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Conservatives Should Be Defending the Mets’ Daniel Murphy

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 - by Bethany Mandel

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I’m never one to tell anyone to divorce their spouse. I’m a big fan of marriage. With that being said: I really hope Boomer Esiason’s wife takes a long, hard look at the man she’s married to.

The controversy started when Mets second basement Daniel Murphy asked for a mere three days paternity leave to join his wife who recently gave birth to their son in Florida. The three days is written into his collective bargaining contract, and while it is technically allowed, apparently few fathers in major league sports take advantage of any paternity leave. On a morning radio show today Boomer Esiason, explained to his morning show cohost Craig Carton, how he would’ve handled the situation:

“Bottom line, that’s not me. I wouldn’t do that. Quite frankly, I would have said ‘C-section before the season starts. I need to be at Opening Day. I’m sorry, this is what makes our money, this is how we’re going to live our life, this is going to give my child every opportunity to be a success in life.’”

In short, Esiason would have told his wife to undergo major and medically unnecessary abdominal surgery in order to avoid three days of missed work. The surgery would make her recovery exponentially more difficult and painful and would complicate future pregnancies. Esiason isn’t a doctor or soldier, he’s a retired NFL quarterback who is under the unfortunate impression that what he does matters enough to put his wife through a painful and unnecessary medical ordeal in order to save himself the flack now hitting Murphy.

Unfortunately for Murphy’s wife, the c-section was necessary, and Murphy flew down to spend time with his wife and newborn son for several days while she recovered. To his credit, he pushed back against criticism, as did his manager Terry Collins.

While Mike Francesa, another radio host, used the situation as an opportunity to rail against paternity leave — declaring it obsolete and unnecessary — we should be cheering paternity-leave policies like that of the MLB and question why it’s only three days long. While discussing the controversy Murphy explained why taking the paternity leave was important to his family,

“We had a really cool occasion yesterday morning, about 3 o’clock. We had our first panic session,” Murphy said. “It was dark. She tried to change a diaper — couldn’t do it. I came in. It was just the three of us at 3 o’clock in the morning, all freaking out. He was the only one screaming. I wanted to. I wanted to scream and cry, but I don’t think that’s publicly acceptable, so I let him do it.”

We always hear from conservatives how important it is for fathers to be in the picture. It’s time for the men of the conservative movement who overwhelm Twitter with their sports talk during every big game to put their money where their mouths are and come to Murphy’s defense. Murphy took advantage of paternal leave that is written into his contract for a reason; he used the time to signal to his wife and child that they are his number one priority, despite his high-powered career. That declaration should be met with praise, not mocking or scorn.

Photo credit: AP/Evan Vucci

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If Fatherhood Falls in a Forest…

Monday, February 3rd, 2014 - by Hannah Sternberg

TheParisReviewFatherhood has been undergoing a dramatic redefinition in recent years, amply covered by journalists, scientists, and sitcoms. That’s why the Tweet I saw today (“Do fathers make good writers? Do writers make good fathers?“) was clickbait I eagerly lapped up.

The article I wound up reading, “The Pram in the Hall,” revealed more about its author, Shane Jones, than it did about writing or parenthood. Jones is admittedly image-obsessed, and that’s evident when he spends most of this article talking not about the unique challenges parenthood poses to writing, but about the challenges it poses to his carefully cultivated personal and professional image.

He writes, “In our culture, fatherhood means baggy khakis and cars with side-impact airbags—it’s something of a joke.”

I don’t see how that’s something of a joke — I just see a comfortable man in a safe car. And people in the book world aren’t known for their glamorous good looks and fashion sense, either, so I’m not sure how any of that is a threat to his career. Have you been to a publishing trade show lately? Clint and Stacey would have a heart attack.

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Who Takes Parenting Advice From Billy Ray Cyrus?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 - by Bethany Mandel

In light of pop star Justin Bieber’s unfolding meltdown, Miley Cyrus’s father is desperately trying to milk his 15 minutes out of the whole situation. Bieber’s exploits are tabloid and bandwidth fodder (why else would I be writing about him?), and Cyrus wants a piece of the pie, which led to this hilarious quote:

“A lot of people do ask me for parenting advice,” Billy told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson, at the Grammys when she asked what advice he would give the troubled teen star.

