academic portfolio & musings of a PhDad on
movies, fatherhood, social justice, and everything in between
movies, fatherhood, social justice, and everything in between
What a journey these poems have taken me through. What started as a single poem turned into an unexpected trilogy that somehow provides the closure the first poem needed all along.
If you haven't already, you might want to read (or re-read!) the first two parts, since they follow a chronological order: Part 1 and Part 2.
After writing the first Father and Son poem, I got some great feedback from friends and soon realized I still had more to say.
Thus, Father and Son 2 was born.
In the first poem, the father takes his time to reply and try to show his son a beautiful way to live his life. It’s kind of stated in bigger terms that a lot of parents speak in, where it’s like “be good” and “help others” and all of that. But here’s the thing: when it comes to parenting, kids can sometimes be jerks. And express/profess opinions that you think are absolutely wrong. And you still have to love them.
Men! Dudes! Bros! Countrymen! Dude-Bros! Bro…dudes…
Tired of women having to tell you how they’re “feeling” all the time?
Sick of being told that your comments hurt someone’s “feelings?”
Done having to be PC because people’s “feelings” are being offended?
Are you constantly putting the word “feelings” in air quotes because you just can’t even?
Scared to talk a woman because you might accidentally become a rapist?
First of all, I don’t like calling it a “MeToo Era,” because it feels like I’m saying that it’s a brand new thing that suddenly’s been happening. Like men haven’t been the perpetrators of horrific sexual crimes for thousands of years. But I couldn’t think of a better title for this post, so here we are.
In response to some recent events in our country, as well as inspiration from recent conversations I’ve had with friends, I wrote a poem, which I present to you now without further comment:
So I went to see Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird in theaters the other day, and my trip to the movie coincided with what feels like a significant moment in my movie-watching / media-consuming decision-making process. But first, a bit of background…
I had originally posted the following as a Facebook status update, but thought I’d post it here as well to give it a more permanent home.
The last few weeks have felt so busy and emotionally draining that I haven’t had a real chance to fully contemplate on the enormity of what this weekend means for the world. This weekend, Bahá’ís all over the world celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh – prophet-founder of their faith.
It’s been 200 years since the birth of an incredible boy who brought about the teachings and exemplary life that revitalized the eternal truths shared by all the world’s great religions, as well as new social teachings to address the most urgent need of our day: unity.
I’m Tired of People Being “Ripped,” “Schooled,” “Skewered,” “Shut Down,” and “Destroyed” for Their Ignorance
It seems like I can’t go more than a day or two without seeing another video of someone being “ripped,” “schooled,” “destroyed,” or “shut down” after saying some racist, misogynistic, hateful, or otherwise ignorant thing. There are whole shows that are practically dedicated to this kind of content. And you watch it. Because you want to see that moment when the ignorant individual makes that comment you so completely disagree with. You can’t believe it. How can anyone actually believe that? But that’s not even the best part. The best part is how they are completely shut down by the interviewer. They’re able to say what you wish you could say when faced with that kind of ignorance. They put it together so intelligently and snarkily, maybe in the form of some elaborate and expletive-riddled analogy, that you feel a sense of triumph. Like you and that interviewer collectively fought ignorance today and won. I’ve watched a lot of these videos. And I’ve laughed at a lot of them. But I’m finding myself increasingly uneasy with them. It took me some time to figure out why, and a little longer to be able to put it down in a string of words that – hopefully – make sense, but here goes.
Philando Castile. Michael Brown. Ezell Ford. Dylan Noble. Tamir Rice. Alton Sterling. Delrawn Small. Sandra Bland. And so many, many more.
This started out as a post about GamerGate. (If you haven’t heard about GamerGate, just Google it.) I don’t have anything new to add to the “Which side is right?” or “What is GamerGate reallyabout?” debates. My thoughts go elsewhere…
A child points to a green bowl and says it’s red. He’s adamant about it too. What do you do? You have a number of choices:
Ferguson. Mike Brown. Sexism. James Foley. Rape culture. Ezell Ford. Anita Sarkeesian. John Crawford. Fraternities. Steven Sotloff. Racism. Zoe Quinn. Misogyny. ISIS. Ray Rice. GamerGate.
I think there’s a connection between every word and name on that list. It’s tempting to treat them as though they have to do with largely disparate issues like racism, gun control, law enforcement policies, feminism, video games, international relations, national security, presidential action, terrorism etc. Or that they need to be dealt with in complete isolation of each other. But on a very basic level, they all have to do with one simple thing: how we relate to each other as human beings. When we focus on the minute specifics of the situations above, we get farther and farther away from the basic fundamental problem of how we MUST treat each other as fellow human beings.
Before any long-lasting change can take place, it seems like we need to reach some general consensus around the answers to (at least) two questions:
I’m not even going to pretend what I have to say here is in any way groundbreaking, or a must-read, or that what I say in the next few paragraphs will blow your mind. My heart and soul hurt, and I just need to write something. Maybe it will help.
And yes, these feelings are absolutely in response to the tragedies of #Ferguson, #MikeBrown, #EzellFord, and every other crime against humanity going on in the world today.
I like metaphors. I think they are crucial in understanding and speaking about concepts that are beyond our finite minds. There’s a danger of generalization sometimes, sure. But if it helps get an idea across, I think it’s worth it.
Born in Belgium. Raised in Brazil. Cultured in China. Corrupted in America.