With so much going on right now, exhibitions and prep work for both the Diffusion festival and the Prince Publication, its too easy to forget to write on here, but my memory hasn’t been consumed just yet. My brain is ticking a hundred miles an hour. Thinking, thinking, thinking, and amidst all that thinking I thought, Why have dads changed? and why all of a sudden do they care? have they changed all that much? am I really any different to my dad. Does it really matter?
Well it seems that someone has given it some consideration. In an article discussing the relationship between father and son, featured on the Guardian online, John Burnside drew my attention to an excerpt:
On Father’s Day, 2008, Barack Obama gave a speech in which much of the same rhetoric figured: “Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives,” he told a congregation in Chicago, “we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognise and honour how critical every father is to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They are mentors and role models. They are examples of success and the men who constantly push us toward it.”
… and I thought, what the… who are these fathers. Barack, has clearly got a case of the ‘Disney’s’.
The John Burnside adds:
“the language we use when we talk about fathers – hero, inspiration, role model – places burdens on real, flesh-and-blood men that they cannot possibly live up to. Why should fathers be heroes?”
Now this made sense, but he speaks of the modern father, not the father most of us inherited. My Dad had been a hero to my boyhood self, I’m not sure you would call him a good role model, but If I am sure of anything, I’m sure as shit he was never burdened by such matters, and I’m sure these were never issues discussed at the table in the local Workingman’s Club. Ever. Period.
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