I won’t even bother sharing with you what the advice was. Would anyone want their child to turn out like Miley? Sure, she’s famous and wealthy, but she also suggestively licks metal while half naked and put the word “twerk” into the phrase of 2013.

While writing about the epidemic of vaccine refusers and the link between this horrible parenting decision and ex-Playboy Bunny Jenny McCarthy I came across this incredibly depressing statistic: 24 percent of American parents trust celebrities for parenting advice.

So there you have it. The beginning of the end of Western Civilization. When we all start dying of whooping cough or venereal diseases caught while sitting half naked on wrecking balls, we can all look back at this moment and know why.

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Who Is Jeff Davis?

Saturday, January 25th, 2014 - by Leslie Loftis

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The Wendy Davis coverage grows tired already. She is just another example of the feminist myth, a woman other women want to follow but who is becoming politically radioactive for not conforming to the narrative — in this instance, that women can do it all on their own. As usual, marriage and an extra income prove their worth to ambition.

The American electorate forgives many things, but not lies. Declaring your back story off limits works a bit like taking the Fifth in court. Everyone assumes you have something to hide. Add on her campaign’s secondary offense of insensitivity to disabled persons—Greg Abbot cannot walk a mile in her shoes as he is a paraplegic—and while Wendy Davis runs might continue for years depending on how hard her defenders and the press try to camouflage her back story manipulations, she is not a reasonably viable political candidate for elected high office anymore. (Think John Edwards or John Kerry.)

But something about the Wendy Davis coverage has caught my interest. The Austin-American Statesman published a how-I-got-scooped-by-the-Dallas-Morning-News article. I noticed a few commenters asked about Jeff Davis, her second and ex-husband.

Perhaps I’m spending too much time reading blogs and articles about child-men who refuse to partner with their wives or girlfriends or take on the duties of fatherhood, but Jeff Davis sounds like the kind of man modern women want. He prioritized her career needs, first by putting her through law school and then by taking custody of their daughter after the divorce so that she could realize her professional ambitions. He seems like a step-up-and-take-responsibility kind of guy. Women lament a dearth of these kinds of guys, either as partners for women or role models for boys.

It seems I’m not the only one wondering about Jeff Davis. From Ann Coulter’s column yesterday, The Heroism of Wendy Davis:

Hey — maybe Jeff Davis should run for governor! He’s the one who raised two kids, including a stepdaughter, while holding down a job and paying for his wife’s law school. There’s a hard-luck story!

As one of my girlfriends asked, “Is he still single?”

We need to hear Jeff Davis’s story.

*****

image courtesy shutterstock /  Tomas Urbelionis

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Kanye West’s Ingenious Solution to Racism

Friday, January 17th, 2014 - by Walter Hudson
Kayne's answer to racism is the best answer of all time.

Kayne’s answer to racism is the best answer of all time.

Kayne West presented another easy target for widespread mockery. A source told HollywoodLife.com that the eccentric rapper contemplated leaving the United States to escape racism. At least, that’s the paraphrase which made it to social media. “Kayne West Threatens to Leave U.S. Over Racism” reads the Issue Hawk headline.

That may be a bum rap, however. What West actually said expresses, however crudely, the only legitimate solution to racism. The quote from HollywoodLife.com:

Kanye’s brush with racist slurs made him realize it’s not the environment he ever wants his daughter to experience. ”He also said ‘sh*t like this makes me want to take Kim, Nori, and her whole family and move out of this country and go someplace small and quiet,’” the source explained.

Kanye reasoned, “‘We’ve got enough money to buy our own island or some sh*t. I’ll be damned if I raise my daughter around ignorance and flat-out blatant racism.’”

While critics focus on a perceived slight against America, they miss that West was not comparing the United States to another country. He expressed a desire to use his private means to isolate his family in an act of free association.

Giving him the maximum benefit of the doubt, West’s comment proves refreshing. Rather than place responsibility upon someone else to protect his daughter from racism, he contemplates a private solution of his own making.

Indeed, free association emerges as the only legitimate weapon against racism. Choosing your relationships, whom you deal with and whom you don’t, communicates your values and censures or affirms the values of others. A society of individuals free to choose their associations fosters a market where irrational attitudes about race fade into obscurity. Consider every example from slavery through Jim Crow to affirmative action, and note that institutional racism requires force to survive. Without force, under liberty, racism becomes impotent.

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Study: Being Born Without a Father Leads to Anger, Hate, Suffering

Friday, December 13th, 2013 - by Walter Hudson
"There was no father." And we all know how that worked out.

“There was no father.” And we all know how that worked out.

Anakin was doomed from the start, being born as he was by the will of the Force, and not by the seed of a present father. So we may conclude after considering a recent study from the journal Cerebral Cortex. Here’s the summary from The Christian Post:

The absence of fathers during childhood may lead to impaired behavioral and social abilities, and brain defects, researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada, found.

The researchers found that the mice raised without a father had abnormal social interactions and were more aggressive, compared to the mice raised with a father. The effects were stronger among daughters than sons.

Being raised without a father actually changed the brains of the test subjects. The research found defects in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which controls social and cognitive functions, of the fatherless mice.

Mice were used because their environment could be controlled to ensure that the effects of fatherlessness were measured accurately. Plus, their response apparently proves “extremely relevant to humans.”

The real finding here affirms the human capacity for needless studies to confirm what plain sense makes clear. Kids need their Dad.

As a father of young children, I have been struck by the profound sense of gender identity inherent in even the youngest child. My six month old responds differently to men and women, snuggling up readily to the latter, and employing more caution around the former. My four year old presents different challenges to my authority than to that of his mother, and endures different challenges from each of us in return.

Here’s the deal. We had all the findings we needed on this topic when we first discovered that it takes one man and one woman to make a child. I’m not sure how much more we’re going to learn from mice.

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In Iran, Men Can Now Marry Adoptive Daughters

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 - by Sarah Hoyt
Who will speak for the young women of Iran?

Who will speak for the young women of Iran?

According to an article in yesterday’s Washington Times, Iran has passed a law which, if ratified by the “Guardian council,” would allow men to marry their adopted daughters once the child reaches the age of 13.

This might seem like a non-event, since the law currently already allows for the marriage of girls at the age of 13 with their father’s consent. But if you realize that Iran allows for polygamy and that a stepdaughter most certainly counts as an “adopted daughter,” the evils of the law will become evident.

Children’s rights activists are alarmed, The Guardian in the United Kingdom reported.

“This bill is legalizing pedophilia,” said Shadi Sadr, a human rights lawyer for Justice for Iran, a legal group headquartered in London. “It’s not part of the Iranian culture to marry your adopted child. Obviously incest exists in Iran more or less as it happens in other countries across the world. But this bill is legalizing pedophilia and is endangering our children and normalizing this crime in our culture.”

Lest we forget or wish to pretend all cultures are alike and that Iran is a civilized and reasonable country.

*****

Image courtesy Shutterstock ©Pete Sherrard

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Daughter Trying to Free Dad She Once Accused of Rape

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 - by Sarah Hoyt

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If you follow the link to the New York Post, prepare to have your heart broken. There are no winners in this story. None.

At nine, Chaneya Kelly accused her dad of raping her. He was sentenced to forty years in jail. Now an adult, married, and a mother, she says her mother threatened her into making that accusation, her dad is innocent, and she’d like to see him set free.

In her 2002 letter, Chaneya said she should be the one behind bars.

“I feel guilty when I talk about it. I feel that I should be in prison instead of you,” she wrote.

In another letter, dated Oct. 2, 2006, Chaneya said she wished she “could change the past,” and noted the irony “that mommy would have been locked up for perjury charges” if Chaneya had only told the truth. That letter is signed “Daddy’s Big Girl, Neya.”

The insanity of assuming that any child making that accusation is telling the truth; the insanity of the idea that any accusation of abuse must have truth at its core is a sort of madness many — aware of the creation of false memories — are willing to shake off.  But there is something else at work here: that it doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone that a mother (or any other adult with control of the child) could use the child as a weapon in a marital dispute or a divorce.

That is a form of blindness that must be unique to our times.  You could call it “mothers are always saintly.”  Future generations might laugh at us for this, but for this woman there is nothing funny.

At least, to quote from the Post, one of the actors in this tragedy is acting in a sane and responsible way:

But Chaneya yesterday told The Post that her dad doesn’t blame her, saying that when she first visited him in jail, “the first thing he did was hug me and tell me that he loved me and that none of this is my fault.”

*****
Photo illustration courtesy Shutterstock.com ©Naypong

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What Price Will American Christians Pay for Their Faith?

