The third Sunday in June is Father’s Day became a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. The tie business went through the roof every June after that. Economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts. Did you know? There are more than 70 million fathers in the United States. Author Cian Cruise celebrates fatherhood with, Dad Bod: Portraits of Pop Culture Papas. Let’s celebrate dads in pop culture!
A brisk, humorous collection of essays that redefines the mythos of fatherhood depicted in film, television, and video games.
What do dads tell us about the world? Not your real dad, but dads in general. Dads are everywhere. Lurking in our movies, television shows, and video games. Spouting homespun wisdom and atrocious jokes, wallowing in might-have-beens and back-in-my-days, or rigidly defending the status quo. These fictional dads fuel a myth of fatherhood. What is that myth trying to tell us? And what is it trying to sell us?
Dad Bod is a clever, riveting collection of essays about father figures in popular culture. From Gandalf to Homer Simpson, Die Hard to The Mandalorian, these essays unpack the tropes that inform our collective image of fatherhood. Follow Cian Cruise, newly minted dad, as he riffs on the stereotypes and lore of fatherhood, traces a contemporary art history of dads in popular culture, and journeys to the heart of dadness to become a better father.
Anyway, the initial disparity is clear — guys don’t know sh*t about being parents. The thing is, nobody does. This crazy assumption that somehow women have an inborn talent for nurturing is the boldest slice of propaganda since Mao’s Five-Year Plan. They learn it. They bother to pay attention. They don’t have a choice, you see, because the baby is there, as raw a reality as you can muster, and they just have to figure it out (given that the men in our culture have convinced themselves that they can’t even learn — inborn, innit? — and convinced everyone else that they don’t have to — thanks, patriarchy!). If the women hadn’t stepped up to the plate for the past few thousand years, we’d be doing a hell of a lot worse as a species.
Cian Cruise has a degree in film studies and philosophy and works as a freelance writer, strategist, and consultant. His cultural criticism has appeared in Hazlitt, Maisonneuve, Playboy, Vulture, and Little Brother Magazine. Cian lives in Almonte, Ontario.