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Magazines, novels, articles, poetry, interviews or other textual (and sometimes illustrated) media that's currently caught the mind of Adam Creighton ...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Killing Monsters

As a dad and pop-culture contributor, media violence and how it affects our kids is an important topic to me.

People who know me know I'm a big fan of pop-culture -- comic books, anime, action movies, and video games -- in some cases, I directly contribute to getting these things made. These same people also know I'm very protective of what my kids see and do -- which for me means not being over-protective of what they don't see, which could be doing them an equivalent (or in some cases, deeper) damage.

This may sound odd, but in his book, author Gerard Jones makes a very even-handed argument for age- and context-appropriate exposure to make-believe conflict and violence, and how demonizing and purging it from your home can have the opposite of the intended effect of "protecting your kids".

In an increasingly (and increasingly damaging) pseudo-politically correct world, kids are becoming shadows of what they should be as their personalities are beaten into any given institution's version of compliance, they're chastised for genuine (and appropriate) feelings of adventure, aggression, sexuality, or any of a myriad of facets that make them a "whole person".

I recommend this book as a wake-up opportunity for folks to rethink their views on media violence.

(And I recommend you ignore a lot of the editorial summaries of the book on Amazon -- at least at the time of this writing -- as they oversimplify the direction and intent of the book.)


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Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

The world is an ugly place, and there is no stronger influence on a little girl than her daddy. That is a horrifying and important charge.

I treat it seriously.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know is a scary and important book. Scary, because the statistics of what happens to "one-in-four", "one-in-three", and one-half" of all girls is sobering. Important, because it hammers home what dad's can do -- emotionally, physically, and spiritually to fight for their daughters, in hopes of avoiding them becoming statistics.

I say, "In hopes of", because the reality is the world is a broken place, and sadly, bad things happen. But part of this book is about equipping your daughters to be resilient, and (perhaps unintentionally), nods toward preparing dads being resilient, too.

The author (Dr. Meg Meeker, MD) is a female pediatrician, and has tremendous insight, experience, and heart for girls and women. I was a bit leery of a woman talking about parenting for males, but she roots it firmly in what she knew as a young daughter, knows as an adult daughter, a parent of daughters, and a practicing pediatrician well-versed in her clients and the research on the issues. I felt she was a bit off a couple of times, because she's not herself a father of daughters (obviously), so she's not "living it" like her target audience is -- but nothing that detracted from the book or its points.

Having finished the book, I'm now passing it around to other dads of daughters. We sign our names and our daughters' names, as an ongoing log and legacy of dads fighting for our girls.


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A lot

So, I went to spin through the last few years of my "reading reviews" blogs, and find the last 1.5 years missing. Missing!

Sucks hardcore. And the borkedness doesn't stop there. While says my last post was in February of 2009 (still too far in the past), it only shows posts through June -- of 2008.

There are not enough expletives in the world to explain how I'm feeling.

But that's why you don't rely on a blog as a record of history -- 'cause they'll delete your history.

[Blankety blank blank blank ...]

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