Sunday, August 18th, 2013 - by Walter Hudson
Samuel Lamb, a Chinese Christian pastor, spent over 20 years in prison for his faith.

Samuel Lamb, a Chinese Christian pastor, spent over 20 years in prison for his faith.

Samuel Lamb defied the Communist Chinese. A leader in the underground Christian community, Lamb passed away earlier this month in Guangzhou, where he ran a house church for decades. Voice of the Martyrs reports:

When the Communist Party took control of China in 1949 under Mao Zedong, Christians were forced underground or forced to submit to Party control. Those that refused were interrogated, arrested, tortured, imprisoned or even killed. Samuel Lamb became one of the best known of these persecuted church leaders.

Lamb first tasted prison in 1955, when he was sentenced to serve 18 months. He was imprisoned again in 1958, this time receiving a 20-year sentence. Part of his sentence was spent serving forced labor in coal mines, where working conditions were deplorable and many prisoners died. Lamb would later talk about how God preserved his life even in the midst of such dangerous work.

For most American Christians, Lamb’s experience lays so far outside our own that it can be hard to perceive as modern. Living as we do in a land of relative religious liberty, we understand persecution only as an intellectual concept. It lurks in the depths of church history, or haunts the horizon of a distant future glimpsed through biblical prophecy. The idea of facing persecution today, in present America, seems unthinkable at first consideration. After all, we’ve spent our whole lives driving past a church on every corner, swearing oaths on copies of the Bible, and covering our hearts while swooning over the Land of the Free.

Be that as it may, as the culture makes radical shifts in the 21st century, the price of Christian confession begins to rise. If certain coalitions have their way, adherence to the Christian faith will be regulated out of public existence. Oh, the church buildings may stand, and 501(c)3s operating in the name of Christ may remain. But biblical Christianity taught without compromise will be relegated to underground enclaves like those formed under the Communist Chinese.

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Small-Town Values and Two-Parent Families

Monday, August 5th, 2013 - by Paula Bolyard

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We live in a small town, Doylestown, Ohio, population 3000, 1.88 sq. miles. Technically, we live outside the “Village” in Chippewa Township which brings the total area of our community to 36 sq. miles and swells the total population to 7000.  This weekend we celebrated our annual Rogues’ Hollow Festival, enjoying small town America at its finest. The weekend began with a parade and it seemed that anyone with a church, a civic group, or a tractor joined in — the sidewalk overflowed with senior citizens and young families with children scurrying to grab candy tossed from floats. There was great music, Lion’s BBQ chicken, corn dogs, and of course, funnel cakes. The weekend culminated in a Saturday night fireworks display.

As the fireworks began, my husband and I ducked into an alley between two local businesses to get a better view. Occasional couples or groups of teens passed through as we watched the fireworks, and one unfortunate group walked through at the same time as the Village mayor and a Township trustee. For some odd reason, the mayor barked, “You kids! Get back there!” and pointed them back to the main street of the festival. The kids looked a bit startled, but mumbled their “OK”s and obediently headed back to the street.

I don’t know if the boys — they looked to be around 14-years old — knew that the man was the mayor or that he had no actual authority to order them back to the festival. But they did what they were told without question. The encounter took me back to my childhood, to the neighborhood I grew up in where everyone’s parents sort of did have the authority to discipline everyone else’s children. And if the neighbor’s parents saw you stepping out of line, you could be sure your parents (and all the other neighbors) would hear about it by the time the streetlights came on. Respect for the authority of your elders was unquestioned. My parents preached it and they modeled it as did most other adults in our community. Two-parent families were the norm; the first divorce sent shockwaves down the street. I remember hearing neighbors talking about it in hushed voices — divorce was still so uncommon then that it was scandalous.

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Strategies for Helping Your Son Succeed, Starting with John Wayne, Socrates, and Me!

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 - by Andrew Klavan

I was pleased the other day to receive a copy of Rick Johnson’s new book in the mail:  A Man in the Making:  Strategies to Help Your Son Succeed in Life. I was also honored to find myself quoted in the book’s frontispiece — especially honored since my quote was there with two others, one from Socrates and one from John Wayne. Now I’ll go toe to toe with Socrates any day, but Wayne? That’s pretty impressive company. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Rick, but I emailed him to say I was so flattered that I was going to spend the next few days wearing a toga and a cowboy hat. Until, you know, the wife started to complain.

