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As you’ve probably heard, Paul McCartney just turned 64, a milestone mostly due to the song.
Can’t remember the movie, but I recall a discussion in which some character proposed that as a man reaches middle-age and has children John is no longer his Beattle of choice but rather Paul. The two of course were rivals in a conflict that is generally believed to be the primary reason for the band’s demise. John was more of the activist and his songs tended to be more avante-guard, the perception being that Paul wrote only “silly love songs.” And so if asked “John or Paul,” we’re asked to make a value judgment, not unlike those of us on the tail end of the baby-boom who are also asked “Ginger or Mary-Anne?” I’m one of the few guys who will respond to the latter question with “Ginger,” mostly because she was the one member of the cast who refused to participate in the god-awful movies that followed the series.
And to the former question I guess I’d have to answer “George.”
There’s an article in today’s Santa Rosa Press Democrat about the trend in older dads. According to the article:
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the number of men becoming fathers at age 40 and older increased by 32 percent between 1980 and 2003. In contrast, the number of men becoming fathers at age 29 and younger has decreased by 16 percent.
This is attributed to increased longevity, new fertility treatments for older women, and the marriages of divorced older men to younger women. As some of you know, I first became a father at 38, and for a second time at 41. Like some of the men interviewed in the article, I do think I appreciate the whole process more than I would have had I children in my 20s. I also have to say it’s a much better antidote for midlife crisis than a sportscar. The years which had been speeding by have slowed down again – it seems that we’ve had Asher forever. We adopted both of our children from Korea, and we’re having a ball.
As for changing my lifestyle and becoming more conservative – it hasn’t really happened. I do think about some things a little differently. It’s harder to watch a movie like The Shining for instance. But I never led a particularly wild life, and I find myself wanting to expose my kids to all aspects of life, the Paul aspects, the John aspects, and especially the George aspects that interest me. The kidnapping stories bother me more, but I don’t find myself becoming more “law and order” oriented. I was never “pro-criminal” to begin with. I want my kids to be safe, but I also want them to have opportunity for interesting lives and a wide space for choices.
Winston Churchill has been credited (in error, he never said it) with the statement: “If you are not a socialist by the time you are 20, you have no heart. If you are still a socialist by the time you are 40, you have no head,” and other variants of the same misquote. Wouldn’t make sense for him to have said it. He was no socialist at 20. I don’t know that I would embrace the label “socialist.” I’m not even sure I know what it means anymore. But I’m also certain that I am well within the realm of those who have no head according to whomever was in fact the author of this quote or whatever derivative thereof. I don’t like Pink Floyd as much as I used to if that counts.
Okay, those are my Father’s Day thoughts. Back to our regular programming tomorrow.
This is shaping up to be a very interesting primary race for a senate seat from my wife’s home state of Connecticut – critical as it is seen as currently the main front in the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. Ned Lamont is the choice of the left wing of the party, including the “netroots” faction (Kos has already appeared in an ad for Lamont). Joe Lieberman has of course disappointed many a liberal with his unwavering stance in support of the invasion of Iraq, the Patriot Act, and a number of other neocon agendas. His voting record isn’t as bad as it’s often made out to be, but his vehemence behind the war has earned him some active opposition even as the Democrats are hoping to retake at least one house this fall.
The talking heads weren’t giving Lamont much of a chance at the beginning of the campaign, but he has crept up in the polls (as reported earlier on this very blog). Add to this the fallout from a rather idiotic ad put out by the Lieberman camp and Lamont appears to have some momentum. Lieberman’s ad is a sequel to an ad he used a number of years ago to unseat Lowell Weicker, but it doesn’t even make much sense. It’s a new play on an old ad depicting Weicker as a cartoon bear who hybernated so long he was out of touch, and now Lamont is depicted as a cub of that same bear. More details here.
Meanwhile, a debate is scheduled for July 6, and should be quite interesting. I imagine it will play several times on CSPAN. Made available by a poster at Daily Kos this an artist’s rendition of how the debate is expected to play out: