With the news that the Boy Scouts of America will be allowing girl members in the near future and will drop the word boy from their flagship title, the predictable backlash has started. Don’t let the talking heads on certain cable news outlets and twitter circles fool you into thinking that this move is anything more than a savy business decision. This is about membership, this is about enrollment, this is about money. Period. The added benefit is that the once inclusive BSA is becoming more diverse and progressive. Time does that to institutions, or those institutions are left behind or at worst are forgotten but for the history books.
If you didn’t take the time to read the press statements on this exciting news here is what you need to know. The new look BSA and Cub Scouts will be largely divided into male and female units with the common goal of achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. It is not shocking that the Girl Scouts organization is fervently opposed to this news and who could blame them. Again, one must remember that this move is all about the bottom line, on both sides. So while you absorb the blowback on this news just be thankful that we even have the Scouts for our children to take part in. My years in scouting were some of the most fulfilling days of my life. I made lifelong friends, learned how far I could push my self at a young age and felt proud of who I was and what I had accomplished. Why would I not want that for my two daughters too?
-Shawn from Relevant Dad
Eagle Scout Troop 94 Maine
We don’t mourn in America anymore, we just don’t. When people say this is a time for mourning I don’t even know what they are talking about honestly. Maybe, if we had the time to, things might end up different the next time. Yeah, probably not. One burst of mass death leads into the next with such fervor here in America that we swell with outrage for a moment and then change the channel on the tv, in our minds, in our hearts because surely “that won’t happen here.” Won’t it though? Maybe not at scale but gun violence in America is far more than mass shootings. They are just sexy that’s all. That is why they take up so much real estate in our psyche. The deeper and far more insidious scourge is the hourly homicides and suicides that take place all over our communities. They hardly get a mention on the 5 o’clock news let alone make it to the ears of the rest of America. For every 100,000 Americans, statistics show that3.85 of them will be killed, or kill themselves with a firearm in a given year. That number is absolutely sickening. Outside of the areas of the world ravaged by drug wars and conflict America leads the pack in this stat. Something to be proud of? Nobody would say so, but when you shrug that number off and refresh Instagram instead you are in some way complicit. And look, I sit here sussing this out guilty as charged. It’s something that seems like an annoyance to think about because what can I possibly do from this desk to change a damn thing? The truth is probably not much. Not much by myself but, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead said that. So then Marge, where do we begin?
Everytown is a group of Americans who work together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Sure the bad guys have the NRA as a lobbyist but Everytown has mothers and fathers of children who have been murdered or taken their own lives and I want to be on their side. I want to have their backs when the legislation is written to help end this scourge.
When an organization’s goal is simply to half gun deaths in America in half by 2025 you have to support that. We can do so much more to save our children’s lives. It’s our duty as parents. In turn, it’s our duty as children to save our parents lives.
This organization is perhaps the one that we can all relate to the most. Mass shootings and homicides are a drop in the bucket compared to the 21,000 suicides by firearm in America each year. Statistically, you know someone or someone who knows someone who has or will commit suicide by firearm and that number we have the power to change the most. Please visit the participate section of the website and learn some way you can help. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/participate/
We don’t mourn in America much anymore. The energy that it takes to do it over and over again is too much for us to take, so we move on and ignore that reality punching us in the face over and over. It’s time to take back that emotion. It’s time to feel the pain we wrought, it’s time to bath in it and then it’s time use that devastation to create a positive change. You CAN do something about gun deaths in America. By yourself, in a group, in your community, in your America. Start mourning the people we have lost right now. (more…)
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, we’re about to begin our descent into Sydney. Please fasten your seatbelts and place your trays in the upright position. Local time is 8:42pm and a humid 27 degrees. Our flight crew wishes you a Happy New Year, and we hope you fly with us again in 2025.”
Screeech. You’ve landed. Time to relax those butt cheeks.
It was only this morning you booked this flight, and now you’re on the other side of the planet. Amazing. You’re nervous but excited to visit Australia for the first time. One week to explore the city and five weeks on a new design project. When that project match showed up in your feed you claimed it in two seconds. You’ve already earned 24,000 $design in the peerism economy.
Ping. “Need a room?”.
You hadn’t booked any accommodation yet. “Yes please”, you respond.
“Just out the front, number 420”.
You giggle, then follow the augmented directions leading to a sleek driverless hotel room. It’s about the size of a mini bus but without the seats, steering wheel and engine. A giant transparent panel stretching the length and height of the vehicle greets you on approach. The panel opens and you step inside.
Inside is everything you’d expected. On the left, a couch seat that folds into a queen-sized bed with the push of a button. To the right, a small kitchenette with electric stove, running water, sink, microwave and bar fridge. Behind that is the detachable bathroom module with toilet, shower and wash basin.
“Hi there, welcome home. Hungry?”
“I could go some pad thai and a beer thanks”, you respond.
“That’ll be here in 6 minutes. Want a quick tour of the city?”
“Nah early one tonight. Let’s checkout Bondi beach tomorrow”, you say.