Rick is the founder of Better Dads, a program to teach fathering skills and advocate for more and stronger fathers in the home. He’s written a number of books, and travels through North America lecturing on manhood and its positive effects on the home. It’s an urgent subject, and a difficult one.

Manhood is a very tough thing to talk about because an essential part of manhood is not talking about it — but not talking about it leaves the field open to the rabid leftist feminists who all but monopolize the field of psychology. These often well-meaning clownettes take it as given that masculinity is a Bad Thing. Despite the massive amount of information showing the damaging effects on children of not having a strong father in the home, they continue to both preach and practice against the beneficent power of manhood and against the urgency of fatherhood. A man who sought individual or couples counseling from one of these Knucklehead Girls would, I believe, find them quite insidious and damaging.

Guys like Rick provide a needed voice of opposition — a needed voice for men. Rick’s point of view is a Christian one — something with which you may or may not disagree — but his main point about the desperate necessity of good, strong fathering is indisputable.

*****

Cross-posted from Klavan on the Culture

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How Your Child’s Rebellion Mirrors Your Own

Sunday, June 30th, 2013 - by Walter Hudson

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We covet our children’s trust. Young children follow our lead with particular eagerness. However, their trust has limits. Instinct and a nascent capacity for reason which depends more on imagination than knowledge occasionally override the comforting influence of Mom and Dad.

Doctor visits prove especially difficult with my four year old. No child greatly enjoys being poked and prodded by a stranger in a weird setting with scary-looking implements. Even so, my son’s response to doctors lands on the extreme end of the spectrum, reacting to an ear exam in much the way I might to waterboarding.

A recent illness proved trying for all parties concerned. Noting an aggressive infection in both ears, the doctor prescribed an external and internal antibiotic. For ten days, we had to administer ear drops morning, noon, and night, on top of an oral suspension. For ten days, we had to wrestle our son to the ground and struggle against his full might to force the medication upon him. Each episode was torturous for him and us. For him, because he may not have understood what was going on and did not consent regardless. For us, because we could offer little comfort aside from the assurance that the deed was for his own good and would be over soon.

In such moments, I wish I could meld my mind to his and upload my knowledge and experience. I wish I could convey now the wherewithal which will someday enable him to endure life’s medication. Of course, if I could do that, my job as parent would be done.

Unable to flash our knowledge to our children’s minds, we mete it out over time, drilling through repetition past layers of doubt, pride, and rebellion. Until we succeed, until our children reach a point beyond which they can effectively care for themselves, we act as custodian.

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‘Fathers Haven’t the Same Sentimental Appeal That Mothers Have.’

Monday, June 17th, 2013 - by Helen Smith

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I was researching Father’s Day and saw that it was Richard Nixon who made it a federal holiday:

The campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm–perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.” On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday. The next year, a Spokane, Washington woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910….

In 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last. Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.

It seems to me that with all that fathers do for our country, it is the least that can be done. Fathers are important, just like mothers and it is unfair to pretend that they are not.

So Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.

*****

Cross-posted from Dr. Helen

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What My Sons Teach Me About God

Sunday, June 16th, 2013 - by Walter Hudson
my two sons

My sons.

Last week, I became a father for the second time. My wife presented me with another son.

I imagine that the birth of a second child proves over time to be a unique experience. There may be no other moment in life which so profoundly demonstrates love’s abundance. When you have your first child, it feels like a pinnacle. How could you possibly love more than that? The prospect of a second child seems to the uninitiated to portend a division of that love between two objects, like the division of an estate between inheritors.

I did not need to know my new son for long before realizing that parental love does not divide. It multiplies. Everything my firstborn means to me has been duplicated.

That experience provides some insight into the boundless love of God. What my two sons evoke in me dimly reflects what each of God’s children evoke in Him. My sons thus make it easier for me to understand why God would create us in the first place, and why He would be willing to give so much — even in the face of rebellion — to offer salvation.

Four years old, my firstborn constantly reminds me of myself, modeling in his relationship with me my own relationship with God. His defiance echoes my own, as does his helpless reliance.

Like most children his age, my firstborn becomes very attached to particular objects and carts them around wherever he goes. It may be a toy helicopter or truck. Sometimes, he clings to a found coin or his favorite blanket. Whatever happens to be his MacGuffin de jour, my son frequently loses track of it, whether darting about home or traveling around town. When he loses a coveted trinket, his world comes to an end. It absolutely must be found without delay.

