The Other F-Word
What happens when punk rockers become parents? What happens deviants become dads? This is the premise of the new documentary, “The Other F-Word.” (Trailer here) Although the movie is full of middle fingers and f-bombs, it screams of a larger story.
The actors are rebels-leaders and dads, artists like: Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Art Alexakis of Everclear, Mark Hoppus of Blink 182, Tony Hawk, Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, Rob Chaos, and several others. Pierced and sleeved with tattoos, they are determined to become better dads than the ones who left them.
When I spoke with Art Alexakis of Everclear, he was both sad and hopeful. We talked about Portland and Pasadena, and more importantly, CS Lewis and the Lord of the Rings. After talking with him a few minutes, it became clear that Art is committed to being present for his own children.
Art’s dad left his family when he was young, and it forced his mom and brother into the Los Angeles projects. When he was 12, Art’s brother ended up killing himself. Shortly after, Art also tried to kill himself by jumping off the Santa Monica Pier. He sings his story in the his best-selling song, “Father of Mine.” When I asked him about his relationship with his father, Art told me:
My dad keeps trying to become my friend on Facebook. But I keep telling him, ‘No dad, we will never be friends.’
Art’s fatherless experience is not uncommon. It speaks for our generation – a generation where 25 million youth are growing up without dad. It also asks a larger question: how does a generation that grows up without a dad become one? How do we reconcile our own experience with fatherlessness, as we become parents ourselves? Some quotes from the documentary:
Our dads weren’t there, man. – Duane Peters, US Bombs
When we were younger, we were all nihilistic. Live for today. Live fast. I thought we were going to change the world. Maybe the way we change the world is by raising better kids.” – Mike Freeman, Rancid
This is the drumbeat of “The Other F Word.” Punk rockers who grew up fatherless and are now committed to do better. Rebels rebelling against their absent fathers by becoming good dads themselves. They influenced millions by their guitar smashing, crowd surfing, and moshing.
Now they are leading a charge for the dads of the fatherless generation to end the cycle – by being present in the lives of their children.