At some point in the movie The Other F Word, Fat Mike--punk rocking, spike-haired, dominatrix-tattooed singer of NOFX--discusses his parenting philosophy. His wife and he decided from the beginning that they were not going to change. Unlike so many parents who divide their lives to before children and after children, and who end up with an inevitable midlife crisis of identity, Fat Mike and his wife decided to pull their daughter into their own punk-rock world, he says.
The Other F Word is a great documentary that needs to be seen by everyone. Everyone! (It is currently screening in a limited number of locations, so meanwhile take a look at the trailer below.) The filmmakers interview and follow well known punk rockers (as well as honorary punk rockers, like Tony Hawk) who spent the first part of their lives rebelling against any and all authority, and now find themselves in the position of authority figures for their kids.
While the movie is about the ironic struggles of punk rocking dads, the lessons of the movie belongs to all parents. While some of our childhood authority figures were more worthy than others, all of us rebelled to some extent, and all of us faced (and still face) the conflict between our proud rebellion days and our transformation into the targets of the rebellion. While turning into a rebel made perfect sense at the time, we're now shocked when we see the next generation dismiss us as the keepers of the old world we've turned out to be, at least in their eyes.
While some of us had more involved and loving parents than others, we all hope to do better, and while this is very central to the movie, where many of the musicians grew up pretty much by themselves, and are now determined to do a better job as parents, we all hope to do our best, certain our best can be at least as good as our parents'.
And all of us--even Fat Mike--delude ourselves, thinking our identities are strong enough to withstand the onslaught of kids... Soon after he makes his identity-guarding statement, he walks away from his daughter's princess bed to the kitchen to make toast with butter on a plastic plate with a picture of skull & cross bones. While the parents tried to pull the kid into their world, the kid had other plans. Looks like they met somewhere in the middle.