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5 Books Dads Will Love for Father’s Day

Friday, June 14th, 2013 - by Paula Bolyard

There is still time to head over to Amazon to place an order in time for Father’s Day delivery! I’ve linked the images below to help you out.

La Place de la Concorde Suisse

by John McPhee

Swiss

“The Swiss Army has served as a model for less languid nations. The Israeli Army is a copy of the Swiss Army. … They are a civilian army, a trained and practiced militia, ever ready to mobilize. They serve for thirty years. All six hundred and fifty thousand are prepared to be present at mobilization points and battle stations in considerably less than forty-eight hours.”

This book, written at the end of the Cold War, gives a compelling view of the Swiss military system. The pastoral views in the Alps don’t reveal that beneath those mountains are bunkers stocked with munitions caches and that the winding roads all have bridges that can be blown to pieces at a moment’s notice to thwart an attack.

The book might provoke some intriguing thoughts and conversations about forced conscription, responsibility as citizens, what some like to call “military adventurism,” and the implications of heavily armed neutrality.

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8 Last-Minute Father’s Day Gifts You Can Get Your Dad Without Leaving Your Keyboard

Friday, June 14th, 2013 - by Duane Lester

Every year, I forget Mother’s Day until it’s too late.

Father’s Day I usually remember.

This evening I was driving my children to Little League and I said to my wife, “Is Father’s Day this Sunday?”

“Yep,” she said.

I forgot.

I’m sure there are people out there who are in the same boat as me. Back in the day, I’d be scrambling for a fishing lure or work shirt.

Today, though, I don’t need to go anywhere. I can buy my Dad a gift right here at the keyboard.

So, if you read this and find yourself in the same boat as me, you’re in luck, because I’m about to list off eight different gifts you can get your father for Father’s Day without leaving the keyboard.

Starting with something manly.

A Manly Book

I make bracelets with my son.

I know that doesn’t sound like a “manly” hobby, but it is.

We make them using parachute cord, or paracord.  Take a length of paracord, depending on the size of your wrist, tie a few knots, and BOOM!

Not actually my wrist.

Not actually my wrist.

You can buy paracord in pretty much any color you want.  You can buy buckles and use them, or you can buy flint and steel and make a firestarter survival bracelet.

Now that’s manly.

However, you can’t download the paracord.

You can’t download the buckles or the flint and steel.

But you can download the ebook Manly Crafts.

I know what you’re thinking.

“Manly Crafts?”  That’s an oxymoron.

Well, here’s the first manly craft in the book.

Take this:

wood

A manly chunk of wood.

 

And turn it into this:

woodenspoon

A Viking wooden spoon, because Viking equals manly.

Using these:

Viking "crafting tools."

Viking “crafting tools.” Do I really need to say it? That’s manly.

The best part, aside from the time you’ll spend with your dear old dad working on the project in this book, is that the book’s less than a dollar.

There are tons of cheap ebooks out there for Father’s Day. Get your dad a couple.

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A Conference on Fatherhood and Men

Friday, June 7th, 2013 - by Andrew Klavan

How can men speak honestly about relationships and fatherhood? Easy — don’t include women in the conversation. That way, laughable irrelevancies like fairness, equality, communication, and sharing housework can be left behind and you can get down to discussing what really matters and what really works.

FatherhoodPostcardFront-12

That’s why I’ll be participating in a panel at “BOND’s Annual Conference on Fatherhood and Men,” which is open to all men 13 and older. BOND — “Rebuilding the family by rebuilding the man.” — is the organization run by the courageous preacher and frequent “Hannity” guest Jesse Lee Peterson. I once wrote of him in a City Journal profile:

Peterson decries the transformation of the civil rights movement from a principled appeal to the American creed to a politicized shakedown of guilt-ridden whites. He condemns the government subsidies of single motherhood that have helped set loose a plague of black illegitimacy and its attendant plagues of generational poverty and crime. And he bemoans the black culture of dependency on government support that even welfare workers privately call “welfare psychosis.”

