keep out losers

October 15, 2008

Last night my 10 year old went to bed with a hastily lettered poster on his door that said “Keep Out Losers.”

It’s hard to keep on top of your relationship with your kids. Earlier in the evening, while we played ball tag, racing throughout the house hucking a mini rubber football at each other, I’m pretty sure I was father of the year. But when when we got closer to bedtime, I was on the wrong side of a “who lost the lacrosse balls” dispute, and now I’m in the doghouse. It’s hard to keep up.

Ian won’t admit to any fatherly influence at all. He loves to read, but won’t admit it. I bought him a bunch of books I loved when I was a teenager, like “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” He reads them secretly in his room, so I won’t know he likes or reads them. Kim brought him a book a few weeks ago, and he wouldn’t pick it up off the stairs for a week. One day it disappeared. Last night he asked me if Orson Scott Card had written any other books, he might be interested in reading some more.

Although, yesterday he told me he and his friend Jonah were the only democrats in their Junior High. Which is probably about the right ratio for the reddest town in the second reddest state in the country. What’s weird, is that for such an educated town, the other kids in the school can only come up with “Obama will take our guns away, kill babies, and plus, he’s an Arab!” Ian asks for specifics. None are forthcoming, but the volume does go up.

So I guess I have SOME influence. But jeez, I don’t want political influence or religious influence.

I want him to like what’s REALLY important to me–Pop Culture. I don’t care if he knows the difference between welfare and assistance, or unilateral and multilateral. I want him to know the difference between gold like Seinfeld and crap like Two and a Half Men. Between drivel like Saw V and sweet scary sweetness like Halloween or Scream. Between Radiohead and Coldplay.

Baby steps I guess. First I have to get Holden to take down that “Keep Out Losers” poster.

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21 Responses to “keep out losers”

  1. mark Says:

    First of all, Idaho is actually the reddest state.

    Second, you’re pushing things a bit far with Radiohead v. Coldplay. I’ll gladly allow your U2 defection for Radiohead. After all it hasn’t been since sixth grade that I was one of a handful of enlightened U2 fans–the bandwagon has been quite crowded for a good 20 years now. Besides, the White Stripes have been going toe to toe with U2 on my playlists for quite some time. But to imply that Coldplay is comparable with Two and a Half Men is heresy.

  2. mark Says:

    Crap, where is the edit function for comments? Had I been paying attention, I would have realized that you did not claim to be living in the reddest state but correctly asserted that you were in the second-reddest state. My bad.

  3. steve Says:

    I believe Coldplay was voted the best band to fall asleep to. Not necessarily a bad thing if you want to fall asleep. Just saying.

  4. steve Says:

    So, which identical post do I comment on. Maybe it’s just my work browser and all but i’m seeing double.

    He’s 10, it will probably stay up only because he forgets its there. Plus, he’s a boy, it will pass faster. When I get in the doghouse with my girls 13, 16,18 it can last awhile. plus, pop culture is overated. Try living in a house where 4 women occasionally get touchy and irritable at the same time. Hey, do you have an extra bed in that house for occasional hide out use?

  5. rich Says:

    I have to “brain wash” I mean re-educate my 17 year old daughter every weekend because she comes to our house filled with irrational Republican rhetoric.

  6. dug Says:

    mark, believe me, i know EXACTLY how red utah is. second reddest is red enough.

    coldplay is often compared to radiohead. thom yorke calls coldplay “lifestyle” music. and not in a good way. chris martin says, of radiohead’s lack of appreciation for coldplay “i love a lot of things. some of them don’t love me back.”

    for the record, i like coldplay fine. but i’ve met radiohead, and believe me, coldplay is no radiohead.

  7. Eber Says:

    Republican rhetoric is irrational?

    Global warming isn’t really man made…is it?

    Corporate tax cuts and really does trickle down to the consumer…right?

    Democrats really do pal around with terrorists and are all Arab…aren’t they?

    It all SOUNDS pretty rational.

