Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
Today on MSN’s home page there was a strange headline proclaiming “Buzz About Father Donating Sperm For Son’s Baby.” I couldn’t resist. I had to read it.
As the article explains, a man in The Netherlands stepped up to the plate for his son who is biologically incapable of having a child with his wife.
So the baby’s biological father will actually be his legal grandfather. Accordingly, the baby’s legal father will be his biological half-brother.
This is not illegal. Though it is pretty weird. I think for most people, the word “creepy” comes to mind.
But again, it’s not against the law. Should it be? Are there any particular moral issues involved here?
I think it’s safe to say that there are some psychological time bombs regarding this family’s dynamics. But does this case break a moral code, or does it just go against what is considered normal and acceptable in our society?
It’s not like the the father and daughter-in-law became sexually involved in order to have a child in the son’s place. But by the father donating his sperm, the ultimate outcome is still produced when the baby is born.
Imagine knowing that your own child is half of your spouse and half of one of your parents.
I feel like this is the strange twist ending of some psychological thriller movie.
Actually, this situation is very similar a story line in HBO’s drama series, Big Love. Nicki Grant’s ex-husband marries her mom in an attempt to have a biological child with her; having already fathered a child with Nicki.
When that plot revealed itself I remember thinking, “Okay, that’s an interesting story, but it’s simply unbelievable.”
Well, now that I’ve read this story, I’m less disappointed by the previously unbelievable story line on Big Love.
Right now I have the song “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp)” stuck in my head, only the words are “Hello Grandpa, hello Father…”.
So here’s what I want to know: Is there anyone out there willing to defend this dad who donated sperm for his son?
Thursday, January 5th, 2012
For the past couple of years now, I have consistently published my own recaps of The Bachelor, drawing in tens of thousands of views on my personal blog site, NickShell.com.
It made me laugh that I could make 300 people a day stumble upon my site when they Googled “Is Ali Fedotowsky Jewish?” Not only blogging about the show, but watching it every Monday night with my wife, had become a fun tradition.
This week, the new Bachelor season premiered featuring Ben Flajnik, the Slovak-Italian-German-English (but not Jewish) winemaker from California.
But the magic just wasn’t there for me anymore. Unlike previous seasons, it felt like the main focus was just on how ridiculous (and pathetic) the contestants could appear to be. It was like the show had merged with its sleazy cousin, Bachelor Pad, and all those trashy reality dating shows on VH1.
I guess I’m becoming more morally convicted about contributing to the exploitation of other people; even if they don’t realize or don’t care that the world is laughing at them, not with them.
A switch has flipped in my head. Is it because The Bachelor has (just now?) finally jumped the shark?
Not actually. My sudden disgust in The Bachelor got me thinking deeper. I realized that the underlying issue here is that I’m starved for redeeming value, not only in entertainment, but in real life.
I started thinking about the TV shows my wife and I have plowed through this past year on Netlflix. (We don’t have cable. We watched this week’s Bachelor episode online.)
They included Big Love, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad. In my opinion, all three are very well-written, well-directed, fresh, original, and premium quality entertainment. But just yesterday I realized something they all three have in common:
The protagonist cheats on his wife, she cheats on him, or they cheat on each other.
It made me start thinking about all the good songs we love to sing along to which are about someone getting cheated on. Yeah, good songs like “White Liar” by Miranda Lambert or “You Lie” by The Band Perry. In every genre of music, it’s common for enjoyable songs to be about infidelity.
I may sound like a Republican grandma from the Eighties, but I’m really tired of all this negativity in pop culture; especially when it comes to the way marriage is portrayed.
The truth is, I’m struggling right now to think of a good modern TV series that features a happily married couple who aren’t constantly (even though comically) cutting each other down. I miss Jason and Maggie Seaver from Growing Pains.
Here on The Dadabase, I have written several times about how dads are negatively portrayed on TV. But I failed to focus also on how negatively marriage is portrayed, as well. That’s just as big of a deal.
I miss the cheesy “musical moral moments” at the end of Miller-Boyett sitcoms like Full House, Family Matters, Step By Step, and Perfect Strangers where I was always fed a bite-size life lesson, teaching me to care more about others than myself.
Starting now, I am going to be deliberately seeking out entertainment (and real-life ventures) that have a high redeeming quality.
As part of her Christmas present to me, my wife agreed to watch the first season of Lost with me. She’s never seen it, but I’ve seen every episode.
Lost is the kind of thing I mean when I say “redeeming quality.” I love to see the moral struggles of the characters as they try to forgive others and themselves for the wrongs they have committed in their lives. I love that they ultimately become accountable for their actions.
I love to see a story actually go somewhere. I love to see people redeemed, not exploited.
Categories: Deep Thoughts, Nostalgia, The Dadabase | Tags: Big Love, Breaking Bad, Full House, Jewish, LOST, Mad Men, redeeming value, sitcoms, The Bachelor