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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

November 22, 2004
Issue #5: Father Knows Best.

I'm twenty-six years old and, if I may say so, I've done a pretty good job using my two and a half decades. I haven't been arrested, broken a bone, become addicted to drugs, tried to commit suicide or murdered anyone. I'm pretty much a model citizen. And I want to know why I turned out this way while the rest of the world is filled with jerks.

A group of nerdy scientists who believe that environment influences behavior the most -Nurture - would say that my parents did an excellent job raising me, but I am unconvinced. My childhood consisted of cartoon violence, sugar cereals, R-rated movies, V the Miniseries and more. These are not good parenting hallmarks. Sorry Mom, I love you but I don't think any publishers are going to print 'Mama DeMarco's Guide to Ruining Children by Age 6'.

Another group of nerdy scientists might say the awesomeness lies in my genetics - Nature -and that may be true, but I doubt it. I'm adopted, so you know my parents were two screwed up kids who didn't have the sense to use birth control or fight against the 'one last thrust' urge and pull out in time. They also didn't have the sense to abort me when they had the chance -born in '77, Roe v. Wade in full effect - and now, here I am, badmouthing them 26 years later. Way to go flesh parents. By the way, if either of you read this, you owe me Christmas and birthday money; by my count, about $20,000 worth. Thanks.

The nerdiest group of scientists would say that it's a little bit of both nature and nurture. Wow. That's quite an intellectual leap, a little bit of both. Trying really hard not to step on anybody's toes, aren't you? If you ask these guys which came first, the chicken or the egg, they'd probably say, "Doubtless some kind of winged egg creature." I like to imagine all these different scientists living in the same lab. The nature guys fighting with the nurture guys and the '50/50s' curled up in a corner screaming 'It's a little bit of both, A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH!' and then they start crying.

Loath as I am to agree with the third group and their non-committal waffling, I fear that I must if only because I hate the idea of racists or classists having a foothold for their beliefs, that and because I do believe it's a mix with some other crap thrown in that we don't know about yet. Since we don't know about it, I can pretend that it's not there - like aliens - ignore it, and make this column much easier to write.

Don't get me wrong, I was kind of hoping I could just pick nature or nurture and be done with it; it would make raising my future kid so easy. Instead I had to come up with a child rearing plan that accommodates both and will turn hypothetical child into some genius/model/athlete super-kid. Also, a plan that takes the brunt of the childrearing off me; I have comic book reading to do.

Okay, starting with the easy part: nurture. Since the kid will have my DNA, conceivably I could leave him alone for his entire childhood - except for the annoying 'baby period' - and he should turn out fine. He'll learn Latin by 7, play piano by 9, skip 5th grade, all things I never did, but I'm sure are genetically encoded in me. He'll do all those things thanks to ignoring him. Science is on my side; I'm the best, therefore my kid will be the best - it's assumed that I will marry and have sex with the best. Ideally, my future wife will handle the feedings and poopings and I can retire to my 'hobby shop' i.e. watch the Cartoon Network.

Nurturing the little blighter will be the hard part, but I think I've come up with an easy way. My nurturing will start when the kid turns 13. He'll be snooping through me drawers looking for porn, condoms, guns, whatever and instead of all that good stuff there will be a key. A key that fits the door I've repeatedly told him to 'never open, under any circumstances.' Being my brood, he will open said door and find a long, winding staircase leading to a secret underground room filled with: a superhero costume encased in glass, a tricked out black corvette and a massive computer surrounded by a crime lab.

When he asks me about the room, I'll say 'You weren't supposed to know about it until you were older, but, since you've seen the room, I might as well tell you now. I was a superhero and retired when you were born; it is your destiny to assume the mantle of NightCougar. From this day, until you turn twenty-five, you must do everything you can to prepare for your role as the nation's protector.' By the time he's twenty-five he'll have several degrees, the body of a gymnast and several gold medals in wrestling and tae-kwan-do. That's when I'll reveal that it was all a clever ruse to make him study and work out - a ruse, not a lie - and then give him a Ferrari. He won't even care that his childhood was wasted pursuing an unreachable dream. He'll be the pinnacle of physical perfection with degrees from Harvard, and I'll be the year's greatest parent.

This assumes that I have a boy. If I have a girl, I'll hand parenting duties over to the wife. Not because I'm sexist, but because if I raise a girl, there's a chance she may grow up to like comic books. I won't let my daughter be the lone girl in the comic book store that all the geeks think they have a chance with because she reads Ultimate Spider-Man.

That's my plan. I'm going to make such an awesome dad; it's not even funny. Fledgling parents, take note, you could learn a lot from me. Just don't take my superhero idea. That's all mine.

--
David DeMarco


See other articles by David DeMarco.

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