Posts Tagged ‘Fatherhood’

//This post is a review of the movie, “The Other F Word”. Links are provided for informational purposes only, not as endorsement or criticism of the bands, lyrics, or people. This movie is recommended for mature audiences only.//

Being in Los Angeles has given me some unique experiences. On Saturday I got to see glimpses of filming for “Project X” and “RCVR” in downtown. I got to go to a service at Saddleback Church in Ranch Santa Margarita. I’m even going to go to a steampunk exhibit  Monday and Disneyland on Friday. Little did I expect to get the opportunity I had tonight though. I got to see a screening of “The Other F Word” a film about punk rockers becoming dads.

Growing up in the ’90s I was a high school headache for my parents. I listened to anything and everything, hung out with the “wrong” crowd, and went to the occasional concert they wouldn’t have approved of. I listened to Pennywise, Green Day, a little Blink 182 or Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a lot of Sublime and Offspring (as well as a ton of other types of music). I had long hair. I rebelled, or I thought I did. Really, I just shook the cage a little. Guys like me weren’t the ones who really understood  Jim Lindberg and Flea. And now guys like us understand exactly what they are feeling, because many of us are feeling it as well.

What do these guys face when one day they look down and realize they have kids of their own? Kids who are looking up at them and needing them to be the fathers that many of these men never had as boys. Many of these men were runaways; abandoned, abused, or neglected.

This isn’t a film for those offended by raw and unfiltered language and lifestyle. These guys are still punk rockers. “The Other F Word” is a true and honest documentary which breaks down the wall between punk rocker and father. The primary focus of the film is on Jim Lindberg, former lead singer for Pennywise. Interviews were also included with Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lars Frederiksen of Rancid, Art Alexakis of Everclear, Ron Reyes of Black Flag, Skateboarder Tony Hawk, BMX biker Rick Thorne, Mark Hoppus of Blink 182, and the list goes on and on.

Andrea Blaugrund Nevins directed and wrote this amazing look into the life choices, sacrifices, and changes made by punks when they become parents. The focus of this film might be on Lindberg and others like him, but its really on fatherhood. In fact, one dad comments to the effect that dads who don’t sacrifice for their kids don’t deserve to be fathers. This is not a Christian film. It shows the rougher side of these guys’ lives. It is littered with profanities. The dads range from great to missing the mark. This is an honest movie. This is a raw film. I truly enjoyed it. I was reminded of who I could have been and who these guys were. Then I was shown who they are. Over the course of the movie, Jim Lindberg is followed during his last year with Pennywise, all the way up until the announcement of his break with the band. And now I understand the reason for this break. “The Other F Word” shows the pain that led these men to punk rock and lifestyles, and it shows the difficulty in becoming men and dads to their children. If you get a chance to see this film, and you aren’t offended by the language and situations, I recommend it.

When I started this blog, I would have never imagined that I’d be sharing with you about Jim Lindberg of Pennywise… a positive example of fatherhood. Here’s a few shots from the lobby of the Nuart Theater:

Paul with Jim Lindberg

Paul with Andrea Blaugrund Nevins

If you get a chance to see this movie, let me know your thoughts. True, many of these rockers would not be good role models for Christians, but their good decisions deserve our support. Would you give up business trips and long work hours for more time with your kids? Jim did. He now performs with The Black Pacific and has time to see his kids grow up.

“Being present. Being there. That’s what’s difficult.”- Jim Lindberg

My wife enjoys classic movies. Just a few days ago, as I was sitting and working on writing for the blog, she popped in “The Sound of Music.” I don’t know how, but in my 31 years, I never saw it before. Let me give a short synopsis from a man’s point of view. 

1930’s Austria- Woman gets chewed out for being too energetic in abbey. Goes to be a governess for big family. Decorated Naval Captain and widower controls family with strict and well planned methods. Woman takes over care of family. Captain Von Trapp goes to court beautiful, rich, hieress. Woman corrupts children. Captain returns to estate with hieress. Children and woman show Captain error in his ways. Hieress plots to get rid of woman. Woman leaves. Woman realizes she is in love with Captain Von Trapp. Woman returns. Captain Von Trapp realizes he loves woman, marries her, goes on honeymoon. Now here is where a guy gets interested. While they are on the honeymoon, the Nazi’s take over Austria. The children are entered to sing in an Austrian singing competition. On the morning of the competition, the Nazi’s come looking to draft Captain Von Trapp into thier service. Captain Von Trapp and his new wife return from their honeymoon and the Captain reacts in outrage. Captain Von Trapp makes a plan and leads his family to safety across the mountains after the borders are closed.

For those of you who have watched this movie, you know there is alot more to it. I want to point out a few lessons in manhood that Captain Von Trapp teaches… and learns.

  1. A man shouldn’t run a household without a woman. It’s best if this is his wife, but the important thing is that a mother’s nurturing touch is just as important as a father’s guiding hand.
  2. Children need their father’s presence and love more than a cold analytical leadership.
  3. Sometimes the right decision is not the easy one.
  4. The family will follow the father, so make your decisions with your family in mind.

These 4 lessons were as much lessons for me and they were for Captain Von Trapp. As we first met him, he ran his family with military efficiency. Captain Von Trapp is a man’s man who we all aspire to be like.  The fact that he fill all the masculine stereotypes also means he fails in fathering. He doesn’t show his family his love. The addition of the governess to the family brought the children’s joy out (1), but it took the father feeling the joy to start the change. When Maria tells Captain Von Trapp that his children want him in thier lives more than anything else (2), his walls start crumbling. It is only after losing Maria that he sees his feelings for her. When she returns, he changes his plans and asks for her hand. While the baroness is  rich and beautiful, Maria is smart and loves (and is loved by) the children (3).  After being conscripted by the Nazi’s, Captain Von Trapp makes the decision to leave everything behind and flee from Austria rather than joining the evil of the Third Riech. Through a series of plans, the Von Trapps cross the mountains on foot, leaving everything behind (4).

What do you think, am I just seeing things, or is this the kind of father we all want to be?

Until the Whole World Knows,