'And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home, Dad
I don't know when, but we'll get together then
You know we'll have a good time then."
Nissan--your maudlin Superbowl ad--what, WHAT were you thinking? An absentee father misses most of his child's life to DRIVE A FAST CAR?
Really? Really? You must not know...you and your executives must have never been at the other end of that life. Are there no single mothers working for your company? Are there no fatherless children? I cannot imagine that you asked them their opinions of that monstrosity. If you had...if you had asked you would have found out that being part of a family where the father is absent; where the father is non-existent in the everyday lives of homework, school, sports, play, friends, morals, values; where there is no father that creates a solid foundation for the shaping of another human being---well sirs and madams--that life is not glamorous or sleek or shiny at all. Not one bit.
Allow me to enlighten you on what you just prettified.
- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes according to the Center for Disease Control.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from homes in which the father is not involved with their everyday lives.
- 71% of all high school dropouts--you guessed--fatherless homes!
- That children whose dads are involved are 70% less likely to drop out of school.
- They are more likely to get A's.
- They are more likely to join and enjoy extracurricular activities.
Researchers at Columbia University found that children living in a one-parent household with a poor relationship with their father are 68% more likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs compared to all teens in two-parent households. Teens in single mother households are at a 30% higher risk than those in two-parent households.
Drugs? Alcohol? Smoking? Not convinced? Why don't we try these statistics on for size?
- 75% of all adolescents in chemical abuse centers come from families with fathers who were weekend dads.
- 70% of kids in state-run institutions come from fatherless homes.
- 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes.
What? Do you want me to stop? Too painful? You bet your ass it's painful. It is so incredibly searingly agonizing. Perhaps that's why I found myself shaking with rage watching you make it cool and suave and so very chic!
Cold statistics not doing it for you? Then let's talk about the moms of fatherless households. Yes. Let's talk about them. Those moms, they aren't dumb. Even if YOU didn't know about the steely hard reality and statistics of children with less than worthy fathers, THEY know.
From very early in their children's lives, they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their jobs are going to be hundreds of times more difficult. They know that keeping their children walking the responsibility-line will be a epic battle. After all--dad's not responsible...why should his children be?
Moreover, in those households where dads roll in on the weekends to take those single-mothers' children camping, or to the zoo, or to a Knicks game...those same moms become enemy number one. After all, how much fun is it to be the nagger, the cajoler, the keeper of the homework, chores and things like kindness and respect? That kind of adult gets OLD really quickly--so very very quickly.
Take it from someone who knows--those moms get sick of themselves, sick of their voices, sick of the I-can't-let-my-vigilance-slip exhaustion. They are tired of having to be the bad-guy, of not having backup, of hearing "if dad were here" and the incessant slamming doors.
Moms of girls worry beyond all measure that her daughters will look for and find the same kind of men their fathers are--absent, unwilling, disrespectful, self-centered and self-serving.
Moms of boys agonize that their sons will end up being those irresponsible, disrespectful, self-centered and self-serving men just like their dear-old-dads.
Those single-stalwart-moms--they are strong and they are tenacious and they have guts and hearts of steel. They do everything possible to prevent those kinds of futures from coming true. But alas--as you can see from the statistics above--that muscle, that resolve quite often isn't enough.
It's interesting, Nissan, at the end of your commercial, when the dad picks up his son from school in your shiny, shiny glistening lustrous car, he is crying. I wonder why? Is it because he knows that that boy that he created, his son, is now grown and it's too late...Does he know that he missed it? He missed the parent conferences and the 13 first days of school. He missed his first home run and the high fives in the dugout. He missed it when friends became bullies and dreams were dashed and when they came true. He missed the lengthening of limbs and the lowering of voices. He missed a chance to mold minds in a positive way, to be an influence that lifts and guides and encourages. That dad...and all the other dads who choose to figuratively drive those fast cars instead of slow and steady ones...they are the problem. They are not to be idolized and commercialized. And so I say to you, Nissan, shame on you. Shame shame shame for lauding a culture of sadness and emptiness and irresponsibility--all in the name of selling cars.
But life is a series of checks and balances isn't it, Nissan. And just as my rage was eating a hole into my very weary stomach, along comes a Toyota Camry commercial on...(can it be?) ...of all things, dads. And mercifully, gratefully they are a company who got it right. I know that this single-mom will happily buy their products and forever forgo yours, Nissan. Let hope all other humans who care about future generations follow suit.
Miss the Toyota Camry commercial, Bold Dad? You can find it here. Here's the transcript:
Truer words have never been spoken...
Being a dad, is more than being a father,
It's a choice.
A choice to get hurt,
Rather than to hurt.
To be bold,
When others are scared.
A choice that says,
you'll be there
To show them right from wrong
By your words and by your actions.
Being a dad is more than being a father
It's a commitment
One that will make a wonderful human being...
Who will make their own choices
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