But Peterson is no metropolitan academic. Despite his quiet demeanor and delivery, his message is charged with that old-time religion. Where [Shelby] Steele views the last 40 years of civil rights activism as a complex and poisonous blend of white guilt, black opportunism, and government incompetence and corruption, Peterson sees an intentional power grab by an anti-American Left, a self-interested attempt to destroy the nation by destroying manhood and marriage, part of the ongoing and eternal struggle between the forces of Good and Evil. “You cannot control a moral people,” he tells me. “You have to keep them immoral in order to control them.”

Hit the poster for more information on the conference. And look here for the rest of my profile of this brave and important man.

****

Cross-posted from Klavan on the Culture

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A Boy Does Not Become a Man Until He Chooses Fatherhood

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 - by Dave Swindle

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Quiz! What’s Your TV Sitcom Family Lifestyle?

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Throughout this series I’ve questioned where the line is drawn between reflecting and affecting when it comes to the media’s relationship with real life. Either way, the determining factor is relatability. You aren’t going to imitate something unless you can relate to it, and if you can’t relate to a show, chances are it isn’t anywhere near a reflection of who you are.

So, in the interest of all things entertainment, let’s take a simple quiz to determine your relatability factor when it comes to the portrayal of “traditional family” on television using two popular prime-time family-themed shows: Family Guy and The Middle.

Family Guy: The show is apathetic, even nihilistic at times, mocks the same politically correct values it thrives on, and typifies men and women in terms taught best in Gender Studies 101. The Middle is one of a handful of shows to make it to the air that depicted exactly what its title intimated: a middle -lass, middle-of-the-road family living in the middle of nowhere, America.  As working middle class as the Griffins, the Hecks are a family of five that mirrors the demographics of the Quahog clan: father, mother, two sons with a daughter in the middle.

So, what’s your relatability factor? And how does your relatability compare with the ratings? Take this simple five-question quiz to find out!

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Totally Petarded: The Top 5 Masculinity Myths on Family Guy

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Watch out, ladies in the dating world: Family Guy’s prized demographic is totally Petarded.

According to the show’s creator, Family Guy’s target audience is men ages 18-34.  This happens to be one of the most desirable demographics for advertisers and women looking to eventually get married and settle down.

Who hasn’t dreamed of a life with Peter Griffin?

Obviously, not all men between the ages of 18 and 34 are going to find the humor of Family Guy appealing.  Yet a growing majority of them do.  I long ago learned as a woman not to attempt to comment on the male psyche; why these men find Family Guy so appealing is not in my realm of interest.  However, the message Family Guy sends about masculinity is so apparent that I can’t help but laugh at this not-so-subtle irony:  Most women looking for men, the ladies trolling the clubs and hitting Happy Hours at the bars, are the ones who tend to stereotype men exactly the way they are portrayed on the show.

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7 Movies That Show You The Masculine Ideal

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 - by John Hawkins

Action movies are just as American as motherhood, apple pie, and capitalism. Movies like Unforgiven, Gladiator, Rooster Cogburn, Conan, Dirty Harry, Die Hard, The Dark Knight, High Noon, Man on Fire, Red Dawn, Tombstone, and True Grit speak to men in a primal language that transcends the story line on the screen. Men like these films because they capture qualities we’d like to think we have ourselves. We like the idea of being billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne and fighting crime in our spare time, pointing a gun at a punk and asking him if he feels lucky, or responding to the question, “What is best in life?” with To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women! While there are dozens of deserving action movies, there are seven that are particularly good at revealing parts of the male psyche.

1) First Blood

John Rambo is a damaged character. His fighting in Vietnam left him with mental problems, made him ill-equipped to fit into society, and led to him ultimately having a difficult and lonely existence. However, there are two things about him that make the character click with men. The first is this:

Teasle: Are you telling me that 200 men against your boy is a no-win situation for us?
Trautman: You send that many, don’t forget one thing.
Teasle: What?
Trautman: A good supply of body bags.

Rambo doesn’t pick the fight, but when he is backed up against a wall, he is a one-man army. This theme is repeated over and over in action movies because it’s something men aspire to all the way down in their souls.

The other, more subtle thing that makes Rambo appealing is that he shares a grievance that most men have on some level or another: his sacrifices are largely unappreciated. He went through hell to do what had to be done, paid a terrible price for it, saw his suffering shrugged off by men unfit to say his name, and was left holding the bag. There are millions of men who feel the exact same way. They’ve provided, they’ve struggled, they’ve done things they didn’t want to do for other people, and, ultimately, they found that it wasn’t valued. That makes it easy to relate to a character like Rambo, even if you’re not planning to shoot at anybody with a machine gun.

