My Challenge: To Post (Almost) Every Day in 2011!

In an effort to kick-start my blogging and really delve deep into this whole “being a good dad” and blogging adventure, I decided to join up with Wordpress.com’s Post-a-day experiment.  Therefore, I will be making a sincere effort to post on this blog once a day, even if it’s just something short and sweet.

To make the task a little easier, I’m going to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can. (by the way…a lot of this is copy-and-pasted from the WordPress post-a-day site, hence the cheesiness).

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.  And if you have any topics you’d like to suggest, I would certainly welcome them…I’m gonna need some ideas!

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My Life, [Censored]

Last Wednesday, I wrote a post reviewing the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated.  The film explores the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), specifically examining the controversial rating arm of the organization and questioning whether their practices amount to censorship.  The filmmakers are especially concerned about the NC-17 rating, which is applied to films that are deemed to be unsuitable for youth based on content that they feel is outside of what is considered to be “culturally acceptable.”  Filmmakers that receive this rating have the option of accepting limited distribution or editing their films to the liking of the ratings board in order to earn an R rating.  In my review, I called into question the seemingly sexist and homophobic “standards” that they use in rating these films and the culture that determines these standards, citing my personal views on the matter.

Upon reading my post, the esteemed women in my life (Wifey and Mom) cited concern about its content given my employment as a public high school teacher.  They were worried that if the “wrong person” stumbled onto my public blog that my statements could be misconstrued, thereby threatening my professional reputation and position.  They suggested I edit my post to make it more acceptable to the general public.

As much as I hated to admit it, they were right.  And that REALLY pissed me off.

It saddens me that we live in such a narrow-minded and litigious culture that one must always fear social (and often professional) backlash for expressing one’s beliefs.  My post dealt with issues related to artistic freedoms and integrity, matters closely related to the subject that I teach, yet I had to censor my thoughts lest someone take offense.  We probably all know at least one person who has been fired from a job for venting about work on Facebook.  We have probably all lost friends based on public comments regarding our views on politics or religion.  When did our society become so closed-minded that expressing opinion has become a dangerous endeavor?  Perhaps it has always been that way.

I know that in life we must always make choices about what we say and how we act with consideration of the repercussions.  It is necessary in order to be successful, have job security, maintain friendships, and garner respect.  I teach my students that in acting, as in life, we must wear many masks depending on the company we keep at any given moment.  But how far is too far?  At what point am I sacrificing my integrity to put on a socially acceptable mask?

Truthfully, I can deal with losing social relationships based on my opinions.  If the people who I’ve chosen to count as friends feel that we are too different to continue, so be it.  But when it comes to the aspect of my life that puts food on my table and allows for a roof over the heads of my children, I am scared to offend.  I hate bowing to these pressures and I wish it wasn’t a choice I had to make.

We spend so much time teaching our children to be “who they are” and to “not be ashamed” of their opinions and beliefs.  But, in fact, it is just a lie.  What we should really teach them is that it is only okay to be themselves as long as who they are cannot be found to be outside the limits of “cultural acceptability.”

So I deleted my post to protect myself from backlash as opposed to editing my views.  Apparently, my opinions are rated NC-17.

Well, Almost

I still have 21 hours until my 30th birthday.  But to be honest, I think that I have actually been in my thirties for the past 7 years or so.  If you consider the fact that 30 is the new 23 and at 23 I was living the life of a 30 year old, I’m way ahead of the curve.  I mean, at 29 and 364 days, I have already been married for nearly a decade, had 4 children, and have been working in my chosen career for 6 years.  Plus, I’m bald. Let’s face it, I may as well be turning 40.

With the coming and going of the New Year holiday and the big three-o on the near horizon, I have taken some time to evaluate my life in the past few days and in general, I find my life to be quite enjoyable. But, in classic male fashion, my major concern is this: what mark I am making on the world? Sure, I teach high school kids to memorize lines (or at least ACT like they’ve memorized them) and I know teachers shape kids forever and blah, blah, blah. But is that really my lasting legacy? That maybe someday one of my acting students will find success and I’ll receive polite mention in a Reader’s Digest article? I have to say, that doesn’t really do it for me. So what can I do?

The answer: KIDS! They are going to use up all of my time and resources over the next 18+ years anyway, so why not make them my pet project? So, my New Year’s resolution is to re-dedicate myself to being an awesome dad in order to produce the best possible kids.

Phase 2 of Operation Lasting Legacy is keeping this blog, both to document my journey and be a resource to other dads. There are an overwhelming number of mommy sites out there, but far fewer dedicated to the male counterpart. Well, here is one to help shrink the gap.

So welcome to 30-Something Dad! May it inform and entertain, and get updated with reasonable frequency!

*insert catchy dad-related catch phrase here*