  8. steve Says:

    Not much coming out of any politicians mouth sounds very rational to me. Al Gore DID invent the internet right. This democrat really did/does pal around with a known terrorist. I can’t say much good about McCain either. Where’s the little guy with the big ears to vote for when you want him. oh yeah, he has a gig in Disneyland. no wait, the other little guy. I guess trying to understand your own kids is like trying to understand politicos, next to impossible but we keep trying.

  9. Rich Says:

    Don’t forget that Obama wants America to become Socialist. I can only hope that I have taught my kids to think for themselves and not be led around by the majority of people that happen to be indiginous (sp?)

  10. dug Says:

    rich, that’s beautiful. in bill maher’s “religulous” he was interviewing a u.s. senator from arkansas who has a little trouble with that same word.

  11. mtb w Says:

    steve, excellent point – trying to understand kids or politics is not for the sane.

    dug, you should do a review of “religulous”. You haven’t done one in a while and I would think (I haven’t seen it) it is one you could have fun with as well as create a little controversy.

  12. KanyonKris Says:

    dug, sounds like you have an introvert on your hands. Is this disconcerting to your gregarious extrovert self?

    If you want to torment the child, dive into analyzing the meaning of the sign. Is he saying everyone in the family is a loser? You felt it was OK to enter his room because you are not a loser, and even if he deems you a loser you came in singly making you a loser not losers. Keep out of what? – his room is the obvious answer, but maybe he means the U.N. or the United States or Utah. I have no doubt you could verbally tie the kid up in knots, but should you? Would it be a fun Father-Son moment to be remembered with laughter? Or will it plant a sliver in his psyche that will take years of therapy to remove? You make the call.

  13. Bob Says:

    Dug, back off Coldplay. They’re a good band. They’re no Radiohead, but who is? Besides, they took a brutal hit from the 40-Year Old Virgin. It’s time to give them a little love, reach-around style.

  14. BotchedExperiment Says:

    Can we NOT talk about Radiohead or Coldplay? Please.

    My only problem with people saying the Republican platform is irrational is that they often think that the Democratic platform is rational. Increasing taxes on corporations only makes things more expensive. Just like giving them tax breaks doesn’t reduce the price of their products or necessarily generate new jobs. Corporations are out to make as much money as possible (which is mostly a good thing). If they can make more money by hiring people, they will; if not, they won’t.

    As for Obama and socialism, right now W is partially nationalizing banks.

    UHHHGGGG. It’s time again for me to stop paying attention to politics.

  15. Jenn Says:

    We are moving to Europe soon and I only kept one of my many (many) books out: Hitchhiker’s Guide. It’s my leatherbound copy I got for Christmas about 16 years ago (geh!). It doesn’t have the 5th book, but I’m not sure that’s a huge loss.

    Well, off to throw myself at the ground. Here’s to hoping I miss!

  16. Rich Says:

    I agree, I wouldn’t necessarily say that the Dem’s have a rational platform either. The biggest beef in my case is with the irrationality that because Obama’s middle name is Hussein or he was on an educational board with a known 60’s terrorist, he somehow is also a terrorist.
    Does anyone else have mixed feelings about the latest news of the new book being added to the Hitchhiker series? I was sorely disappointed in the movie so I am a bit skeptical of a book that isn’t Douglas’ writing.

  17. bikemike Says:

    as chairman of the welcoming committee,it’s a pleasure to present a laurel and hearty handshake to our new
    p…palin.

    if mcpalin wins, the NRA has an open invite to show up at my house with their biggest gun and shoot me in the head (just kidding…not really)

    in a few more years your son can start the Jack Ryan anthology…wait til he gets to John Clark and Ding

  18. Steve Says:

    Were you aware that Sarah Palin’s last name is actually Paling?

    she leaves the ‘g’ off to sound folksy.

  19. sk8ermom3 Says:

    Seriously and not related to anything, do you have a 10 yr old son named Holden? My son is also 10 and his name is Holden. I told him he’d never run into another kid his age with that name! Thanks! My son would also put up a sign on his door that said “keep out losers” in a heartbeat. Maybe it’s just being the middle child and being 10. LOL

  20. dug Says:

    sk8ermom3, i do, indeed, have a 10 year old son named holden. sorry to make you a liar.

  21. evilreview Says:

    i know of at least one other democrat boy in ian’s jr. high.


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