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Why have dads changed? Why all of a sudden do they care? Or do they? Have they changed all that much? Am I really any different to my dad, or his dad before him? Does it really matter?

Well, it seems that many have given this a lot of consideration, and it turns out these are not questions that we would regard, say, ‘silly’ at all. And, discussing the relationship between father and son, in excerpt taken from the guardian online, John Burnside further demonstrates why:

On father’s day, 2008,

Barack Obama gave the speech, “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.”

Then, reduced to state of internal conflict, as wise as such words are, I thought to myself, what the fuck? Who are these fathers? Obama has clearly got a case of the ‘Disney fever’. Then John Burnside adds a voice of reason and concludes that, “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 absolute sense, but Obama speaks of the modern father, not the father that most will inherit. My dad of course was a hero to my boyhood self, and although I’m not sure you would call him a good role model, if I am sure of anything, my father was never burdened by such matters. I am also certain that these were never issues discussed at the table in the local workingman’s club. Ever. Period.


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