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How Modern Life Transforms Men into Wussies

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 - by John Hawkins

Most people think Marv is crazy, but I don’t believe that. I’m no shrink and I’m not saying I’ve got Marv all figured out or anything, but “crazy” just doesn’t explain him. Not to me. Sometimes I think he’s retarded, a big, brutal kid who never learned the ground rules about how people are supposed to act around each other. But that doesn’t have the right ring to it either. No, it’s more like there’s nothing wrong with Marv, nothing at all — except that he had the rotten luck of being born at the wrong time in history. He’d have been okay if he’d been born a couple of thousand years ago. He’d be right at home on some ancient battlefield, swinging an ax into somebody’s face. Or in a Roman Arena, taking a sword to other gladiators like him. They’d have tossed him girls like Nancy, back then. — Sin City

Manly Activity

Ever watched a classic action flick? Of course you have. Movies like Die Hard, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lethal Weapon, First Blood, and 300 have become fixtures in the American psyche. All these movies feature either a lone man or a small group fighting in a desperate, violent struggle and yet, somehow, coming out on top. Throughout most of America’s history, the average man could more easily relate to the experiences in those movies the way someone who shoots hoops at the park could relate to watching an NBA game. Sure, they might not have been able to do what they were seeing on the screen, but they were well-acquainted with violence. Either they had inflicted it, suffered it, or seen it up close and personal. We’re a nation that was birthed in a bloody revolution, where feuds and dueling were frequent occurrences, where intermittent battles with Indians occurred until the twenties, where roughly twenty percent of the male population served in WWII, and where fist fights and brawling were relatively common.

Today?

The average man may have seen hundreds of thousands of murders on his TV screen and committed tens of thousands more playing video games, but he has also probably never struck another human being in anger in his entire adult lifetime. In other words, he may be captivated by the imagery he sees at the movies, but he goes home knowing that he will never even live out a pale imitation of what he’s just seen.

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How To Heal A Bitter Divide Between Father and Son

Monday, January 7th, 2013 - by PJ Lifestyle Bookshelf

 

Book Description

“Stunning … a wonderful read … a page-turner … a handbook for life.” Those words of advance praise from another celebrated author scarcely convey just how powerfully mesmerizing is the latest book by New York Times best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host Larry Elder.

To be released by WND Books Nov. 13, 2012, “Dear Father, Dear Son” is a personal memoir of Elder’s troubled — one might even say tortured — relationship with his father, and the astonishing outcome that develops when Elder, at long last, confronts him.

Says Elder: “A man’s relationship with his father — every boy, every man lucky enough to have a father in his life has to figure that out. My own father? I thought I knew him — even though he seldom talked about himself. And what I knew I hated — really, really hated. Cold, ill-tempered, thin-skinned, my father always seemed on the brink of erupting. Scared to death of him, I kept telling myself to find the courage to ‘stand up to him.’ When I was fifteen, I did.” After that, said Elder, “We did not speak to each other for ten years.”

“And then we did — for eight hours.” The result can’t be described. It has to be experienced.

As reflected in the book’s subtitle — “Two Lives … Eight Hours” — one extraordinary, all- day conversation between Elder and his long- estranged father utterly transformed their relationship. It is no exaggeration to say the book will likewise transform readers.

Indeed, calling it “stunning,” Burt Boyar, co-author of the bestselling autobiography on Sammy Davis, Jr., says of “Dear Father, Dear Son”: “Above all it is a wonderful read. I am tempted to call it a page-turner but in my case I hated to turn every page because that meant I was getting closer to the end and I did not want it to end. … The book is filled with emotion. It is, of course, a handbook for life. I guess it is that above all things. Any kid who reads it and follows the advice of how to live his life just has to come out well.”

“Dear Father, Dear Son” is the story of one man discovering a son he never really knew. And of the son finding a man, a friend, a father who had really been there all along.

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Click to submit suggestions for new books for the new daily feature at PJ Lifestyle.

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Related on fatherhood at PJ Lifestyle:

Why I’m Worried About Raising a Son in Our Upcoming Brave New World of Android Prostitution

The 5 Best Christmas Movie Fathers

What Father Would Permit His Young Daughter to Wear a Bikini?

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