Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rad Dad: dispatches from the frontiers of fatherhood

Rad Dad dispatches from the frontiers of fatherhood Microcosm 636 SE 11th Ave Portland, OR 97214-2405 $15
This is a great collection of writings from fathers, and interviews with fathers whose perspectives are often at odds with, or in direct opposition to the traditional cultural, political, and spiritual values of early 21st century North America. These are stories from dads who are trying to raise their children to the best of their abilities in a world whose ‘Road less traveled’ has long been paved over and replaced with an Ikea warehouse. The challenges that any parent faces on a daily basis are always difficult, throw the 21st century into the mix with all of its technological temptations and dangers (video games, porn, gore, online predators etc.) and a very precariously balanced global political and environmental situation, all the while trying to navigate it with an outlook that is already at odds with contemporary way of doing things, and you begin to see what the fathers in this book are dealing with. This collection of stories from Rad Dad, is kind of like sitting in on a group therapy session for fathers that fall into that category, with all the failures, missteps, and wrong turns included. But there is also a lot of joy included within these pages. While reading it I got a feeling that tackling these challenges brings with it a profound sense of accomplishment and something that none of the authors would trade a second of. This isn’t a handbook on how to raise your children as political radicals, it’s merely a unique (and often entertaining) look into some alternative perspectives on parenting.