I were having this conversation on--you guessed it--Facebook.  And, in fact, she is one of the many people I consider a friend, without having met them in person.

 Although I'm often deeply suspicious of/annoyed by/resentful of Facebook, I felt compelled to defend it as a legitimate forum for communication, having advantages and drawbacks comparable to any other.

This time, I used one of my pet linguistic theories to defend the medium as well as the the guy she felt had slighted her.  After all, I am sometimes an English teacher, and I have a master's degree in Rhetoric.  Who better to smooth the choppy waters of the information superhighway through concise linguistic analysis, which, as we know, is the best salve for the slings and arrows of the human barnyard we call communication?

read more on Aiming Low...

Once again, I have to apologize for not having anything new on this site this week.  But tomorrow, if everything goes as planned, I should have a really cool Father's Day post featuring a very special guest blogger.  Stay tuned!



  1. You're my kind of Dad. BTW, you do contribute.. When I was a stay at home mom my husband said his pay was half mine.. Heck, u stay at home and raise those girls- so u definitely contribute.. Can u imagine the cost of day care???

  2. Okay, it only just occurred to me when I clicked over to Parentables that I never knew your name until now. It's weird for me to know you have a name other than Beta Dad. And it's even weirder that I never wondered about it before.


Don't hold back.


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