Your room begins driving itself towards Bondi and a live map displays on one of the side panels. You sit back and relax with some Netflix on the other side panel. Exactly 6 minutes later, a drone lands on the roof and lowers your order through a compartment in the ceiling. If you need to order any package you simply ask the room and a drone arrives; it even does laundry!
Okay, this seems reallly cool but honestly just let me know when they invent the daycare pod and the babysitter pod. That is the future we deserve! Right parents? Babysitter at the touch of a button, Netflix on the way to a date night and then late night drone pizzas! Hip, hip horray to 2025!
We don’t often step into the fray of politics here at Relevant Dad, it’s not really our place. We do however from time to time feel the need to reflect on current events and speak up on behalf of our children and our future. There is a whole lot to unpackage about the shooting at Alexandria VA directed at House Republicans, their staffers, and colleagues. Motives, responses, plans going forward etc, but we cannot help but look back at the last decade or more of shootings here in America and just grow sicker and sicker. Day after day, week after week these events keep happening. The collective damage these shootings have on us and our kids are unknown in full but we know it cannot be healthy. The incremental tapping on our psyches will one day punch through into something horrifying that we will not come back from without the help of each other. Below is a video that was taken at the scene of the shooting, watching it is truly terrifying. A little over 25 shots are heard coming from the deranged man’s SKS assault rifle. Now, if you can pretend that you are cowering in your first or second or
Day after day, week after week these events keep happening. The collective damage these shootings have on us and our kids are unknown in full but we know it cannot be healthy. The incremental tapping on our psyches will one day punch through into something horrifying that we will not come back from without the help of each other. Below is a video that was taken at the scene of the shooting, watching it is truly terrifying. A little over 25 shots are heard coming from the deranged man’s SKS assault rifle. Now, if you can… pretend that you are cowering in your first or second or
Now, if you can… pretend that you are cowering in your first or second or third-grade classroom and you endure hearing that sound 154 times in the span of 4-5 minutes but indoors, surrounded by your friend’s screams and cries. Then the terrifying silence that follows. Imagine that for a second and then tell us that nothing should be done to get stronger background checks in a place. Tell us after imagining that horror those six-year-olds ensured that you don’t think stricter laws are needed in this country where gun violence is now met with a shrug of the shoulders by the very leaders we elect to protect us.
Huddled in the back corner of the classroom bathroom a first-grade girl heard a classmate who was surrounded by his dead friends proclaim “Help me! I don’t want to be here!” to which the man with mental issues and a M4 Bushmaster responded, “Well, you’re here.” Then the gunshots started up again.
We don’t have to be here anymore. Please visit https://everytown.org/.
“To be the perfect parent is impossible…to know that by taking the risk of trying hard you are going to make mistakes. And then the most important thing is hopefully realizing that and doing something about it and making adjustments you know? Being a good dad is not a static thing.” Viggo Mortensen on Here’s The Thing WNYC
When we heard that writer Chris Kornelis was putting out a book called Rocking Fatherhood: The Dad-To-Be’s Guide to Staying Cool we knew we were going to love it. Then add the forward from one of our childhood heroes Duff McKagen and we were more than sold. The book is a must have for any new or expecting dad (or mom), so much so that we caught up with Chris last week and picked his dad brain on a few different things.
One of the big takeaways from Rocking Fatherhood for us is your mantra about doing what is best for your family. That is a pretty unique stance in the modern parenting world where media sites (ourselves included) urge new parents to take this advice or buy this miracle product. Was that mindset easy for you and your family to come to or did it take time?
From the beginning, I think we were pretty level-headed about it. But, as time went on and we started looking under the hood at the recommendations, it became clear that the best thing for the baby is what’s best for the family, and that we should feel good about living the life that we think is best for all of us.
Recommendations often leave very little room for nuance. But when you talk to experts in these fields, they’re usually much more measured and reasonable. The vast majority of them told me, generally, the most important thing is that the family’s happy and that the baby’s loved and taken care of.
What is harder, getting a rock star to sit down long enough for a substantive interview or getting a toddler to sit down for dinner?
That’s a good question, but, in my experience, neither is very hard. Rock stars are usually more than happy to talk about themselves. And my kids, like their dad, rarely skip a meal. You see what I did there? I’m trying to not say “good eater.” I’ve been a good eater my whole life, but at some point, people stopped congratulating my mom.
Father’s Day is coming up, what does your perfect Father’s Day look like?
As long as I’m with my family, I’m good. But, perfect? All of us – my two brothers and their families – meet up at my parents’ house at 10 a.m. for brunch, which involves bacon, cheese, eggs and leftovers. Then at noon my younger brother, Simon, brings out some Tomahawk Rib Eyes. Then we all hang out, play outside and talk about wool for a couple hours and snack on Chinese Barbecue from Kau Kau – a joint in Seattle that’s my son’s favorite (OK, our favorite). Around 4, we break into the brisket and a little red wine. Once the kids are in bed, we start watching the Godfather and I fall asleep before Marlon Brando has a heart attack. That’s best case scenario. The reality is I’m out before the end of the wedding. (more…)