Sunday, June 17, 2012

happy fathers' day

At least, in the US....  There's a goodly difference between the hooplah one sees on Mothers' Day and that of Fathers' Day here.  I think it may have to do with the different principle being celebrated:  we have a greater affection for the nurturers in our lives than for the authoritarians (although, i'm under the impression that the woman who originally promoted the holiday had no mother, and actually was seeking to show appreciation for her nurturing FATHER).

Then, i suspect that my generation was one in which the STANDARD of fathering took a nosedive.  Among the people i knew well, fathers such as one saw on television simply didn't exist.  No "dads" as in Leave it to Beaver, My Three Sons, Father Knows Best....  They were conspicuous by their lack.  Perhaps it was because THEIR fathers were not family-focused -- they were the children of the roaring twenties, and people had more "important" things on their minds.  Parenting is something people learn from their own (either being like them or being 180-degree different), so what one doesn't learn is really hard to practice.

The pendulum has swung the other direction now, and i see many fathers who are a lot more involved than used to be common.  I applaud them!  (My SIL is one of these....)  When parents work as a team to raise children well, everything flows more smoothly -- of course, when they team up to turn their children into spoiled brats things go commensurately badly, too.  But an "involved" father is definitely a good thing in general.

A little authoritarianism can be a good thing for kids -- they need to learn that their own immature, subjective view of things isn't necessarily an appropriate one.  When we gain some experience and perspective, however, authoritarian behavior becomes impertinent.  X's observations about life are not less valid than Y's, simply because Y belongs to a "club" which exists to agree on a subject and steamroller those who disagree.

This is what we see with organizations like the ADA, AMA, ad infinitum.  They are CLUBS, gangs, whose raison d'etre is to promote their own importance and wealth:  nothing more nor less.  They'll make noises about protecting the populace and promoting appropriate standard of care, but that's nonsense in the face of their actual activities.

I was really tickled by something Gary Taubes said around the time of the last "red meat scare" -- "Every time in the past that these researchers had claimed that an association observed in their observational trials was a causal relationship, and that causal relationship had then been tested in experiment, the experiment had failed to confirm the causal interpretation — i.e., the folks from Harvard got it wrong.  Not most times, but every time.  No exception.  Their batting average circa 2007, at least, was .000."

Sometimes journalists get it right....

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